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Hello and welcome to the new format of Infinite Nets. We’re going to a weekly recap as opposed to a daily version. Why are we doing a weekly recap? Because, hell man, I can watch every game, but I sure as hell can’t come up with compelling content for every game. At a certain point, you just start rehashing the same tired themes over and over, and there is only so much that elevated prose can achieve.
Just last Tuesday, I spent the game with my attention distracted scattered across seven different dimensions, watching my daughter while my wife was at work, attempting to enjoy Spencer Dinwiddie balling in Phoenix against an objectively bad (young, but still, pretty bad) Suns team, while constantly looking down at my laptop for midterm election scores. Fivethirtyeight had spent the evening freaking out and announcing that the Republicans would suddenly most likely keep the House, the media announced that there would be no blue wave, and Florida was, and forever will be, too close to call.
And the entire time, I’m searching for angles to talk about. Gotta churn that content. How could I weave politics into my daily Nets blog? Because I sure as hell can’t spend it bitching about how Allen Crabbe looks consistently terrible night in and night out, and I can’t spend every post talking about Caris LeVert’s improved play. Aside from that, I’m hogging up the calendar here at Door Flies Open, which I had just decided to hijack as my personal Nets blog, without anybody’s permission. Nobody had asked me to write less, but come on man. I’m too polite to just make everything about me. Other people probably want to write things. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much content.
So now we go to the games.
Like I said, I wanted to weave politics into the blog. That’s why I waited a week, when I can no longer be tempted to go to my reactionary bursts of outrage and delirium. I’ve intentionally held out until every possible opinion on last Tuesday has been mined, and I simply don’t have the opportunity to spout off any righteous indignation. It was so tempting to shit on John McCain and Jeff Flake one last time, to mention the hypocrisy of Gabby Giffords only giving a shit about guns after Aaron Sorkin retroactively saved her life.
But who gives a shit? I’m not talking about politics and the general conversation. Please, continue giving a shit about that. But who gives a shit about my opinion, and honestly, what’s gripping about my half warmed over takes on the myth of “Reasonable Republicanism” that you’ve heard 10,000 times today whether you agree with me or not?
In my precious few moments of enlightenment, I was able to forget about politics and my whining daughter who wanted something or other, and could focus on the game. They won, as you should when you play Phoenix, and fattened up as best they could before their four game road trip took them into hostile environments like Denver and Golden State. You take your wins how you can get them, and instead of playing down, the Nets managed to beat the young and still learning Suns for an easy victory.
Yet the game remained a blur. Though the outcome never seemed in any real doubt, not all of the Nets were on, and we got to see what happens when Joe Harris struggles from three point range, early on. Though their offense was a little rough in that first quarter, Brooklyn adapted.
By the way, I want to talk about something regarding Joe Harris. The YES Network and Nets media in general needs to calm the fuck down about his new look. This is a picture of Joe Harris.
Do you see anything noteworthy in this photo? No? Well, if you have missed it, this man now wears a beard. See it? It’s reasonably well groomed, and there aren’t stray hairs going rogue. I don’t see egg trapped in any of the fibers. It’s what people in Brooklyn might very well call “A beard,” or if you’re in Williamsburg, “A starter beard.”
However, to the Nets broadcasting crew, this beard is NEWS. Richard Jefferson is trying to make “Beef Jerky Joe” happen, because apparently he looks like a guy in a beef jerky commercial? An online poll named him Lumber Joe. I have heard about this fucking beard for about seven games now, and I really have to ask…what the fuck’s going on guys? You out of narratives too? I’m struggling, but I’m an idiot working a full time job, and trying to maintain a life in a neighborhood I can’t afford. These guys are paid professionals. Keep in mind that they talked about this during the Houston game.
In front of this fucking man.
That’s a goddamn noteworthy beard. That’s why his nickname is “The Beard.” You think that nickname was easy? Olivia Munn sued his ass in court for copyright infringement. He beat the case, and he gets to keep the damn name.
It’s fine. Hell, it’s more beard than I can grow. It’s honestly a pretty good look, considering what he looked like with no beard or only stubble. I’m fine with that beard. But I don’t need to talk about it ever again, because there are a million more compelling beards in the sporting world. We don’t go around admiring Steve Kerr’s hair. “That’s some fucking hair, man. Look at that hair.” Shut up about Joe Harris and his beard.
Next up on the trip was a visit to Denver. It went well.
But I was a little confused about Denver’s City Edition Jersey. While the announcers kept saying that these Mile High City unis were their City Edition look, I was specifically told that the CE Jersey for Denver is actually the retro rainbow looking number, or as Nikola Jocic calls them, the “No Homo” uniform.
I actually like this look a lot. But not as much as the Nets going full on Coogi Sweater with their nod to Biggie Smalls
Good lord. That’s gorgeous. Most of the City Edition uniforms are pretty great this year, for what that’s worth, but the Nets are in a really special class. This should be their full time uniform, and I don’t know why they wouldn’t just immediately recognize that it’s a superior look.
Anyway, they won the game. Caris LeVert hit another game winner. It would be so much more satisfying if what happened last night hadn’t happened.
Then came a game against the Warriors. They’d kept it close in Brooklyn with Steph Curry and Kevin Durant being forced to play until the end of the game, and Steph wouldn’t be in the game, so the Nets had a punchers chance. They did not land the punch.
Apparently the Warriors can just turn Quinn Cook into Steph Curry. So, that’s nice to know. Perhaps they could have gotten a hand in the man’s face and kept it close, that’s okay. Caris LeVert would exit the game as a precautionary measure, with his knee feeling funny. Honestly, that’s a pretty mature decision by the Nets. The last thing in the world that they want is LeVert suffering a serious injury, and it’s better to be safe. The loss means that they will at worst go 2-2 on the road. Just keep everybody healthy in the Timberwolves game and-
And then Caris LeVert appeared to completely wreck his ankle. It turns out that it’s just ligament damage and he may very well return this year, but last night it felt as though the season died. Just listen to that silence on the road. Look at the Nets and tell me they don’t look like pallbearers at a funeral. Kenny Atkins, what do you have to say about the night itself:
“Nothing else matters. The game doesn’t matter tonight. That’s it.”
Okay, that’s not encouraging. Vito Corleone, would you like to weigh in?
Ah. Also…not great.
Now there are going to be people who come out of the woodwork to tell you that the Nets should take the opportunity to tank for Zion Williamson. Again, I’m on the record as being against tanking, and nothing changes as far as I’m concerned. This team will most likely miss out on the playoffs. I feel relatively comfortable saying that with LeVert, their best player, now at best gone for a significant portion of the season. But in the grand scheme of things, this season was never about playoff glory. It was about developing talent and establishing a culture. Jarrett Allen and D’Angelo Russell are still young and talented but flawed players. If this season is about anything, it has to be about developing what they have, as opposed to tanking for an at most 14% chance they get a messiah player in the draft. Frankly, if you’d asked me who I’d rather be, Cleveland with the number 1 pick, or these Brooklyn Nets with the number 8 pick, I’d pick these Nets. It’s a squad that Adrian Wojnarowski cited as a team that develops players. Again, this is more valuable than landing any generation talent. A superstar can help you out tremendously, but competence in the front office? That can build a dynasty.
Get well soon, Caris.
The Brooklyn Nets are now 6-8 and tied with the Orlando Magic for 8th place in the Eastern Conference.