Brooklyn Boro

Prokhorov witnesses Nets’ lack of star power

Owner Sees Brooklyn Crumble in Second Half of Loss to Heat

January 27, 2016 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov can only sit and watch as his team continues to lose games at home, dropping to 8-18 overall at the Barclays Center this season with Tuesday’s 102-98 defeat to Miami. AP photo
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One good half just wasn’t enough for the Brooklyn Nets, especially with the Miami Heat’s dynamic duo of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh poised to take over Downtown’s Barclays Center on Tuesday night.

Wade and Bosh, Miami’s dual superstar threat, scored 27 points apiece as Brooklyn’s short-lived halftime lead melted away like the snow lining Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, resulting in a 102-98 loss to the Heat in front of 15,267 fans, including Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

Perhaps the Russian billionaire should take note that his team, while capable of putting together a solid quarter or two, no longer has the type of players who can step up in crunch time and deliver victories on a consistent basis.

That’s something both he and whomever he eventually hires as his new general manager/head coach combination will have to address in the offseason via a potential $40 million windfall of salary cap space.

But for now, the Nets can only watch and envy the resilience and championship mettle of their Eastern Conference adversaries from South Beach.

“Well, Wade and Bosh got us again,” interim Nets head coach Tony Brown lamented after watching the tandem combine for Miami’s final 12 points of the night.

“Typical [Bosh], typical D-Wade,” added Brooklyn center Brooklyn Lopez, who scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his team-high 19th double-double of the season.

“You know, they just do a great job of moving the ball constantly on offense. You can tell they’re always composed, regardless of the score. They obviously come from a championship pedigree. They’ve been there before. They’re always confident in themselves and their team.”

It would be hard for the Nets (12-34) to say the same after failing to win back-to-back home games for the first time since Dec. 8-10, and falling to 8-18 overall at Barclays, where they went a combined 73-50 over the previous three campaigns.

Andrea Bargnani came up big off the bench with 20 points, and Joe Johnson, continuing in his role as offensive facilitator with Jarrett Jack sidelined for the season, added 15 points and eight assists for Brooklyn.

However, the Nets saw their promising 57-51 halftime advantage disappear just under four minutes into the third quarter as Bosh’s 3-pointer with 8:14 remaining in the period put Miami ahead to stay, 60-58.

“I thought we were into it,” Brown said. “I thought the first half we really showed that we were going to try and be consistent with the effort like we were against Oklahoma City [in Sunday’s 116-106 victory]. You know, we just had a couple of guys that put extreme pressure on you defensively.”

Though Wade and Bosh are likely done chasing NBA titles, they manage to keep the Heat (25-21) competitive in the East, and will in all likelihood be a tough out at playoff time.

The Nets, who are trying to make the most of what will ultimately be their first non-playoff campaign since arriving here four seasons ago, can’t be blamed for not putting forth the effort necessary to win.

They simply don’t have the players necessary to do so.

“The effort absolutely was there,” Lopez insisted. “If we play like that every night, we’ll be all right. No question.”

Nothing But Net: Prokhorov, who intends to spend more time around the team during this critical administrative overhaul, didn’t make himself available to the media at-large Tuesday. But he did tell local beat reporters that he needed to do some “homework” before he addressed the state of the team going forward … The Nets did shoot the ball well on Tuesday, going 9-of-18 on 3-pointers while finishing at 51 percent overall from the floor … Brooklyn committed 16 turnovers Tuesday, 13 of which came during the second half … Thaddeus Young contributed 12 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 11 off the bench for the Nets, who will be in Dallas on Friday night to take on the Mavericks before Saturday night’s visit to New Orleans. The Nets’ next homestand, a three-game set, begins this coming Monday night against the Detroit Pistons. The Indiana Pacers (Wednesday) and Sacramento Kings (Feb. 5) will also be in town next week … Bojan Bogdanovic was named to the  2016 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star 2016, the league announced. The game pits the top first and second-year players against each other on Feb. 12. 

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