December 17, 2017

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.

Brook Lopez, Jeremy Lin, and Sean Kilpatrick lead Nets in victory over Pacers, final score Brooklyn 103; Indiana 94

The Brooklyn Nets kicked off its first home game of the season on Friday night with a check mark in the win column. Taking on the Indiana Pacers, the Nets showed the home crowd at the Barclays Center that they are trying to live up to their marketing slogan, We Came to Play.

With only four players in double digits, versus the Pacers five players, the Nets hammered the Pacers 103-94.

“Man, I’m just happy for that group in there,” said an elated Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “They’ve been working their tails off, and I was happy with our defense. Just a great job, great job by our guys.”

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez led all players with 25 points and five rebounds. The “big man” even grabbed a steal. Nets starting point guard Jeremy Lin notched 21 points and just missed a triple-double in his Nets home debut with nine rebounds and nine assists. Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick, who was a great pickup for the Nets last season, came off the bench with 18 points and five rebounds. Additionally, Kilpatrick hit consecutive 3-pointers during the decisive fourth-quarter. Forward Trevor Booker didn’t disappoint, he turned in 10 points and 11 points.

Coach Atkinson didn’t miss heaping praise on Kilpatrick.

“Sean was great,” Atkinson said. “Listen, Sean has had a fantastic summer. He played great in Summer League, and he has just worked so hard. So it’s great to see him have a good night.”

Pacers point guard Paul George led all Indiana scorers with 22 points and nine rebounds. Former Brooklyn Nets player Thaddeus Young, who now wears the gold and blue, scored 19 points and 8 rebounds for the Pacers. CJ Miles came off the bench and scored 15 points and six rebounds.

It goes without saying that the fans left the Barclays Center in a state of euphoria.

The next home game is on Monday, October 31 (Halloween) against the Chicago Bulls; things could get scary!

The Brooklyn Nets closes out its preseason with an eye on progress, development, and improvement

Instead of starting this article at the beginning, I am going to start at the end of the first half of last night’s Brooklyn Nets’ preseason game against the New York Knicks.

The Nets ended the first half leading the Knicks by two points, with a score of 57-55. If you have watched the Nets in previous seasons since coming to the Barclays Center, you probably noticed a different style of play on the floor. The Nets under new management, general manager Sean Marks, and head coach Kenny Atkinson, have mandated and are stressing a new culture of “team” over “I” or “me” translating into unselfishness. Watching the Nets during the last two games, the team’s buy-in to the new system is apparent. Guys were playing unselfishly, the ball moved around, it was definitely team ball. In addition to the two-point lead at the half, the Nets led the Knicks in most of the measurable metrics that matter: field goal percentage 52.6 vs the Knicks 48.9 percent; three-point shots 46.7 vs the Knicks 20 percent, and the Nets made 91 percent of their free-throws compared to the Knicks 64 percent. However, the Knicks did outscore the Nets on rebounds; by half-time, the Knicks out-rebounded the Nets 20-18, which was a sign of things to come.

So, where did the Nets breakdown happen?

The Knicks took a nine-point lead in the third quarter on fast breaks, gaining 49 percent field goal shooting over the Nets’ 46 percent. The Knicks also out-rebounded the Nets; ending the third with a rebound score of 38-24, picking up 18 rebounds in the third quarter to the Nets’ four.

This was not lost on Atkinson.

“I think I said it before, I think rebounding is an issue right now and I think transition defense is something we need to work on, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said at the Nets post-game press conference. “They had a fair amount of fast break points so those are some areas we have to get better at.”

#Truth.

Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin led all scorers with 24 points and 10 assists. However, unlike the Knicks, the Nets only had two starters in double digits; the other being center Brook Lopez who supplied 12 points.

The Nets other double-digit scorers came from the bench Joe Harris scored 15 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 12 points, and Justin Hamilton chipped in 11 points.

Carmelo Anthony led Knicks scorers with 21 points. Starters Courtney Lee dropped 15 points and five rebounds; and Joakim Noah supplied 12 points and six rebounds.

Both benches contributed 59 points; coming off the Knicks bench in double digits were Justin Holiday with 14 points, Kyle Quinn added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Mindaugas Kuzminskas chipped in 10 points.

“I was proud of our guys at the end,” Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said about his secondary line. “They ended up putting their starters back in I think with a nine or 10-point game and when they went out it was eight points.”

Even in the loss, Atkinson complimented his players, as he should have.

“I complimented them on their effort and despite the record, I think we’ve made progress,” Atkinson told the media. “And that’s going to be our message all year, progress, development, improvement. We obviously have areas we have to improve in but again, 10 new players and I like a lot of stuff I see. I think where we are right now is be a little bit more consistent. And that’s the tough part in the NBA over a 48-minute game, to do it longer than the other team. So that’s the overall positive message.”

The Brooklyn Nets are now focused on the regular season. The Nets first regular season game is against the Boston Celtics in Boston on Wednesday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. The Nets open up at home at the Barclays Center against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Perhaps, the fans will give Thaddeus Young a warm welcome when he hits the hardwood for the Indiana Pacers.

The Nets dealt Young to the Pacers on NBA Draft night for Caris LeVert, the No. 20 overall pick and for a future second-round pick. Levert did not play last night because he is out with an injured left foot.

Is NY Giants Jerry Reese still on the on the hot seat, Did Slam Magazine slam Carmelo Anthony?, Is Jerry Jones still backing Tony Romo?

What's The 411Sports hosts Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald are talking about the hottest sports stories of the week:

  • Draymond Green Says Back off of his teammate Kevin Durant
  • Did Tom Brady Pull a Michael Dukakis?
  • Dak Prescott or Tony Romo?
  • Should Jay Glazer Block Greg Hardy’s MMA Aspirations
  • NY Giants had Big Win, But Offense is Still Meager,
  • As the NBA Season Approaches, there is More Pressure on Knicks than the Nets
  • Did Slam Magazine Diss Carmelo Anthony?

IN THE PIPELINE

On Sunday, October 23rd, the Giants will be across the pond for a showdown with the L.A. Rams in London. Set your alarms, because game time is 9:30 AM Eastern time. Meanwhile, the NY Jets host the Baltimore Ravens at 1:00 PM, also on Sunday, October 23rd.

The MLB World Series starts on Tuesday, October 25th.

The NBA regular season is upon us and the Brooklyn Nets face the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, October 26; and the Nets’ first home game of the regular season is against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, October 28. We hope the crowd gives former Brooklyn Nets player, Thaddeus Young a warm reception.

IN MEMORIAM

Former NFL linebacker Quentin Groves has died at the age of 32. Reports indicate that Groves died of a heart attack, perhaps brought on by Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which causes rapid heartbeats. Groves had what was described as a minor heart surgery between the Combine and the draft after WPW was discovered during the combine medical tests.

Also, Dennis Byrd, who played for the New York Jets in 1989-92, was killed in a head-on collision near his home outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Olympic track star Tyson Gay’s 15-year-old daughter, Trinity, was struck and killed by a stray bullet at a restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky.

Our condolences go out to their families and may they rest in peace.

 

In addition to signing Jeremy Lin, Nets acquire draft rights to Caris Levert from Indiana

As expected and rumored all over the place, particularly after the signing of head coach Kenny Atkinson, the Brooklyn Nets signed free agent guard Jeremy Lin to a multi-year contract.

“We are excited to welcome Jeremy to Brooklyn,” said Nets’ General Manager Sean Marks. “He is a high character and competitive individual who will fit our culture moving forward, as well as the style of play that Kenny will be implementing. Jeremy is a proven veteran point guard with strong leadership qualities, who is an obvious fit in this system and city.”

The Nets also acquired the draft rights to Caris LeVert, the 20th pick in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft, along with a future second-round pick, from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for forward Thaddeus Young.

Young had been the subject of trade rumors for months leading up to the NBA 2016 trade deadline. When Atkinson was presented to the media on May 16, 2016, it seemed to be some assurances that Young would not be traded and that he, along with Brook Lopez and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson would be the core that the Nets could build around. Obviously, that did not work out.

Young played in 101 games (93 starts) with the Nets after joining the team via trade from Minnesota on February 19, 2015, averaging 14.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.0 minutes per game. A nine-year NBA veteran, Young has appeared in 665 career games with Philadelphia, Minnesota and Brooklyn, holding averages of 13.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 30.6 minutes per game.

LeVert (6’7”, 205) played four seasons at Michigan and helped the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the National Championship game in 2013 and the Elite Eight in 2014. In 103 career games (70 starts) for the Wolverines, LeVert averaged 10.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in 26.4 minutes per game. As a senior, the Columbus, Ohio, native posted averages of 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in 30.9 minutes per game while shooting .506 from the field and .446 from 3-point range in 15 games (14 starts) during an injury-shortened season. He earned 2014 All-Big Ten second-team and 2014 NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament team honors following his sophomore season when he averaged 12.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 34.0 minutes per game in 37 games.

In the loss Nets’ backup guard Sean Kilpatrick led Nets players with 15 points

Today, the brunch-time crowd came into the Barclays Center to see the Brooklyn Nets take on the New Orleans Pelicans at 1:00 p.m. Since the Pelicans were without star forward Anthony Davis, it seemed like this would be a game that the Nets could add in the win column. Unfortunately, the Nets lost to the Pelicans 106-87.

Now, hold on Sparky, before you start yelling and screaming, the Nets were without Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, Nets head coach Tony Brown in his pre-game press conference told the assembled media that he was going to sit Lopez and Young for the rest of the season. The stated reason for pulling these players was to give them rest for next season and to prevent unnecessary injuries. Now, the conspiracy theorist in me says that yeah, I get your point, but rumors of trading Young before the February 2016 trade deadline makes me just a little skeptical. Now, the rational side says these are good players to build around and with a good head coach and the already A-Team general manager in Sean Marks, the Nets should be making some noise next season. So why take the risk, if you don’t have to do it? However, stranger things have happened, so I am in wait and see mode until the next season starts.  

As for the actual game against the Pelicans, Nets reserve guard Sean Kilpatrick, continues to wow the crowd. When his named was announced to substitute for Wayne Ellington with 4:36 left in the first quarter, the crowd at the BC applauded and chanted his name wildly. I think I was sitting next to Kilpatrick’s No.1 fans. Kilpatrick didn’t disappoint. Off the bench, Kilpatrick led all Nets scorers with 15 points; his off-the-bench teammate, Markel Brown added 12 points, as did starting center Henry Sims, a pickup from the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League on March 17. Sims whose last NBA team was the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2014-15 NBA season also had seven boards. Other Nets starters in double digits were Thomas Robinson with 11 points and 15 rebounds, and Ellington chipped in 10 points.

As for the Pelicans starting squad, Luke Babbitt led all scorers with 21 points; Dante Cunningham had 14 points, and Jordan Hamilton came up with a double-double, 13 points, and 11 rebounds. Pelicans’ reserves weren’t slouches. Tim Frazier came off the bench and added a stellar double-double performance of his own, 19 points and 13 assists. Alexis Ajinca put up 16 points and six rebounds, and James Ennis chipped in 14 points.

Without Lopez and Young, I don’t expect any wins for the Brooklyn Nets for the rest of the season. Next up on the docket for the Nets are:

4/6: DC Wizards in Washington, DC
4/8: Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte
4/10: Indiana Pacers in Indiana
4/11: DC Wizards at home in Brooklyn
4/13: Toronto Raptors at home in Brooklyn

 

Photo: Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick puts up a valiant effort in attempting to pass the ball past New Orleans Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins (5), but to no avail. Nets lose to Pelicans 106-87

US Women’s Soccer Filed Suit Against US Soccer Federation; Warriors Lose to Celtics But Still Want 73 Wins, 2016 Basketball Hall of Fame Class Named

In this episode, the What’s The 411Sports team of Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald are talking about and asking lots of question about recent sports news and events.

Congratulations to the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016:  Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, Sheryl Swoopes, John McClendon, Darell Garretson, Tom Izzo, Zelmo Beaty, Yao Ming, Jerry Reinsdorf, and Cumberland Posey.

Five members of the US women’s national soccer team including notable names like Hope Solo and Alex Morgan have filed a wage discrimination action against the US Soccer Federation. The action was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claiming that while the women’s team generated approximately $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team, the women were paid about 25% less than their male counterparts.

San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick met with John Elway, executive vice president of football operations and general manager of the Denver Broncos, signaling that Kaepernick could be headed to Denver. Would this be a good move for Colin Kaepernick?

After a 54-regular-home-game win streak, the bubble burst and Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors lost at home to the Boston Celtics 109-106 on Friday, April 1 (no April Fools joke).

NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament definitely put the “madness” in March Madness; at the buzzer, Villanova beat UNC 77-74.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin returns to lineup as the Clippers face the Washington Wizards at the Staples Center. It will be the first time that Griffin will play since Christmas after a tearing his quadriceps. His absence was further extended after a hand injury due to an altercation with the team’s assistant equipment manager which garnered a four-game suspension. And, Griffin’s quadriceps isn’t completely healed. Is this a good move for Griffin to play before complete healing?

Who on the current Brooklyn Nets team will be back next season? Both Keisha and Mike would like to see the return of Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. However, Keisha would also like to see newcomer Sean Kilpatrick in a Brooklyn Nets uniform next season.

The YES Network and Comcast are at war.

Can the New York Mets get back to the World Series, and do the New York Yankees have a chance to win the AL East?

New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is on the bench for his childish behavior towards the New York sports media following the New York daily newspapers' reports on his urinary tract issues.

Sean Kilpatrick’s spectacular home debut spoiled by Nets turnovers in the fourth quarter

The Milwaukee Bucks came into Brooklyn this afternoon after beating the New Orleans Pelicans yesterday at home 103-92.

In a pre-game interview, acknowledging the energy drain of back-to-back games and plane trouble, which prevented the Milwaukee Bucks from having an earlier arrival, Bucks head coach Jason Kidd stated that “we’re going to need everybody.”

Everybody wasn’t necessary because Giannis Antetokounmpo was on fire! Antetokounmpo aka “The Greek Freak” scored 28 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, nearly obtaining his fourth triple-double in the last 11 games by halftime. Antetokounmpo already had 12 points, nine assists and eight rebounds by the half.

Jabari Parker added 23 points, and Khris Middleton chipped in 19 points to help the Bucks beat the Nets 109-100; securing the Bucks third straight game.

The Nets didn’t exactly roll over and play dead, as team Black and White led by one heading into the fourth quarter. However, Brook Lopez, who scored 20 points for the Nets, was held scoreless in the fourth.

Sean Kilpatrick, who recently signed a 10-day contract with the Nets, added 19 points in his first home game. Thaddeus Young pulled down 17 points and 10 rebounds, his 26th double-double of the year. Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 13 points and a career-high seven assists.

So, what happened?

In a nutshell, it was a 31-21 fourth quarter advantage for Milwaukee. Add to that, Lopez was held scoreless in the fourth, and the Nets committed 12 turnovers in the fourth and 20 on the night.

“Turnovers. We played well enough for three-quarters and then we had crucial turnovers that you can’t recover from,” Nets interim coach Tony Brown said.

"I wouldn't even say it was their pressure," Thaddeus Young said. "We were throwing the ball all over the place. We had a lot of turnovers that were kind of unforced."

The Nets loss to Milwaukee tonight was the Nets’ first game at Barclays Center after an unprecedented nine-game, three-week road trip.

Dr. Riley Williams III managing the health of athletes and non-athletes at the Hospital for Special Surgery and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn

 

Dr. Riley Williams III, Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Surgeon, at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and Brooklyn Nets Medical Director and Team Doctor, spoke with What’s The 411Sports’ Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald about a wide range of topics.

Role as Brooklyn Nets Team Doctor

Dr. Williams’ primary goal as Brooklyn Nets Team Doctor and Medical Director is the health and well-being of the Brooklyn Nets players, which involves managing injuries and getting the athletes back into action. Dr. Williams also focuses on preventative strategies such as nutrition, sleep, and mental health around the stress of being a professional basketball player. Dr. Williams’ responsibilities extend beyond Brooklyn Nets athletes, to management and executives.

Dr. Riley Williams III on Why He Chose to Be a Doctor

Dr. Williams explains that he grew up in Los Angeles south of Compton and was looking for a way out of the neighborhood. He had an affinity for the sciences and medicine made sense because he could see a clear path for a career. You do well in college, you go on to medical school. You do well in medical school; you get to do an internship and residency, and ultimately a job.

Dr. Riley Williams III on Helping Brooklyn Nets’ Players Avoid Banned Substances

Dr. Williams explains that the NBA has a very clear and explicit policy on banned substances. If an athlete takes a banned substance, there is no response, the athlete is banned. Dr. Williams reviews the NBA's banned substance list annually and he and his colleagues do their very best to keep Brooklyn Nets players out of harm's way.

Dr. Williams on Managing his Daily Schedule

Dr. Williams explains how he juggles his responsibilities of family, private patients, the Brooklyn Nets and the Red Bulls soccer team.

Dr. Riley Williams III on Yale University's Men's Basketball Team Making NCAA Tourney

Although basketball and sports were not a priority while he was a student a Yale, Dr. Williams is excited that his alma mater made it into the NCAA tournament. He also reminded us that Jeremy Lin went to Harvard and he is still playing in the NBA, so although Harvard and Yale are Ivy League schools, there is still good basketball played at those institutions.

Dr. Riley Williams III on the Outlook for the Brooklyn Nets

Dr. Williams believes that now that the Brooklyn Nets are immersed into Brooklyn, good things are coming. He is also happy to see clarity surrounding the team’s leadership.

Dr. Williams roots for the Brooklyn Nets, follows Nets Daily, and can see that at Brooklyn Nets home games, Brooklyn Nets fans are beginning to outnumber fans of other teams.

Dr. Riley Williams III on Brooklyn Nets' Players Transition to Brooklyn

Dr. Riley says that the mid-season move of the Brooklyn Nets training and practice facility from New Jersey to Brooklyn has slowed the transition of Nets players making Brooklyn their home. More time is needed before the players can totally give up New Jersey. Thaddeus Young is the one Nets player that did move to Brooklyn because he has a family. However, more players will probably move to Brooklyn or to southern Manhattan once the season ends.

 

 

 

Sean Marks starts off his tenure as Nets GM with a win

Friday marked the first Nets game since the announcement of former San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Sean Marks as the Nets new general manager. The announcement was made one day prior marking the end of a search that began with the reassignment of Billy King on January 10th. The Brooklyn Nets faced their cross-town rivals in the New York Knicks who experienced their own personnel change with the firing of former head coach Derek Fisher earlier this month.

The Nets are looking to rebound from a 109-90 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies prior to the All-Star break while the Knicks try to end a six-game losing streak. Even though times have been difficult for the Nets, one of the players who has kept the team competitive has been Brook Lopez. The center has improved in most aspects of his game with his numbers improving from last season.

The Knicks jumped to a nine-point lead in the first quarter shooting 59% from the field, with Carmelo Anthony leading the way with 11 points in 12 minutes of play. The Nets forced ten Knicks turnovers and outscored the Knicks in the paint to close the gap to two points at the half.

Early in the third quarter, the Knicks extended their lead to five however it would be short lived as the Nets went on a 20-2 run taking the lead 74-61. The Nets run was aided by converting Knicks turnovers into points. Brooklyn has struggled on the defensive side of the ball of late and saw their lead dwindle to three in the fourth quarter. The Nets showed resiliency and fight as they went on a 16-2 run to win their first game after the NBA All-Star break and their first under new GM Sean Marks.

In the 109-98 win over the New York Knicks, Lopez led all scorers with 33 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Bojan Bogdanovic knocked down four three-pointers and scored 16 just in time points off the bench.

Thaddeus Young chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds, Donald Sloan 14 points and 10 rebounds and Joe Johnson added 12 points, six assists and six rebounds.

For team blue and orange, Carmelo Anthony led with 22 points, while rookie stand-out Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 16 points.

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