Mark Twain once said that if someone didn't like the weather in New England, they should wait five minutes because it was sure to change.
Twain never had the pleasure of watching the Brooklyn Nets, but we imagine he'd have a similar aphorism at the ready for the team that closed out the first half of the NBA season with a resounding 119-108 victory over the Nuggets.
The one thing we can say for sure about this Nets team after their first 53 games of the year is that those who don't like what they see on the court should wait five minutes because that's how quickly the Nets change.
On Sunday night against the Spurs, the Nets played a strong first half and then fell into the toilet against a team playing on the road without two of their best players. Monday saw the Nets beat the Pacers in an ugly rock fight of a game that saw C.J. Watson flop so badly in an attempt to replace the ailing Deron Williams that Tyshawn Taylor was taken out of mothballs.
Which brings us to Wednesday when the Nets were again without Williams and the Nuggets were without Danilo Gallinari and Andre Iguodala, although the matchup still seemed to favor Denver since they play at a freakishly high pace while the Nets are most comfortable moving in slow motion. So, naturally, the Nets came out and excelled in an uptempo game that it looked like they were born to play.
Watson, so awful in Indy, had 25 points while hitting 5-of-7 threes and playing 36 strong minutes. Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez combined for 49 points and the Nets hit 16-of-27 from beyond the arc to run a good team off their floor in fairly resounding fashion.
For those who have watched the Nets on nights when they couldn't hit the ocean from a boat, it's a head scratcher. At least those scratchers are working well-worn groves at this point.
There are nights when the Nets defend with a remarkable fervor and nights when they offer uncontested trips to the hoop for anyone who wants to take one. There are nights when the Nets control the ball like they understand its value and others when they seem to think it has been dipped in the Hanta virus.
P.J. Carlesimo said after the game that he doesn't think the Nets have settled into what they are, which is totally accurate and more than a little concerning given the fact that there are just 29 games to go. The Nets remain a team that looks like it has little control over their own destiny since every game is played at the tempo desired by their opponents.
Their ability to find wins at all tempos is nice, but truly strong teams aren't always following the lead of the other side. The Nets are chameleons, something that has to be due to the fact that Williams' injuries and ineffectiveness have left him as something far short of the leader that the Nets thought they were getting this year.
Identity matters less than a winning record, to be sure, but the lack of one is the kind of thing that catches up with a team down the stretch. Being capable of playing any style is great. Knowing what you're getting when you open the box every night is better.