The Nets choked. Usually, for recaps, I like to get in-depth and explain what happened in each quarter, the positives and the negatives, and the takeaways for the games ahead. But for this game, that is all irrelevant. The final 12 seconds of this basketball game tell the only story that needs to be recapped. The Nets were up five with 12 seconds to go. Bradley Beal dribbled down the court, hit a three. Then on the inbound, Joe Harris turned the ball over and Russell Westbrook hit another three to give the Wizards a one-point lead. The Nets would have a chance at the other end when Timote Luwawu Cabbarot had a wide-open layup. But he missed. The Wizards would hang on to win this game 149-146, scoring eight points in the final 12 seconds.
If it wasn’t clear already, the Nets need to be better defensively if they want any chance of winning the title this summer. Steve Nash has shown his inexperience coaching at the NBA level and he will need to improve quickly. While the Nets have been playing well winning seven of their last ten games, this loss hurts more than a normal loss. The Nets will be back out there this Tuesday when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers on national television. If the Nets want to bounce back, it needs to start there. Playing a tough defensive team like the Clippers will be no easy task. But if Harden returns and the Nets play their brand of basketball, they should be back on track.