January 23, 2020

Nets slow to react to the Hornets zone defense in second-half, allow Charlotte’s Devonte’ Graham to score 27 points in the second stanza, and 40 overall

The Brooklyn Nets fell to 13-11 with their loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, while the Hornets improved to 11-16 on the season with their victory.

How the Brooklyn Nets Lost by the Numbers

The Nets outrebounded the Hornets 52-47 on Wednesday night, including a 17-15 edge on the offensive glass. Brooklyn’s 17 offensive rebounds marked their third-most offensive boards in a game this season. Brooklyn also edged Charlotte 52-36 (+16) in points in the paint.

At 7:44 in the second quarter, Brooklyn led by 20 points, with a score of 52-32.

But, Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham said, not so fast. Graham, who just started his second year in the NBA, torched the Nets with his 27-point burst of scoring in the second half, and 40 points overall along with five rebounds and five assists.

So, what was the difference for Graham on Wednesday night?

“Just knocking down shots,” Devonte’ Graham responded. “Getting to the free-throw line. I think as a team, collectively, we were locked in knowing that we were under-manned and a couple (of) guys were out and everybody just had to step up and bring energy. In the second half, I felt we played a lot tougher and a lot more physical.”

Coach Speak: James Borrego on DeVonte' Graham and his Team

Can the Hornets resiliency be attributed to Devonte’ Graham?

“I think resiliency manifests itself in different ways, and I think you could be led by your top guy or one of your top guys for sure,” replied Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego. “I think in general this group has been resilient one through 15. They keep battling. We’ve been down throughout the season and we just keep fighting, keep clawing. We find a rhythm and a rotation out there that works, and we did tonight (Wednesday night). But you gotta give Devonte’ (Graham) a big piece of that. What he’s doing right now is special, and he deserves a lot of credit.”

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on Why the Brooklyn Nets Just Didn’t Have it?

“For some reason, we just weren’t in sync tonight (Wednesday),” explained Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “We were just talking about it. It’s hard to figure out. We had two days in between, it wasn’t that we had been playing every other day, we had two days in between. I thought we were going to be a little fresher—physically a little better. But like I said, we got lulled into thinking it was going to be an easy game, psychologically, and it’s just not that way in the NBA. They have too many shooters, too many scorers. But they completely deserved the game. I thought they outplayed us. It’s hard to argue anything else.”

So, did the Nets’ players think it was going to be an easy night, which affected the team’s energy?

“I think so,” said Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen. “In the NBA, if you get a team twice like we did, you think it’s gonna be an easy night. At the end of the day, it’s the NBA and every team comes out to play to win.”

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie sees it a bit differently. He thinks the team may not have been ready for the Hornets switch to a zone defense in the second half.

“We definitely got stagnant after they went to (a) zone which is pretty surprising with the caliber of shooters that we have on the team,” explained Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie. “We just have to make quicker decisions as a unit to get those guys shots. When you have guys like Joe (Harris), (Garrett Temple), and Taurean Prince on the floor, we’ve got to get those guys shots. They’re phenomenal shooters. Nobody should be able to zone us, especially in our own house. We should be able to shoot them out of the thing. We just have to do a better job collectively.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Spencer Dinwiddie scored a team-high 24 points (including 17 second-half points) with five rebounds and six assists in 33 minutes. Jarrett Allen posted 21 points and 10 rebounds, extending his career-best streak of games with at least 10 rebounds to nine consecutive games last night against Charlotte; Theo Pinson tallied a season-high 12 points (5-of-9 FG, 2-of-4 3FG) with three rebounds, and his first-career block in 15 minutes off the bench, and; Garrett Temple chipped in 11 points and four assists in 32 minutes.

DeAndre Jordan wasn’t a point-scoring leader, but he pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds with nine points in 22 minutes off the bench. Jordan has posted 11 games of double-digit rebounds for Brooklyn this season.

Charlotte Hornets Scoring Leaders

In addition to Devonte Graham’s 40-point night, Miles Bridges added 14 points and four rebounds; P.J. Washington and Terry Rozier each contributed 13 points, Washington funded six rebounds, while Rozier added seven rebounds and four assists to his point score; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist supplied 11 points and seven rebounds, off the bench, and; Cody Zeller chipped in 10 points and six rebounds, also off the bench.

What’s Next for the Charlotte Hornets and the Brooklyn Nets?

Up next for the Charlotte Hornets are the Chicago Bulls in Chicago on Friday, December 13, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Brooklyn Nets will travel to Toronto to play the Raptors on Saturday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. ET, and then turnaround and head home to play the Philadelphia 76ers at the Barclays Center the very next day on Sunday, December 15, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.

After the Nets’ loss to the Charlotte Hornets, will the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers have the Nets’ full attention?

“Yes, it’s a wakeup call,” responded Jarrett Allen. “After we lose a game like this, credit to them still, but once we lose a game like this, we’re going to have to prepare extra hard for the next game. We’ll look at our mistakes and improve on them.”

 

TIP-IN:

Joe Harris hit his 485th 3-pointer as a Net tonight, moving him into a tie with Deron Williams for fifth place in franchise history. Harris also recorded nine points, six rebounds, and two assists in 29 minutes against the Charlotte Hornets.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie hits the go-ahead layup and Taurean Prince hits two closing-seconds free throws to seal a 105-102 win over the Nuggets

It came down to the wire, but the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Denver Nuggets 105-102. The Nets improved to 13-10 with the victory over Denver. Still, with no Kyrie Irving, the Nets have won three straight, eight of 10 and nine of its last 12 games.

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on Brooklyn Nets Defense

“Big stops at the end,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about his team’s defense. “Big stops. I thought our rebounding – they really hurt us the first game (in November) with their offensive rebounding. So not only the stops, but getting those rebounds, especially at the end of the game. I thought Taurean (Prince) was a big part of that. When he gets 11 or 12 rebounds, whatever he got tonight, that really helps us. But we are improving defensively. Offense wasn’t great. When you win a game where we make seven 3’s, that’s good news. I will defend our offense a little. We got to the rim a ton. We really attacked the rim well tonight.”

How the Brooklyn Nets won by the Numbers

The Nets recorded a commanding 66-22 (+44) advantage in points in the paint. The 22 points in the paint were the fewest in a game for a Nets opponent this season.

The Nets registered a 48-36 (+12) edge on the glass, including a 10-6 edge on the offensive boards.

The Nets shot 7-of-28 from distance. The seven 3-pointers marked the second-fewest for the Nets in a victory since Kenny Atkinson became the team’s head coach (2016-17).

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Scoring 20+ points in 10 of his last 12 games (all starts), Brooklyn Nets guard, Spencer Dinwiddie, notched team-highs for points (24) and assists (eight) in a team-high 34 minutes. Joe Harris tallied 13 points, four boards, and three assists in 31 minutes;
Jarrett Allen recorded his team-high 12th double-double of the season with 19 points and a team-high-tying 11 rebounds in 30 minutes while extending his career-best streak of games with at least 10 rebounds to eight, and; Garrett Temple contributed 15 points (10 in the first quarter), six boards, and three assists in 34 minutes. Temple has scored in double figures in eight of his last 12 games after doing so three times in his first 11 games this season.

Taurean Prince didn’t score in double digits scoring only nine points, but he sank two clutch free throws to extend Brooklyn’s lead from 103-102 to 105-102. Prince also registered a team-high-tying 11 rebounds along with Jarrett Allen. This is Prince’s fifth double-digit rebound game of the season.

Is this a statement win for the Brooklyn Nets, defeating a top-four team in the Western Conference? At least one player would agree that it was.

“I think it is, they are a great offensive team, even on defense,” responded Nets center Jarrett Allen. “We still have to come out and play hard, so I think this is a good step in the right direction.”

Postgame, Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone was trying to process what occurred for Brooklyn to get 66 points in the paint compared to the Nuggets 22 points.

Coach Speak: Mike Malone on Denver Nuggets

“They drove the ball and they got by our guys,” lamented Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone. “Same thing that happened in the Boston game. One-on-one containment. Some of it was pick-and-roll. We adjusted our coverage because of their 3-point shooting. That allowed their guards to get downhill and we had little presence at the rim. Like I said, it just seemed like all night long it was easy layup after easy layup. That makes it really hard. We had a chance even in light of that. Tough loss.”

Denver Nuggets Scoring Leaders

Nikola Jokic led the Denver Nuggets with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. Jamal Murray scored 21 points, five assists, and three rebounds, and; Jerami Grant chipped in 15 points.

What's Next for the Denver Nuggets and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Nuggets will play the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth and final game of their road trip at Philadelphia, tomorrow, Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at 8:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will be at home at the Barclays Center on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, to host the Charlotte Hornets at 7:30 p.m.

 

TIP-INS:

Brooklyn Nets forward, Joe Harris, has now knocked down 484 threes as a Net, just one 3-pointer shy of moving into a tie with Deron Williams (485 3-pointers) for fifth on the Nets’ all-time 3-pointers made list.

Jarrett Allen has posted nine double-doubles in his last 11 games, including seven in his last eight contests.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Spencer Dinwiddie leads all players with 29 points in a loss against the Miami Heat

The Brooklyn Nets put up a great fight against the Miami Heat last night; starting the final quarter down by two points at 83-81 and then building a seven-point lead twice at 4:07 and then again 1:45, only to fall to the Heat 109-106. The Nets fell to 10-10 the loss, while the Heat improved to 14-5 with the victory.

The Brooklyn Nets By the Numbers

Brooklyn shot 44.0 percent (40-of-91 FG) from the field while limiting Miami to 38.9 percent shooting (37-of-95 FG). The Nets have now held opponents under 40.0 percent shooting in three games this season.

The Nets edged the Heat 24-16 in assists yesterday, led by Garrett Temple (five assists), Taurean Prince (five assists), and Spencer Dinwiddie (four assists).

Brooklyn led Miami 65-58 at halftime before being outscored 51-41 by the Heat in the second half. The Nets have done well with holding the lead at halftime this season. They have held a lead at halftime in 15 of their 20 games this season, including eight of 10 home contests.

The Closing Seconds

With just under 30 seconds in regulation, the Nets were leading by one, 106-105. Dinwiddie fouls Jimmy Butler and then Butler hits both free throws giving the Heat a one-point lead, 107-106. Dinwiddie gets possession of the ball misses a driving layup; Miami’s forward Justise Winslow gets the ball, Dinwiddie fouls him, Winslow knocks down his free throws and now Miami is up 109-106 with 11.3 seconds on the clock. With two seconds left on the clock, Dinwiddie goes for a 28-foot three-pointer and misses, and the Heat leaves the Barclays Center with a 109-106 win.

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on how the Brooklyn Nets Lost

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson believes his team missed several opportunities down the stretch to defeat the Miami Heat yesterday.

“We had opportunities, tons of opportunities, Coach Atkinson told the media postgame. They made plays, we didn’t. Just one of those see-saw games. Like I said, we had our opportunities.”

Coach Atkinson also didn’t like his team’s final possession.

“No, and they did a good job,” Atkinson responded to a reporter’s question about if he liked the final possession.

The answer was evident considering the Nets didn’t win, but in the rush of asking questions, many times the question gets asked in a way that the reporter didn't intend.

“We were obviously trying to get a switch and a weakness defender,” Atkinson continued. “I thought they had (a) good strategy to kind of deter that. It always comes down to do you want to search the mismatch, or do you want to keep the ball moving and stay within your offense. I thought we were seeking a mismatch – got it sometimes, sometimes we didn’t. I thought they did a good job trying to stay out of that mismatch. It was obvious who we were going at, and then when we did get Bam (Adebayo) out there at the 3-point line guarding Spencer (Dinwiddie), Spencer got downhill, we missed. Kind of that simple.”

Coach Speak: Erik Spoelstra on how critical the last two stops were for the Miami Heat

“We’ve been talking about it for 48 hours that we need to take a stand, particularly on the road,” said Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. “We find a game where we have to grind, even if it’s ugly, to show the mental toughness. Brooklyn is a tough team. They’re playing well. They had some momentum in the fourth quarter when Joe Harris hit those three’s and some triggers that forced us to overreact. That’s who Brooklyn is, they move you. We really had to step up and make two big-time stops and then Jimmy Butler was able to draw some fouls and that extended the game and gave us more life.”

“I think we played pretty well,” responded Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris. “It was obviously a competitive game from the start. Just, (at) the end of the game, a few possessions kind of got away from us. We just didn’t do as good as a job as they did to execute down the stretch.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with a game-high 29 points (10-of-21 FG, 4-of-9 3FG, 5-of-5 FT) with six rebounds, four assists and a steal in 34 minutes. Joe Harris scored a season-high 25 points (eclipsing his previous season-high of 22 points, done twice previously) while shooting 9-of-16 from the field and 5-of-9 from distance; DeAndre Jordan tallied 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 24 minutes off the bench, and; David Nwaba chipped in a season-high-tying 10 points in 18 minutes off the bench.

Although Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince did not score more than 10 points, they both made some noise on the boards for the Brooklyn Nets. Allen pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds, while Prince tallied seven rebounds.

Miami Heat Scoring Leaders

Goran Dragic lifted the Miami Heat with a team-high 24 points, while adding six assists; Jimmy Butler scored 20 points and seven rebounds; Bam Adebayo registered 17 points and 16 rebounds; Kendrick Nunn recorded 11 points and three assists; Duncan Robinson added 10 points and 10 rebounds, and; Justise Winslow also chipped in 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists off the bench.

What's Next for the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Miami Heat will travel to Toronto to face the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Brooklyn Nets will be on the road for the next two games, traveling to Atlanta to play the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. ET, then on to Charlotte to play the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, December 6, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Brooklyn Nets will then travel home to play the Denver Nuggets at the Barclays Center on Sunday, December 8, 2019, at 3:00 p.m.

 
 
 

Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince each scored 20-plus points in defeating the Hornets 101-91

No Kyrie Irving. No Caris LeVert. No problem.

Finally, a home game without Irving and LeVert and the Brooklyn Nets were able to handle their business, defeating the Charlotte Hornets 101-91. With this win, the Nets improved to 6-8 overall this season, while the Hornets fell to 6-9 with tonight’s loss, and Brooklyn Nets fans celebrated as they left the Barclays Center.

The Hornets 101-91 loss to the Nets left their head coach James Borrego a little bewildered.

“We just couldn’t score tonight,” Borrego told the media postgame. “Those two (Nets players Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan), you have to give credit to. They impacted the game on the other end of the floor more than offensively.”

The season is still young, and so is Jarrett Allen. The 21-year-old is starting his third season in the NBA and recorded a season-high 22 points (9-of-12 FG) and a season-high 17 rebounds (including a career-high eight offensive boards) with two steals in 28 minutes last night against Charlotte. DeAndre Jordan led the Nets’ bench with 14 points (5-of-5 FG, 4-of-4 FT) and seven rebounds in 20 minutes of action.

“I just thought he was huge,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about Jarrett Allen’s performance last night. “They went small, they put Marvin (Williams) at the five, and he’s playing that game – do we match him with small? We said you know what, we’ll stick with JA (Jarrett Allen), and I thought he did two things great. He guarded when we switched, he guarded their smalls, their quick guys, and then he punished them on the other end with his offensive rebounding. Eight offensive rebounds – that’s the answer to when a team goes small. Stay big, punish them on the boards and have a big that’s fast enough to keep up with the guards.”

Great strategy because Marvin Williams only scored two points for Charlotte on 1-of-10 FG.

“I think we came out with the right mindset,” DeAndre Jordan added. “We came out with a defensive intensity, that’s something we can control. We can’t control if our shots go in or how well we play offensively. But, our effort defensively – we can control that. We went through a pretty lengthy film session yesterday and saw the things we can correct and try to get in to.”

Jordan added, “I think today it really showed that JA (Jarrett Allen) and I are very versatile players who can handle the basketball.”

Brooklyn outrebounded Charlotte 53-41 (+12) tonight, with the Nets’ +12 rebounding differential marking their third-highest of the season. The Nets edged the Hornets 46-36 in points in the paint and 19-9 in second-chance points this evening. Brooklyn led Charlotte 82-73 through three quarters, tonight, with Charlotte’s 73 points marking the fewest points Brooklyn has allowed through three quarters this season.

Other Brooklyn Nets scoring leaders included Spencer Dinwiddie, who has posted 20-plus points in each of his last three games (all starts), recording averages of 24.0 points, 6.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks in 33.5 minutes per contest. Taurean Prince also posted 20 points (4-of-9 3FG) with eight rebounds, four assists and a steal in 33 minutes, marking Prince’s third game of 20-plus points for Brooklyn this season. In fact, this game marked the first time this season that the Nets had three players tally 20-plus points in the same game.

The Charlotte Hornets’ scoring leaders included, Terry Rozier who scored 18 points and six rebounds, DeVonte’ Graham recorded 17 points, six assists, and three rebounds; Malik Monk tallied 13 points and three rebounds; Miles Bridges contributed 12 points and five rebounds, and; Bismack Biyombo chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight,” Hornets Coach Borrego said. “Offensively we were stagnant. You have to give Brooklyn credit, but we have to get back to work on Friday night.”

The Charlotte Hornets get another opportunity to get a game in the win column when they travel to Washington to play the Wizards tomorrow, Friday, November 22, 2019, at 7 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will remain home to host the Sacramento Kings at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, also tomorrow, Friday, November 22, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

So, what will it take for the Brooklyn Nets to keep up its scoring and defense, starting with its game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday?

“Just keeping a good mindset, playing quarter by quarter, not getting too ahead of ourselves, not getting too down on ourselves when certain things go wrong or when we face adversity – just continue to do what we do and stick to our gameplay,” responded Taurean Prince.

 
 

Spencer Dinwiddie scores a game-high 28 points in loss; no Kyrie Irving and no Caris LeVert

Last night, the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Indiana Pacers 115-86, ouch! And, with this loss, a few things were exposed. The Nets need its scoring machine, Kyrie Irving, who at this point in the season is averaging 28.5 PPG. Unfortunately, Irving is out with a right shoulder impingement. They also needed Caris LeVert, who averages 16.8 PPG. LeVert is out after having surgery to repair ligaments in his right thumb. The Nets also could have used a more focused second unit, between them, they only netted 24 points. Perhaps, the second unit needs more practice time with the regular starters or more minutes in real games, whatever the scenario, they need to be ready to produce. Yesterday, they looked lost.

“We totally weren’t there tonight,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson responding to a question regarding what he saw from both teams during Indiana’s 32-6 run. “For whatever reason – defensively, offensively, rebounding, physicality – I just think it was total domination by Indiana. I always do this, in a game like this in the NBA you have to give them a lot of credit because they had a lot of guys out too. So, (a) fantastic job by Indiana, a lot of credit. Nets, we weren’t very good tonight. When that happens, much like Phoenix, it’s a 30-point difference.”

Thank God for Spencer Dinwiddie. If for some reason, Dinwiddie was not in the lineup, the referees would have had to call this game. Dinwiddie was one of only three Nets players to score in double digits. The other two players were Jarrett Allen and Garrett Temple. Dinwiddie posted a game-high 28 points (9-of-21 FG, 4-of-8 3FG, 6-of-7 FT) with a season-high-tying eight assists, five rebounds, a steal and a block in 33 minutes; Allen posted a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 12 rebounds in 24 minutes, while Temple recorded 10 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a team-high two blocks in 32 minutes. The only other player that came closest to scoring 10 points was Theo Pinson, who came off the bench and scored eight points; even Joe Harris aka “Joey Buckets,” who beat out Stephen Curry to win the 3-Point shooting contest at last season’s NBA All-Star weekend, only scored seven points.

So, what gives? The question of the Nets lacking physicality was a concern that came up during the postgame press conference to which Coach Atkinson addressed, “I think it’s a mindset, first of all. I think you have to come with a mindset and of course you have to come with your wears – your physicality and your toughness. Listen, it’s not like we don’t have those things. We’ve shown we have them, we’ve done it, but right now, below-average teams are inconsistent and that’s what we are right now. We’re kind of like this and until we get the group together and find some more consistency – what’s disappointing, I thought that we took two good efforts at Denver and Utah and then an excellent road win and then obviously to come here, in front of our fans, it just doesn’t feel good at all.”

And, it shouldn’t feel good. It shouldn’t feel good to the coaching staff and it shouldn’t feel good to the players and quite frankly, they all should feel downright disappointed. Even the fans were disappointed, as many headed for the exits when it was clear the Nets weren’t just losing this game, they were going down in flames.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen told the media postgame. “We dug ourselves in a hole. We started out strong and then the second quarter they started playing hard and got the lead.”

Allen is right. The Indiana Pacers didn’t just take over right out the gate. The first quarter ended with a tie, Nets 18, Pacers 18. But, the second quarter is where the Pacers outpaced the Nets 41-17 and ended the half with the score, 59-35. In the third stanza, the Nets went on a run and scored more points than the Pacers (33-25), but not enough to close the gap significantly, as the third quarter ended with a nod to the Pacers 84-68. The fourth was no better, as the Indiana Pacers bested the Brooklyn Nets 31-18 and ended the game with an overall score of 115-86.

“I thought our bench came in and gave us a lift,” Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said explaining how his team found a way to win after a slow start. “I thought Naz Mitrou-Long came in and did a good job of making some baskets. We couldn’t make anything in that first quarter and the bench came in and got us going. They got us a rhythm and the lead, and we went from there. Another team effort tonight. I thought both young guards, Aaron Holiday and Naz Mitrou-Long, did a good job tonight.”

Scoring leaders for the Indiana Pacers were Aaron Holiday who scored 24 points, 13 assists, and six rebounds; Justin Holiday contributed 20 points and four rebounds; TJ Warren contributed 19 points and six rebounds; Domantas Sabonis registered 16 points, a game-high 18 rebounds, and three assists, and; Naz Mitrou-Long came off the bench and chipped in 12 points, three rebounds, and three assists.

Indiana will now return home to get ready to host the Orlando Magic on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at 7 p.m. ET.

The Brooklyn Nets will get to redeem themselves on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, when they play host to the Charlotte Hornets at home at the Barclays Center on at 7:30 p.m. ET.

 
 
 

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired forward Kevin Durant, along with a protected 2020 first round draft pick, from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guards D’Angelo Russell and Shabazz Napier and forward Treveon Graham.

“Kevin is a champion, perennial All-Star and one of the great players of this, or any, generation,” said Nets General Manager Sean Marks. “Adding a player of Kevin’s caliber to our organization elevates our ability to compete with the elite teams in this league. His tremendous abilities and dedication to his craft have made him as talented an offensive player our game has ever seen and we, as well as all of Brooklyn, are thrilled to welcome Kevin and his family to the Nets.

“We would also like to thank D’Angelo for all he has done for the Nets over the past two seasons. He was an integral part of the team’s growth and served as a tremendous representative of the Nets and Brooklyn. We wish him, Shabazz, and Treveon nothing but the best in the years ahead.”

“Along with the rest of the league, our coaching staff has long admired Kevin’s incredible skill, resilience, and tenacity,” said Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson. “He has already established himself as a champion and one of the best players of all-time, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him into our program in Brooklyn.”

A nine-time All-NBA selection (six First Team, three Second Team), Durant (6’9, 240) joins the Nets after spending the previous three seasons with the Golden State Warriors. During that time, Durant won two NBA championships (2017, 2018) and was named NBA Finals MVP twice, becoming just the sixth player in NBA history to win the award in consecutive years. As a Warrior, he helped lead Golden State to a regular season record of 182-64 (.740). Durant has been named an All-Star in each of the last 10 seasons (2010-19) and earned the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2014 with Oklahoma City after averaging a single-season career-high 32.0 points (50.3 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from 3-point range, 87.3 percent from the free-throw line), 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 38.5 minutes per game. In 849 career games (all starts), Durant has registered averages of 27.0 points (49.3 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from 3-point range, 88.3 percent from the free-throw line), 7.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks in 36.9 minutes per contest. He has also appeared in 139 career playoff games (all starts) over nine postseason appearances with Oklahoma City (six) and Golden State (three), posting playoff averages of 29.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks in 40.3 minutes per game. In addition to two titles and three NBA Finals appearances in Durant’s three seasons in Golden State, the 30-year-old forward has led his team to at least the Western Conference Finals in seven of his last nine seasons.

Durant ranks third among active players in points (22,940) and has averaged at least 25.0 points per game in each of the last 11 seasons, garnering four NBA scoring titles (2009-12, 2013-14). He also ranks 10th all-time on the NBA’s career playoff points list (4,043) and is second in the category among active players. The Washington, D.C., native has represented the United States twice at the Olympics, earning gold medals in 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. Durant has also been honored for his off-the-court endeavors and received the 2017-18 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award for his outstanding efforts in the community and his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work. Originally selected with the second overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, Durant earned Rookie of the Year honors after averaging 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and, 1.0 steals in 34.6 minutes per game in 80 games during the 2007-08 campaign. Prior to beginning his NBA career, he spent one year at the University of Texas, averaging 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game en route to the unanimous national player of the year honors.

Russell was originally acquired by the Nets in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers on June 22, 2017. He became a first-time All-Star in 2018-19, averaging 21.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists and, 1.2 steals in 30.2 minutes per contest through 81 games (all starts). In 129 games (116 starts) over two seasons (2017-19) in Brooklyn, Russell recorded averages of 19.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists and,1.1 steals in 28.5 minutes per game. Through four NBA seasons split between the Nets and Lakers (2015-17), Russell has averaged 16.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.2 steals in 28.5 minutes per game in 272 games (224 starts).

Napier originally signed as a free agent with the Nets on July 17, 2018. He appeared in 56 games during the 2018-19 season, registering averages of 9.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 17.6 minutes per contest. In 289 career games with Miami (2014-15), Orlando (2015-16), Portland (2016-18) and Brooklyn, Napier has posted averages of 6.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 16.1 minutes per game.

Graham originally signed as a free agent with the Nets on July 30, 2018. He appeared in 35 games (21 starts) during the 2018-19 campaign, recording averages of 5.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and, 1.0 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. In 125 career games with Charlotte (2016-18) and Brooklyn (2018-19), Graham has posted averages of 4.1 points and 2.0 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per contest.

In the loss, Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell leads Nets in scoring with 27 points, seven rebounds, and six assists

It wasn’t a blowout last night at the Barclays Center when the Brooklyn Nets lost 115-105 to the Toronto Raptors, the second-best team in the NBA Eastern Conference. Some say a loss is a loss no matter what the point spread is. But, in this case, when you’re fighting to clinch a spot in the playoffs, a loss can be more than a loss.

With the loss, the Nets fell to 39-40 overall and 22-18 at the Barclays Center, while the Raptors improved to 56-23 overall and 25-14 on the road with the win. But, moreover, the musical chairs of who’s in the NBA playoff seeding and who isn’t shifted last night and is likely to be a game of musical chairs over the remaining week. The Nets are still in the seventh spot, but the Miami Heat's loss to the Boston Celtics put the Orlando Magic in the eighth spot, while Miami fell to the ninth position.

So, what happened to the Nets last night.

“They were the better team,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I don’t know how else to tell you that. I think they were the better team tonight – from start to finish, gotta give credit. Excellent team. A team that’s going to compete for a championship. We were not up to that. Like I said before the game, those standards, you’ve got to be almost perfect. We weren’t. I would say we were average, and that’s not getting it done against a team like that.”

Toronto is the better team, hence the reason they are in the second position in the Eastern Conference. The Milwaukee Bucks are a better team, hence the reason, it is first in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Nets have no experience of turning it up in the final stretch of the regular season. And, they are traveling to play the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday and then will travel to play the Indiana Pacers the very next day on Sunday. So, should we expect an upset in Milwaukee or in Indiana or both or two losses for the Nets? The best scenario for the Nets to make the playoffs is that since Miami is in the ninth position that Miami loses to Toronto on Sunday and Philadelphia on Tuesday and when Miami comes to Brooklyn on Wednesday, it would be too tired on the second game of a back-to-back to be victorious over Brooklyn. Of the three games on the Orlando Magic’s schedule, only the Boston Celtics are worrisome because the Magic could overtake Atlanta Hawks and the Charlotte Hornets. But, of course, anything could happen.

The Nets really do have to turn it up because last night, the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Toronto Raptors despite shooting .477 (41-of-86) from the field and limiting Toronto to .419 (44-of-105) from the field. The Nets also edged the Raptors 60-48 in points in the paint.

With the Toronto Raptors in the rearview mirror and as the Net face the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, a question was posed to Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell: What can the Nets do against Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo on Saturday?

“Just you know, make him feel us,” Russell responded. “He’s dominated the league this whole season. It’s a tough matchup. But we know what we gotta do. It’s going to take five of us to stop him, it’s not just (one) individual.”

Nets fans hear you, D’Angelo Russell, and they hope that you and the rest of the team can muster up a strategy and the energy to follow the strategy to prevail.

The Brooklyn Nets will play its final game of the regular season on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at home at the Barclays Center at 7:30 p.m. Hopefully, it won’t be the last game of the season and this team that has faced so many adversities this season gets a taste of what the NBA postseason is all about.

D’Angelo Russell led all Nets scorers with 28 points, Caris LeVert put up 24 points off the bench, but the loss is a cloud hanging over Nets’ head

Last night at the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets met up with the Milwaukee Bucks, the best team in the NBA, by its 58-20 record; yes, the Bucks’ record is better than the Golden State Warriors’ record, which is 52-24.

The bad news is that the Nets lost to the Bucks 131-121. The good news for the moment is that the Nets are still holding on to the seventh playoff spot in the NBA Eastern Conference (EC). The three other teams that are also jockeying for position for the NBA’s sixth through eighth playoff spots in the EC, the Detroit Pistons (#6), Miami Heat (#8), and the Orlando Magic (#9), also lost last night.

The Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and the Orlando Magic all have at least two formidable teams to play between now and April 10, 2019, the last day of the NBA regular season. And, by formidable, these teams have already clinched the 1 through 5 NBA Eastern Conference playoff spots. NBA Eastern Conference spots 6 through 8 are up for grabs between four teams or five, depending on how you feel about the Charlotte Hornets because technically, right now, sitting at 35-42, mathematically, the Hornets are not out of contention. Teams that the Hornets have on their schedule right now are the New Orleans Pelicans (32-46) a Western Conference team, and then EC teams, the Toronto Raptors (55-23), Detroit Pistons (39-38), Cleveland Cavaliers (21-57) and the Orlando Magic (38-40).

But, looking at the upcoming schedule for the teams that most people believe are in the race, Detroit has two strong teams to play, the Indiana Pacers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. On Miami’s schedule are the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Orlando Magic being in the ninth spot is currently on the outside looking in and seemingly has the easiest schedule. The Magic’s last three games are against the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and the Boston Celtics. Of this lot, only the Boston Celtics is a playoff team. However, that doesn’t mean that the Magic would only lose to the Boston Celtics. Not in the least, the Nets just beat the Celtics, who were without Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, on Saturday. These are all NBA teams and on any given night, there could be key players out, there could be an upset or the outcome could be predictable, which will make the next few days very exciting for some and not so exciting for others.

Focusing on the Nets, they have four more games on their schedule. The Nets play the Toronto Raptors tomorrow at the Barclays Center, a back-to-back on the road on Saturday and Sunday, against the Milwaukee Bucks again, and the Indiana Pacers and then they come back home to play the Miami Heat on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, the last day of the regular season.

Wednesday, April 10, could be the determining day between the Nets and the Miami Heat, as well as other teams. Or, it could be over before the Nets get home depending upon what they do from this point forward and what the other teams do. Clearly, this is not a good position to be in.

And, as Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert, who scored 24 points, four rebounds and six assists, assessed last night’s game against the Bucks, the Nets have to be focused and dialed in from start to finish if they truly want to secure a playoff spot.

“I think we put ourselves in a big hole in that first quarter and it was tough fighting back, especially against a good team like that,” said LeVert. “They’re number one in the East for a reason. But we just have to learn from it. We played great basketball for like three-and-a-half quarters, so we have to learn from it and keep going.”

D’Angelo Russell led all Nets scorers with 22 points in the loss; Spencer Dinwiddie back in the lineup after missing 14 games following surgery on right thumb

This was a tough game to watch. For the second time this week, the Brooklyn Nets got pushed into the L column by an opponent that was either banging on the door for a playoff spot or seeking to move up in the standings. On Wednesday, it was the Washington Wizards, last night, the Nets lost to the Charlotte Hornets 123-112. The Nets are now 32-32 overall and 18-16 at the Barclays Center and the Hornets improved to 29-33 overall and 9-21 on the road with the win.

“We have given up 68 points in the first half two games in a row,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about his team’s recent streak. “It starts on the defensive end. It’s not about the lineups or working guys back in from injury. It’s about defense and we have to do a better job on that end. Right now, we just aren’t getting it done.”

Unfortunately, the Nets struggle wasn’t just defense, the Hornets had 50 field goals to the Nets 44 and 10 offensive rebounds to the Nets seven.

“We have to find some solution because we are out of sync right now,” Atkinson continued acknowledging his team’s offensive struggles. “We will figure it out because right now we aren’t sharp. Shot selection is not great, ball movement is not great. We will look at some things. Obviously, this late in the season, we won’t be changing our offense, but we will find some ways to help the guys.”

Coach Atkinson may want to look at his team’s offense because other teams certainly are looking at their offense to take them off their game, case in point, Hornets head coach James Borrego.

“…I think when we were here last time, Kemba was rolling there in that fourth quarter and they switched to a zone and they tried to take the ball out of his hands. This is a zone team, they’re number one in the NBA playing zone. We‘re going to see zone tonight, we understand that we play better against the zone of late…,” Coach Borrego told the media just before the game started.

For the Charlotte Hornets, Kemba Walker led all scorers with 27 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and four steals; Jeremy Lamb registered 22 points off the bench; Nicolas Batum accumulated 17 points, six rebounds, and five assists; Frank Kaminsky recorded 15 points and seven rebounds; both Cody Zeller and Tony Parker scored 12 points, with Parker scoring his 12 points and five assists off the bench and Zeller adding nine rebounds and three assists, and; not to be outdone, Marvin Williams chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds.

D’Angelo Russell led Brooklyn with 22 points and nine assists in 28 minutes. DeMarre Carroll scored 20 points (5-of-10 FG, 3-of-5 3FG, 7-of-8 FT) with five rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench; Spencer Dinwiddie returned to action last night for the first time since January 23, 2019, vs. Orlando and posted 15 points and four assists in 23 minutes off the bench. Dinwiddie missed 14 games following surgery that repaired ligaments in his right thumb. Caris LeVert totaled 14 points (6-of-11 FG) with seven rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes, and Jarrett Allen chipped in 10 points in 23 minutes.

Regarding the Nets struggles lately, could it be an abundance of riches now that everyone is healthy and back in the lineup and they need to adjust?

Or, is it just as simple as what D’Angelo Russell said: “We can’t dig ourselves in holes and teams shoot well and expect to get out of it by us scoring; we’ve got to get stops.”

Or, perhaps, it’s both.

The Brooklyn Nets travel to Miami to play the Miami Heat tonight at 7:30 p.m.

TIP-INS:

Dinwiddie has now scored 808 points off the bench this season, becoming the second player in franchise history to tally 800+ points in a season off the bench (Armen Gilliam scored 878 points off the bench in the 1993-94 season).

With his fourth rebound tonight, Ed Davis moved past Detlef Schrempf (3,640) and is now third in NBA history in rebounds off the bench (since the NBA first tracked starters in 1970-71). He now has 3,641 career rebounds off the bench and trails only Kevin McHale (3,526) and Paul Silas (5,337).

Washington Wizards down early, but used its wizardry to tie it up and wrap it up with 125-116 victory; D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points in the first half

This was a game where the final score really doesn’t tell the whole story. From the last third of the first quarter, it was tough sledding, but the Nets managed to close the gap in its 125-116 loss to the Washington Wizards.

At the outset, it took the Wizards more than three minutes to get points on the board. At 8:56 in the first, the Nets were leading 10-0, but with some wizardry, Washington scored its first two points. At the 4:08 mark in the first quarter, the score was tied 18-18. By the end of the quarter, the Washington Wizards finished on top 34-28. The remaining three quarters were more of the same. In the second stanza the Nets stayed close, tying twice, but ultimately, ending the quarter on the losing end 68-60. The third quarter was when things really went south, the Nets were down by as much as 28 points at 2:14, ultimately ending the third, 101-79, a deficit of 22 points. In a word, UGLY. Now, to their credit, towards the end of the third quarter and into the fourth, you could physically see the Nets hustling. But prior to the fourth period, everything that could go wrong went terribly wrong, it was as if they were under a spell. But, ultimately, the Nets managed to dig themselves out of the double-digit hole, ending the game down by nine, 125-116.

“I was concerned before the game about this team (Wizards),” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said responding to a question about the Nets lack of defense. “They’re a very good, talented offensive team. We didn’t stop them. Credit to them, I thought they played really well. Obviously, we didn’t have that it. Whatever it is, we didn’t have it across the board – players, coaches. It just wasn’t there. Just not nearly good enough to beat them tonight.”

Atkinson went on to say that he addressed the Wizards’ numerous fast-breaks during the team’s meeting at halftime.

“Yeah, we told them,” Atkinson continued. “Even without John Wall, they played faster than they did before. That was key, number one. We had poor transition defense. It doesn’t help when you’re missing shots – 5-for-23 for three in the first half, missing lay-ups and etcetera, etcetera. I think we can throw it in one bucket, it was across the board. I just thought we just weren’t very good, and they were very good. Really, it was nine points, but it’s really a 20, 25-point loss, the way it feels.”

THE THIRD QUARTER BREAKDOWN

“We were locked in, we defended,” Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said about the third quarter. “We did a great job of defending the basketball. Brooklyn is a hard team to guard. They have a lot of players that play fast. They can make a lot of threes. We did a good job of guarding the 3-point line. That was a point of emphasis that we wanted to accomplish tonight, and we did. It’s just one game, we played solid on the defensive end. We made too many mistakes down the stretch with the eight turnovers in that fourth quarter. Other than that, I thought we played solid throughout the game.”

“I think it just all happened after the 10-point lead,” Nets center Jarrett Allen said responding to a question about the Nets’ third-quarter breakdown. “We just came out unprepared, just mentally unfocused. You could tell that our energy wasn’t there, and our minds weren’t there either.”

In addition to beating the Nets 33-19 on points in the third quarter, the Wizards also took over on the boards. On the defensive end, Washington outrebounded Brooklyn 10-7 and offensively 4-1.

“I think we got a little dejected,” Nets forward Joe Harris said about his team’s performance in the third. “The energy felt down when they started to make a run in the third quarter. It seemed the harder that we tried, the worse that it got. We made a little run at it and then they started making some plays, they took advantage of our low energy. Tough to dig yourself out of it. But I thought the guys that went in at the end of the game did a good job of competing all the way through. Seeing Tahjere (McCall) go out there and compete, get a few buckets was awesome. Shabazz (Napier) played well. But, collectively, it was not a good enough effort on everybody’s part tonight.”

SCORING LEADERS

D’Angelo Russell led all Brooklyn Nets scorer with 28 points (9-of-16 FG), seven assists and three rebounds; Shabazz Napier came off the bench and scored 22 points, and Jarrett Allen accumulated 12 points and six rebounds.

Tahjere McCall, who the Brooklyn Nets signed to his first 10-day contract, made his NBA debut and registered four points and one rebound in under eight minutes after stepping on the court for the first time in the fourth quarter at the 7:58 mark. McCall scored his first two points on a driving layup at 5:16.

For the Washington Wizards, five players scored in double digits. Bradley Beal led all scorers with 31 points and four assists; Trevor Ariza registered 23 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists; Thomas Bryant accumulated 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists off the bench; Jeff Green scored 15 points and five rebounds, and; Bobby Portis chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds.

UP NEXT

The Washington Wizards will travel to Boston to play the Boston Celtics tomorrow, Friday, March 1, 2019. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets remain at home to play the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, March 1, 2019, at the Barclays Center at 7:30 p.m.

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