Sitting in the stands as the game was about to get started, the crowd hadn't quite fully arrived. On a Saturday night, sometimes it takes a little while for people to make it to a 7 PM start time. It appears the Hornets had the same problem. Before fans even had time to finish discussing the double overtime loss to the Grizzlies from the night before or how the Nets were fortunate enough to play the Sixers, Charlotte found themselves in a nine point hole for the second night in a row.
Brooklyn, and more specifically, Joe Johnson, started out on some crazy hot fire. Contested jumpers? Wet. Floaters in the lane? Wetter. On the other side of the ball, the Hornets had more turnovers than points through the first four minutes. Really, that's quite impressive when you think about it.
It was way too early to have that "is this game already over" feeling but the Nets never stopped and led 32-17 at the end of the first having shot 5-for-6 from 3-point land. For reference, there have been six games this year where the Hornets haven't exceeded five made 3-pointeres and the Nets had that in just 12 minutes of play.
By the time all of the fans had finally purchased their beers and found their seats, the Hornets finally seemed to find their game. In the second quarter, Charlotte won the battle from the 3-point range (three to two) and the battle of protecting the ball (two turnovers to four). Things were looking decent, Lance Stephenson even hit a 3-pointer. Seriously he did, I was there, I saw it. That shot broke an eight game streak of 3-point goose eggs for Stephenson. He's now 8-for-48 on the season. Gordon Hayward has made 30 more 3-pointers. Oh what could have been.
Down just five points at half, the Hornets had a chance to come out with effort and energy, maybe a new game-plan to stop Joe Johnson and do something positive. They didn't. Within about five minutes the game was pretty much over. In the third quarter, the Nets went 6-for-7 from distance and despite some decent work contesting those shots, Brooklyn had already entered NBA Jam "ON FIRE" mode. At one point, Bojan Bogdanovic, holding the ball behind the 3-point line in the corner, looked P.J. Hairston in the eyes, and despite knowing Hairston was going to defend it, he rose up and drained one anyways. It was that kind of night for the Hornets.
Another play, the Nets threw the ball off someone's leg, it rolled right to I think Brandon Davies, and he rose up and nailed a long 2-point jumper. Sometimes that's just the way a game goes during an 82-game schedule. This shot chart is all you need to see how the night went.
Maybe the final score will cause fans some pain or maybe fans are tired of the team failing to meet their expectations, but this was just one of those games to me. That being said, it's been a while since the At The Hive's patented Hornets Panic Level Meter has been tested. Personally, I'm still at code yellow, but feel free to cast your own vote down below.