Cam’s the Man
Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a 12-year vet. When the moment calls your name, you answer.
And Nets rookie Cam Thomas answered that call in a huge way on Wednesday night. His dazzling fourth quarter was the catalyst in Brooklyn’s epic 111-106 comeback win over the crosstown rival Knicks.
It wasn’t a smooth night by any means for Thomas. In fact, for the first three quarters, it was looking like a dud of an outing for a young man who is currently experiencing his best stretch of basketball as a pro.
Gotta warm up
Cam started the game ice cold from the field. He missed eight of his first nine shots and just appeared to be forcing things as were most of the Brooklyn players to start the game.
It also didn’t help that the Knicks looked like the 73-win Warriors the way they were cashing threes. But as the second half progressed, Cam, like the team started to relax and the shots that weren’t falling before were starting to fall now.
With the Nets down 18 points in the early stages of the fourth quarter, Cam decided it was time to put on the Superman cape. It started with a simple 13-foot pull-up jumper. Then a few minutes later a sick reverse layup.
Thomas’ offense meshed perfectly with the run Brooklyn went on in that final frame. His veteran teammates trusted him, and he didn’t let them down.
Over a two-minute stretch, Cam would score seven straight for Brooklyn lifting them from a 97-92 deficit to a 99-97 lead with just under four minutes to play.
Every time Cam shot the ball that quarter the prevailing thought was that it was going in. In fact, he only missed two of his nine shot attempts in the quarter.
Super Cam would obtain his signature Madison Square Garden moment in cinematic fashion.
With the Nets up three in the waning moments of the game, Steve Nash entrusted what would be the final shot to not Seth Curry or another vet, but Cam Thomas. With 10 seconds left on the shot clock, Thomas calmly received the inbounds passed, walked the ball up, and drained a dagger step-back three that left the Knicks faithful speechless and the Nets fans in attendance in jubilation.
Y'all better get used to seeing this
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 17, 2022
The LSU product would finish with a team-high 21 points, 16 of which came in the final period. The entire time Cam was going off the bench was on their feet cheering the youngster on. So it’s only right that the first person off the bench to greet him after his clutch shot would be Kevin Durant.
Cam’s three was cherry on top of what will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history. In fact, Wednesday’s 28-point comeback ties the franchise record for the largest comeback win which was famously spearheaded by D’Angelo Russell against the Kings in 2019.
The comeback effort wasn’t solely on Cam though. Seth Curry (20 points, six assists) knocked down a key three and LaMarcus Aldridge (18 points, 10 rebounds) showed flashes of his former All-Star self the way he was battling on the boards and scoring at will.
Not to mention some great hustle plays from Patty Mills and Bruce Brown late in the game to give Brooklyn extra possessions. Although he wasn’t a part of the big fourth quarter run, Andre Drummond did yeoman’s work on the glass pulling down 19 rebounds.
IF YOU SEE THESE DAWGS IN YOUR FRONT YARD!!! pic.twitter.com/4Sk1Aqk7BJ
— Nets Republic (@NetsRepublic) February 17, 2022
This Nets team looks like it’s got a breath of fresh air after the Harden trade. The team feels more lively and there is a level of comradery that has been missing for the past week. A mammoth comeback win against your arch-enemy will also help lift the vibes.
Now, winners of two in a row, the Nets have one more game before the All-Star break. A few days ago, this team looked like it needed a reset in the worst way. And it appears that reset has come at just the right time.