The evaluation of the Nets’ probabilities of rebuilding has all the time been that the job will probably be almost unattainable as a result of they lack the one commodity completely wanted: Their very own draft picks, presumably franchise-altering lottery choices.
Wednesday’s preseason finale was a reminder of simply how robust it’ll be.
The Nets acquired an up-shut take a look at the other finish of the spectrum, hammered 133-114 on the refurbished Nassau Coliseum by a 76ers group that tanked its method to a roster filled with excessive lottery picks. They usually additionally received a glimpse at Joel Embiid, precisely the sort of transformational expertise they gave away any probability to get.
The oft-injured however uber-gifted Embiid made his preseason debut and “The Course of” had 22 factors and 7 boards in simply 14 minutes confirmed why Philadelphia locked him up with a rookie-max deal.
Too agile and athletic for Timofey Mozgov and too huge and powerful for another Nets defender, Embiid had 20 factors and 7 boards in simply eleven:28 of first-half motion, placing the Sixers on his again and placing the Nets in a seventy six-fifty one gap. Dario Saric had a recreation-excessive 26 for the Sixers.
Trailing by as many as 36, it was a galling quasi-homecoming for Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, who grew up lower than 20 miles away in South Huntington. It was a sobering method to finish what had been a beforehand good preseason.
The Internet had rolled to a three-zero begin with lopsided wins over the Warmth and the Knicks (twice), however Wednesday they have been on the opposite aspect of the caning. After probably beginning to consider they’d turned a nook, the Nets practiced poorly Tuesday.
They performed even worse Wednesday of their ultimate tuneup for his or her Oct. 18 season-opener at Indiana. The Nets clearly have extra expertise than final season’s NBA-worst 20-sixty two squad; however not as a lot because the 76ers, and never almost sufficient to sleepwalk by way of a recreation. Wednesday’s drubbing might be a helpful reminder of that.
The one saving grace was the Nets utilizing the identical beginning lineup that they had all preseason — Jeremy Lin, D’Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Mozgov — and displaying some cohesion. They jumped out to a 17-7 lead and performed the Sixers’ starters capably. However the bench was atrocious.
Russell — the previous No. 2 general decide whom the Nets are banking on blossoming into that transformative participant — appeared the half once more. He had a group-excessive 24 factors, Lin added 14, whereas Hollis-Jefferson had 12…