Shorthanded Sixers expose Nets’ issues: ‘It’s the same s–t’

PHILADELPHIA — Not like this.

The Nets weren’t supposed to lose this game. Especially not like this.

Not against a 76ers team with Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey each out due to foot injuries. Not in Ben Simmons’ first official game back at the Wells Fargo Center since the blockbuster trade that sent Harden to Philly.

Not with Kyrie Irving back from an eight-game suspension, or with Joe Harris and Seth Curry finally healthy.

Tuesday night was supposed to be a gimme. In actuality, it was anything but.

What transpired in front of a sellout crowd booing Simmons every time he touched the ball encapsulated every shortcoming the Nets must overcome if they still believe they can be the last team standing at the end of the season.

For starters, forget the personnel, the X’s and O’s and the storyline of the day. This Nets team has to care. If they don’t, there’s no point in this charade.

The Nets obviously didn’t give enough you-know-whats on Tuesday.

They moved at walkthrough speed on both ends of the floor, while a short-handed and thus more hungry and — as Durant described: “free” playing — Sixers roster lapped them on both ends of the floor.

Head coach Jacque Vaughn had tears in his eyes after his team’s latest poor performance.

“Overall, [it was our] approach. It boils down to that,” Vaughn said when asked where things went left. “Just overall as a group how serious, how focused, how dedicated were we on every possession? Overall, just not what we needed. That’s the great thing about basketball, you pay for it if you don’t bring it.”

It would be one thing if this was a one-off if this was a dominant championship contender that merely fumbled a game on national TV. That kind of team could shrug Tuesday’s blunder off.

The Nets are …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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