Key Legislature: Wizards 111 at Nets 96 — The Advent of Something Auspicious | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Key Legislature: Wizards 111 at Nets 96 — The Advent of Something Auspicious

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Updated: December 27, 2015

TAI’s Key Legislature… The game’s defining moment, its critical event, the wildest basketball thing you ever saw, or just stuff that happened. Wizards at Nets, Regular Season Game 28, Dec. 26, 2015, by Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)

If you happen to take a jaunt down to the Barclay’s Center located in the heart of a rapidly gentrifying area of Brooklyn, the first thing that might startle you is just how dead the atmosphere is around the arena prior to any major sporting event. There are a few pockets of people wearing aged Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce jerseys, but most exiting the subway stop at Atlantic Center appear to be heading off for drinks or dinner plans or a quick game of shuffleboard—anything but attending a professional basketball game. In fact, their pace appears to quicken as they pass Barclays, as if there is a mutual borough-wide guilt at the lack of support for the “local” basketball team that labors within the confines of an architecturally divisive building. Compare this to the thrum of midtown and Madison Square Garden, where fans gather for two hours prior to any Knicks game, whether the team is terrible or good. You can see a clear divide between fan sets who are in for the long haul versus those who latched on the newest and shiniest bauble, only to abandon it once it became clear that the Brooklyn Nets had dug themselves a hole from which it will take years for the franchise to recover.

Brooklyn is all about the “newest” thing, and the Nets became passe at some point in 2013 when it became glaringly obvious that the team would be treading water for the next decade due to a series of free agent signings and trades that have left the franchise stripped of any long term ability to rebuild. Nets fans now attend games for the same reason that Wizards/Bullets fans attended games throughout the late-80s and early-90s: they show up to see the other team’s stars or the next hottest thing.

For those brave few who attended the Boxing Day matchup between the hometown Nets and the visiting Wizards, the chance to see Washington was a cheerier prospect that it had been a week ago. The Wizards entered Brooklyn riding a three-game winning streak, despite a roster that has been ravaged by injuries and a player rotation that is largely decided on the basis of who is not wearing a very expensive suit. Success has been built upon the play of John Wall, who continued his recent streak of torrid play by torching the Nets to the tune of 22 points and 13 assists, keeping the disparate parts of the Wizards ever creaky machine humming and giving the star-gazing Nets fans their money’s worth.

But it was not a play by Wall on which the game turned, nor will be his performance which resides in the memory of the Brooklynites who attended the game. The lingering memory that will stand out for the fans who had spent much of the game dreaming about how to reorganize their vinyl collection took place with 10:39 remaining in the fourth quarter, when Jarell Eddie converted his first 3-pointer as a Washington Wizard. Having missed his first shot as the newest member of the team (a desperation heave from a country mile away from the basket), Eddie calmly received the ball from Ramon Sessions and in one motion unleashed a beautiful trey to put the Wizards up 82-77. Eddie’s 3-pointer would be the start of the 22-7 run by the Wizards, and Eddie himself would contribute to that run by making three more 3-pointers, all with the same quick release and fluid motion that identify him has a pure shooter.

For those looking for the “new,” Eddie’s performance will either be filed away under the “I knew him before he was big” or as a one-hit wonder that happened to catch fire for one night in late December. Coming from the Austin Spurs, a D-League team that predicates its strategy on the ability to score at a voluminous rate and wear its opponents down through a blitzing offense, Eddie’s ability to put the ball through twine should not be surprising. It is now on Eddie to show the Wizards (and those from Brooklyn who have him marked as a “deep cut”) that he is more than just a sweet shooting motion, but that he has other skills which will help him latch on to Washington’s roster.

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Sean Fagan
Reporter / Writer/Gadfly at TAI
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Sean has contributed to TAI since the the dawn of Jan Vesely and has been on the Wizards beat since 2008. His work has been featured on ESPN, Yahoo and SI.com. He still believes that Mike Miller never got a fair shot.