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 defeat the Miami Heat 107-88 and win two-consecutive games

The Brooklyn Nets are back and Thursday night was the Nets’ first preseason home game for the NBA’s 2017-18 season. Playing the Miami Heat in front of a decent size crowd at the Barclays Center, the Nets showed its hometown fans that they are attempting to live up to its marketing slogan, #WeGoHard, as it crushed the Miami Heat 107-88.

And, for the answer to the question many Nets observers have been waiting for…how well will Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell play on the court?

So far, it looks pretty well. There were no obvious displays of ball hogging and side-eye looks. Lin, who had three fouls in the first quarter, scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting; while Russell struggled a bit only putting up nine points on 4-of-12 shooting with four turnovers.

In addition to Lin, other double-digit scorers included Sean Kilpatrick with 14 points, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Joe Harris chipped in 10 each.

Spencer Dinwiddie had a team-high six assists.

The Nets are still pushing the three-pointer, nailing 10-of-30 from behind the arc; even Timofey Mozgov hit a three-pointer and Quincy Acy, moving with the fast tempo offense, scored back-to-back threes in the first quarter.

Defensively, judging by tonight’s game, the Nets look like they are moving in a positive direction, scoring 27 points off turnovers and out-rebounding the Heat, 62-37. Hollis-Jefferson, DeMarre Carroll, Mozgov and Trevor Booker each had eight rebounds or just over 51 percent of the Nets’ rebounds.

The referees thought Booker was taking the #WeGoHard a little bit too literally and so, Booker was called for a Flagrant 1 foul in the first quarter.

Jarrett Allen, a rookie from the University Texas that the Nets picked up at No. 22 in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft, made his NBA debut grabbing five rebounds and a block heard around the arena.

There were a lot of things to like about the Nets tonight, here’s to pushing the envelope for the rest of the season.

#BrooklynProud.

NOTES:

  • The next home preseason game for the Nets is on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. against the New York Knicks.
  • Speaking of calls, it looks like the NBA is cracking down on traveling, as the referees made a number of traveling calls tonight.

Nets pick up DeMarre Carroll in exchange for Justin Hamilton and draft picks from Toronto

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired DeMarre Carroll and 2018 first and second round draft picks from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Justin Hamilton.

Carroll joins Brooklyn after spending the previous two seasons in Toronto. This past season, the 30-year-old native of Birmingham, Ala., appeared in and started 72 games, registering averages of 8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 26.1 minutes per game. Prior to his time with the Raptors, Carroll put together his two best professional seasons (2013-15) with the Atlanta Hawks while Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson served as an Atlanta assistant. In those two seasons, Carroll saw action in 143 games, averaging 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.7 minutes per game while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from 3-point range.

In 414 career games (258 starts) split between Memphis, Houston, Denver, Utah, Atlanta and Toronto, the eight-year veteran has recorded averages of 8.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 22.9 minutes per game. Carroll has also appeared in the postseason in five of the last six seasons, including each of the last four, and owns career playoff averages of 9.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 28.6 minutes per contest. Carroll was originally selected by Memphis with the 27th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft out of the University of Missouri. After spending two years (2004-06) at Vanderbilt, Carroll transferred and spent his junior and senior seasons (2007-09) at Missouri, helping to lead the Tigers to an Elite Eight appearance as a senior while garnering All-Big 12 First Team honors.

NOTE: Hamilton, who originally signed as a free agent with Brooklyn on July 11, 2016, saw action in 64 games in his lone season with the Nets, averaging 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game. In 113 career games with Brooklyn, Minnesota, Miami, and Charlotte, the three-year NBA veteran has posted averages of 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per contest.

Lowry and Valanciunas drop one-two punch on the Nets; Lopez gets 29th game of 20-plus points this season, and Kilpatrick drops 20 points off the bench

It is Super Bowl Sunday and the Brooklyn Nets had a noon-time meeting with the Toronto Raptors. From a distance, it looked ominous because the Raptors were coming into the Barclays Center with a 3-0 record against the Nets this season. However, there was a glimmer of hope because Toronto was without Demar DeRozen, the team’s leading scorer and Kyle Lowry was playing with the flu. The hope continued through the first quarter with the Nets only down by two points 26-24. At the half, the hope was a little more guarded with the Nets down by eight 55-43, because we know this season’s history of third quarter breakdowns and the fact that the Nets shot less than 40 percent from the floor in the first half.

Alas, the Nets took us on a roller coaster ride during the third quarter, down by as much as 17 points. Trying to make a comeback, Brooklyn came within nine but ultimately closed the third with a 12-point deficit, 75-63; and then finishing the game 103-95.

The Raptors’ defensive push forced the Nets to turn over the ball, which stunted Nets’ ability to close the deal; and it wasn’t lost on Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.

“I think the number one reason is they’re really good at it,” said Atkinson explaining Toronto’s ability to force turnovers. “They strip you, they’re physical, they’ve got really good hands.”

“But I also think a fair amount of our turnovers were on the transition – advantage situations where we’re still not making the simple pass, you know, simple play,” Atkinson stated as he expanded on what he attributes to the Nets’ turnovers. “I thought in the second half we improved and that’s why we gave ourselves a chance because our defense was not great but decent enough to have a chance to win the game. So I’m glad we improved the turnover thing. We talked about it at halftime and so I’ll add to the turnover situation in the first half, I’ll add bad shot selection. It’s just that simple. I thought we took a lot of bad shots, a lot of quick shots and we were driving into a crowd a lot. The ball wasn’t moving side to side and then a drive when there’s an open hole. I think a lot of these turnovers are decisions, and our decision making wasn’t up to par in the first half. And again, the second half I thought that we improved.”

Although Jonas Valanciunas led all scorers with 22 points for the Raptors, Lowry, battling the flu, was a real spark for Toronto finishing with a triple-double scoring 15 points and 11 rebounds and assists. Terrence Ross added 17 points, DeMarre Carroll had 15 points and five rebounds, and Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet each scored 10 points, and Powell also added six rebounds.

For the Nets, Brook Lopez totaled a team-high 20 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. This is Lopez’s 29th game of 20-plus points this season. Sean Kilpatrick added 18 points and five rebounds off the bench, Trevor Booker earned a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 13 points.

Although the Nets fell to 9-42 overall and 7-20 at home with today’s loss, Lopez sees the team’s growth that may not be obvious to the casual observer.

“We obviously can look at personal growth, personal improvement, and team growth, and I think we obviously incrementally improved,” Lopez told the press in the locker room after the game.” It’s just a matter of, again, I’ve said it, but just being better for longer and being more consistent. It’s tough. We have a lot of young guys, a lot of guys who haven’t had a lot of experience in the league, and that’s why the things that really separate the great players, great teams, in this league is just coming out every night and performing at the same level. And again, I’ve got to do better at that, I’ve been guilty of that and I think we agree that we can be better when it comes to that.”

The Nets are on the road to play Charlotte on Tuesday and then come home to the Barclays Center to face the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

Disastrous 3rd Quarter Dooms Nets, Playoff Upset Hopes Dashed with 4-2 Series Loss

Unfortunately for the Brooklyn Nets, their Game 7 has come a game early.

Down 3-2 in their 1st-round series against the Atlanta Hawks in this year’s NBA Playoffs, the Nets returned home, hosting the Atlanta Hawks for their Game 6, a possible closeout-game for the away team.

Earlier in this series when the Nets backs were against the wall, they delivered. Down 2-0, the Nets tied this series up winning the next two games at home, highlighted by a 35-point outburst from Deron Williams in Game 4.

But the Nets failed to win a pivotal Game 5, on the road and here we are.

The Nets season is on the line and to force a Game 7, the Nets have no choice but to lay it all on the line like a Game 7 and Friday night, they failed to do so.

The Hawks had their way with the Nets all game long en route to a 111-87 win, advancing to the second round to challenge the Washington Wizards, eliminating the Nets from the post-season.

In tonight's contest, Paul Millsap led all scorers for the Hawks with 25 points (6 assists and 9 rebs) accompanied by DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver, who found success consistently, both scoring 20 each.

As far as the Nets are concerned, as a team, this game got away from them in the 3rd quarter alone, which sealed their fate early in the second half.

The Hawks scored the first seven points of the 3rd, extending what was a 51-45, six-point half-time lead to a 14-point, 59-45 lead, forcing a Nets timeout, through the first two minutes of the quarter.

Deron Williams would answer with a trey, cutting the deficit to 11, 59-48, with less than nine minutes remaining in the quarter and then the Hawks retaliated with yet another run.

Deron Williams Media Day PhotoBrooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams

"When it started happening (Hawks run), I called a time out," Hollins said post-game.

"Then I called another time-out and you could just see they had the wave of momentum that they weren't going to let up."

Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll would hit back-to-back three's and Al Horford would sink two consecutive buckets generating a 10-0 run, which ballooned their double-digit lead to 21, 69-48, forcing the second Nets timeout of the quarter in less than three minutes.

And that 21-point lead continued to 26, as the Hawks shot 57.4% from the field in the 3rd alone, shutting out the Nets who struggled to keep up with the no.1 seeded Hawks, shooting 37.5%.

In addition to their shooting woes, the Nets had a hard time taking care of the ball, committing five turnovers which aided the Hawks in scoring quick, easy baskets, contributing to their runs in the 3rd, routing the Nets in the process.

"The thing that's been killing us turnovers," said Joe Johnson. "Each and every game, no matter what game, and especially again tonight, at the start of the third quarter we started off with three or four turnovers and they go on a 12-0 run. We never bounced back from that."

Joe JohnsonBrooklyn Nets shooting guard, Joe Johnson

The runs, early in the 3rd quarter by the Hawks sucked the life out of the Nets, and created a deficit that the home team was unable to cope with and the pace of the game, without a doubt favored the visiting Hawks.

"We gotta stay being true to who we are and that's playing house basketball," said Carroll post-game.

"That's getting up and down the court, and I think Jeff Teague did a good job of that even though he didn't score tonight."

And they didn't need him to.

Teague distributed the ball like a true floor general, collecting 13 assists, helping three Hawks to score 20+ points, almost four in Horford who finished with 18 points.

The Nets on the other hand, didn't have a 35-point D-Will performance to lean on and as a team, lacked one 20-point scorer which defined their offense tonight.

It wasn't there.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 19 points, followed by 13 from Williams and 12 by Johnson.

The Nets entered the final quarter down by 26-points, and with an uphill battle ahead of them, waved the white flag within time.

At the 4:40 minute mark in the 4th, Hollins called a timeout subbing in Jerome Jordan, Darius Morris and Earl Clark for Williams, Johnson and Mason Plumlee and you didn't need a basketball analyst to know that this Nets season has come to a close.

Those subs were drowned out by the boos that filled the Barclays Center and to begin the quarter the PA announcer didn't even bother addressing the crowd, a home-game ritual where he asks Brooklyn to stand-up.

It wouldn't have helped.

The Hawks were focused and the Nets couldn't match the level of play necessary to force a Game 7.

"They were the better team and they showed it in the last game here," Hollins said during his post-game press conference which is the painful truth.

Only three teams in NBA history have successfully upset a no.1 team in the NBA playoffs (94 Nuggets, 99 Knicks, 07 Warriors) and like father time, history is undefeated also.

In closing, Hollins reflected on the season expressing his gratitude to the players he's coached and also shared his thoughts on the immediate future.

"We'll have to collect our thoughts and get ready for the summer," Hollins said.

"It is an important summer for our young players. We're going to attend two summer leagues and try to get some of our internal players better, then I'll get with Billy [King] and our front office and we'll talk about other needs."

And those comments capped off a frustrating season leading into what could be an interesting off-season for the home-team, but most importantly there's always next year.

Disastrous 3rd Quarter Dooms Nets, Playoff Upset Hopes Dashed with 4-2 Series Loss

Deron Williams 35 Points led the way

All they needed was one.

All the Brooklyn Nets needed was one win in their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks to generate the confidence they needed going forward to have a realistic shot of winning or just being competitive, after losing the season series 4-0.

And after failing to return home with a win, the Nets answered the call in game three to extend this series, at least for another game.

They defeated the Hawks 91-83 in their 2015 postseason home debut, recapturing the attention of the fans while dispelling the early projections of an opening-round sweep, of course, favoring the Hawks.

I mean they are the no.1 seed in the Eastern Conference and pretty much owned the Nets all season long.

But those fortunes have changed.

The tides have turned, and on Monday night, the Nets enjoyed that good ol' home-cooking for the second straight game behind the performance of an unlikely hero.

After an up-and-down year of injuries and inconsistent play, Deron Williams erupted for a team-high 35 points and helped lead the Nets to a 120-115 win in extra time, tying the series at two apiece.

Unlike any other game this season, as an observer watching how he was able to exploit his match-ups and get to his spots, you actually wanted the ball in Williams’ hands.

He finished the first quarter with 11 points, but I highly doubt that anyone saw what was to come from the Texas native once the second half arrived.

Williams scored 16 points in the 4th quarter alone, connecting on four threes, none bigger than his last points of the quarter, a trey, which put the Nets up, 102-101 with under two minutes to go.

And moments later, Brook Lopez, who feasted down low for 26 points, found the basket for two on a floater, a critical possession, improving the Nets lead to three, 104-101.

Brook Lopez 600x591Brooklyn Nets center, Brook Lopez

You could almost feel it. The Nets were about to execute the unthinkable and what seemed like a long shot a week ago was becoming a reality, but this is the Nets were talking about, 38-44 at season's end and that's not how this past regular season played out for the home team.

This 2014-15 campaign was a roller coaster ride, and the Nets, staying true to who they really are, took the crowd on yet another twisted turn.

One made free-throw by Jeff Teague, poor defense on Paul Millsap and a missed game-winner by Williams, was all the Hawks would need to tie this game up in the closing minutes of the 4th and send this game into OT.

At least if you were a fan, you got your money's worth in addition to a free "We Are Playoffs", T-shirt.

But in all honestly, Brooklyn was provided with a reason to smile.

In the OT period, the Nets traded baskets with the Hawks and in the end, made the necessary plays to secure the victory.

And this time, they didn't need Williams to rise to the occasion.

Instead, Bojan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young took turns saving the Nets season from an improbable 3-1 comeback situation.

Bojan Bogdanovic 600x338Brooklyn Nets shooting guard,  Bojan Bogdanovic

 

Thaddeus Young 650x366Brooklyn Nets power forward, Thaddeus Young

With the Nets down by a deuce, 113-111 and a little over a min remaining in the 5-minute period, Lopez found Bogdanovic for a corner three, giving the Nets the go-ahead basket, now 114-113, quickly erasing the thoughts of a loss looming which seemed like the likely narrative just 20 seconds ago.

With the Nets down by a deuce, 113-111 and a little over a min remaining in the 5-minute period, Lopez found Bogdanovic for a corner three, giving the Nets the go-ahead basket, now 114-113, quickly erasing the thoughts of a loss looming which seemed like the likely narrative just 20 seconds ago.

"I got a couple open shots today because we are doing a great job on the pick and rolls," said Bogdanovic following the game.

"Brook is doing a great job swinging the ball to shooters."

And then Young, who has been a godsend since his arrival in Brooklyn, scored the final basket the Nets would need in this contest, sinking a running jump shot and collected the foul, missing the and-1, which put the Nets up for good 116-113, with 54 seconds left.

In a must-win game, the Nets delivered despite the constant criticism from the outsiders especially Washington Wizards own Paul Pierce, who last week, was openly critical about his time with the Nets last season and the core players which this team was built on.

Pierce said he "Hated" his time with the Nets and called out Williams for not wanting to be the man that $99 million dollars would warrant him being, but yesterday night, Williams showed up and quieted the critics.

He was the man and every man.

He was the man the Nets needed to come alive in a crucial game four and everyone including Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins-loved every minute of it.

Lionel Hollins 07072014 resized 700x586 Brooklyn Nets head coach, Lionel Hollins

"For him to come out, it showed a lot of character to put on the performance like that, especially when we needed it because without that performance, I don't know if we get out of here with a win," Hollins said during his post-game press conference.

But that's why Williams has been the target of the criticism aimed in the Nets direction.

In the team’s season-long struggles, Williams has struggled and as the "Star" of the team, all of the blame, unfortunately, has landed on the shoulders of No.8.

But it's only right to shower him with the praise he deserves because William's performance has provided the Nets with new life in this first round series.

"We really needed to get this win to stay in the series," Williams said.

"It was definitely one of my better games this year for sure and probably as a Net."

And how can you argue with that?

Williams also said that this win was a team win, and that is a fact as six Net's scored in double-figures.

In addition to Deron and Lopez, Bogdanovic scored 15, Young added 10, Joe Johnson poured in 17 and Alan Anderson finished with 11.

As a team, the Nets were out-rebounded, 55-40 especially during the second half of tonight's game where Hollins elected to go small surrendering rebounding and defense for offense.

"Well, Brook got in foul trouble and he was tired, and we needed a change," Hollins said.

"It's just something that sometimes your gut says, 'what else is there to do?' That was what came about in my gut, and fortunately for us, it worked."

And what worked for the Nets, on this night, happened to be enough to fend off the Hawks, who boasted six players in double-figures, just like the Nets.

Teague and DeMarre Carroll led the way with 20 points each.

Kyle Korver and Millsap both scored 16 points. Al Horford added 17 and Dennis Schroder chipped in 10.

But it wasn't enough.

"We had some opportunities tonight that we just didn't take advantage of,” said Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks Head Coach and NBA Head Coach of The Year, for your information.

"In this situation and in this time, it's important when you get an advantage or an opportunity. You have to take advantage of it. Credit to Brooklyn."

The Hawks led by 12, late in the 3rd and also led by eight heading into the 4th, to no avail.

Monday night belonged to the Nets, and most importantly Deron Williams.

"I played with Deron in Utah for a few years and that's the Deron I remember," Korver said post-game.

No kidding.

He continued: "You know, that's what he's capable of. He hit some really amazing shots, and you've got to give him credit."

This team will go as far as Deron will take them; and with the series tied 2-2, the Nets have the momentum and are in the right position to upset the no.1 seed.

It also doesn't hurt that Deron has the full support of Coach Hollins, who defended the point-guard earlier today regarding all of the criticism he's received recently.

"It means a lot when you're struggling like that and your coach comes out and defends you the way he did," Deron said.

"It means a lot. Says a lot about him and how much he cares about not only me but, this team and our players."

For the first time in a long time, the Nets are actually in a good place.

Game 5 is tomorrow night back in Atlanta.

The Last time the Nets won a road playoff game was when they outlasted the Toronto Raptors, in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs, game 7 to be exact.

It's time for the Nets to mirror those results come Wednesday night.

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