December 17, 2017

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.

The San Antonio Spurs win 2014 NBA Championship and avenge last season's NBA Championship loss against the Miami Heat by beating the Heat 104-87

The What's The 411Sports hosts and reporters Glenn Gilliam, Bianca Peart, Gregory Alcala, and Christopher Graham talk about the San Antonio Spurs victory over the Miami Heat.

We also revisit their NBA Finals predictions. Hilarious!

I know it's a longshot prediction, but do you think the Spurs will be able to win again next year?

Jason Kidd's No. 5 jersey retired, ingraining Kidd into Nets history forever

With an 8:00 p.m. appointment on October 17th, 2013, the Brooklyn Nets hosted the Miami Heat in its fifth preseason game achieving victory as they outlasted the defending champs 86-62.

Although the final score is ultimately true, Nets' fans should not be celebrating this win as if it is a true indicator for things to come, it is after all, a preseason game.

Nevertheless, there were still positives to take away from the Nets blowout win.

For starters, the Nets defense showed some promise limiting the Heat to only 28 points at halftime compared to the Nets' 44.

The bench, consisting of a number of new faces from Journeyman guards Alan Anderson, Gary Forbes, and 2013 first round pick forward in Mason Plumlee, all displayed their significance to the Nets as the second unit combining for 29 points of the bench's total in 46.

"With our age guys won't be playing a lot," Anderson said regarding the dinosaurs in forwards Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, to What's The 411TV, who led all scorers off the bench with 12 points. "Our biggest advantage is our bench and it can be any night where it might not be the starters, it might be the bench so we just have to be ready."

Jason Kidd's Jersey is Retired

The contest between the two Eastern Conference powers was not the only story of the night as one aspect of tonight's game shined a lot brighter.

Tonight belonged to Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd who had his jersey retired by the Brooklyn Nets before the start of the game in a short ceremony which produced a special night for their one and only Number 5.

Kidd, a future Hall-of-Fame point guard, is responsible for the resurrection of the New Jersey Nets franchise during the early beginnings of the last decade.

It was his arrival via trade from the Phoenix Suns to the Nets for former all-star guard Stephon Marbury which sparked a 26-game turnaround opposed to the season before, leading the Nets to a 52-30 record.

Under Kidd's leadership, the Nets reached the NBA Finals in back-to-back years during the 2001-2002, and 2002-2003 seasons, coming up short in both title appearances to the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs respectively.

Those who were privileged to watch Kidd don the Nets' jersey once upon a time can attest to the countless playoff battles between the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, and the Charlotte Hornets.

They can also certify to how much of a wizard Kidd was on the basketball court, capable of changing the perception of an ordinary player to a star with a skill set he mastered in sharing the wealth with all of his teammates on the offensive end of the floor.

Kidd produced moments for the tri-state area that will live on forever dispelling his failures in delivering a championship because of the journey he allowed us to watch and experience with him.

The visiting team also weighed in on Kidd's special night and what it means to them as players who once watched Kidd simply as a fan.

"Greatest point guard to the play the game," said heat forward Udonis Haslem to What's The 411TV. "I'm excited for him as a person, he's had a long career, just hasn't had much success against the Heat."

"Big Accomplishment, for him actually," said Heat guard Mario Chalmers to What's The 411TV. "Me growing up I watched Jason Kidd, was a Jason Kidd fan and it's only right that he gets his jersey retired, he deserves it."

With all the praise from current and former players in attendance as well as a sellout crowd, the Nets only hope that Kidd can duplicate the success he has had in their jersey to a suit.

For the first time in four years, the Brooklyn Nets (1-1) defeated the Miami Heat (1-2) Friday night, 101-100 at Barclays Center

It was a sweet home-opening win for Brooklyn, proving they are just as good as the NBA champs, something that Deron Williams has been preaching lately. And, with the W over Miami, Brooklyn gets a bonus--- a rivalry. Yes, a rivalry is brewing between these two East Coast teams with the back-and-forth chatter between Kevin Garnett and LeBron James.

With the three-way trade that sent Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and Garnett to Brooklyn this past summer, James had plenty to say especially since he felt like Ray Allen was criticized for leaving Boston for Miami.

"I think the first thing I thought was, 'Wow, Ray got killed for leaving Boston, and now these guys are leaving Boston,'" James said a few weeks ago. "I think it's OK; I didn't mind it. But there were a couple guys who basically [expletive] on Ray for leaving, and now they're leaving."

Prior to Friday's night tip-off, James brushed off all Brooklyn rival talk by telling reporters that he didn't want to answer any questions about the Nets.

"KG told me to worry about my team," James said.

And James tried to do just that, with 26 points, but his team fell behind before they could catch up.

After the game, Garnett gave Brooklyn fans a big shout out and admitted that although the crowd in Boston is over-the-top, the feeling is different at his new home.

"Big ups to Brooklyn," Garnett said.

Pierce and Joe Johnson each scored 19 points, which helped the Nets break their 13-game ending streak. The last time the Nets beat Miami was back on March 20 2009, before James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh got on the roster.

"It was good that we got a taste of this type of atmosphere this early in the season to try to see where we're at," Pierce said. "Miami, whenever they come into town, they're a measuring stick for everybody, so it was good for us to come out and get the win."

Andrei Kirilenko, who missed five preseason games and Wednesday's opener against the Cleveland Cavs due to injuries, had a big night--with eight points in just 12 minutes.

Comedian, Actor, and Television and Film Producer, Chris Rock, took a moment during half-time at the Brooklyn Nets – Miami Heat game on Friday to talk with What's The 411SPORTS correspondent Crystal Lynn

WATCH VIDEO WITH CHRIS ROCK

During NBA basketball season, Chris Rock is usually someplace else in New York City, but he brought his daughter to the Nets game because she loves LeBron James. It was the comedian's first time in the Barclays Center and he likes the arena the Brooklyn Nets call home.

"I'm from Brooklyn," Rock said in matter of fact fashion.

With the chatter of a Brooklyn Nets – Miami Heat rivalry brewing, Rock chimed in saying he thinks it's real.

"Oh, it's for real, he said. "A lot of it came over from Boston really with Garnett and then Pierce, but I think it's real. They're going to play hard all year."

"I wouldn't be shocked if a brawl happens before the year is over," laughed Rock in his comedic style.

Rock also offered his opinion on the Brooklyn Nets prospects for reaching a title.

"I think they can go pretty far, it's going to be hard to beat Miami, it's going to be hard, Jason Terry's old," Rock said as if he was trying out new comedy material.

What's in Chris Rock's future?

"I'm getting ready to go on tour, I'm getting my stand up together, I'll be playing this building in the fall," he enlightened us.

The Nets continue to lead early, but is still having troubling closing the deal

On January 25, 2017, the Miami Heat overcame an 18-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter and used a 15-2 run in final 4:35 to beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-106. Last night, the Heat came back to Brooklyn and the Nets pulled out the same playbook, led early and then gave up the lead in the end.  In so doing, the Heat overcame an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to capture a 108-99 victory.

"I don't what it is against [Brooklyn] but they always take the lead against us," said Miami guard Goran Dragic who scored 21 points and five assists. "I'm proud of our guys, how we responded and came back."

“Sometimes you just have to dig really deep and Brooklyn forced us to have to do that,” Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the game. “It’s whatever it takes. The habit we’ve been taking all season long is that we’re a team that it takes a village. There’s not necessarily going to be one guy every single night to defend. We have to do it five-man basketball. Offensively, it’s different guys making different contributions on different nights.”

The Heat scorched the Nets in the second half, outscoring Brooklyn, 34-27, in the fourth. Again, turnovers worked against the Nets. Brooklyn had 22 turnovers to Miami’s 14.

“You felt it,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson regarding the Nets turnovers and pressure from the Heat. “They made every catch tough. Bringing the ball up was a task, sideline out-of-bounds was a task. We had trouble getting open, so we’ll have to go back to the drawing board now and try to help our guys when the pressure is turned up like that, but credit to them. Again, I thought that small lineup really hurt us.”

“They hit us at a certain point and their physicality definitely had an effect,” Brook Lopez told reporters about the Heat’s defensive pressure. “I think we responded well but that initial bout, you know we definitely turned the ball over and they made a run but again I think we responded and we definitely went right back at them.”

In the loss, Lopez had a game-high 30 points and eight rebounds. Randy Foye scored 15 points (5-of-9 FG, 1-of-2 3FG, 4-of-4 FT) in 26 minutes tonight vs. the Heat. Foye’s 15 points last night mark his second-highest scoring output this season (behind a season-high 16 points on January 27th at Cleveland). Bojan Bogdanovic totaled 10 points with six rebounds in 29 minutes vs. Miami. Spencer Dinwiddie recorded a season-high-tying eight assists in 19 minutes tonight (he previously recorded eight assists on January 15th vs. Houston).

With this loss, the Nets fell to 9-45 overall and 7-22 at home. The Nets will host the Memphis Grizzlies next on Monday, February 13, at 7:30 p.m. EST at 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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