May 22, 2019

With the win, the Nets move back into the No. 6 spot in the NBA Eastern Conference; Spencer Dinwiddie leads all scorers with 19 points

For the first time in a good long while, the atmosphere in the Barclays Center was like the NBA playoffs; it was over-the-top electric, as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Detroit Pistons 103-75. Wowza! With the win, the Nets have won four straight games and got back to the sixth position in the NBA Eastern Conference right behind the Boston Celtics. The Nets improved to 36-33 overall and 21-16 at Barclays Center, while the Pistons fell to 34-32 overall and 13-19 on the road with the loss.

By the Numbers

The Nets held the Pistons to .278 shooting (27-of-97) from the field, which marked a season-low for a Nets' opponent field goal percentage and the third-lowest opponent field goal percentage in franchise history. You would have to go all the way back to November 9, 2004, to a Nets vs. Portland Trail Blazers game when the Nets held the Trail Blazers to a .244 field goal percentage, yikes! And, on March 7, 2006, against the Phoenix Suns when the Nets held the Suns to a field goal percentage of .268.

Not only did the Detroit Pistons lose, right now they are a team that holds the dubious distinction of a Nets’ opponent with a season-low 75 points, that has to sting. But that is better than ending the game with 62 points, which is what the Pistons had after three quarters – Nets 88 Pistons 62.

But don’t despair, Detroit, you’re not the only team that the Brooklyn Nets led by 26 after three quarters. Just last week on March 4, the Nets led the Dallas Mavericks by 26 points at the end of the third quarter with a score of 99-73. But wait, there’s more. The Nets held the San Antonio Spurs to the fewest points at the end of the third this season, which was 81-59.

Brooklyn also edged Detroit 54-24 (+30) in points in the paint and 18-5 (+13) in fast break points.

What stuck out most about the Nets for Detroit Pistons head coach Dwyane Casey, was “just the physicality of the game – they came in and whipped us every which way there was. We didn’t fight through screens, we didn’t set screens, any phase of basketball you want to talk about. If we’re serious about making the playoffs, we have to come out and not believe all the hype and all the stuff. We didn’t come out and play. I didn’t coach physical enough or whatever. We didn’t play physical enough. We took a full step back tonight.”

“Everything kind of aligned tonight,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I thought the game plan was good and the guys executed well, especially defensively. Detroit was coming off a game the night before, and it is late in the season, so we had more juice tonight. I don’t say that to take anything away from our guys.”

“It was another step from all our other games,” Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen explained. “We knew that we had to bring a certain physicality against Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, so we had to turn it up a little bit.”

So how did Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin fare when it was all said and done?

Andre Drummond scored 13 points, 20 rebounds, and three assists for Detroit, while Blake Griffin added 10 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

While the Pistons only had two players to score 10 points or more, the Nets had seven.

Spencer Dinwiddie came off the bench to lead all scorers with 19 points (5-of-11 FG, 7-of-7 FT), Allen Crabbe scored a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and he added four assists; Rodions Kurucs posted 13 points; both Joe Harris and Caris LeVert tallied 12 points, Harris accumulated four rebounds and three assists to his totals, while LeVert who came off the bench and added five rebounds to his points. Both Jarrett Allen and D’Angelo Russell each scored 11 points, Allen added eight rebounds and two blocked shots to his totals, while Russell added seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

What's Next

Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 13, 2019, the Brooklyn Nets kick off their seven-game road trip with their first stop in Oklahoma City to play the Thunder and their last game on this road trip is against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 28, 2019, before returning home to play the Boston Celtics on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons will travel to Miami to play the Miami Heat, another team struggling to make the playoffs. This match-up will be on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at 7 p.m. ET.

Nets forward DeMarre Carroll leads all scorers with 22 points; Dirk Nowitzki on “retirement tour”, receives a warm welcome from NBA fans at Barclays Center

Oh, what a night! The Brooklyn Nets took advantage of the Dallas Mavericks vulnerabilities at the Barclays Center on Monday night and came up with a 127-88 win for the home crowd. The Nets improved to 33-33 overall and 19-16 at Barclays Center with tonight’s win, while the Mavericks fell to 27-36 overall and 6-25 on the road with the loss.

So, what did it take to get the Brooklyn Nets back on track?

“It was really about the two things we emphasized before the game, defense and rebounding,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson responded. “I thought we defended much better tonight and we secured rebounds. We held them to one possession, and on the other side, we made shots. We were struggling to make shots before tonight, and it was nice to see the ball go through the basket. This helped our spirit. Good team win.”

“We drove the ball more tonight than in previous games, but I still think we can take it to another level,” Coach Atkinson continued. “We are still a little timid getting to the rim. I would love to see more rim attacks and free throw attempts. It was better tonight.”

The Nets snatched a win from the Mavericks right on time to stop a three-game losing streak in preparation for one more home game tomorrow against the Cleveland Cavaliers before hitting the road to play the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. Hopefully, Brooklyn can get two more wins under its belt before the team plays the Detroit Pistons on Monday at the Barclays Center and before hits the road to play six Western Conference teams and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Nets need these wins against the Cavaliers and the Hawks because they need the wins and a win against these two non-playoff bound teams will help with the Nets standing in the Eastern Conference as things get tight in the coming weeks. They also need to have a recent memory of what it feels like to win and because the upcoming stretch starting with the Detroit Pistons on Monday is going to be a dogfight. After Detroit, the Brooklyn Nets face OKC Thunder, Jazz, Clippers, Kings, Lakers, Trail Blazers, and the 76ers.

Right now, the Nets are neck and neck in the Eastern Conference standings with the Pistons. The win against the Mavericks was good because a win is a win. But let’s face it, the game looked like a pro team playing against amateurs save a few players. And, Dirk Nowitzki really looked old. He was struggling to keep up and his numbers prove it, four points, four rebounds, and two assists. The conversation all season has been this may be Nowitzki's last season and no disrespect to Dirk, but by his performance last night, it should be. Dirk really looked old and the Nets took advantage, as they should.

“It was ugly from start to finish,” Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle bemoaned. “When you lose every quarter of an NBA game, you certainly haven’t done what you needed to do. It’s a very disappointing night.”

“I thought Brooklyn’s effort was phenomenally great and I know ours wasn’t up to it,” Carlisle continued. “The effort can’t be good if you lose by this number of points. We just simply have to do better.”

Doing better might start with limiting Nowitzki’s minutes. And, this is not to beat up on Nowitzki, as he has nobly put in 20 years in the NBA. He was a force to reckon with. However, this season, Nowitzki is averaging 5.5 points per game, while over the course of his career, Nowitzki averaged 20 PPG.

“…I was just fighting out there,” Nowitzki said. “I was just trying to get one down and get one in. In the first half, I had some great looks there – the trailing three and another one, a wide-open three from the corner. Frustrating night for me, but I kept on playing.”

In last night’s game, the Mavericks only had three scoring leaders. Dwight Powell led the Mavericks with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and six assists; Luka Doncic scored 16 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, and; Jalen Brown chipped in 10 points and three rebounds.

For the Nets, DeMarre Carroll came off the bench to lead all scorers with 22 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Rodions Kurucs registered 19 points and six rebounds; Caris LeVert accumulated 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists off the bench; Spencer Dinwiddie, also came off the bench and scored 16 points and five assists; D’Angelo Russell posted 13 points and 11 assists; Joe Harris chipped in 11 points, and; Ed Davis, who is not a prolific scorer, brought the heat around the rim with 10 rebounds.

And, with this win, D’Angelo Russell agrees that the Nets may have stumbled upon a winning formula.

“…With that second unit, you’ve got five starters coming off the bench. That team could start and be their own team and compete in this league, so I think that’s where we can get advantages. A lot of teams don’t have the personnel to do that so, it was a great move by coach,” Russell opined.

Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris lead Nets; as Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose shows flashes of brilliance leading all scorers with 25 points

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and the Brooklyn Nets are back home after playing back-to-back games against the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks on the road; getting a 104-92 win over the Heat and a 119-113 loss against the Mavericks. As fans piled into the Barclays Center, of course they were hoping that the home team would prevail against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but unfortunately, the Nets fell to the ‘Wolves 112-102.

With the loss to the Timberwolves, the Nets fell to 8-12 overall and 3-5 at Barclays Center, while the Timberwolves improved to 8-11 overall and 1-8 on the road with the win.

At the end of the first quarter, there was a glimmer of hope that the energetic-looking Nets just might pull off a win, as the Nets outscored the Timberwolves 26-22 in the first quarter. Although the Timberwolves took the lead in the second stanza, the differential was small enough at 54-49, that there was no real need to hit the panic button. In the third quarter where the Nets often struggle, there was cause for alarm as the T-Wolves continued to outpace Brooklyn, ending the third with a score of 89-72.

“I think we were searching for energy but we kind of just didn’t have the juice,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about the damage caused in the third quarter. “I don’t know how many turnovers we had in the third. I thought the turnovers hurt us overall. Thirty-one points off our turnovers I believe, that’s a huge number. That’s tough. We’ve done a fantastic job of taking care of it. Tonight we didn’t take care of it. I see (Karl-Anthony) Towns hurt us in the post there in the third quarter. We tried different things, tried different guys on him, we tried fronting him. We just couldn’t get the stops we needed. ”

The Nets did come roaring back in the fourth just enough to make it interesting, outscoring Minnesota 30-23, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the gap that was built up in the third quarter.

“First of all, I like that group that had the energy to come back and make it a heck of a game,” Atkinson said regarding the Nets’ effort in the fourth quarter. “I thought we missed a couple open shots that could have really cut the lead. But like you said, we couldn’t get over the hump. Again, I think our turnovers were a big part of our inefficiencies tonight. ”

Those inefficiencies allowed Minnesota to score 31 points off of Brooklyn’s turnovers.

“That was big,” Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau told the media following the game. “And we then we didn’t turn it over either. I thought that was a big part of the game. I thought with Karl-Anthony Towns in foul trouble I thought our bench came in and did a really solid job. And then down the stretch, we made plays.”

This win for the Timberwolves was especially sweet, as it was the team’s first road win this season.

“It’s a start,” Thibodeau added. “We have a long way to go. It’s challenging to play a noon game and then turn right around and be ready to play again tomorrow night on a back-to-back. We have to play well at home.”

The Nets scorers in double digits this afternoon were Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris, each scoring 18 points. Harris added six rebounds and four assists, while Dinwiddie, who came off the bench, supplemented his 18 points with eight assists, and three rebounds. DeMarre Carroll, scored 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Shabazz Napier, another member of the second unit tallied 12 points and six rebounds; Jarrett Allen, now in his second year with the NBA, registered 12 points and four rebounds, and; Allen Crabbe chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

The Timberwolves leading scorer was also from the second unit. Derrick Rose, the only Minnesota player to come off the bench and score in double digits, also led all scorers with 25 points and three assists leaving some media people to believe that we are witnessing the resurgence of NBA All-Star Derrick Rose.

However, Coach Thibodeau believes the qualities of Rose as an NBA All-Star didn’t vanish.

“I say this all of the time,” Thibodeau responded. “I’ve watched most of his games. I watched him the year he was in New York. The only time he hasn’t played well is when he was injured, so I’m not surprised.”

Other Minnesota leading scorers were Karl-Anthony Towns who attained 21 points and nine rebounds; Taj Gibson registered 16 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals, while; Jeff Teague chipped in 15 points and nine assists.

Next up, Minnesota will return home to host the Chicago Bulls tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. CT

Meanwhile, the Nets will host the Philadelphia 76ers at the Barclays Center on Sunday, November 25, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. ET

Mark Cuban gets to keep his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks, despite rampant team sexual harassment findings; Cuban donates $10 million

MIKE: The NBA decided not to ban Mark Cuban despite multiple sexual harassment charges that have arisen within the Mavericks organization. Keisha, did the NBA do the right thing here?

KEISHA: Well, there were two factors that Adam Silver the commissioner of the NBA pointed to as to why he chose this punishment for Mark Cuban. One, it was determined that Cuban wasn't involved directly in the harassment and two, Cuban was very transparent during the investigation process. And then after the report was issued or maybe while the report was being compiled that Cuban and the Mavericks instituted sweeping changes rather quickly to prevent this from happening again. But you know, I was really surprised and I found the punishment to be a little lenient especially given the extent of the allegations and the duration of this institutionalized behavior. And, I find it hard to believe that over the course of two decades that Mark Cuban didn't know anything, not even a whisper.

I just don't know how it could be this rampant. We're not talking about one or two cases where maybe it was kind of easy maybe to push it under the rug or there wouldn't be a chatter. But you know, you're talking about 15 women and maybe even more that had issues and you know, Mark, I'm sorry Adam Silver mentioned, Cuban's absenteeism which I found a little interesting because if my memory serves me correctly Mark Cuban was thought of to be one of the most hands-on owners in the NBA.

So I don't know how you can be hands-on but then not know that this is happening to you and you know in the era of this "me too" movement, I just thought that you know, we've seen actors and executives lose their jobs based on allegations alone, and then moving it to back to sports, you have the NCAA coaches have lost their jobs over the actions of their players and I'm not saying that Mark Cuban deserved to be banned or lost his team. But to me, writing a check for a billionaire is nothing. Ten million dollars to him it's not a lot. I mean it's gonna go to worthy causes and that they could use the money but I just don't feel as though the punishment fits the crime and just you know to sum it up, there's really not any amount of money that will ever equate to what these women experienced.

I mean, I've experienced it firsthand myself and there's not, it's not, it's one of the worst feelings that you can have as a woman and probably as a human being to be the target of sexual harassment and you know, I just hope that in addition to the fines that you know, Adam Silver did speak to I think the Board of Governors or he did send out a memo and in that memo he used language urging not mandating but strongly recommending that other teams look at their houses and make sure that they have their ducks in a row and that they have safeguards against.

MIKE: It's just a $10 million dollar slap on the wrist is the way that I see it. I think there certainly could have been a harsher penalty. Now, I'm not saying that they should have made Mark Cuban necessarily give up ownership of the team or I'm not sure what type of suspension or whether you can take away draft picks in a situation like this, but for him to go out and getting up granted he's giving this money to some good causes and it is 10 million dollars, but at the same time, I think that there could have definitely been a harsher penalty again. I don't know specifically what but I think that he certainly not only from our, but the Mavericks got off easy here. I think what's interesting with Mark Cuban is, remember, this is now someone who's become sort of this Golden Boy owner, right? Here's a guy that bought this team. He's the tech guy that became a multi-millionaire became a billionaire was able to buy the Dallas Mavericks.

And ironically if you look back, back in the early mid-thousands, mid-2000s, he was always in the doghouse with the NBA front office and he sort of changed that whole dynamic in the way that his relationship is with the owners and with other owners, and of course with the commissioner as well. I'm not saying that that's what necessarily contributed to this sort of easy slap on the wrist that he got but there's no question that some changes could have been made. And the final thing that I'll say is, you know Sports Illustrated came out with this article talking about these allegations, but think back in February of this year in the report that they have.

I think that some of this stuff that's been going on has even happened since that February article that was released in Sports Illustrated. So I think there's certainly some changes that the Mavericks definitely need to make and of course, Mark Cuban certainly made some mistakes here, but I think he's definitely got off a little bit easy.

KEISHA: Yeah. I mean, I definitely. I think and hope that he's learned his lesson because if something like this happens again, I think even the smallest of infraction or even hint of harassment could open another Pandora's Box for him and he won't get off easily. And, there's no way he could and I don't think Adam Commissioner, Adam Commissioner, I mean Commissioner Adam Silver wouldn't allow it.

MIKE: Right.

KEISHA: Adam Silver wouldn't be able to take that public hit on his image.

MIKE: Absolutely.

Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe were scoring leaders for the Brooklyn Nets, each scoring 22 points

Fresh off a win against the Dallas Mavericks on St. Patrick’s Day, the Brooklyn Nets were home at the Barclays Center tonight to take on the Memphis Grizzlies and came up with another win. Defeating the Grizzlies 118-115, the Nets have now won two consecutive games (tonight and a win against the Dallas Mavericks) for the first time since January 19 vs. Miami and January 21 at Detroit.

Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe both led the Brooklyn Nets in scoring with 22 points. LeVert (7-of-9 FG, 4-of-4 3FG, 4-of-6 FT - tonight) added to his 22 points, three rebounds, two assists and one block. Crabbe (7-of-10 FG, 4-of-7 3FG, 4-of-4 FT - tonight), who is returning tonight after missing the team’s last two games due to illness, with his first made 3-pointer against the Grizzlies, moved into sole possession of second place in Nets single-season history in 3-pointers made. Crabbe has made 166 3FG this season. Next up is Deron Williams’ record of 169 three-pointers made in 2012-13.

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson was pleased with Crabbe’s performance considering he’s just coming back after recovering from a bug that hitting several players.

“I just think that, especially coming off of a pretty tough illness where he went through well, what we’ve all gone through with the throwing up and the not being able to eat and all that stuff for a couple of days and to come out, I thought that he was a difference maker in terms of shot-making,” Atkinson explained. “His shot-making really put us over the edge and he came back and got a couple of offensive rebounds. He had a big offensive rebound in the fourth quarter I thought when it was a two or four-point game, so that was really good. He was excellent tonight.”

Nets guard D’Angelo Russell co-signs on Crabbe’s return.

“Glad we got him back,” Russell stated. “He came out like he never left, so glad we got him back.”

Russell also likes his team’s back-to-back wins, two months is really a drought.

“It’s a good feeling, Russell said regarding the Nets two consecutive wins. “Like I said, no matter when it comes in the season, the two wins to build off of is a great feeling.”

On the other side of the ledger, Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff gave his assessment of the game.

“I think there was a stretch in that fourth quarter when we just turned the ball over too much,” Bickerstaff said. “We were penetrating, we were getting where we wanted to go, but then the play that we made when we got there wasn’t the right play. And when you’re in the paint, on that baseline, and you make turnovers going towards Brooklyn’s bucket, with their speed and athleticism it’s hard to catch up. Just us understanding the importance of those moments in crunch time, and valuing the basketball, and valuing every possession. If you get a shot, then you at least get a chance to offensive rebound it, and you get a chance to get back and set your defense.”

In addition to both LeVert and Crabbe, scoring 22 points each, other scoring leaders for the Nets included DeMarre Carroll who posted 18 points (5-of-8 FG, 4-of-7 3FG, 4-of-5 FT) with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson recorded 16 points and 12 rebounds with three assists, one steal, and one block in 37 minutes. D’Angelo Russell tallied 14 points, five rebounds, a team-high seven assists, two steals and a season-high-tying two blocks in 29 minutes. In his last five games, Russell has averaged 20.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.4 apg and 1.0 bpg in 29.5 mpg.

The Grizzlies had seven team members with 10-plus points. Starters who scored in double-digits were Andrew Harrison with 19 points and eight assists; Dillon Brooks scored 15 points; JaMychal Green posted 14 points, 16 rebounds, and three assists. Tops scorers coming off the bench for the Grizzlies were Wayne Selden who scored 17 points, Briante Weber tallied 15 points and four rebounds, Chandler Parsons contributed 13 points, and Ivan Rabb chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.

The Memphis Grizzlies will meet up with the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, March 21st in Philadelphia.

The Brooklyn Nets will take on the Charlotte Hornets at home at the Barclays Center, also on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson leads the Nets’ charge to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 114-106

The Brooklyn Nets hosted the Dallas Mavericks at the Barclays Center in the evening on St. Patrick’s Day, and the luck of the Irish was on the side of Nets, as they defeated the Mavericks 114-106. The win gives the Nets a record of 22-48 so far this season, which is two more than all of last season.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was clicking on all cylinders; he scored a team-high 23 points (9-of-16 FG, 5-of-6 FT) with five rebounds and four assists for the Nets in 32 minutes.

“He had a stretch there that carried us when we were struggling to score,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about Hollis-Jefferson’s performance. “They were switching and it’s nice to have Rondae there because we can throw it to him on the block and he can take advantage of the switch. That’s huge. If you don’t have that then it’s just iso-ball and you’re driving it every time, you’ve got your guards with the ball out top… I felt like he had a couple of tough ones but I thought he was getting in the lane, that’s his elite skill, driving the ball, got in the lane, got to a spot, made some big shots.”

It wasn’t a walk in the park for the Nets, ending the first quarter with a six-point lead over Dallas, 30-24. Although the Nets led at halftime, 59-56, the Mavericks came charging back in the third quarter to end the third stanza with a one-point lead over the Nets 89-88.

“It was pretty much just locking in,” Hollis-Jefferson said about taking control of the fourth quarter. “Like, who’s going to start it? A lot of the time it’s Caris (LeVert), a lot of the time it’s myself, but pretty much it was definitely a team effort. We talked in the huddle at half court like ‘Hey let’s do it now, let’s do it together, let’s make it hard for them.’ A lot of teams, that’s what they do to us, they want to speed us up, make us take tough shots. Tonight, it worked for us.”

Other Nets scoring leaders included D’Angelo Russell, who recorded 22 points (9-of-17 FG, 4-of-9 3FG) with four rebounds and a team-high six assists in 29 minutes vs. Dallas. Russell is on a scoring roll, he has now tallied 20-plus points in three of his last four games and four of his last six games overall. DeMarre Carroll tallied 19 points and 12 rebounds with three assists, recording his team-leading 12th double-double of the season. Caris LeVert posted 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists in 27 minutes off the bench against the Mavs. LeVert has now scored in double figures in seven straight games. Spencer Dinwiddie posted 12 points, five boards, and four assists in 31 minutes.

Mavericks’ rookie Dennis Smith Jr. led Dallas with 21 points. Unfortunately, Smith left the game in the fourth quarter with a left ankle injury. He got hurt when he stepped on the foot of Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Dwight Powell added 18 points. Jalen Jones achieved a career-high 16 for the Mavericks, who made 12 of 22 3-point attempts (54.5 percent) but shot 44.6 percent overall. Dirk Nowitzki contributed 13. Yogi Ferrell, a former Nets player, had 12 points and 12 assists.

Win, lose or draw, it was a great night for Nowitzki, as he reached a milestone in his career against the Nets, appearing in his 1,463rd game, moving past Kevin Garnett into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list. Congratulations to Nowitzki.

“It’s unbelievable, really,’ Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. “Dirk had a terrific game I thought. He shot the ball well when open. He’s still rebounding well. He’s a leader out there. It’s just amazing that he has just been able to keep going. We all hope it never ends.”

Next, up for the Mavericks, they travel to New Orleans to play the Pelicans on Tuesday, March 20th at 7 p.m. CDT.

Meanwhile, the Nets take on the Memphis Grizzlies at home at the Barclays Center on Monday, March 19th at 7:30 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He did just that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremy Lin leaves game with a sprained right ankle

The Brooklyn Nets outing against the Dallas Mavericks just started out bad. A 12-noon start-time, which I don’t mind by the way, but inside of eight minutes of play, Brooklyn's point guard Jeremy Lin sprained his right ankle on a drive to the basket and missed the remainder of the game. Lin, nevertheless, was productive while he was there; he left the game with four points.

The Nets trouble didn’t start with Lin’s exit, they were down 11 points before Lin left the game at 7:42 in the first quarter. At the end of the quarter, it looked like the Nets could right the ship, ending the first stanza with only a six-point deficit (32-26).

During the second quarter, the Nets were down by as much as 18 points. And, in a game, in which they never led, the Nets came within one point (93-92) with just under six minutes in regulation. However, the combination of Mavericks center Dirk Nowitzki and backup guard J.J. Barea proved to be a power couple that would thwart the Nets’ drive for a comeback. With just over five minutes left to play, Barea went on a tear, scoring nine straight points for Dallas. When it was all said and done, the Mavericks stole the show with an 111-104 ending.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson offered his critique of the Nets last few possessions.

“Yeah, not great execution on our part,” Atkinson said. “And I think what happens is teams start switching everything at the end of the game and the thought is you have to go one-on-one and I think we just have to realize we can keep them moving and when teams switch they’ll eventually break down …”

However, even in defeat Atkinson saw a silver lining.

“To me, the story of the game was getting down 18 in the first half,” Atkinson added. “I thought the second half we brought it, we brought the energy, we were competitive, we were going towards a 40-point blowout quite honestly in that first half the way we came out. We dug ourselves a huge hole, and we used a lot of energy to get back in it, then couldn’t close it, we didn’t have enough to get over the hump.”

Brook Lopez led all scorers with 27 points. Randy Foye was the only other Nets starter in double digits, he scored 11 points and six rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie came off the bench to score 18 for the Nets. Also, off the bench, Quincy Acy added 11 points, and Isaiah Whitehead chipped in 10 points.

Dallas had three starters in double digits. Nowitzki had 23 points and nine rebounds, Harrison Barnes scored 19 points and six rebounds; while Wesley Matthews chipped in 15 points and five rebounds. Barea and Devin Harris were double-digit contributors off the bench. Barea supplied 20 points and seven assists, while Harris chipped in 11 points.

Before the game, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle talked about former Nets rookie guard Yogi Ferrell.

"We were all banged up,” said Carlisle. “We had a lot of guys out. We desperately needed a guy that could play the position and hold the fort. I wasn't sure he was going to be a starter right away, but the way we were structured at the time it seemed like the best way to go. He started the first game, did a lot of good things and had a really terrific first couple of weeks. Now, we're at a point where he's pretty much held that position and he's done a lot of good things."

Ferrell did indeed help the Mavericks hold things together against the Nets; he contributed eight points and five assists.

Next up, the Nets will host the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday and then the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. Perhaps, the Nets could string together back-to-back victories with this homestand?

Quincy Acy brings defensive abilities and physicality to the Brooklyn Nets

It’s been rumored, and now it’s done. The Brooklyn Nets have signed Quincy Acy to a multi-year contract, according to a press release issued by the team today.

This is a good move because, beyond Acy’s defensive skills, he brings a physicality that the Nets desperately need.

“He gives us a physicality I think you need in this league,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about Acy on Saturday, according to Newsday.

Acy (6’7”, 240) was originally signed to a 10-day contract by the Nets on January 10 and inked a second 10-day contract on January 20. In 10 games with the Nets, Acy has averaged 7.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per game, shooting 57.5 percent (23-of-40) from the field and 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from three-point range.

In five seasons split between Brooklyn, Dallas, Sacramento, New York and Toronto, Acy has appeared in 235 total NBA games, recording averages of 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game.

Acy was originally selected with the 37th overall pick (second round) of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Raptors after a four-year collegiate career at Baylor University.

Too Much Barea; and Dirk Makes History, passes Shaquille O’Neal to place 6th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list

For a moment, it almost looked like the Brooklyn Nets were going to give their fans an early Christmas gift. After battling for 48 mins, the Nets pushed the Mavericks to an extra five, but too much J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki proved to be the secret sauce that allowed the Mavs to escape Brooklyn with an 119-118 OT win, two days before Christmas.

The Nets fell to 8-21, (6-9 at home) while the Mavericks improved to 16-13, the 4th seed in the Western Conference.

When it boils down to the nitty gritty, late game execution is the only thing that cost the Nets on Wednesday night. The Nets led 118-117 with 41.7 seconds left in the OT period when Brook Lopez scored on a hook shot assisted by Shane Larkin, who made his return to the court after missing the last four games with a concussion. Twenty seconds later, Dirk returned the favor, giving the Mavs the go-ahead score up 119-118 with 19.2 seconds left in OT. It was all up to Jarrett Jack to win the game for the Nets and unfortunately, he came up short.

Collage Brooklyn Nets Center Brook Lopez and Point Guard Jarrett Jack 650x325Photo (left to right): Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez and guard Jarrett Jack 

Brooklyn Nets Press Conference Photo Shoot Shane Larkin 07092015 Photo Brooklyn NetsBrooklyn Nets guard Shane Larkin

After draining back-to-back threes earlier in the OT period that put the Nets in a position to have a shot for the win, Jack missed a fade-away jump shot just inside the three-point line and the game was decided. The tit-for-tat, you score, I score of what transpired in OT mirrors what the first 48 minutes entailed. The Mavericks controlled the first half of this game, enjoying leads of up to 16 points, thanks in large part to Barea and Nowitzki. At the 9:51 mark in the 2nd quarter, Dirk drained a baseline jump-shot, assisted by Barea to give the Mavs a 40-28 lead at the time, and in doing so, made history. With those two points, Dirk passed Shaquille O’Neal to move into 6th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

‘That was a moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life,” Nowitzki said post-game. “It’s surreal passing Shaq; all-time great, legend. Was able to compete against him for a long, long time…..I’m really going to enjoy this one when my career is over.”

In addition to Dirk, Barea made his own history. He scored a team-high 32 (career-high) points in 41 mins, added 11 assists, and burned the Nets every chance he could, hitting big shot after big shot, filling in for Deron Williams who recorded a DNP due to a hamstring strain. With the game tied 105 all and 1:26 left in the 4th quarter, Barea penetrated the lane, beating Larkin on a high pick-and-roll, shot a floater and received the foul for the and-1, putting the Mavs up by three, 108-105 with 12 seconds left in the 4th.

“I was just trying to take good shots and take advantage of guys setting good screens for me, Coach giving me the ball in high pick and rolls and it was working,” Barea said.

It was something the Nets could not stop but head coach Lionel Hollins targeted free-throws as a significant problem in the Nets most recent loss.

“If you want to just analyze stats, I think going six-for-14 from the free throw line was the game changer when you look at it in simplistic terms,” Hollins said. “But they played, we played and somebody, unfortunately, had to lose and it was us.”

If the Nets had won, Thaddeus Young would’ve received the game ball. The forward scored 29 points on 14-20 shooting and like Barea-made big play after big play. Young drained the desperation three to send the game into OT and also blocked Barea on the other end, on his desperation fade-away to win the game as time expired in the 4th.

Thaddeus Young 650x366Brooklyn Nets forward Thaddeus Young

“Just a tremendous effort,” Hollins said regarding Young. “His numbers stand out over other people, but I thought that we got the efforts that we needed and the extra efforts and getting on the floor for loose balls. It was just a great basketball game.”

During Young’s post-game session with the media, he said that there are no moral victories, but there is something the Nets can take from this game and it was their intensity and ability to recover and fight back. There were plenty of times during this game where it looked like the Nets were going to pack it in, look forward to the Christmas holiday, and save their energy for Saturday’s game hosting the Washington Wizards, but they didn’t.

They hung in there and Jack, who scored 13 points follows Young’s sentiments.

“It felt good to fight, it felt like we left it all out there, but like you said we’re not into moral victories. When we put that type of effort on the court we have to come away with Ws.”

Lopez who also scored 13 points believes the Nets can build on their effort against the Mavs.

“The way we’ve played for six quarters, you know these last games, roughly is how we want to play out the rest of the season. We really feel like we’ve come together as of late.”

Like Jack said, hopefully the effort the Nets are displaying as of late turns into wins and Saturday evening will be their chance to walk-the-walk.

 

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