Talk about a disheartening few days for the Brooklyn Nets; Rather, talk about what a disheartening season it's been.
First, the team lost to the Los Angeles Clippers by 39 points on Thursday night, then afterwards, Mirza Teletovic was deemed out for the season with blood clots in his lungs, a condition that could have led to his death and may end his career. The struggle has been real and it continued Saturday night in Utah, a game that saw the lowly Jazz embarrass the Nets, 108-73.
How bad was it? This bad...
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Nets make some dubious history. They lose back to back games by 35+ points for the 5th time in NBA history.</p>— Jeff Quagliata (@yestoresearch) <a href="https://twitter.com/yestoresearch/status/559204915801624576">January 25, 2015</a></blockquote>
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It all started with the second quarter, another awful performance during a 12-minute span from the Nets. It's been the story of their season; Their inability to play a full 48-minute game containing one or two horrific quarters that doom any chance of escaping with a victory.
The rout started with an 8-0 run from Utah in the second quarter that gave them an 11-point lead. From that point on, they took off and ran with the lead, eventually extending it to 21 before halftime break. You can blame the Nets' defense. Throughout the quarter, Brooklyn was late on all of their defensive rotations, essentially giving Utah shooting practice rather than a competitive first half of NBA basketball. The Jazz shot 9-of-13 from three in the half and outscored Brooklyn, 33-16, in the second -- including a 16-1 advantage in transition points.
As mentioned, the Jazz took the lead and ran with it from there. This game was over after the second quarter ... for the second straight game. Brooklyn's body language looked discouraging and the leadership appeared nonexistent. If there's a time they miss Paul Pierce, it's right now.
One of the bittersweet bright spots for Brooklyn was Jarrett Jack, who finished with 16 points, seven assists and two steals on 5-of-14 shooting. His numbers were good, but his decision making was suspect. Late in the second quarter, the Nets charged with a promising fast-break down 10 points, but Jack, without passing, launched a contested three-pointer that missed and led to an easy transition bucket for Utah. It's a small sample size, but it's the type of selfishness the Nets have displayed throughout the season.
It also speaks about the absence of Deron Williams. Since Williams went down, the Nets have lost six of eight games and lost control of the eighth seed in the East to the rolling Charlotte Hornets.
For Utah, Gordon Hayward led the way with 24 points and five turnovers on 10-of-14 shooting. Joe Ingles followed up with 16 points of his own and former Net (traded for DWill), Derrick Favors, went for a near double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
Hayward's hot performance was one of many for the Jazz. They shot 12-for-28 from three and 53.2% from the field, with Trey Burke chipping in 19 points off the bench -- contributing to a 36-point night for Utah's bench. They also out-rebounded Brooklyn, 39-28, and held them to 39.7% shooting from the field.
Mason Plumlee scored 11 points and six rebounds on 5-of-6 shooting in 27 minutes. He was the only other Net to score in double digits. His backup, Brook Lopez, scored six points on 2-of-9 shooting.
The Nets are losers in 10 of the last 12 and things will only get tougher from here. They face off against the Trail Blazers this Monday followed up with; Atlanta, Toronto, LA Clippers and Toronto once again. That's five teams above .500, something the Nets have especially struggled with.
So what's the problem?
"They keep scoring and we can’t score," Lionel Hollins said. "I don’t have all the answers why."
Jarrett Jack summed it up most simply..
"Not sure. We’re just playing bad overall."
For more on the Utah Jazz, check them out at SLC Dunk.
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Utah Jazz, 9:00 PM - NetsDaily
- Nets at Jazz Boxscore - NBA.com
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Nets at Jazz - NetsDaily
- Nets vs. Jazz (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets Post Game Plus: Nets suffer blowout loss in Utah (Video) - Nancy Newman - YES Network
- Hollins talks blowout loss to the Jazz (Video) - YES Network
- Plumlee talks loss to Jazz, Deron Williams (Video) - YES Network
- Jack on Nets' loss to Jazz (Video) - YES Network
- Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz - Recap - January 24, 2015 - AP
- Nets destroyed by Jazz, fall out of playoff spot - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets players a little freaked out by Mirza Teletovic’s ailment - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Why there is a chance Mirza Teletovic won’t play again - Marc Berman - New York Post
- Teletovic’s Career in Jeopardy After Diagnosis - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Nets overmatched in Utah - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Teammates express shock after learning about Mirza Teletovic's ailment - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets fall to Jazz for 10th loss in last 12 games - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- How a Nets trainer potentially saved Mirza Teletovic’s life - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Another Blowout Loss For Brooklyn - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Kragthorpe: Jazz do more to validate trade with Nets (with video) - Kurt Kragthorpe - Salt Lake Tribune
- Atlanta Hawks benefit as the Brooklyn Nets continue to struggle - Tony Jones - Salt Lake Tribune
- Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke comes off bench to lead Jazz to 35-point win over Brooklyn Nets - Mike Sorenson - Deseret News
- Former Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams had front-row seat in Nets' loss to Jazz - Xoel Cardenas - Deseret News