December 17, 2017

Nets start off strong against Trail Blazers, but could not close the circle down the stretch, as Lillard and Nurkic lift Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter

High hopes.

Oftentimes, we see potential in an individual or a group and we do our best to be supportive to see them through. Today, the Friday after Thanksgiving at the Barclays Center, Nets fans filed into the arena to support the home team’s efforts against the Portland Trail Blazers. This was the second and final meeting of these two teams this season. Brooklyn defeated Portland 101-97 at their first meeting of the season exactly two weeks ago. So the stage was set, firstly both teams wanted a “W” just for the sake of winning because that’s the reason why you play the game in the first place. Next, layer that with the fact that for deeper statistical reasons, Brooklyn also wanted a win for a 2-0 series against Portland and the Trail Blazers also wanted a win to even the series.

The Nets started off strong, but in the closing minutes just couldn’t close the deal. Former Trail Blazers' guard Allen Crabbe hit a floater, which put the Nets up 121-115. But then the next eight points belonged to Portland, moving up to 123-121. Spencer Dinwiddie then evened the score at 123 points with a put-back layup after missing his own 15-foot pull-up shot, that was a sight to behold. Next, DeMarre Carroll blocked a Jusuf Nurkic shot, and Nurkic snatched the rebound away from Caris LeVert and finished with a foul for a three-point play that put the Blazers up 126-123. Dinwiddie got a bucket which brought the Nets within 126-125, but Portland got a free throw from CJ McCollum, and Dinwiddie’s 3-pointer rimmed out on the following possession and the game ended 127-125.

This was a tough loss for the Nets and Nets’ fans; the crowd left the arena near silence.

“Disappointing,” said Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “You know, games come down to the end like that and go either way. I thought they made the big plays and we shot ourselves in the foot a few times. Turnovers, a couple turnovers there at the end, but good experience for our guys to go against a really good team like that. Good experience for our young guys Jarrett (Allen) and Caris (LeVert), getting their feet wet. We’ll learn from it. Tough loss, really tough loss.”

Dinwiddie had ideas about what could have been done differently down the stretch.

“I think we had a couple of turnovers, a couple of missed shots,” Dinwiddie explained. “Probably we should have gotten to the line and that probably would have helped us out. Free throws are what, the best shots in the game probably? So that probably would have helped us.”

“I think that’s the hardest thing to do in the NBA, you know, is to close games,” Atkinson added. “We saw it the other night in Cleveland, play really well for three quarters. There are great players on these other teams that are determined not to let you win and I think that was a little bit the case tonight. They really relied on their experience, but it’s also a positive experience for us. We can look at this, we can say “how can we close out games, what can we do better, how can we execute better, what can we do defensively differently to close out games?” So that’s on all of us, the coaching staff too, not just the players. So that’s a good point, closing games is a next step for us.”

All five of Brooklyn’s starters scored in double figures today, doing so in the same game for the first time this season. Dinwiddie led the Nets with 23 points and six assists, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 17 points, Crabbe had 12 points, Carroll and Tyler Zeller each had 10 points and Carroll had nine rebounds, and the Nets bench added 53 points.

For Portland, Damian Lillard scored 34 points and nine assists, Nurkic added 29 points and 15 rebounds, and McCollum chipped in 26 points and five assists.

The Brooklyn Nets will meet up with the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, the first of three games on the road and will be back home at the Barclays Center to play the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at 3:00 p.m.

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired guard/forward Allen Crabbe from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for forward Andrew Nicholson.

Crabbe joins the Nets after spending the first four seasons of his NBA career with Portland. In 226 games (24 starts), the 25-year-old Crabbe has registered averages of 8.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 22.8 minutes per game while shooting 45.6 percent from the field, 41.1 percent from 3-point range and 84.8 percent from the free-throw line. This past season, the Los Angeles native saw action in 79 games (seven starts), averaging a career-best 10.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per contest while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from 3-point range, good for the second-highest 3-point field goal percentage in the league among qualifying players. Crabbe has also appeared in the postseason with the Blazers in each of the last three seasons, averaging 8.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 25.5 minutes per game through 17 playoff contests.

Crabbe was originally selected with the 31st overall pick (second round) in the 2013 NBA Draft by Cleveland before being traded to Portland on draft night. Prior to beginning his NBA career, he spent three years (2010-13) at the University of California, where he was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, All-Pac-12 First Team as a sophomore and junior and Pac-12 Player of the Year in his third and final collegiate season.

Nicholson appeared in 10 games with the Nets after being acquired in a trade from Washington on February 22, 2017, recording averages of 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per game. In 285 career games split between Brooklyn, Washington, and Orlando, the five-year pro has averaged 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.

UPDATE (September 5, 2017): According to international basketball reporter David Pick, Andrew Nicholson will join the Guangdong Tigers on the heels of his waiver from Portland.

 

 

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.

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