August 22, 2019

Nets hit 19 3-pointers; D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 27 points and Shabazz Napier gets his first career double-double against the Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets may be No. 2 in the NBA Western Conference, but there is something about the Brooklyn Nets that the Nuggets just can’t shake. The Nets became the second team this season to sweep the Nuggets (2-0), the other being the Milwaukee Bucks. And, because teams only play teams outside their conference twice in a season, there won’t be an opportunity for the Nuggets to even the score, so see you next season.

Perhaps, the Nuggets got too comfortable with their 14-point lead in the first quarter. Or, perhaps it was Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson’s decision to pull starting forward Rodions Kurucs, who wasn’t as productive as he could have been, and slide in DeMarre Carroll in his place, but whatever the reason, in short order the momentum changed. The Nets ended the first quarter down five points, Nuggets 35 – Nets 30. Brooklyn turned up the heat in the second leading by as much as 14 points at 5.6 seconds before ending the half up by 12 with a score of 72-60. The Nets saw more gold in the third quarter ending it up by 21 with a score of 108-87. Now, the Denver Nuggets are No. 2 in the Western Conference for a reason, and in the fourth stanza, the Nuggets dug deep into their inner being and gave the Nets a run for the money. Fortunately for the Nets, the Nuggets couldn’t seal the deal and the Nets won 135-130.

With the win, the Nets improved to 29-27 overall and 17-12 at Barclays Center and besting last season’s win total of 28-54, a huge accomplishment.

“I think it’s a sign of real progress,” Coach Atkinson said about the Nets’ current standing in the NBA. “It’s a sign that we’re a little ahead of schedule – I don’t want to get too excited because I look at the schedule for the rest of the year, but this was one of those games I looked at the schedule and said this is gonna be a tough one to get. But, I’m proud of the guys, proud of the organization. We’ve reached this victory mark this early – it’s a sign of real progress.”

At the end of a game, there are some coaches that take a loss and don’t show their disgust or disappointment in their team’s performance. However, last night, Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone gave kudos to the Brooklyn Nets, and overall, he was not happy with his some of his starters.

“The 3-point line was a byproduct of the real difference in the game which was how hard Brooklyn played,” Coach Malone told the media. “I think it’s a shame I have to take five starters out in the third quarter because you’re not playing at the level you’re supposed to play. This is a game of mistakes, you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to miss shots. Things are going to happen but when you’re out there and you’re going through the motion, that’s one thing I can’t stand to watch and will not stand to watch. I was really happy and proud of the guys who went into the game in that third quarter. They got us back in the game and gave us a little bit of life. Nineteen threes is an awful number, but alarming for me is back-to-back games when we have guys out there in our starting lineup and not playing as hard as they need to play.”

Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell explained how the Nets were able to take advantage of the Nuggets.

“I think it’s just us figuring out how to win,” Russell said. “Last year we were in this position a lot of the times and it came down to that – figuring out how to win situation. I think we were really putting our foot on that.”

And, on how good it felt as a group for the Nets to get their offensive groove going after Monday night’s shellacking by the Milwaukee Bucks, Russell said: “It’s special. To be honest, we got our guys coming back. We’ve been doing this without our guys so just to get our guys back in one at a time and keep that groove going, I think it’s really special.”

D’Angelo Russell was one of seven Nets players scoring in double-digits against the Denver Nuggets. Russell led the Nets with 27 points (6-of-9 3FG), six rebounds and 11 assists in 35 minutes and registered his single-season career-high sixth double-double in the process. And, he will now play in the NBA All-Star game replacing the Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo who is out with an injury. DeMarre Carroll, posting his third double-double of the season, recorded 18 points, 10 rebounds, a career-high-tying six assists and a season-high four steals (matching the most steals recorded in a game by any Net this season) in 28 minutes off the bench. Joe Harris scored 17 points (7-of-13 FG, 3-of-6 3FG) with five rebounds, two assists and a steal in 32 minutes. Treveon Graham tallied 16 points (6-of-9 FG, 4-of-6 3FG) – marking his second-most points scored in a game in his career – with three rebounds, two steals and, an assist in 23 minutes. Both Jarrett Allen and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson logged 15 points and Allen added five rebounds to his total. Shabazz Napier, part of the Nets second unit last night, posted his first-career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 11 assists in 27 minutes.

For the Denver Nuggets, Nikola Jokic registered 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists; former Nets player, Mason Plumlee, posted 24 points, six rebounds, and three blocked shots; Jamal Murray accumulated 19 points, 11 assists, and three rebounds; Monte Harris, came off the bench and scored 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists; Malik Beasley, a starting guard, tallied 17 points, and; Trey Lyles, a member of Denver’s second unit chipped in 15 points and five rebounds.

With Plumlee being a former Nets player, of course, someone had to ask Coach Malone about Plumlee’s performance last night.

“He was everywhere,” Malone responded. “The guy was blocking shots on defense, running the floor and finishing around the basket. He was screening, rolling. What didn’t Mason Plumlee do to start that game? Literally, Mason was everywhere. Mason played hard. Mason cared. Mason left everything he had on the floor until he fouled out. You have to give a guy who plays that hard respect.”

Yes, you should.

So, what’s Denver’s next move?

The Denver Nuggets will be in Philadelphia tomorrow, Friday, January 8, 2019, to play the Philadelphia 76ers.

Meanwhile, the Nets will still be at home and will host the Chicago Bulls, also tomorrow, Friday, January 8, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.



In the Nets’ game loss, a phenom in the making emerges, Nets rookie Rodions Kurucs leads all Nets players with a career-high 24 points


Seven was the number of consecutive wins the Brooklyn Nets had heading into their game against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. Unfortunately, the Nets could not keep pace with the Pacers (pun intended) starting in the first quarter and lost 114-106.

In addition to snapping their season-high seven-game winning streak, the Nets fell to 15-19 overall and 7-11 at home, while the Pacers improved to 21-12 overall and 10-7 on the road with the victory.

With the Nets experiencing so many losses, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the team has had win streaks in the past. This current win streak matched the team’s longest winning streak since relocating to Brooklyn for the start of the 2012-13 season. The Nets winning back-to-back games in this fashion and at this time had many sports reporters talking about the Nets who wouldn’t have otherwise because the Nets win streak marked the longest active winning streak in the NBA.

Yesterday's breakdown for the Brooklyn Nets came in the first quarter when they ended the quarter with a 10-point deficit 37-27 and didn’t gain much in the second, ending that stanza 59-49. Brooklyn closed in on Indiana in the third, but still fell short by four points, finishing the third 84-80, and similarly, in the fourth, the Nets just couldn’t make up enough ground. The Pacers outscored the Nets in the final quarter by four points 30-26 and ultimately winning the game 114-106.

“We could really never stop them,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters after the game. “We didn’t stop them all night. I think we got in a big hole – 37-point first quarter and then (in the) fourth quarter we couldn’t stop them either. We tried some different things. We tried mucking up the game a little, some different defenses, and never found that key to stopping them.”

Despite the outcome of tonight’s game, there were several bright spots for the Brooklyn: a season-high .516 (16-of-31) from 3-point range including .647 (11-of-17) from 3-point range in the second half, which also marked a season-high for 3-point shooting percentage by the Nets in a half this season, which also included 7-of-8 from 3-point range in the third quarter, matching the team's highest 3FGM total in any quarter this season.

Additionally, the Nets edged the Pacers 28-24 in assists and also outrebounded Indiana 41-29, including an 11-6 edge on the offensive glass. Actually, when it comes to rebounding, the Nets have been on a roll, they have outrebounded their opponents 353-292 (+61) in their last eight games. The Nets’ bench also outscored the Pacers’ reserves last night 43-29. Entering the game against the Pacers, the Nets’ bench ranked fifth in the NBA with 45.4 points per game.

It was a special night for Nets rookie forward Rodions Kurucs, he led all Nets scorers with a career-high 24 points; he also registered three rebounds, one blocked shot and one steal in 34 minutes.

Last night’s game also marked Kurucs’ first-career 20-point game and the first time Kurucs has led the Nets in scoring; all the while proving each game with attitude and performance that he belongs in the NBA and perhaps in the Nets starting line-up. His four made 3-pointers marked a career high, while his six made field goals matched his career high. Kurucs has scored in double figures in four of his last six games and has averaged 12.3 points per game in those six outings.

When asked about his role and continued growth, Kurucs responded, “I mean, it’s been good. I’m enjoying it every day. I don’t really have much to say. Like before I said, I’m enjoying it every day. I enjoy the team, the guys, the staff, everyone. I just love to be here. I just love to help the team.”

Other Nets starters in double digits were Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Joe Harris who scored 13 points each, along with five and four rebounds respectively, and; Jarrett Allen tallied 10 points and five rebounds. D’Angelo Russell who had a rough scoring night with only three points contributed nine assists.

DeMarre Carroll led the Nets’ second unit with 16 points and four rebounds; Spencer Dinwiddie contributed 15 points and nine assists, and; Jared Dudley chipped in 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one blocked shot.

For Indiana, Victor Oladipo led all scorers with 26 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Former Nets players, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 and 17 points respectively; Myles Turner registered 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, and five blocked shots, and; Domantas Sabonis came off the bench and chipped in 17 points and three steals.

Next up, the Indiana Pacers will return home to host the Washington Wizards on Sunday, December 23rd at 5:00 p.m. ET. The Brooklyn Nets will host the Phoenix Suns at home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn also on Sunday, December 23, 2018, at 6 p.m. ET.

It was a fun-filled day in anticipation of the 2013 NBA Draft where the Art of Luxury Series took place at NBA Legend and 2x NBA Finals Champion, Walt "Clyde" Frazier's restaurant, Clyde Frazier Wine and Dine, on 485 10th Avenue in midtown-Manhattan. Hosted by the projected No. 1 NBA draft pick, Nerlens Noel, and International Model, Clarissa Rosario, the Art of Luxury Series was presented by Tene Nicole Marketing and Public Relations, High Flyers Club, 3P Media, and Black Enterprise.

Nerlens Noel projected No 1 pick of the 2013 NBA Draft

Nerlens Noel, the projected No.1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft

Part 1-The Art of Luxury Gifting and Grooming Suite:

The series began with the annual gifting and grooming suite for males – the only male-oriented grooming suite presented during NBA Draft Week. There were grooming items, jewelry, and other trendy products featured, as well as, Eye Vision Clothing, The Parish Nation clothing line, and Lil Wayne's TRUKFIT clothing line. Draft Pick, Victor Oladipo, and University of Duke star, Mason Plumlee, were on-site browsing the suite.

Part 2- "Passing of the Torch" Player's Dinner:

30 special guests wined and dined in a private section of Clyde Frazier's restaurant. Clyde Frazier attended and told me in an interview that he spoke to Nerlens Noel about the upcoming draft. Frazier quoted that "he likes Noel's talents and hopes he does well." He continued with advice for those entering the league "to set a plan, remember those (family, coaches, etc.) who helped get them to where they are today, work on time-management, and have confidence and a tenacious work ethic."

Clyde Frazier was thrilled to have the "Art of Luxury Series" held at his restaurant. He shared that he is amazed to see how much the NBA game has evolved, particularly with how much more the younger players are physically equipped as they enter the draft at age 19 in comparison to his 1st round NBA draft pick almost 50 years ago at age 22.

The five-star, four-course seated dinner was a great chance for former and current professional athletes, and supportive sponsors to interact with one another and exchange valuable information. Notable figures were in attendance including Former NBA Champion, Craig "Speedy" Claxton and his wife, Meeka, along with actor Sean Ringgold.

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Meeka and Craig "Speedy" Claxton. Photo Credit: Donna Leslie/What's The 411 Networks

Part 3- Red Carpet Philanthropy Mix and Mingle:

The series ended with a red carpet and up-beat Philanthropy Mix and Mingle. The lively event benefited the nonprofit organization, Beating Cancer in Heels. Founder, Marlena Ortiz, age 28, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 25, created the nonprofit to empower young women who are fighting cancer.

Marlena noted that everyone is always fighting for a goal in some type of element. She added, just like those entering the NBA Draft, they have been fighting to get to this level and will continue to fight to have successful careers. Through her organization, Marlena espouses a similar message. She encourages young women battling cancer to keep pushing and to live their lives to the fullest.

International Model, Clarissa Rosario; VH1's Love & Hip Hop star, Yandy Smith and VH1's Mobwives star, Love Majewski, were among the many VIP guests celebrating at the Red Carpet Philanthropy Mix and Mingle to bring Tene Nicole's NBA Pre-Draft Art of Luxury Series to a close.

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International Model Clarissa Rosario. Photo Credit: Donna Leslie/What's The 411 Networks

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Vh1's Mob Wives Reality Star Love Majewski. Photo Credit: Donna Leslie/What's The 411 Networks

Congratulations and best of luck to the 2013 NBA Draft class.

Allen Crabbe led Nets’ scorers with 24 points; Nets defense broke down in the fourth quarter

The Nets had a 79-73 lead heading into the final period. Brooklyn also led 95-93 after Allen Crabbe's 3-pointer with 4:09 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Nets could not hold on, missing eight shots in the last four minutes. The Nets got within two points with 1:04 to go after Spencer Dinwiddie hit a pair of free throws, but Indiana answered with five straight points, with 26 seconds left. And, at the end of the night, the Nets were on the losing end for the seventh straight game with a final score, 108-103 and a 19-40 win-loss record on the season.

So, what happened down the stretch?

“I think we got the shots we wanted and we missed some,” Crabbe explained to reporters following the loss. “For the most part, we had some costly turnovers too, I mean even me. We were down five so that kind of contributed to us not executing at the end there, coming up with another loss and it’s frustrating. It sucks that we keep putting ourselves in winning situations and we keep coming up short. Like I said, we were definitely looking forward to getting this big win going into the All-Star break. Now, we got like a week before our next game so hopefully, this break gives us some time to really get our minds right and attack this second half of the season.”

For the second consecutive game, Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson blames the team’s lack of, or, stunted defensive capabilities as a major contributing factor for the loss against Indiana.

“We couldn’t stop them,” Atkinson stated. “Defense again I think was our Achilles heel. Thirty-five points is just too many. I just felt like they got too many easy baskets, too many easy looks. There were too many breakdowns. Until we fix up our defense it’s going to be tough to get a W. That’s the way it is. We’re going to look at it, we’re going to look at our coverages; we’re going to look at who’s in the game. That’s disappointing to give up that many points in the fourth quarter.”

Allen Crabbe led Nets players who scored in double-digits, with a team-high 24 points (9-of-16 FG, 5-of-11 3FG) and with a career-high-tying eight rebounds. DeMarre Carroll recorded 21 points (6-of-13 FG, 5-of-8 3FG, 4-of-6 FT), 10 rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes tonight. This is Carroll’s seventh game of 20-plus points this season; it matches his single-season career high seven 20-plus point games in the 2014-15 Season with Atlanta. And, there is still time left in this season for Carroll to break his record. D’Angelo Russell posted 18 points and a game-high nine assists in 29 minutes off the bench. Nets rookie Jarrett Allen totaled 10 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes in his ninth career start. Allen has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 12 games.

Although Spencer Dinwiddie did not score in double digits, he tallied seven points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block in 33 minutes.

Indiana is the second team this week where all five starters scored in double digits against the Nets. For the Pacers, Victor Oladipo led all scorers with 25 points. Corey Joseph scored 15 points and 11 rebounds; former Nets’ player Bojan Bogdanovic put up 14 points and five rebounds; Thaddeus Young, another former Nets’ player, tallied 13 points and seven rebounds; Al Jefferson came off the bench to score 13 points; and starter Myles Turner posted 11 points and 14 rebounds.

This was the last game for both teams before the NBA All-Star break. Nets point guard Dinwiddie will represent the Nets in the 2018 Taco Bell Skills Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles this Saturday, February 17, at Staples Center at 8 p.m. ET. The event will be televised nationally on TNT.

After the break, the Pacers will meet up with Atlanta on February 23rd, while the Nets will play the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte on Thursday, February 22nd at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Allen Crabbe finds his rhythm, but Nets lose its third consecutive loss against the Pacers

Prior to any game in any sport, there’s no way to know the outcome. So, you look at the recent history of the teams or athletes about to square off. The Indiana Pacers came into Brooklyn just finishing up a six-game homestand 4-2. Meanwhile, the Nets were coming off a loss to the Toronto Raptors two days prior and finished its last six games (3-3), with only one win at home. So the stats were on the side of the Pacers, and unfortunately for Nets’ fans, tonight’s outcome wasn’t a good one, they fell to the Pacers 109-97. And, it gets uglier, the Nets are now 11-18 for the season and 5-8 at the Barclays Center, while the Pacers improved to 17-13 overall and are 7-7 on the road with the win.

Brooklyn ended the first quarter with the slimmest of leads, one point, at 29-28. By the end of the first half, Indiana was up by 11 points, at 59-48. Suffice it to say the Nets struggled during the second-half allowing the Pacers to pull ahead and stay ahead.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson knows that there is something brewing with his team as evidenced by recent games.

“I just felt like the whole game – well, really the past two games – whatever the ‘it’ is in terms of energy and physicality, it hasn’t been there,” Atkinson told the media in his postgame presser. “Then tonight was another case. I thought they (Indiana) were the more physical team, the more energetic team, credit to them. I thought they took us out of our stuff, pressured us, ran us off our cuts, bumped us off screens, so really heck of a game by the Pacers.”

This eerie common thread breaking through with the Nets over the last few games does appear to be keeping Atkinson up at nights.

“On both sides of the ball, not the requisite sharpness, energy,” Atkinson added. “Somehow in these next two days, we have to find a way to get that back. It is a little disappointing because our guys are high-level competitors and we are just not getting over the hump. Like I said, that ‘it’ – whatever that ‘it’ is – we are missing that physicality, that energy. We got to find it and we have to help them get it back.”

So given the lack of energy on the part of Nets players, why didn’t Jahlil Okafor, a new acquisition from the Philadelphia 76ers, get any action against the Pacers? In Okafor’s first appearance for the Nets, which was a loss to the Raptors, Okafor went 5-of-11 from the field for 10 points.

“I talked to Jahlil,” Atkinson responded. “I had a great conversation with him. I think the plan going forward is a couple things. We need to help him get in better condition that is first off. We need to integrate him more into the system. I think it is going to take some time. I’m not going to give you a date, but it is a strategic plan, just like we have done with all our guys, integrating guys into the team. It is going to take some time.”

Philadelphia dealt Nik Stauskas with Okafor. Atkinson did take a chance on Stauskas tonight, perhaps, because Stauskas scored a team-best 22 points in his debut, making five 3-pointers against the Raptors. However, tonight he was 0-5 on field goals and 0-2 from behind the arc in 15 minutes of play.

Allen Crabbe, who had been struggling as of late, was out front tonight, leading Nets players with 17 points in 29 minutes. Quincy Acy, Joe Harris, and Caris LeVert each scored 14 points, and Tyler Zeller added 13 points. Spencer Dinwiddie, who had been leading the Nets in scoring in recent games, only scored five points but added nine assists with no turnovers.

Indiana shot 44.4 percent from behind the arc and defended the 3-point line holding the Nets 3-point percentage to 36.4. The Pacers also out-dueled the Nets on field goal shooting 56.6 vs. 42.0 percent.

Victor Oladipo helped to put Indiana over the line, leading all scorers with 26 points and seven rebounds. Other Indiana scoring leaders were Myles Turner with 16 points and six rebounds; Corey Joseph had 15 points and six rebounds, and Darren Collision added 14 points and seven assists.

Next up, the Pacers fly home to play the Boston Celtics tomorrow; while the Nets play the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday at home at the Barclays Center at 7:30 p.m.

Noel Nerlens Falls to #6 & Gets Traded to Philly

The calm before the storm settled in at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY Thursday night as the NBA draft prospects sat with their families and mingled with reporters, teammates and agents. The draft picks groomed to a "T" and dressed in their Sunday's best, awaited David Stern to mark the podium for the first announcement. The "Green Room," designated for the draft prospects and their guests only looked like a first-grade class-- all attendees with their chins up, heads forward, hands on the table and all eyes on the teacher (Stern.) Nerlens Noel and Alex Len, two of the top prospects thought to be most likely to go 1 and 2, looked attentively, listening to Stern's announcement.

Boos belted out from the crowd, as Stern took the stage.

"With the 1st pick of the NBA 2013 draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select (PAUSE) Anthony Bennett of Toronto Canada."

The crowd shocked, exploding with semi-excitement for the guy who sports analysts projected to go 4th or 5th.

Bennett, the 6-foot-8 forward and his family jumped to their feet.

The 20-year-old, who started playing basketball seven years ago told reporters that he was "just surprised as everybody else" for being picked No. 1.

"I didn't really have any idea who's going No. 1 or who was going No. 2. I heard everything was up for grabs. But I'm just real happy, glad that I have this opportunity, and I just got to thank God for the opportunity," he said.

After only one year at UNLV, Bennett becomes the second player at the university to be selected the top overall pick, joining Larry Johnson, who was drafted in 1991.

Bennett also becomes the first Canadian to get drafted as a No. 1 pick.

Too much surprise, Noel wasn't called No. 2, but Victor Oladipo is a guy Orlando fans are sure to fall in love with. Besides feeling delighted for being the second pick of the draft, the former Indiana guard said he's not sure if his family still knows "what's going on."

The Nigerian player also has a great singing voice, maybe he'll sing the National Anthem at one of the games.

After five picks in Thursday night's NBA draft, Nerlens finally heard his name called when the New Orleans Pelicans selected him with the sixth pick. He barely showed excitement, likely disappointed that five other picks were selected before him.

"I'm excited getting started with Anthony," Noel said after hearing his name called.

His stint with the Pelicans only lasted for about 30 minutes, after reports swirled that he'd been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday and the NBA's 42nd pick.

Other fan favorites like Trey Burke, Otto Porter Jr, Cody Zeller and Michael-Carter Williams also nabbed NBA picks.

Basketball junkies at Barclays consisted of mostly Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks fans, with Knicks guru Spike Lee in the audience. While the Nets selected Mason Plumlee of Duke, other fans seemed enthusiastic as the Knicks drafted Tim Hardaway Jr. (Not sure about how Tim Hardaway Sr. feels about the pick, knowing the former NBA player hates the Knicks, but I'm sure he's happy for his son nonetheless.)

On social media, the Nets seemed to have been the talk of the night, with rumors swirling that Kevin Garnett waived his no-trade clause, making room for the Boston Big Three trade that could send him, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for the package of players and draft picks.

See a complete list of the NBA drafts picks below.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: PF Anthony Bennett, UNLV
2. Orlando Magic: SG Victor Oladipo, Indiana
3. Washington Wizards: SF Otto Porter Jr., Georgetown
4. Charlotte Bobcats: C Cody Zeller, Indiana
5. Phoenix Suns: C Alex Len, Maryland
6. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans Pelicans): C Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
7. Sacramento Kings: SG Ben McLemore, Kansas
8. Detroit Pistons: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia
9. Utah Jazz (via Minnesota Timberwolves): PG Trey Burke, Michigan
10. Portland Trail Blazers: SG C.J. McCollum, Lehigh
11. Philadelphia 76ers: PG Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: C Steven Adams, Pittsburgh
13. Boston Celtics (via Dallas Mavericks): C Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga
14. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah Jazz): SF Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
15. Milwaukee Bucks: SF Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece
16. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics): C Lucas Nogueira, Brazil
17. Atlanta Hawks: PG Dennis Schroeder, Germany
18. Dallas Mavericks (via Atlanta Hawks): PG Shane Larkin, Miami (Fla.)
19. Cleveland Cavaliers: SF Sergey Karasev, Russia
20. Chicago Bulls: SG Tony Snell, New Mexico
21. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah Jazz): C Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
22. Brooklyn Nets: C Mason Plumlee, Duke
23. Indiana Pacers: SF Solomon Hill, Arizona
24. New York Knicks: SG Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan
25. Los Angeles Clippers: SF Reggie Bullock, North Carolina
26. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves): SF Andre Roberson, Colorado
27. Utah Jazz (via Denver Nuggets): C Rudy Gobert, France
28. San Antonio Spurs: SF Livio Jean-Charles, French Guiana
29. Phoenix Suns (via Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder): SG Archie Goodwin, Kentucky
30. Golden State Warriors (via Phoenix Suns): PG Nemanja Nedovic, Serbia
31. Portland Trail Blazers (via Cleveland Cavaliers): SG Allen Crabbe, California
32. Oklahoma City Thunder: SG Alex Abrines, Spain
33. Cleveland Cavaliers: SG Carrick Felix, Arizona State
34. Houston Rockets: PG Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
35. Washington Wizards (via Philadelphia 76ers): SF Glen Rice Jr., NBA Development League
36. Sacramento Kings: PG Ray McCallum, Detroit Mercy
37. Detroit Pistons: F Tony Mitchell, North Texas
38. Philadelphia 76ers (via Washington Wizards): PG Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
39. Portland Trail Blazers: C Jeff Withey, Kansas
40. Portland Trail Blazers: PF Grant Jerrett, Arizona
41. Memphis Grizzlies: SG Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
42. New Orleans Pelicans (via Philadelphia 76ers): PG Pierre Jackson, Baylor
43. Milwaukee Bucks: SG Ricky Ledo, Providence
44. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks): C Mike Muscala, Bucknell
45. Portland Trail Blazers: PF Marko Todorovic, Montenegro
46. Denver Nuggets (via Utah Jazz): PG Erick Green, Virginia Tech
47. Atlanta Hawks: PG Raul Neto, Brazil
48. Los Angeles Lakers: PF Ryan Kelly, Duke
49. Chicago Bulls: PF Erik Murphy, Florida
50. Miami Heat (via Atlanta Hawks): SF James Ennis, Long Beach State
51. Orlando Magic: PF Romero Osby, Oklahoma
52. Minnesota Timberwolves: PG Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State
53. Boston Celtics (via Indiana Pacers): C Colton Iverson, Colorado State
54. Philadelphia 76ers (via Washington Wizards): PF Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon
55. Denver Nuggets (via Memphis Grizzlies): PF Joffrey Lauvergne, France
56. Detroit Pistons: PG Peyton Siva, Louisville
57. Phoenix Suns: C Alex Oriakhi, Missouri
58. San Antonio Spurs: SF Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
59. Minnesota Timberwolves: PF Bojan Dubljevic, Montenegro
60. Memphis Grizzlies: SF Janis Timma, Latvia


Nets Offense Fails in the 4th Quarter; Johnson and Larkin Miss Key Shots

In the 4th quarter, with a little over a minute left until the end of regulation, Brooklyn Nets Joe Johnson and Shane Larkin missed back-to-back threes that would have cut what was a nine-point, 83-74 deficit to six. Even with a made shot, the Nets would still have had an uphill climb in capturing the win. However, the missed shots put a spotlight on the struggles the Nets have had this season in late-game offensive execution.

On Friday night, Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic each scored 20 points and handed the Nets an 83-77 loss, their ninth straight loss at home and 3rd straight to the Magic.

It was the Nets 3rd straight loss (10-26), losing seven of their last ten games while the Magic (20-17) snapped a four-game losing streak. Once again, making plays late when they matter the most, has doomed the Nets. With 6:48 left in the 4th quarter, Brook Lopez shot a floater off of a penetration feed from Larkin.

He missed, received his own rebound, fought against Vucevic and got a hook-shot to go, tying the contest at 68 all, two of his team-high 17 points. Following the bucket, the Nets were held scoreless from the field for the next five minutes. At the most critical juncture of the game, the Nets would miss their next three shots, commit two turnovers and worst of all, fail to stop Orlando’s youth movement.

Aaron Gordon and Oladipo took turns nailing the coffin, featuring two threes’ from Oladipo and four points from Gordon. Evan Fournier who scored 13 points also added a three in the midst of a 13-2 run until Thaddeus Young stopped the bleeding with the Nets second FG in 5 minutes. During the Magic’s run, Lopez connected on two free-throws while the Nets offense fell flat.

“…In the last quarter, we just couldn’t make a play, couldn’t make a shot and again we come away with a loss,” Nets head coach Lionel Hollins said post-game also claiming that he sounds like a broken record.

To begin the game, the Nets looked like the team that would eventually lose, falling to an early double-digit lead in the first quarter. In the second and third, the Nets found better results. They battled back by increasing their defensive pressure, got out in transition and shot 80 percent from the free-throw line.

They even led by five towards the end of the third and early in the fourth. But they couldn’t hold onto it and the credit goes to the Magic’s defense for not allowing the Nets to build a substantial advantage.

“Our defense got a little bit tighter,” Magic head coach Scott Skiles said following the win. “We were playing so hard on the defensive end that I felt it took a little juice out of our offense. We were getting it up the court a little too slow. The clock winding down on us, but we were able to make a couple of shots and you need to make those.”

According to Young who scored 11 points and nine rebounds, the Nets just have to make plays.

“We just have to execute. Execute, make shots,” Young said post-game. “We had great opportunities at the basket.”

Unfortunately, the Nets had trouble finishing their opportunities at the basket. Another reason why the Nets had trouble stopping Orlando was their 3-point percentages for this game. Oladipo, who led the Magic in made threes with four, and the rest of his team drained 13 threes of 27 attempts, good for 48 percent while the Nets could not match, shooting 31 percent from long-range and 39 percent in field goals.

After another game, another loss, the Nets are stuck asking about the same problems, and in the end, have nothing to show for it.

“It gets frustrating, but you have to keep continuing to push it, keep continuing to push it, keep continuing to play and keep trying take positives from these games, Young added.”

Until the Nets win the fourth quarter, nights like Friday night will continue to occur and it gets even tougher on Monday night when they host the Southwest Division-leading San Antonio Spurs.

With forced turnovers, bad shooting, and Brook Lopez not a huge factor, the Brooklyn Nets struggled against a young and athletic Orlando Magic

On Star Wars night at the Barclays Center, the force was clearly with the Orlando Magic, opposed to the host, Brooklyn Nets. To demonstrate how badly thing went for the Nets, lets skip to the 4th quarter. Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton and the rest of the Magic’s starters sat comfortably on the sidelines while the second unit finished the game because the damage to the Nets had already been done.

A second half surge revolving around defense, steals, and a consistent offensive effort, enabled the Magic to hand the Nets their second straight loss in a convincing fashion, 105-82 on Monday night.

The Magic improved to (13-11) on the season, while the Nets fell to (7-17), their third loss in the last five games.

Prior to tonight's game, Joe Johnson told What’s The 411Sports that the Nets would have to get off to a good start and keep their turnovers down. During the first half of the game, Johnson’s pregame strategy came into fruition. The Nets battled with Orlando, keeping it close and competitive, down by seven entering halftime up 52-45. In the 3rd, it all fell apart for the Nets.

Their offense struggled to keep up with the young and athletic Magic, and turnovers in addition to bad shooting, prevented the Nets from protecting their home-court. Facing an uphill climb in the fourth down by 14 points, the Nets would miss their first four shots, while the Magic enjoyed a 13-4 run, led by Andrew Nicholson who scored 10 of his 15 total points, in the 4th quarter alone.

The Magic converted eight forced turnovers into eight points while the Nets offense couldn’t find their rhythm. Even though six players scored in double-figures for the Nets, Brook Lopez, the team’s best player, on his star wars bobble-head night, wasn’t much of a factor recording 11 points total for the game.

“I definitely take responsibility for this one,” Lopez said post-game. “I felt I was a complete negative for our team. I kind of let us down, pulled us back. I definitely need to be better and know I can be. I was very frustrating.”

Where Lopez struggled, Vucevic, his counterpart flourished. The former USC Trojan scored his team-high 18 points in 27 min, 12 of which came in the 3rd. All 12 of Vucevic’s points helped extend what was a seven-point Magic lead to a double-digit advantage, setting up the second unit, who served as the clean-up crew in the 4th.

Payton, who also had a fine game-scoring 17 points and five assists-torched the Nets on the perimeter. Tobias Harris added 15 points and nine rebounds and Victor Oladipo punched in 10.

For the Nets, Jarrett Jack led all scorers with 15 points and described the Nets locker-room following the loss as “Disappointed.”

“We just didn’t perform with the necessary effort to be competitive in the game,” Jack said. “You do that, you get these embarrassing types of losses.”

Thaddeus Young, who finished his night with 10 points, also acknowledged the Nets lack of effort.

“They just played harder than us.” Young said following the loss. “They played harder than us, and they got to all the loose balls. They got to everything they wanted to do within their sets and they took away a lot of stuff that we wanted to do and forced us into tough, difficult shots that we didn’t make.”

The Nets, as a team, shot 38 percent from the field validating the Magic commitment to defense, a testament to their head coach, Scott Skiles, who lives and breathes it.

When most of your core players are questioning the effort of the team, that’s a problem, and the Nets owning one of the worst records in the league doesn’t make it any better.

Wednesday night, the Nets will host the (14-9) Miami Heat, who are in a two-way tie for first place in the southeast division.

Bogdanovic Scores a Team-high 28 Points

You can relax Brooklyn Nets fans, you’re in!

Your team made the playoffs.

At the expense of an up-and-down year, injuries and not having the pleasure of controlling their own fate, the Brooklyn Nets qualified for the 2015 NBA Playoffs, which is more than we can say about the other team across the river.

But we won't go there, these are happy times and with the Nets 101-88 win over the young and restless Orlando Magic, the home-team has given life to the Barclays Center for two more home games, and more, if necessary.

The Nets improved to (38-44) to complete their 2015 campaign, while the Magic fell to (25-57), another trip to the lottery.

And this feat only came into fruition when the Indiana Pacers, scheduled to play two hours before the Nets tip-offed against the Magic, challenged the Memphis Grizzlies and failed to mirror the same result, losing 95-83.

As far as the Nets are concerned and their faithful fans, it's not the ideal method you would've liked for your team to make the playoffs but you'll take it.

They did what they were supposed to do and that was simply handle their business against a team they were expected to beat.

It didn't look that way early on in this contest.

The Magic held minimal leads in the first half of this regular season finale and even led by ten in the third quarter, 65-55 with 8:22 remaining.

At that point, the Nets seemed to turn the tables and made one final push, run towards saving their season which favored their efforts.

An increase in defensive pressure forced missed shots an allowed the Nets to generate a 10-3 run, courtesy of Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Jarrett Jack and Bojan Boganovic which cut the deficit to three, a 68-65 Magic lead with 5:41 left in the 3rd.

More of the same would continue for the Nets to end the third, in which they tied the game at 75 all, into the 4th quarter where other Nets-not mentioned above, had their moments in contributing to the win.

Mason Plumlee, off of an offensive rebound, converted the go-ahead basket at 81-80 with 9:33 left in the 4th, giving the Nets their first lead of the night since their brief 33-32 lead-midway through the 2nd quarter.

Then Joe Johnson responded to a made layup by Magic big-man, Nikola Vucevic, regaining the lead on a running jump-shot, 83-82 at the nine minute mark.

Joe JohnsonBrooklyn Nets shotting guard, Joe Johnson

The game, at this juncture in time, reached that moment where the next-5 minutes would decide the victor, and fortunately for the Nets and the 17,098 fans in attendance, they executed during that stretch and out-shot the competition.

Thaddeus Young chipped in five points, followed by treys via Johnson and Bogdanovic and before you knew it, the Nets were up 98-86 with three minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, providing relief among the fans and especially their head coach, Lionel Hollins.

Thaddeus Young 650x366Brooklyn Nets power forward, Thaddeus Young

"I am just thankful that our guys stepped up and did what they had to do," said Hollins during his post-game press conference. "That is the only thing that they had control of, was going out there. I thought that this was a big team win."

And it was.

I mentioned various names who played an integral role in this game because they all mattered.

Five players for the Nets finished in double-figures, featuring: 16 points by both Johnson and Young, 14 from Brook Lopez, 10 by Williams and a team-high 28 points by Bogdanovic, including four of eight from three-point range.

"It's a nice feeling to get a career high but it's not most important thing for us," said Bogdanovic post-game. "We have to wait for the other game to be in the playoffs. And I hope that (Indiana win) doesn't happen."

I think the most important thing that didn't happen was the Magic playing spoiler, a team who had nothing to play for.

Those teams, lottery projected teams, pose the biggest threat to teams who aspire to make the playoffs, and last night, the Nets survived a dominating performance inside by Vucevic and another piece of the Magic's future in Victor Oladipo's 19 points.

"I thought we did a good job of fighting, did a good job of keeping ourselves in the game," Oladipo said post-game. "Now we just gotta work hard, you know, get better, so we can make big plays down the stretch in fourth quarters."

Andrew Nicholson even showed his versatility for the away team, knocking down a deuce of threes en route to 18 points.

The Magic, a team rebuilding for a better future has a crop of respectable young talent and potential stars on their roster who will contribute to the star-power very soon, and because of that, Oladipo didn't dwell on the negatives, like the loss and the struggles of this season alone but the light at the end of the tunnel.

"I think we have great attributes to our team, great players," Oladipo said. "...Individually (we) just have to get better and as a team, collectively, as well. It's going to be a big summer for us, a big offseason."

Hey Nets fans, remember when your team mirrored this year’s Magic, three years ago?

Just kidding.

With the Nets win, they improved to 6-0 on the season against the Magic at the Barclays Center, in addition to finishing the month of April, 5-4, which proved to be the most crucial stat presently.

The Nets will challenge the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, which begins this Saturday.

And this starts a whole new holiday for me personally (April 18th-start of the NBA Playoffs).

As much as an achievement that is, the Nets haven't fared to well against the no.1 seed in the Eastern Conference this season, the Hawks, also-known-as the second team to 60+ wins in the NBA.

They don't have the blueprint to beat the Hawks, losing all four match-ups against the ATL this year and in close games.

This isn't the Western Conference where 12 teams can legitimately challenge the no.1 seed, the Golden State Warriors in a seven-game-series.

This is the same Eastern Conference that, in the pre-season, led me to believe that the New York Knicks could actually have an admirable season.

We all know what happened there and unlike the Knicks play this regular season, the Nets will have to give it their all, and then some.

The advantage the Nets have on their side going into the post-season is the fact that it’s a blank slate.

Everyone starts fresh and its 0-0 all.

What happened in the regular season no longer factors into the immediate future, a tournament style format which provides rest periods.

The Nets have a chance like everybody else to upset the Hawks and like coach Hollins said in his post-game press conference, the Nets will have to figure out what the Hawks fail to do well and capitalize on it.

And like all of Brooklyn, we are hoping the Nets can find a way to seize four more games, starting this weekend.


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