The Nets collectively did a lot of talking in the offseason, and Reggie Evans did a lot of talking pregame. Neither ended well for Brooklyn.
LeBron James and the Miami Heat put the Nets in their place, embarrassing them to the tune of 105-85. The result came after the two teams scrapped to a 49-49 halftime tie.
The blowout loss comes on the heels of inflammatory comments made by Evans. Among the highlights of Evans’ remarks: the Heat’s championship comes with an asterisk due to the lockout, LeBron and Andray Blatche are not much different players one-on-one, and the Nets could hold LeBron to “nothing” if they focused on stopping him solely.
Gerald Wallace responded to Evans’ trash talk with, “No comment.”
Think LeBron & Co. took offense?
The reigning MVP remained in the game alongside fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh long after the Nets folded. Miami closed the third quarter on a 27-6 run and turned a once competitive game into a laugher.
The Heat kept laughing well into the fourth quarter too. Even though Wade has a history of injuries, Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra kept him in the game until the 4:26 mark of the fourth quarter with the Heat leading, 96-75.
“Guys were motivated tonight,” Bosh said. “We’re trying to find a way to bring that energy every night.”
The loss makes the Nets 0-3 against the defending-champion Heat this season. And Wallace, who had no comment for his teammate’s barbs, directly contradicted what Evans had to say about both the Nets and Heat.
“It’s all disappointing because in any sport you measure yourself up against the champions, and they’re the champions and they’ve embarrassed us all three times,” Wallace said. “So what does that say about us as a team trying to be a championship team?”
Even though LeBron opened up the game an uncharacteristic 4-of-11 from the field, he strutted after made baskets, worked the refs, and fed off the strong Heat contingent present in the Barclays Center Wednesday night.
He finished 10-of-18 with 24 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
“I let my game do the talking,” James said.
Evans, along with several other teammates, avoided speaking to the media following the loss.
The last three games against teams over .500 have all resulted in double-digit losses. According to Wallace, “loss” isn’t even the right word.
“We didn’t actually lose those games, we got our ass kicked in all three of those games,” Wallace said. “Those teams just pretty much dominated us… We’re saying we want to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and we want to compete in the playoffs and eventually shoot for a championship, but we’re having letdowns against some of the top teams in the league.
“We can’t do that and be a successful team.”
Even worse, the Nets lacked any heart and hustle necessary to compete with a team that they linked themselves too during the preseason Brooklyn parades.
Mario Chalmers offensive rebound in the third quarter epitomized the performance.
The entire Nets’ defense looked at one another as a missed shot caromed to Chalmers, who lay sprawled out on the floor. The fans groaned, the Heat scored, and they never stopped.
“Typical Nets basketball,” Wallace said. “We don’t play together, careless turnovers, we don’t execute offensively and defensively we don’t want to do anything. We don’t want to defend or guard the ball or help each other out. It’s the same story as it’s been all season.”
A game that was once tied, 55-55, in the third quarter ballooned to a deficit of 24 points.
Maybe the old adage of “Let your play do the talking” should hold true in Brooklyn from now on.