After what should be an 8-game winning streak, our very own Brooklyn Nets are showing when the going gets tough, the tough …. don’t play in Brooklyn.
For the eighth game of losing my team had gave to me, another blown lead. That should be the new favorite holiday song for every Brooklyn Nets fan that has been following their progress lately because that’s how long they haven’t won.
It is not due to a lack of talent because if you have been paying attention, they have shown they can keep up with some of the best teams in the league, with the exception of the Space-Jam MonStars, who play out West.
What you can blame is their heart.
For three quarters we have watched, especially as of late, the Nets garner 20-point or larger leads only for them to squander it when the other team begins playing harder and with way more emotion. The opposing team begins to bully them. Physically and more importantly, mentally.
Take for example Wednesday night’s game against a way more “talented” Oklahoma City Thunder team. The Nets played their brand of basketball, spaced the floor, moved the ball and tried to get the best shot they could.
Then in the fourth quarter, as has been the case the last three years, these young Nets become frazzled and razzled.
Paul George begins playing harder because well, that’s what leaders do. They go out there and create things. They make things happen.
They do not cower when the light is at its brightest. He singlehandedly brought his team back, he singlehandedly outscored the Nets 25-19 in the last quarter of a game that should had been over with five minutes left in the fourth.
These young Nets need that. They need a player to step up. One to take control and be the attitude and leader that a team full of nice guys does not have, but so desperately needs.
They need heart, more importantly, they need guts.
These Nets, who have the strongest borough reppin’ on the front of their shirt, need to have the guts to close out these games. If you want to sell the fans in the first year or two about being young and learning to close out games, that would be understandable.
This is year three. We see our team’s potential. We see what they can do. Problem is, they don’t see it in themselves. You don’t learn to close out games, it’s something you either have or you don’t.
Brooklyn is not the hip and trendy Tribeca.
Nor is it the fancy upper east side. Regardless of the way the neighborhood changed or the re-gentrification of mostly all of Brooklyn has gone, it’s still a place whose soul is to have guts and be strong.
A place where immigrants settled years ago. Where they came to work in the streets or at the docks and they worked hard.
It’s still that same place where the greatest rapper of all time came off those hard streets and even when other artists tried to go at him, he went back harder.
These Nets are not displaying this type of heart, guts or determination as the borough they play in. If you’re going to play like cupcakes …
… you will get eaten.