December 16, 2017

Deron Williams throws a bad pass to Joe Johnson, and Paul Pierce is not happy; Kevin Garnett plays mediator

Jason Kidd pointed out that mistakes happen all the time when asked about Williams' turnover that caused the Brooklyn Nets team to walk back to their locker rooms somber and blue.

Okay. So back-pedal to the last 20 seconds of the game. Williams had just taken an offensive charge after Kyle Lowry went up for a hard layup. Brooklyn was already up 101-100. After a timeout was called, Williams attempted to throw the ball inbound. He had two choices--throw it to Paul Pierce or force a pass to Joe Johnson. Williams chose to toss it to Johnson, and Patrick Patterson stole the ball and scored.

So there you have it---the seasoned veteran (and choke artist) blew the game.

After the game, a disappointed Williams, who committed two turnovers in the final 22 seconds knew what he had done.

"I turned it over, didn't have any timeouts," Williams said. "I pretty much saw everybody was covered on the first couple of options, kind of saw Joe (Johnson) open but just made a bad pass."

"It's tough. It definitely hurts, but we got three days (before our next game) to think about it, that makes it worse. Nothing I can do now, can't take it back. It's not the first time turning the ball over to lose the game and it probably won't be my last," Williams continued.

Fans on Twitter bashed Williams for making a rookie move.

"Horrible end of the game turnover by Deron Williams....I remember when he could be mentioned with CP3....no more!"

"Kyle Lowry is a better player than Deron Williams. Turnover, or not, I hope this game proved that to everybody."

The Nets' loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Nets who now fall to 10-2 in 2014, thanks to two losses against the Raptors.

Despite the loss, the team is prepared to move on and will support Williams.

"We as players and as teammates, we want to make sure that the confidence is high around here, and you just don't get that sitting in your locker by yourself," Kevin Garnett said. "We talk about the game. We talk about what each other saw, and the perspectives, and next time we're in that position, what can we do to get better? And it was a positive conversation. With Deron, we as teammates are going to support each other, and tonight was no different from that."

This might be the best bittersweet news of the entire year if you're an avid Knicks fan and supporter. Reported first by Stephen A. Smith, a journalist and NBA insider for ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, Phil Jackson was approached by New York Knicks management about a possible job offer that would give him the responsibilities as the next Head Coach of the Knicks.

Recent reports have been modified updating that report stating that the Knicks have offered Jackson a front office position as team president of basketball operations. I thought that was current GM Steve Mills' job to lose? What about Assistant GM Allan Houston? But this is how Jim Dolan, President and CEO, Cablevision Systems and Chairman, Madison Square Garden company orchestrates his business. The business that we are most concerned with is the New York Knicks.

As of today March 3, 2014, the New York Knicks are well on their way to a disappointing and deflating representation of an NBA regular season, positioned 10th in the Eastern Conference standings, a 25-40 overall record currently enjoying a 4-game winning streak. A new episode of Marvel Agents of Shield premiered tonight on ABC-TV. If you were unaware, it's a pretty good show.

Let's get this Knicks stuff out of the way because that's how hard it is to watch this team. That's how hard it is to fully invest your spirit into the Orange and Blue. Maybe the addition of Phil Jackson in a management arrangement could ease the pain and give us a substantial amount of faith even though it might not translate to wins on the court immediately. Maybe down the road, we will see the fingerprints of what 11-world championships won as a coach and two championships won as a player could transition into as a talent evaluator and trader.

Maybe down the road, we could see an entire franchise image make-over rivaling the San Antonio Spurs organization, minus the dynasty (it's too early) due to the insertion of one man. Maybe he could be exactly what we need. All of these predictions and future dreams could be a reality if Jackson indeed joins the Knicks organization and is given the space and opportunity to operate, only if Dolan keeps his hands to himself. Only if Dolan owns the team and does not get involved in basketball related ideas influencing management transactions and in that case, he has done enough.

Donnie Walsh, remember him? Presently a consultant for the Indiana Pacers was the former President of Basketball Operations for the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks. He only drafted a Hall-of-Famer in Reggie Miller in 1987 and aided the construction of a team in the 2013-2014 Pacers who are the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. As of today, the Pacers are 47-17, the best record in the NBA. What Walsh did for the Knicks made him our messiah, as long as he was employed by the Knicks. In 2008, Walsh cleared $27 million off the Knicks payroll in trading players with large contracts for cheaper and durable pieces. He cleared cap space for the Knicks to have a chance at signing a max player among the summer free agent class of 2010, in which Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson, were all available. He signed Stoudemire to a five-year $100-million dollar deal. The Knicks were back.

They were having a great season until some bumps in the road steered the Knicks off-track momentarily which prompted Dolan to don his basketball hat and command the pursuit of then Denver Nuggets star F Carmelo Anthony. Walsh obeyed his wishes sacrificing the punch of the team while mortgaging the future. Due to health, pride, and superior basketball knowledge Walsh resigned June 3, 2011.

As Walsh left, a man within the organization became his successor in Glen Grunwald, the former Vice President of the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors. He only orchestrated a trade to acquire Vince Carter and drafted Tracy McGrady, giving the Raptors three consecutive playoff berths from 2000-02, which included a trip to the conference semi-finals. In 2012, Grunwald was promoted to general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations for the Knicks. He gave us one of the best seasons to date. In the 2012-13 NBA season, Grunwald manufactured a Knicks team with veterans and role players built around the centerpiece in Anthony to achieve a 54-28 regular season, which clinched their first Atlantic Division crown since the 1994 season and a trip to the second round of the 2013 playoffs.

Like Walsh, Grunwald was let go also following his success. This is all while Dolan has maintained his basketball hat. These moves illustrate that Dolan doesn't allow room to grow or develop, but space to do nothing as your General Manager job will be in jeopardy if he doesn't approve. Now the Knicks General Manager responsibilities belong to a bright gentleman who has never operated Basketball Operations in his life, Steve Mills. The basketball hat is still on. This is the beautiful mind of Dolan at work. Those are his actions.

What does the potential arrival of Jackson mean?

Does it mean that Dolan will actually let the basketball people handle basketball related activities or, is it only a matter of time before he interferes and aides another exit of a great basketball mind?

The mere idea of pursuing Jackson while Mills, the man occupying the current GM position, which hasn't lasted an entire NBA season, says it all.

Dolan can't wait.

You would think he will leave his hands to himself because it is Jackson, the "Zen Master," a man inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach, but we don't know. I have faith in a coach who has won 11 world championships to have an idea in choosing the kind of players he suspects has the characteristics and skills that result in wins on the basketball court. Does Dolan believe so, or is this just to save face and throw someone else to the wolves of the general public and the media capital of the world.

It's interesting, isn't it?

Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson has been hitting his stride as of late.

Johnson turned on his magic during the week of March 17 – March 23, 2014, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) took notice!

The NBA announced today that Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, March 17 through Sunday, March 23, 2014.

It marks the first time this season a Nets player has captured the honor.

However, Johnson is no stranger to this accolade; this marks his seventh designation as NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

He previously earned the distinction six times as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, most recently for the week of March 19-25, 2012.

Johnson helped the Nets to the Eastern Conference's only 4-0 week behind averages of 22.0 points on 54.1% shooting (58.3% from three-point range), 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 32.5 minutes per game.

The All-Star guard scored 19 points (7-11 shooting) in 29 minutes in a 108-95 victory over the Phoenix Suns on March 17. Two nights later, Johnson scored 20 points and grabbed a season-high eight rebounds in a 104-99 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Johnson scored a game-high 27 points (10-16 shooting, 6-8 from three-point range) in 30 minutes in an 114-98 victory over the Boston Celtics March 21. Johnson completed his week by scoring a team-high 22 points (18 of which came in the second half and overtime) in a 107-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks March 23. In the Dallas game, Johnson recorded his fourth game-winning or tying basket with under one minute to go in a game this season when he converted a driving layup with 9.9 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

In addition to helping the Nets to four straight victories, marking the second-longest active winning streak in the NBA, trailing only San Antonio's 13 straight victories, Johnson has also helped the Nets to a season-best 11 straight home victories and an Eastern Conference-best 27-10 record since January 1.

Johnson is the first Nets player to capture the award since Devin Harris for the week of February 23-March 1, 2009.

Fresh off of claiming victory against the Phoenix Suns in their last home game 108-95, all while achieving wins in eight of their last 10 games, the Brooklyn Nets continued their three-game homestand against the Charlotte Bobcats, mirroring their results of the previous game obtaining a five-point victory on the Bobcats, 104-99.

This is the second straight win, improving their overall regular season record to (35-31) in a position to make their second straight playoff appearance since the inaugural grand opening of the Barclays Center in 2012.

The Bobcats are currently the 7th seed, one seed below the Nets, in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race one month away from the end of the regular season.

With aspirations of completing the season on a high note, each game for the Nets holds a certain level of significance and tonight is another game against an opponent the Nets are capable of defeating.

Each NBA team features its own difficulties for its opponents and the Bobcats provide a down-low offensive force in F Al Jefferson, averaging a double-double for the season recording 21.3 points per game along with 10.4 rebounds.

"We're not going to have Mason go up against him one on one," said Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd prior to the tip-off of tonight's match-up in his pre-game press conference to numerous media outlets.

"He's patient and knows how to put the ball in the basket," Kidd continues.

He did just that.

Jefferson displayed his talents early scoring 10 points while grabbing six rebounds in the first-half causing match-up problems for the Nets frontcourt, particularly C Mason Plumlee who defended Jefferson for the better part of the first half committing 3 fouls in the process.

With the score tied 20 all with 2:17 left in the second quarter, back-to-back jump shots by reserves F Andray Blatche and G Marcus Thornton in addition to two made free throws by first unit PG Deron Williams, improved the Nets lead to six, 26-20, going into the second half ahead, 26-21 as one made free throw by Jefferson cut the overall deficit to 5 in the closing minutes.

In the second quarter, the Nets capitalized on their early slim lead extending it to a game-high advantage of 13 points, when SG Thornton connected from behind the arc, Nets leading 38-25 with 8:20 remaining in the second quarter.

The Nets struggled to maintain their lead throughout second-half as the Bobcats sustained a relentless effort which decided the result of the game towards final minutes of regulation.

With the game hanging in the balance, the Nets and Bobcats engaged in a back and forth rally where one team had to make enough plays to avenge the response of the opposing team and in that battle, the Nets made enough plays spearheaded by Williams who led the charge.

With the Nets leading by three, 90-87 with 4:16 to go a missed Jefferson jumper allowed the Nets to get out on the break.

Williams pushed the ball to the top of the key and dished it to G Joe Johnson the trailer for a three-point shot attempt which he missed only to be rewarded with another field goal attempt due to the offensive rebound by Williams who kicked it back to Johnson, this time draining it increasing the Nets lead to five 92-87.

The Bobcats answered with a dunk via G Gerald Henderson cutting the lead to three 92-89 with 3:27 remaining until the resolution.

The ball finds Johnson again on the right baseline guarded by Henderson which he posted up only to fade away off of Henderson's pressure netting yet another basket, edging the Bobcats now by five, 94-89 with 3 min remaining in the 4th.

On the following possession, Henderson drains a three-pointer assisted by G Gary Neal with 2:46 left in the 4th coming to within two points shy of a tie trailing the Nets 92-94.

In close games, teams rely on their stars to influence the final outcome of a game, and this moment belonged to Williams as his contract warrants that responsibility to put the Nets over the top as all else fails.

He did not have to go far as the ball found him and he delivered as he should.

With the Nets clinging to a three-point lead as the one minute mark passed, the crowd stood on its feet growing louder with each passing second as Williams stared down his defender, applied a crossover hesitation dribble and pulled up for a jump-shot locating the Net without and trouble from the rim as the Nets grabbed a 5-point lead, 100-95 grabbing control of the game for good.

Williams led all scorers accumulating 25 points and 8 assists as his back-court mate in Johnson complimented his cause adding 20 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.

High scorers for the Bobcats featured Jefferson who was neutralized in the second half finishing with 18 points and Neal who finished with 17.

Williams performance grants him the player of the game award and Kidd took notice.

"Deron took control of the game," Kidd expressed to media correspondents in his post-game press conference.

Regarding his team's efforts Kidd continued saying, "They didn't panic, they stayed the course and executed on both ends when it mattered."

This win propelled the Nets past the Washington Wizards in the eastern conference standings as the Nets are now positioned as the 5th seed behind the Chicago Bulls.

Due to the Eastern Conference experiencing a down year, the Nets have an opportunity to seize the Bulls' spot as the 4th seed as long as they continue to win and pray for the Bulls demise which is very unlikely.

Over the next five games, the Nets will face teams who contain a combined record of 150-192, which include the Boston Celtics, the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Bobcats once more for the final time this season.

Based on talent alone, the Nets should be able to handle their business against the teams previously listed.

As for Brooklyn, a Nets win translates to a comfortable slumber.

Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and reserves Marcus Thornton and Mirza Teletovic all connected from behind the arc shooting 70% from three point range

Thank God, It's Friday, Right?

For the Brooklyn Nets, this is game No.75, as they host the Detroit Pistons, and this final regular season series between both teams favored the Nets for the first time all-season, The Nets defeated the Pistons, 116-104.

After failing to extend their winning streak to four straight games after taking a trip across the river to face their brothers from another borough in the New York Knicks, the Nets returned home looking to avenge that 110-81 loss. Determined to right their wrongs and protect their home-court, the Nets did exactly that plugging the Pistons, 116-104.

In winning, the Nets extended its franchise record of consecutive wins at home to 15 straight games.

This is a Pistons team that the Nets have struggled against all year in all three of their previous affairs, losing all three contests.

No motivation needed.

Message received.

Timing is of the essence and with a playoff berth guaranteed in the Eastern Conference, the Nets will look to use these last few games as tune-up sessions to further enhance their overall play and performance as they envision a deep playoff run.

For all intended purposes, it's game night and for those who missed tonight's action, this is what followed:

In the first half, following a 22 all conclusion of the first half, the Nets orchestrated a three-point barrage that gave them a comfortable advantage, achieving their highest point differential of 20 points.

Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and reserves Marcus Thornton and Mirza Teletovic all connected from behind the arc shooting 70% from three point range, 7-10, over a plus 5 min stretch, which aided the Nets improving their overall lead to 51-31 with 5:12 remaining in the second quarter.

Basketball is a game of runs, and like any other NBA team that enjoys an early substantial lead, the Nets botched their lead within the second quarter surrendering a 14-6 run courtesy of the Pistons who cut the deficit to 12, as the Nets progressed into the intermission period ahead 57-45.

And now your second half.

The Nets picked up where they left off in the first half, resuming their offensive efficiency from the field translating it to the second half.

The Pistons made an attempt to close the gap coming to within 10 points on an Andre Drummond put-back lay-up, now trailing 61 to the Nets 71 with 5:36 remaining in the 3rd, but their inability to produce stops on the defensive end of the floor only gave the Nets the benefit of the doubt in maintaining their lead.

With 5:13 left in the third quarter, a Brandon Jennings turnover was retrieved by Williams who spearheaded a one-man fast-break converting on the opposite end via a layup while absorbing a foul by Jennings.

A three-point play was rewarded as Williams sank his +1, and on the ensuing Nets possession, a Pistons turnover resulted in another three from "MT3" the nickname appointed to Teletovic by the Nets game announcer, draining his sixth three-pointer of the the night thus far, with both sequences extending the Nets lead to 17, 78-61 with 4:37 until the end of the 3rd quarter.

The Nets Public announcer addresses the crowd in attendance at every home game before the start of the 4th quarter advising the audience to help encourage the Nets to attain victory against all of their opponents, and in ending his address, commands the thousands in the stands to "Stand UP".

As the crowd stood, the Nets raised their efforts and gave the fans something to cheer about in the closing minutes of the final quarter.

The Pistons made their final attempt to bring drama to this game, slicing the deficit to single digits, down 9 points, 96-87 by a made free throw from Jonas Jerebko with 7:08 existing in the 4th quarter.

Despite the Pistons mission, it came to no avail as an alley-oop pass from reserve Andrei Kirilenko to Shaun Livingston converting with a one-arm slam while being fouled by Jonas Jerebko, gave Livingston a shot at a three-point play which he completed, increasing the Nets back to double-digits, leading 99-87, 6:57 left in the 4th.

More of the same followed from Livingston who connected on a turn-around bank shot with a little over five minutes remaining and a lane driving dunk with emphasis by Paul Pierce with 1:29 left till the resolution spelled their fate in a positive fashion.

The player of the game is reserve Teletovic, better known as "MT3", who continued to display his exploits from behind the arc and his reliability, adding six threes of 10 to the Nets cause, leading all bench scorers with 20 points.

Livingston led all Nets players with 23 points alongside Williams in the starting unit, showcasing his skills that warranted NBA recognition when he was selected 4th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Immediately following the Nets win, Livingston shared his thoughts to media correspondents from the Nets locker room regarding their performance at home.

"We've been playing well at this arena," says Livingston to media correspondents.

"I think it's a comfort zone and were just trying to build on the momentum that we have".

Like Livingston, Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd also addressed his team's performance in his post-game press conference, which he commented on the success the Nets enjoyed from downtown.

"The one thing that leads to threes is everyone being unselfish," said Kidd to media correspondents.

"When you're unselfish like that, you get the looks that we're getting from behind the three," Kidd continued.

I'd say it's been a successful year for first-year head coach Kidd, who's leading the same franchise that employed his services as a player and now as a coach to the playoffs in his initial head coaching gig.

The Nets stand motionless in seeding with the win, as they improve their overall regular season record to 41-34 currently cemented 5th in the eastern conference standings, looking up at the Chicago Bulls and ahead of the Washington Wizards.

Only seven games stand on the Nets schedule until the conclusion of their 2013-14 NBA campaign, embarking on a three-game road trip as they visit the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night, and back-to-back contest challenging the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic respectively.

The Nets have their postseason berth but the season isn't over.

These last few games feature what's wrong with the Eastern Conference and albeit a soft schedule ahead with the one exception in the Miami Heat, the Nets can utilize these games in integrating injured players like Kevin Garnett back into their rotations and fine tuning their overall team production.

With May in sight, it seems like everything is OK in Brooklyn, for now.

The New York Knicks did its part beating Toronto to help itself get an NBA playoff spot, but the Nets kept them out by losing to the Hawks 93-88

We are at the point in the NBA season where teams have solidified their playoff position. Some teams are trying to improve their spot, while others are hanging on to faint hopes. Such is the story of the four teams that took to the floor Friday night. The Brooklyn Nets hosted the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center while the New York Knicks were on the road against the division leading Toronto Raptors.

The Nets know they will face the Chicago Bulls (who took them out in 7 games last year) when the playoffs start in two weeks. There will be no urgency to play their starters extended minutes to keep them as fresh as possible. For Toronto, it's the same story, the team is looking to win its division for the first time in franchise history. Atlanta holds a 1.5 game lead over New York for the 8th and final spot. It's more like 2.5 games as if both teams end up with identical records, the Hawks would get in due to having a better conference record. Comments were made recently by the Hawks general manager Danny Ferry that they would not mind missing the playoffs (they would face Miami or Indiana in the first round) so they could be a team in the lottery. It had folks from the NBA shaking their heads.

When the Nets introduced their new big 3 (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry) last year the biggest question was how many minutes they would play during the course of the regular season as new first year Head Coach Jason Kidd knew that keeping them healthy and fresh would be the key to their postseason success or failure. Terry is no longer with the team, Pierce has been relatively healthy under those controlled minutes but Garnett's (his replacement Mason Plumlee has played very well in his place as evidenced by his game-winning block against LeBron James and Miami this past Tuesday) back has been a reason for concern. Before playing against Detroit last week on the road, Garnett missed the previous 15 games.

So it was no surprise when Brooklyn took the floor Friday night, the starting line-up had the look of an exhibition game. The Nets were without the services of Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston and Alan Anderson with little used Jorge Gutierrez starting in place of Williams. Garnett started his second straight game at center.

Plumlee continued his stellar play coming off the bench after Garnett's 3 minutes of play. Although he missed 2 of 3 free-throws, he connected on all 3 field goals scoring 7 points as the Nets took a 7 point (23-16) first quarter lead. The Hawks didn't play the second quarter like they were giving up on their playoff hopes. Led by Jeff Teague (all 14 points in the quarter) Atlanta outscored Brooklyn 39-24 to take an 8 point lead (55-47).

Atlanta extended the lead to 10 (66-56) after a Teague layup but the Nets closed out the 3rd quarter on a 17-8 run getting them within 1 (74-73) setting up the game that could define the Hawks post-season plans.

Neither team led by more than 5 (86-81 Hawks) after 2 Paul Millsap free throws. His 27th point of the game gave them a 1 point lead (89-88) with 1:46 left. Teague adds to the lead with 2 free throws and then Kyle Korver blocks Marcus Thorton's lay-up attempt. Joe Johnson misses a floater followed by another Teague basket. Game over.

The New York Knicks did their part beating Toronto on the road but had to be hanging their collective heads when they learned about the 93-88 Atlanta win. The loss broke Brooklyn's 15-game home winning streak. Maybe Ferry was playing reverse psychology with his players when he made his no playoff comment. Looks like it's working.

Brooklyn's Bit: Prior to the game, New York High School, College and Pro legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar introduced his SkyHook Challenge to bring awareness to the Chronic Myeloid Leukemia he was diagnosed with in 2008. Skyhook Challenge is a timed trivia game fans participate in to see how many questions they can answer about Abdul Jabbar's basketball history. 

Nets Couldn't Handle Charging of Bulls in 2nd Playoff Game

In a dramatic turn of events, the Chicago Bulls has evened the first round of its playoff run against the Brooklyn Nets 1-1, as they dominated the Nets, 90-82 Monday night.

Bulls head-coach Tom Thibodeau said in a pregame press conference that Joakim Noah would be playing limited minutes, but that did not stop the Bulls from giving the Nets a beat down on its home court.

Brooklyn's fans were loud and proud, chanting "Brooooklllyn," the entire game, but the Nets did not match up to the momentum that their loyal fans displayed.

All-Star Deron Williams shot 1-9 and finished with eight points, the same amount of points as Kris Humphries. Williams had 10 assists.

"We didn't get stops, which was the key for us because then we couldn't get out and run like we wanted to," Williams said. "We have to do a better job defensively next game. I've got to do a better job of everything really. This was a bad one for me."

Joe Johnson, who also seemed quiet on the floor went 6-for-18 and finished with 17 points.

Brook Lopez who played 35 minutes scored 21 points.

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo who seemed at ease and jittery during pregame interviews said before the game that his team had the bigger advantage on Saturday, when they beat Bulls 106-89.

"We weren't playing against the normal Chicago defense," he said.

Carlesimo was right. This time around, Chicago tightened up its defense and the Nets suffered from careless turnovers and couldn't stabilize a steady shooting rhythm.

Although Brooklyn didn't come out with the win, fans were excited to see Bulls' point guard Derrick Rose shooting around on the court moments before the game. Rose, who injured his left knee, which resulted in a torn ACL on April 28, 2012 in the first game of last season's playoffs, has not played at all this season.

Thibodeau said that Rose would most likely be sitting on the bench for the entire postseason.

The Nets will travel to Chicago for the third game of the playoffs on Thursday.

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.

Yeah, the Brooklyn Nets lost again Wednesday night to the Los Angeles Lakers; but it was Jason Kidd's intentional drink spill that made headlines.

Kidd bumped into Brooklyn reserve Tyshawn Taylor with 8.3 seconds left in the game causing his drink to spill on the court. What seemed as an accident at first, it was later confirmed a setup after a replay showed Kidd telling Taylor to "hit me," as the guard walked toward the bench.

Because of the spill, the Nets had time to draw up a play while the floor was being cleaned up, but still they still lost 99-94.

But not so fast, Kidd was later fined $50,000 Thursday by the NBA after they reviewed him telling Taylor to purposely bump him.

Paul Pierce took the last shot for the Nets on Wednesday--what Kidd described as a "great look."

But the only problem was, Pierce was only 4-17. Was he the most suitable player to take the last three-pointer that could've tied the game? Probably not.

Joe Johnson finished strong for the Nets with 18 points, along with Mirza Teletovic who had 17.

For the Lakers, Nick Young who didn't start led his team with 26, while Pau Gasol scored 21.

Injuries are still hurting the Nets, as Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Tornike Shenegelia and Jason Terry all watched from the sidelines.

The Lakers played without their star Kobe Bryant due to a torn Achilles and Steve Nash is still recovering from nerve damage in his back.

Before tip-off, Coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters that his team and the Nets have a lot in common. Besides trying to fill the void with Bryant out, D'Antoni said expectations with the Lakers have not been made yet, similar to Brooklyn since they got the three-way blockbuster trade over the summer.

"They're fighting for our lives like we are," D'Antoni said.

Update: And it seems as if it's only going to get worse for Brooklyn now 5-12 and 4th in the Atlantic Division as they will have to make way without Paul Pierce. The team announced Monday that he will miss two-four weeks due to a broken bone in his right hand. The Nets can't catch a break!

Paul Pierce's season-high 27 points were overshadowed in a disappointing 113-107 loss to the Washington Wizards Wednesday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Had the Nets played with more aggression and rebounded as well as Pierce scored, they could have taken home their fourth straight win.

"It is easy to sit here and talk to you guys about what kind of night I had but the bottom line is I really don't care," Pierce told reporters after the game. "We lost the game and that is pretty much all that matters. We come out here and try to win as a team, it is not about how Paul Pierce is feeling. Tonight we had the inability to rebound, defend the three and that is what cost us the game."

The Wizards (11-3) didn't particularly shoot the ball well, but they soared over Brooklyn with boards. The Nets welcomed back center Brook Lopez after missing two games due to a sprained ankle and though he played with little passion, he finished with 22 points.

"It was on me," Lopez said after finishing with only five rebounds. "The effort wasn't there."
(You think, Brook? You got the ball snatched right out of your hands in the third quarter!)

Joe Johnson was the leading rebounder for the Nets, who had seven and finished with 20 points.

"We scored enough points to win," head coach Jason Kidd said. "There were some rebounds that we couldn't come up with down the stretch. We are getting better but we just lost a game that we felt we could control."

Meanwhile, the Wizards snapped a four-game losing streak after beating the New York Knicks on Monday. Wednesday's game against Brooklyn was the 10th time in 24 games this season that Washington ended the game with more than 100 points.

"It was big for us," Trevor Booker said regarding the Wizards' win, who finished with 7 points. "It was working early, just pounding them on the glass and we stuck with it. And we came out, on top."

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Unfiltered: Doc Rivers Post-game Presser: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Brooklyn Nets

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