As is known, I have been watching this team for decades. I am also a Jets fan, and if there's one epithet that Jets fans are known for - other than Fireman Ed's J-E-T-S cheer - it's "same old Jets".
What that epithet describes is the truth everybody but Jets coaches seem to grasp: Their team has a persona, a way of losing, letting go of the rope, doing it the same way year after year after year, regardless the players, the coaches, even the owners.
Most of the current Jets have only been on the team a few years, but even they fear the "same old Jets" call. Even if they have themselves never experienced the collapses - of the same type - of years past, they are well aware of them. This makes them tighter than they normally would be, irrespective of their past experiences.
Coaches minimize personae. I don't know why. One would think that they'd be conscious of it - especially Jets coaches.
Especially Nets coaches...
Tonite the Nets lost in triple overtime, 123-120. They had, in the first two overtimes, innumerable chances to win. Yet they lost.
And how did they lose?
Well, to hear AJ talk about it, it has to do with youth and inexperience.
Cynics might say, Good teams make plays, bad teams make mistakes. And that is true.
But it's more than that.
The Nets have this persona - they lose almost every period in the last 2 minutes.
The lose in the last 2 minutes of almost every period.
Consider tonite's game.
Here are the results of all 7 periods in the last two minutes:
This comes to a net (sic) -3. How much did they lose by? 3.
I do not carefully keep stats. For my own mental health, I don't watch every single game (altho this year I may have).
After a good start, where the Nets in fact did start winning these all important segments of games, they are falling back to their old persona.
NOTE TO COACH JOHNSON: If you want a simple, effective way to improve this team - FOCUS ON TEACHING THEM HOW TO PLAY THE LAST 2 MINUTES OF A PERIOD.
Example: In the first OT, if they win the last 2 minutes of JUST THAT PERIOD, they win. If they break even, they win!
The Nets play tight in the last 2 minutes of nearly every period. Every single one. Do you want your young team to develop confidence? TEACH THEM HOW TO MANAGE THE LAST 2 MINUTES.
POUND IT INTO THEIR HEAD - YOU DON'T FOUL ON A 3 POINT SHOT WITH A 3 POINT LEAD.
YOU CANNOT AFFORD 24 SECOND VIOLATIONS.
YOUR BIGS MUST GO INSIDE. YOUR 3S MUST DRIVE THE LANE. ONLY YOUR GUARDS TAKE OUTSIDE SHOTS, AND ONLY WITH BIGS UNDERNEATH FOR REBOUNDS.
These are basic things. A young team starts winning those mini-periods, they gain confidence, even if they lose, because they prove they can come back. And they will WIN some of those game, anyway.
AJ, word up - FOCUS ON THE LAST 2 MINUTES!