NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 1:32 AM
For anyone interested in a Brooklyn fixer-upper, opportunity awaits at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush.
Both the disrepair and the potentially solid foundation of the Brooklyn Nets were on display at the Barclays Center on Tuesday as the Nets squandered a hard-earned first-half lead and fell to the Miami Heat, 102-98.
“The effort absolutely was there,” said Brook Lopez, who scored 13 points for Brooklyn. “If we play like that every night we’ll be all right, no question.”
The Nets, now 12-34, are reportedly zeroing in on a new general manager to start the rebuilding process before the crucial Feb. 18 trade deadline.
Team owner Mikhail Prokhorov was at the game, having presumably come stateside to advance the GM search (he reassigned Billy King on Jan. 10, the same day he fired head coach Lionel Hollins).
Prokhorov’s team scored 57 points in the first half, moving the ball around beautifully to compile 16 assists and just three turnovers. But a sloppy third quarter, with eight turnovers and 38.5% shooting from the field, turned a six-point halftime lead into a four-point deficit going into the fourth quarter.
Brooklyn clawed its way back to pull within a point with two minutes remaining, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh weren’t having it. Each of them put up 27 points on the night. The Nets got 20 points from Andrea Bargnani in 24 minutes of play.
“He’s a very good player,” Bosh said of Bargnani. “I think he’s really found kind of a niche off the bench for this team. When he gets aggressive, he’s tough to guard. He’s got that high release. His catch and go game is very good.”
Four candidates are under consideration for the GM position, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Citing “league sources,” Wojnarowski reported that the four candidates are Denver Nuggets assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas, Houston Rockets VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, former Hawks and Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry, and former Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo.
King’s former assistant Frank Zanin has been keeping the GM seat warm while Prokhorov searches for a replacement, and interim head coach Tony Brown has led the team to a 2-7 record since being elevated to replace Hollins. Whoever takes up the GM flag will have to climb uphill with it for a few years.
The Nets traded away their first-round picks for 2016 and 2018 three years ago when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from Boston, hoping the duo would deliver a championship for Prokhorov, who bought his first stake in the team in 2010, promising to get married if the Nets didn’t win a championship within five years.
He is still a bachelor.