Brooklyn Boro

Nets can’t keep ‘pace’ with Indiana

Brooklyn Players Booed Off Court Following Fifth Straight Defeat

February 4, 2016 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
C.J. Miles torched the moribund Nets for 27 points Wednesday night as Brooklyn lost its fifth in a row to the playoff-hopeful Indiana Pacers at Downtown’s Barclays Center. AP photo
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It doesn’t take very much to beat the Brooklyn Nets these days.

In fact, one good quarter will likely do it.

Fighting for a playoff spot in the tightly packed Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers drove that point home Wednesday night at Downtown’s Barclays Center, using a dominant second period en route to an easy 114-100 victory over the moribund Nets in front of 13,311 fans, some of whom stuck around just to boo Brooklyn players off the court.

“We got ourselves into a hole and it’s tough to play from that position,” admitted Brook Lopez, who led the Nets with 21 points.

It’s difficult to imagine the NBA franchise playing well from any position as a decimated roster and confusing culture have left steady veterans like Lopez and Joe Johnson to play out the string during this disastrous fourth season in our fair borough.

Johnson added 20 points and nine assists for Brooklyn, which entered the second quarter down 26-23.

But the Pacers pulled away for good with a 10-0 run to start the period and were up by 19 points at the half, reducing the rest of the game to an elongated stretch of garbage time, something Brooklyn fans have become accustomed to this year.

Thaddeus Young piled up 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets, who saw their bench get outscored by a whopping 58-14 margin.

One of those Indiana reserves, C.J. Miles, came off the bench to torch Brooklyn for 27 points in only 22 minutes of playing time.

“C.J. came in and he got hot,” said Johnson. “He was making tough shots and it trickled on down. With the amount of attention focused on him, other guys were able to get involved and get easy layups and just get easy plays.”

It’s becoming all too easy for opponents to stomp on the Nets here in Brooklyn as evidenced by the team’s ugly 8-20 record on the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

The Nets have lost their last three in a row here and will try to avoid the indignity of a fruitless three-game homestand Friday night against the Sacramento Kings, who beat Brooklyn on the West Coast back on Nov. 13, when rookie Rondae-Hollis Jefferson and starting point guard Jarrett Jack were still in the lineup.

One potential bright spot for the Nets is the likely debut of rookie Chris McCullough following the All-Star break.

McCullough, selected by Brooklyn with the 29th pick in last June’s NBA Draft, has not played a single minute for the Nets as he entered the pros with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered during his senior campaign at Syracuse University.

Interim Nets coach Tony Brown told the Associated Press that McCullough is still working his way back into playing shape following the extended rehab and recovery from his severe knee injury.

“Chris will definitely be available after the All-Star break,” Brown said. “There’s a possibility he could get maybe get some minutes before the break. But again, I don’t want this whole Chris McCullough thing to get so big that everybody wants to see him play. I’m not going to play him until I feel comfortable with him on the floor and I don’t want to embarrass him.”

Unfortunately, Brown can’t do anything to spare the rest of the Nets the continued embarrassment of playing out this lost season in Brooklyn.

Nothing But Net: Young’s double-double Wednesday night was his 22nd of the season, establishing a new career high for the reliable power forward … Donald Sloan, one of the players benefitting from the Nets’ decimated roster, had 11 points and seven assists with only one turnover in 33 minutes against the Pacers, while starting backcourt mate Wayne Ellington added 16 points … Following their game against the Kings on Friday night, the Nets will travel to Philadelphia on Saturday to take on the league-worst 76ers … The Nets are 2-11 since Brown replaced fired head coach Lionel Hollins.


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