October 17, 2017

Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Allen Crabbe gets lots of praise from teammates, he scored 11 points in six minutes off the bench

For the second time during this preseason, the Brooklyn Nets have defeated the New York Knicks, and this time, at home at the Barclays Center on a Sunday evening. Yes, it is preseason, but for Nets fans a defeat of 117-83, sure looks good. Nets scoring was also music to the ears of Nets fans as it quieted Knicks fans in the arena each time the Nets put up more points on the scoreboard.

But, let’s be real here. The odds were in the Nets favor. Since the Nets landed in Brooklyn in 2012, the Brooklyn Nets regular season win record against the New York Knicks is 13 - 6.

Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin advised reporters to remember that although the Nets are playing as a cohesive unit and winning, which is a good thing, it is still preseason.

In the postgame presser, Lin discussed the Nets camaraderie and how players' unselfishness has helped the team's overall effort. Lin heaped praise on new teammate Allen Crabbe for scoring an impressive 11 points in six minutes. He also had good words for D'Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert with whom he spent a lot of time with over the past summer. Lin expects the Nets will make an improvement over last season because of the new additions to the team, younger players improved game, and unselfishness.

Brooklyn Nets Guard Jeremy Lin in his Own Words

 

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson liked what he saw from his team tonight.

“I thought our defense was solid,” Atkinson stated. “I thought we were active. I think we turned them over a lot in the first half. That really started the ball rolling. Great activity, a lot of deflections, steals, high energy defensively, making some shots.”

And, what about Allen Crabbe?

“We can talk about the points, but I just like how he just makes a simpler play,” Atkinson said about Nets guard/forward Allen Crabbe. “If it’s not there, he’ll make the next pass to the open guy. There is no extra waste of movement. Yeah, of course, it’s great if the shots go in, but he is a really good all-around basketball player.”

Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Allen Crabbe in his Own Words

D’Angelo Russell led all Nets scorers with 16 points and he credits the Nets scoring with playing as a team.

Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell in his Own Words

Other Nets scorers in double digits were Crabbe with 14 points, DeMarre Carroll and LeVert each had 12 points, Timofey Mozgov added 11 points, and Trevor Booker chipped in 10 points. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Quincy Acy each had a total of 8 rebounds. Assist leaders for the Nets were Russell and Lin.

Knicks leaders included Willy Hernangomez, who led all scorers with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 13 points, and Ramon Sessions scored 12 points and five assists.

New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek obviously was not happy with his team’s effort.

“Not moving the ball and the turnovers,” Hornacek said about what disappointed him about the Knicks effort. “We had a lot of turnovers the other night and that continued. They’re just soft passes. We’re not tough with the ball. We’re careless with it. I don’t know if they think guys aren’t going to reach up and try to deflect our passes or what. That was probably the biggest disappointment. I think our guys played hard. We did the wrong thing quite a bit tonight, in terms of the rotations. We have a lot of bumps and bruises, KP (Kristaps Porzingis) and Michael’s (Beasley) foot was bothering him to start the game. We need to get those guys back so we can get our regular rotation going.”

Next up, the Brooklyn Nets play the Philadelphia 76ers at Nassau Coliseum.

Brooklyn Nets Media 2017

September 25, 2017

Nets players are focused on building on last season and holding each other accountable

NBA Media Day, a day when NBA players around the league are available to the media for interviews, is a sure signal for the start of the NBA season. And, today, it was “on and poppin’” at the Brooklyn Nets HSS Training Facility.

The Nets, at the start of this season, is a team where more than half of its players are new to the team. Despite a seemingly new team, there was familiarity in the air. Player exhibited the same type of camaraderie from last season, the one for all, and all for one, type of camaraderie. To a man, everyone spoke with sincerity about how well they all get along and that they can’t wait to get going, to get on the court. This type of mindset is a testament to the leadership of Nets general manager Sean Marks and Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, who is known for player development.

Despite the kumbaya attitude coming from the Nets’ players, which is a good thing, the number one question on the minds of most reporters was how will Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell co-exist on the floor? Another common question was regarding the team’s Achilles heel, its ability to play defense.

Jeremy Lin on the Brooklyn Nets' Defensive Abilities

 

Although many reporters were focused on how Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell will co-exist on the floor and what kind of teammate is D’Angelo Russell, this issue was not top-of-mind for Nets’ players. Most are focused on building on last season and demonstrating measurable improvement, more specifically holding each other accountable.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on the Brooklyn Nets' Direction for 2017-18

 

Players also voiced their personal goals

 

Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert expresses his personal goals for the 2017-18 NBA Season

 

There is no doubt that Nets players have all the right off-the-court qualities to start the season, the true testament will be how doggedly focused they will be when the going gets tough.

But, first, players have to get through training camp.

Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal came up winners at the US OPEN; the Cavs and Celtics Kyrie Irving – Isaiah Thomas trade dissected, Brooklyn Nets sale news

In this 96th episode of What's The 411Sports, hosts Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald, are talking about how Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal  slayed at the 2017 US OPEN, the Cavaliers, and Celtics trade of Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, Danny Ainge getting thrown under the bus, Roger Goodell and the NFL on Ezekiel Elliott and Josh Brown, Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett's arrest by the Las Vegas police, the proposed sale of the Brooklyn Nets, the NY Yankees, Carmelo Anthony's outlook with the NY Knicks and his wife La La Anthony. Our Photo of the Week is Jeremy Lin and Caris Levert in Taiwan.

WHAT’S POPPIN’

2017 US OPEN

Congratulations are due to professional tennis players Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal on their grand slam wins at the 2017 US OPEN. Stephens beat Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0, to win the Women’s Final. And, on the men’s side, Spaniard, Rafael Nadal, beat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to win the men’s US OPEN FINAL.

Boston Celtics – Cleveland Cavaliers Trade

Kyrie Irving has left the building. Irving is now with the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 pick by way of the Boston Celtics, and a 2020 pick from Boston.

The Courts Give Ezekiel Elliot a Reprieve

The Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot can play for the Cowboys this season despite Roger Goodell handing down a six-game suspension to Elliot for domestic violence. The NFL Players Association took the NFL to court to get a Temporary Restraining Order over the process by which Goodell came to Elliot’s punishment, and won.

NFL Give Josh Brown a Six-Game Suspension

The NFL, after suspending former New York Giants kicker Josh Brown 1 Game for beating his wife, quietly suspended him for 6 games. The league reopened the investigation based on new info and has yet to release its findings. The NFL concluded there was a violation of its personal conduct policy and imposed a 6-game suspension which Brown accepted without appeal.

NFL Supports Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett had a run-in with Las Vegas police when he was leaving a night club. Bennett says that the officer told him he would "blow my f*cking head off"

NBA and NBA Players Association Issue Joint Statement on Social Issues

Here’s a big contrast between the NBA and the NFL. Recently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBA Players Association executive director Michelle Roberts are encouraging players to speak out on social issues, stating to NBA players:

“None of us operates in a vacuum. Critical issues that affect our society also impact you directly. Fortunately, you are not only the world’s greatest basketball players — you have real power to make a difference in the world, and we want you know that the Players Association and the League are always available to help you figure out the most meaningful way to make that difference.”

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Our Photo of the Week is a photo of Brooklyn Nets’ players Jeremy Lin and Caris LeVert in Taiwan.

NY SPORTS REPORT

Brooklyn Nets for Sale

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is ready to do a slow dance to sell the team. Initially, Prokhorov wanted to sell a minority stake in the team, but because of the pace, he is willing to sell up to 49 percent and the remaining 51 percent shortly thereafter. Sources say Prokhorov is encouraged by the sale of the Houston Rockets for $2.2 Billion.

Carmelo Anthony Still with the NY Knicks

Carmelo Anthony is still a member of the New York Knicks even though both the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers have expressed interest in him. Additionally, the Knicks point guard situation isn’t knocking anyone’s socks off and the team is considering bringing in point guards Trey Burke and Jarrett Jack for training camp.

The New York Yankees in the Hunt

 Right now, there is enough space between the Yankees and the Orioles for the Yanks to get a wildcard spot in the playoffs.

OFF TOPIC

Now, let’s go off topic. New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony showed up unexpectedly at the launch of his estranged wife, La La Anthony’s, new denim line at Lord & Taylor in New York City. Carmelo proudly posted a photo of La La on Instagram.

Carmelo Anthony Instagram post of the launch of LaLa Anthonys new denim line at Lord and Taylor 613x400

 

Nets Beat Chicago Bulls 107-106; Brook Lopez on the verge of breaking a Brooklyn Nets record to become the all-time leading scorer in Nets history

The Brooklyn Nets ended its last home game of the regular NBA season last night at the Barclays Center, pretty much as it started the season, with a win! Before a sold-out crowd of 17,732 people, the Nets hung tough to beat the Chicago Bulls 107-106. And, this wasn’t a game where the Bulls could go easy on the Nets trying to preserve their energy for the playoffs. The Bulls had to play hard as they are in a tie with the Miami Heat for the last place spot for an NBA playoff opportunity. The Bulls desperately needed this win. If the Bulls miss the playoffs, this would be two consecutive seasons that they didn’t make it.

But, let’s get back to B-r-o-o-k-l-y-n. The Nets are now 11-11 since March 1 and have won four of their last five games.

So how did the Nets beat the Bulls who are desperately looking to get a playoff spot?

From the top line, Brooklyn recorded a season-high 15 steals, and 10 were in the first half. The Nets edged the Bulls 24-14 in assists while outscoring Chicago 42-36 in points in the paint and 19-7 in fast break points.

Now, here are more details. The Brooklyn Nets ended the first quarter leading the Chicago Bulls 32-25. Although the Nets were up by six at the half (51-45), the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 13 points at half-time. At the end of the third quarter with the Bulls leading 82-75, it appeared that the Nets’ ghost of the third quarter had reared its ugly head to torpedo a positive outcome. But the Nets became the comeback kings in the fourth. The Bulls allowed the Nets to score 32 points in the fourth quarter and was only able to put up 24 points of their own. The ending was thrilling. Spencer Dinwiddie hit a three with 1:23 left in regulation to tie the game at 101-101. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made two free throws at the 54-second mark to give the Nets the lead 103-101. At 31 seconds, Butler hits a step-back jump shot to tie the game at 103-103. With 13 seconds left, Dinwiddie comes back to the foul line and hits two free-throws breaking the tie to give the Nets a two-point lead, 105-103. With two seconds left, Bulls’ guard Dwyane Wade fouls and Dinwiddie gets back to line hitting two free throws and the Nets go up 107-103. And, with one second left, Butler hits a three, but there is no more time and the Nets win 107-106.

Caris LeVert and Dinwiddie each scored 19 points for the Nets. Although LeVert, a rookie, did not score in the second quarter, he ended the game with his 19 points on 7-of-11 field goals, and 4-of-7 from three-point land. He also had 5 rebounds in 25 minutes. In addition to his 19 points, Dinwiddie had three rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 26 minutes. Overall, Dinwiddie is a very efficient player; he’s averaging 11.0 points per game (.574 FG, .474 3FG, .806 FT) in 22.1 minutes per game in his last eight contests. And, last night against the Bulls, Dinwiddie was solid, not buckling under pressure.

Other Nets players in double digits were Hollis-Jefferson, who tallied his seventh double-double of the season with 16 points (5-of-8 FG, 6-of-7 FT) and a game-high 12 rebounds in 30 minutes. And, if that wasn’t enough, Hollis-Jefferson also recorded three assists and three steals vs. the Bulls. Brook Lopez scored 13 points and four rebounds in 31 minutes. Lopez is now 22 points away from passing Buck Williams to become the all-time leading scorer in Nets history. Jeremy Lin added 12 points with six rebounds, seven assists, and three steals in 29 minutes.

“The word we’ve been using all year is the team is resilient,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “…The guys stuck together. Guys made some big plays; Caris (LeVert) made some big plays, Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) came in and made some big plays, Spencer (Dinwiddie) obviously was really big. But I just liked our spirit, how we kept after it. I felt we kept defending, that was a key. They hit some tough shots – (Jimmy) Butler hit some tough shots – but we stuck with it and finally started to get some shots to go down.”

Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 33points.

"We're still in this thing, they're a good team,” Butler told reporters after the game regarding the Bulls’ playoff chances. “They've been playing as well as anybody. They've got guys who played incredibly hard. We lost, there's nothing we can really do about it right now. We have to go get better. We were saying how we needed to get this one today and now we need these next two (games)."

Next, up for the Nets, they travel to Boston to play the Celtics on Monday, April 10, and then their last game of the season is in Chicago against the Bulls on Wednesday, April 12. And that my friends, will be the last day of the season for the Brooklyn Nets.

Based on the way the Nets are playing right now, if everyone can stay relatively healthy and they continue to develop the cohesiveness that we are witnessing right now, next season they will no longer be in the NBA basement. In fact, they may even be playoff bound.

Nets’ rookies show out, and the Brooklyn Nets’ bench outscores Phoenix Suns 81-22 in the win

Spring has officially begun and the change of seasons can usher in new beginnings. For the Brooklyn Nets, a game against the Phoenix Suns could mark a first for the Nets. A win would mark the first time that Brooklyn won two consecutive games this season. On the flip side, Phoenix was looking to end a five-game losing streak.

Brooklyn fell behind by double digits to the start the game, scoring only two points in the first four minutes. After the scoring drought was broken by Caris LeVert, the Nets offense showed signs of change but the team still struggled from the field. When the quarter ended, the Nets shot 36% from the field and 20% from three-point range. Brooklyn trailed Phoenix 32-22.

When the second quarter began, rookie Isaiah Whitehead helped cut into the Suns lead by scoring quick eight points coming off the bench. As the game progressed in the first half, the Nets offense became more fluid. Their collective shooting hands got warmer and they pushed the tempo of the game often creating easy scoring opportunities for themselves. With just under nine minutes left in the half, Trevor Booker gave the Nets the lead, one they carried into the second-half of the game.

The second-half saw the Brooklyn Nets build upon the momentum created in the first. Nets guards continued to penetrate the Suns defense which either resulted in a trip to the free-throw line or a bucket. Brooklyn played like a well-oiled machine and didn’t show any signs of a collapse. At one point, Brooklyn had a 33-point lead over Phoenix which matched their largest of the season. The Nets’ bench once again proved to be instrumental in the success of the team, outscoring their counterpart 81-22. One of the sparkplugs off the bench, Archie Goodwin, scored 10 points which is the first time he has scored double digits in consecutive games this season.

When asked to discuss his mindset going into the game, Goodwin responded, “Whenever they call your name, they’re going to expect you to be ready, so I just always stand ready, just watching the game and seeing how it’s progressing, and seeing where I can get in and be effective and just try to take advantage.”

When the final buzzer sounded, the Nets secured the victory winning 126-98. They are now headed to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Wizards.

When asked about the win streak, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said, “I think we are building and we are improving. I mean we obviously have a long, long way to go…You know looking to continue this and again it is monumental; it is huge, that we trend positively and continue our improvement.”

Russell Westbrook scores 33rd Triple-Double; Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin score 25 and 24 points respectively; Nets Caris LeVert has one of his best games

The New York City area was hit with some snow yesterday, but there was also a presence of thunder, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Smartly, Russell Westbrook and his team came to town ahead of the snowstorm to take on the Brooklyn Nets.

Even though the weather was less than ideal, fans filed into the stadium to give the Nets a boost.

So, how would the hometown team handle the walking triple-double Westbrook and his comrades? The fans were treated to a healthy dose of Linsanity right from the start as Jeremy Lin used his quickness and ball handling skills to blow by his defender going into the paint either for the score or pass to an open teammate. The Oklahoma City Thunder quickly pushed the ball up the court after Nets’ misses and Brooklyn struggled at times with their transition defense giving the Thunder easy baskets.

The game was back and forth for the first half. Oklahoma City enjoyed a ten-point cushion in the second quarter but it was cut in half after buckets by Lin and Brook Lopez. The Nets battled, erased the deficit and the game was tied at 62 at the end of the half. At the start of the third quarter, the Nets’ shooting started matching the weather outside, cold. The Thunder took advantage of Brooklyn’s shooting woes jumping to a double-digit lead. Once the Thunder gained the lead, they never relinquished it.

When asked what was the turning point for his team in the third quarter, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson stated, “I think their physicality wore us down…they came out and really got after us and we couldn’t really run our stuff.”

With a little less than five minutes left in the game, the crowd roared. The irony was the cheers weren’t for the Nets but rather for Westbrook who continued his historic run by recording his 33rd triple-double of the season.

The moment caught Westbrook off-guard, as he later recalled thinking, “maybe they was, you know, giving something out in the crowd or something.”

Nope. Brooklynites know good basketball and basketball fans showed their appreciation for what they were witnessing up-close and personal.

Nets rookie Caris Levert had one of his best games of the season notching 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and a career-high-tying three steals (done twice previously) in 23 minutes against OKC.

Lopez and Lin scored 25 and 24 points respectively. After strong performances over the past few games, the bench fell short during the contest by scoring a total of 20 points.

Brook Lopez hit the buzzer beater over Pistons' Aron Baynes to lift the Nets to a 98-96 win over the Pistons

It was a night of firsts at the Barclays Center. It was my first basketball game, and it was Brook Lopez's first ever buzzer-beating game winner as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons 98-96. The game was competitive all throughout, as the Detroit Pistons are fighting for their playoff lives. Coming into the game the Pistons were tied for the 8th seed with the Miami Heat.

The Pistons played tough through the 1st quarter leading 31-22. Led by Long Island native Tobias Harris with 12 points in the first quarter, the Pistons dominated the points in the paint scoring 18 of their 31 points. Defensively, the Nets toughened up in the 2nd quarter and started hitting their shots, improving their free throw percentage from 29% to 40%. While keeping control of the ball, the Nets only had 3 turnovers and held the Pistons to only 13 points in the second quarter, matching the fewest points the Nets have allowed in any quarter this season. Nets rookie Caris LeVert led the team with 10 points by halftime and the Nets took the lead 50-44.

The third quarter was dominated by the Nets; Lopez scoring 8 points in the quarter, the Nets would take their biggest lead of the night. The fourth quarter, the Pistons started their comeback. Harris led the team in total points with 24 and Andre Drummond had himself a double-double with 13 points and team-high 17 rebounds. Drummond would leave the game in the 4th after suffering a knee injury. They scored 31 points in the 4th quarter. After Harris hit an 8 ft. jumper to tie the game up at 96-96 with 2.4 seconds left, Brook Lopez hit the buzzer beater over Pistons' Aron Baynes with a 10 ft. back-foot jumper to win the game for the Nets for their 14th victory of the season. It was the Nets 2nd buzzer-beating win this season. Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie had a career-high 8 rebounds as a starter tonight. Nets starting guard Jeremy Lin was out due to a sprained right ankle.

After the game, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said about Lopez's shot, "Brook made a heck of a play. It was more of a catch and shoot but he took a dribble, knew how much time was left and made a heck of a shot. It's more about Brook being a heck of a player."

Brook Lopez said he was very confident in his final shot saying, "It felt good. We executed so well on that last play which is something that we've learned throughout the season to do."

Lopez has now scored 20+ points in each of the last 6 games.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said about Lopez's game winner "I thought the defense was pretty good on it... I didn't think Brooklyn got a great, clean look. He's 7'2" and he made a hell of a shot... I don't think there was anything more we could've done on it."
This loss for the Pistons hurt their playoff chances as the Miami Heat won against the Phoenix Suns. They fall a game behind the now 8th and final playoff spot now held by the Heat.

Stan Van Gundy said about the Pistons offense, "our ball movement is sporadic at best. Our offensive energy is not good."

The Pistons look to recapture that offensive spark when they play against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, March 22nd. The Bulls are just one game behind the Pistons who are also looking to make the playoffs.

The Nets are now 5-7 for the month of March, their best month this season.

Atkinson said after the game, "We're trying to improve on our habits. We have set things that we want to do and we've kind of set the groundwork on how we want to play and now it's just reinforcing those habits, doing it for a longer period of time."

The Nets will look to get their first 2nd straight win this season when they go up against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, March 23rd.

Brooklyn Nets could not contain the fiery Paul George

Paul George and Jeff Teague were the tag team that carried the Pacers to a 106-97 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on Friday night. In the loss, the Nets dropped eight straight and 11 consecutive losses at home.

Brooklyn trailed for the entire game before taking its first lead 85-83 with 8:37 left on a 3-pointer from Quincy Acy, who just signed a multi-year contract with the Nets. Acy scored his eight points in 12:33 minutes. Although Acy was signed for his defensive skills and physicality, his 12 minutes were in the fourth quarter.

On the other hand, Caris LeVert, who only scored four points, saw 29:42 minutes.

“I thought we needed his defense really at the end,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about LeVert at a postgame presser. “I know we struggled offensively, but I feel very comfortable with having him out there. Defensive end, we knew that they were going to go to that one-three pick and roll, so putting him on (Jeff) Teague – turned out he got on Paul George after the switch and really did a good job – Paul hit a great shot with a hand in his face. So it was really defensively. And then offensively, sure, they’re young guys and sometimes they do too much and I think that’s our job. We have to rein them in a little bit and again improve our execution, help them make the simpler play, keep defining their roles and what we are looking from them offensively.”

George and Teague led all scorers with 24 points each and George added to his tally 11 rebounds. Helping out Indiana were Myles Turner and Aaron Brooks both with 11 points, and Thaddeus Young chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.

In the loss, Brook Lopez scored 23 points and six rebounds for the Nets. Sean Kilpatrick had 18 points, Joe Harris added 15 points, and Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in 13 points.

The Nets have had several close losses, even if they bounce back the next day, right after the loss you can tell it hurts.

“It’s not for lack of effort or lack of trying,” said Lopez after the Nets loss to the Pacers. “We just have to really get over that hump. It’s just going to take all of us being on the same page and working and believing we can do it in the last five or three minutes of the game.”

The Nets play Toronto on Sunday at 12 noon at the Barclays Center.

Porzingas and Knicks bench lead the comeback to beat the Nets

On a day when Carmelo Anthony was relegated to the bench during the fourth quarter and Derrick Rose was inactive because of an injury, the New York Knicks staged a come from behind win with the use of Kristaps Porzingas, Willy Hernangomez, and Sasha Vujacic.

Porzingas scored 19 points and 12 rebounds and 12 of his points came in the fourth quarter. Hernangomez had 16 points and 16 rebounds and Vujacic added 12 points and made team history with his effort by converting a pair of four-point plays in the game.
Anthony has had better days; he scored 15 points by the third quarter (26:39 minutes), but on 6 of 22 from the field.

“It was tough, trying to get it going and muster up some energy from somewhere,” Anthony said in a postgame locker room interview. “But our second unit and our guys that came in off the bench picked it up for us, so we liked that. Today was a big day for us to get this win, especially after coming off a back-to-back and for guys to step up – for guys like Sasha (Vujacic) who haven’t been playing that much lately to come in ready when his number was called. Billy (Hernangomez) played extremely well tonight. And then K.P. (Kristaps Porzingis) also had a great game, so for those guys to pick it up like that and get us to a victory, we needed every piece of that tonight.”

The Knicks fourth quarter push was not lost on Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.

“They picked up their intensity, picked up their heat, picked up their heat on the ball,” Atkinson said during a postgame presser. “We turned it over, we didn’t get the type of shots we wanted and then I thought they started getting second and third shots. And it’s tough to give any team in the NBA multiple shots at the rim, multiple possessions, and so I think that’s the story of the game really, story of the fourth quarter – us turning it over and then not being able to control the defensive boards. ”

Brooklyn Nets center and de facto team captain, Brook Lopez, thought the Knicks made better use of their second point chances.

“They hit some big shots,” said Lopez about the Knicks. “And, I think we were working hard, they just, they definitely made a lot of opportunity off their second chances throughout the game and that was definitely the key in the last five minutes down the stretch.”

Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led all Nets scorers with 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists pretty much echoed Lopez’s thoughts on the outcome of the game.

“We could have done a better job of coming together, staying poised and doing what we did in the third quarter,” added Hollis-Jefferson. “I feel like there were a couple of times when I made mistakes, I mean we all made mistakes, but there are things we have to try and limit during the stretches where teams are making a run. And we can limit it from a 12-2 run to like a 4-or 6-2 run, and that’ll benefit us.”

Nets top scorers included Bojan Bogdanovic with 15 points and seven rebounds, Trevor Booker scored 12 points and eight rebounds; and Lopez and Caris LeVert each added 10 points.

The Nets fell to 9-40 overall and 7-18 at home with tonight’s loss. Next up for the Nets on Friday will be the Indiana Pacers at 7:30 p.m. at the Barclays Center.

Lack of execution, turnovers, and iso-ball give Nets its third straight loss

Dion Waiters is having a very productive week. On Monday, Waiters danced on Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson with 2.4 seconds left in the fourth and drained the go-ahead three-pointer to beat the western conference power 105-102. On Wednesday night, Waiters would send the Nets to the same fate.

The Miami Heat overcame an 18-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter and used a 15-2 run in final 4:35, setting up Waiters dagger trey, to lead the Heat to an exhilarating 109-106 victory. With 30 seconds remaining in the final period, Randy Foye found Trevor Booker in the paint for a layup that gave the Nets an opportunity for the win, down one, 104-103. And then it happened.

Wayne Ellington inbounded the ball to Waiters who streaked towards the ball behind the three-point line. He dribbled once defended by Foye, pulled up without hesitation and fired a high-arching, 27-footer, giving the Heat a 107-103 lead with 6.8 seconds left to play.

“I love those type of moments,” Waiters said post-game. “Coach just drew up a play, and I looked at (Ellington) and said, ‘give it to me, I want it.”

It was a play that capped off the Heat’s big fourth quarter in which they outscored the Nets 38-17. And it also highlights the stellar defense they played down the stretch, especially on Brook Lopez, who after torching the Heat for 26 first half points, was limited to a two-point fourth quarter.

With 4:35 remaining in the fourth, the Nets were in good shape. They were up by 10, 99-89 after two made free-throws by Lopez and had the opportunity to put the nail in the coffin and eliminate any chance of a Heat comeback, but they didn’t. They folded.

And while Lopez misfired on two consecutive trips on offense, the Heat, led by Goran Dragic and Waiters, spearheaded a 10-0 run capped off by Ellington’s three, that tied the game at 99-all with 2:16 remaining in the quarter.

A couple possessions later, with the Heat down one, 101-99 on two made free-throws by Nets rookie guard Caris LeVert, Miami rookie forward Okaro White buried a three, assisted by Waiters 102-101, which gave the Heat the lead for good.

“You know (Waiters) drew two at the end and I was wide open in that corner and he had that trust and the faith in me that I’ll knock it down and kicked it right to me,” White said post-game. “I went up into the shot and it was good so it’s nothing but God.”

At the end of the day, the Heat made shots when it counted and the Nets didn’t. The Nets also relied heavily on Lopez to create down the stretch and settled for “iso-ball”. It also doesn’t help that after Waiters’ layup cut the Nets lead to three 99-96 with 2:54 left to play, LeVert turned the ball over coming out of a timeout on the next possession.

After White’s three put the Heat up one, 102-101, the Nets left it up to Spencer Dinwiddie who missed a big three that could have put the Nets up two, with 43 seconds left. Late game execution has plagued the Nets all season long and on Wednesday night, it cost them another contest, this time against the Heat.

“I think we didn’t execute,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said post-game. “We started playing iso-ball and they turned us over a few times. We were missing shots, and then on the defensive end, we couldn’t get stops. You can’t give up 38 points in the fourth quarter, that’s way too many.”

Atkinson also said that he has to do a better job coaching, in finding the right balance between getting Lopez the ball and when to run plays and move the ball effectively for good shots. On too many occasions in the fourth, Atkinson said that Lopez wasn’t getting the ball in good positions to score and in doing so felt that it was up to him to save the day.

Despite his shortcomings, the Nets should’ve won this game and Lopez, who said post-game, that he has to do a better job of keeping the Nets offense going, knows that the Nets let one get away in large part to one single quarter.

“We really gave ourselves a chance for 40 minutes tonight, but obviously, it’s a full 48-minute game,” Lopez said post-game.

He led all scorers with a game-high 33 points. Bojan Bogdanovic added 17 points and LeVert, who broke Ellington’s ankles in the third quarter on a vicious crossover step-back three, recorded 12 points.

The hero of the game, Waiters scored a team-high 24 points and dished out eight assists while his backcourt mate, Dragic nearly clinched a double-double with 17 points and nine dimes. Ellington, who hit several big shots in this game and seemed eager to face his former team, handed the Nets 22 painful points off the bench and Willie Reed, another former Net scored 14 points.

This is a young team and you have to think that late game execution and defending for 48 minutes will be issues the Nets will tackle going forward. Like the Philadelphia 76ers, the Nets need to “Trust The Process,” and continue to learn from their mistakes to become a better team in the future.

The Nets will have Thursday off and then face the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers and with Lebron James voicing his disappointment in his team’s play as of late and the inability of his front-office to find a playmaker for their bench, this is the absolute worst time for the Nets to face the Cavaliers.

Following the Cavaliers, the Nets will still be on the road and will face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday and the Miami Heat in Miami on Monday. The Nets will be home on Wednesday, February 1 to play the other struggling New York team, the New York Knicks.

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