The first half of my experimental live blog at the game are here. I don’t know how I feel about them. From a narcissistic self-absorbed point of view I love being able to read every little nugget of information that poured out of my brain. But maybe restraint and editing is important too. Remains to be seen. Onto the notes.
I left work at 5 P.M. with every single person in the entire company making some type of joke about me leaving early as I stepped out. Hey guess what? Shut up.
I drove out there. Earlier in the day Lang had given me some instructions about where the media parking lot was. I thought I could just figure it out when I got there. Thank you Lang for letting me know that you have to drive all the way around the arena. Cause I would have thought I was being set up to be dragged out to the swamp and buried.
Got inside for a little pre-game action. The Nets have provided us with documentation on Jason Kidd’s status as being one behind Wilt on the all-time triple doubles list. Chasing Wilt. Hey, Jason Kidd is happily married. Nenad Krstic is out on the court working on his jump shot and post moves with assistant coach Bill Cartwright. Josh Boone is in uniform.
I ended up going into Lawrence Frank’s pre-game session with the media. The things I took out of it are that he likes it when Hassan Adams is aggressive and he’s impressed with Adam Morrison, and continued to break down every single element of Morrison’s offensive repetoire to the finest detail. Lawrence does not sleep. And when he does, he probably dreams about watching more film.
The Nets locker room wasn’t that exciting. Vince and RJ were in the trainer’s room in the back, getting treatment, most likely waiting for the media to leave. Vince has a “Mark Action Jackson” sticker on the chair in his locker. He’s the only one. I’m sure Ben has whole albums full of them at home. The Nets dry erase board has strategic items such as “counter their pressure”, “stay alert”, and “exploit their pick-n-roll defense.” Nowhere does it say “If Morrison is guarding you, attack” or “If you hit two threes in a row, take another one no matter how off balance you are. What the hell.”
Mikki Moore strolls in talking about how his car died. Sounds like a made up excuse to me. I asked him about it and he said it was his ’65 Impala and the alternator died as soon as he got into the parking lot. The same alternator that he claimed to have changed himself this afternoon. I’m in over my head here.
Dinner time. I heard the horror stories about Sussman’s cooking. They are all lies. It was delicious and I had seconds. Now, let me share what insight I have of NBA media dining rooms. Lang once wrote that’s it’s just like high school and he was right. I sat at a table by myself. If I did that back when I was in High School I would have been called a herb. Some guy and girl at the table next to me were talking about how Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams keep coming out publicly talking about how they are opposed to the Nets arena in Brooklyn and these two were wondering why they cared so much. Me being the Brooklyn expert in that vicinity, I broke the whole thing down. Ledger-Willams live about 5 blocks from me. Their place is siiiiiiiiick. 4 car garage. Heavy surveillance (trust me). They have no reason to care about the Nets coming to Brooklyn other than to oppose gentrification because they don’t want Brooklyn turned into a shopping mall. Too late you Hollywood jerks. At least for northern Brooklyn.
And the game begins. If you clicked on the link earlier, you read about the first half. Onto the second half.
The Nets go inside to Brezec right away. It works.
Brevin Knight makes a no look pass just swinging it around before anyone is ready to make their move, and he yelps whoooooooo for no reason. I don’t know why. So random.
Vince gauards Morrison. Adam backs in, turnaround fadeaway good
Nenad comes off a high screen like a guard. Drills it.
Gerald Wallace blows by Vince for the easy layup. Wallace, so forgotten.
You have to see Adam Morrison in person. People joke about the stache and hair, but he really is funny looking. Not to judge. I personally think it’s the high Phil Jackson/Kevin McHale shoulders combined with those shoulders.
Nenad goes to the turnaround hook over Primoz.
Adam attacks Vince, pumps him in the air, gets Vince to jump, does a pivot foot spin. Puts in the leaner. Effective, as they say.
7:30 left in third, Okafor’s 4th foul. It hasn’t mattered to the Cats so far.
Nets go inside to Nenad, Kidd threads needle, May fouls. Maybe it does matter.
Nenad gives Adam a healthy chest bump going for the loose ball. Adam stares down the ref. He gets called for foul. Nenad to the line. Mike needs to work with Adam on bending the refs to his will.
Vince gets called for a travel when Felton tried to take a charge. Lawrence Frank looks like he’s gonna throw up. Although it’s “only” a 7 point Bobcat lead right now.
Adam launches a runner that doesn’t come close. He turns and yells at the ref “COME ON MAN!” No call.
This thing is getting sloppy. Kidd and Nenad are running the 2 man game and that’s about it.
RJ has been quiet for a while. On cue, he goes off the glass. 4 point game.
It’s even sloppier than when I said it was sloppy. Everyone’s doing spin moves that go nowhere and missing shots. Kidd takes a pull up three to tie. No.
Sean May beats the shot clock with fadeaway step back out of the post.
RJ comes back with jumper from top of the key.
Adam goes hard through the Nets D and gets the bounce on a floater. He is a scorer. Angles.
Kidd throws over the top to Nenad for the easy bucket with nobody there to stop it. Now the Cats are missing Okafor. Sean May ends up with ball in his hands and just drains an 18 footer. This is a good night for him. He has 18 and 7 on 7 of 10 shooting.
At the end of 3 it’s 74-69 Charlotte.
Kidd has a shot at tying WILT on the triple double list. He’s got 8 boards and 7 assists. Only 4 points though. That would be weird if he had a triple double chance but didn’t have enough points.
Felton hits a three over Marcus Willams.
Sean May hits another open jumper, this one from right behind the free throw line.
Vince makes an explosive move to get to the hoop, goes to the reverse layup. Okafor rejects. He’s become one of the top intimidators and shot changers in the league.
Mikki Moore sets a screen for Vince. Vince hits the jumper and Gerald Wallace plows thourh Mikki trying to get to Vince. Mikki gets a foul shot. Misses it. Antoine Wright with the rebound, and the Nets blow the possession and turn it over.
Sean May has chance for more points in the paint, but he gives it up to Okafor in mid air. Turnover. Why Sean. Why?
Vince gets the ball on a delayed slow break behind the arc, right wing. He pump fakes Adam. Adam falls back 5 feet. Vince hits the three. It is now 81-78 Charlotte. 7:26 left. This is competitive.
Adam does that right hand only crossover thing on Nenad, and it frees him up for a J. Vince comes up with another three from the top of the key this time. Watch out. Up next, the heat check.
Yup. This Vince three attempt is off a scissor kick off balance. No good. Nice pass from Kidd though. In hindsight, if Vince had made this shot, the crowd would have gone crazy and the Nets would have won by 15.
Adam comes back with a crossover on RJ. Drives baseline, high teardrop. Beautiful.
Vince tries to respond with a floater of his own, but it’s off. Adam comes back and drains a three over Jason Collins closing out. Adam Morrison is going to be a big time SCORER. He’s got 22.
Okafor gets it on the block. Nenad is on him. He attacks. Doesn’t get the roll, but he really overpowered Nenad there. Kidd comes back and also doesn’t get the roll, his was a three try.
Kidd tries to feed the post. It was Jason Collins. The ball goes out of bounds.
And Kidd pushes, RJ on the wing, bounce pass, dunk. Nets basketball. 88-85 Bobcats. The Nets are so close to catching them and taking over this game. Let’s see what Bickerstaff can dream up. It’s been a lot of Morrison isos.
And Kidd steals the telegraphed pass to Adam at halfcourt, cruises for layup. Nobody chases. Brezec hits short jumper to keep crowd down for now.
Iso for RJ because Adam is guarding him. He gets trapped under basket and blocked.
Kidd is guarding Morrison now. Chasing him through screens. The play ends with Brevin Knight driving around the whole team and crashing into Collins. Foul on Collins.
Knight misses FT. 1:58 left. hits second. Cats by 4 91-87
Vince kicks out to Jason for long 2 pointer. Wow, that is the worst shot in the universe in that situation. Slight exaggeration.
I think this building is 40% full.
Nets have ball, 5 on shot clock after yet another Okafor block, down 5. Kidd inbounds to Vince, who does a bunch of spin moves and draws a foul on Knight. Hits both.
Kidd has 9 and 9 but just 6 points Grabs his 10th board off Adam miss. RJ pushes, leads to Vince getting fouled by Knight again. Hits the first. Misses second, Nets get it back when it gets batted out of bounds.
Charlotte leads 92-90, 47.6 left. Timeout with ball.
Possession breaks down, Knight goes to basket and throws up a bad shot. Misses. Nets have the ball, down 2. Ends up in Vince’s hands after Jefferson goes to middle and kicks across floor. Vince alone for the three. Nope. And other than a bunch of fre throw shooting exchanges, that was it.
The Nets locker room was depressing. RJ was mobbed by the media and he looked like someone just kicked his puppy dog and threw it in front of a car. Vince didn’t look much better. Also I want to apologize to Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News for accidentally knocking the tape recorded out of his hand with my bag. Sorry! Nenad changed into a bright pink sweater.
I hung around for the postgame press conferences with Lawrence Frank, Vince Carter, and Jason Kidd. I even asked Vince a question, when WFAN’s Kevin Burkhardt finally kept quiet for 5 seconds (Kevin Burkhardt is still the future). Vince gave a one sentence answer and that was that. It was so unenlightening, it’s not even worth writing. The most telling statement about the game from any of those three was when Lawrence said “I’m not gonna comment on shot selection right now.” I get you Mr. Frank. Not happy with it. Keeping it in house. Unlike Tiki Snitcher across the street.
So anyway, I’m in a room with two of the greatest players in NBA history, no big deal. I step out, and there he is. The actor that plays Namond on The Wire. I thought about apporaching him, maybe just saying what a huge fan I am. Maybe convincing him to do a quick interview. Something. But I froze up. I mean, this kid is on The Wire. I was going to tell him that he’s a great actor, which I’m sure he never hears.
Suddenly it hit me that I hadn’t watched the latest episode, the one that airs this Sunday. I had to get out of there quickfast. Got home, watched it.
NO SPOILER: I respected that actor before, but after watching this episode it’s at a whole nother level to the 10th power. WOW! This episode is that gripping emotional heartbreaker that will stick with you forever. It’s maybe the best of the season. One more to go. The finale is going to be legendary.
A final thought: This sucked for the Nets. Too bad for them. They are still in the Atlantic though. For the Bobcats, Adam Morrison is going to be a superstar. I knew he was aggressive, but he actually tried to initiate a back and forth shootout with Vince Carter. This is a rookie. That takes ball$. If he didn’t make those plays to hold off the Nets rally, Jersey would have come back and won. Emeka Okafor was in serious foul trouble and Charlotte still won on the road against a supposedly superior team.