March 25, 2019

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).

Joe Harris hits the game-winning shot to help Nets edge the Hornets, and Spencer Dinwiddie records his first double-double of the season

It was the night after Christmas, and all through the Barclays Center arena, the fans were on their feet as the Brooklyn Nets tried to close out the Charlotte Hornets in the regular session, then the first overtime, and finally the second. It was thrilling to watch the Nets battle to the end, as well as, watching the fans applaud, cheer, and jump up and down spontaneously. At 29.1 seconds in the second overtime, you could feel the tension in the air with the score tied at 132-132 and Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie misses a 26' 3-point pull-up shot, then at 25.6 seconds, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker rebounds and calls a timeout. When the game resumes, the Hornets have possession, there’s ball movement with seconds ticking away. At 6.7 seconds left on the clock, Charlotte’s Malik Monk turns the ball over, Nets forward Joe Harris aka “Joey Buckets” steals the ball and at 3.4 seconds, goes for a driving layup and puts the Nets ahead 134-132. Monk tries to redeem his earlier turnover by hurling a 40-foot 3-point shot, but to no avail.

And, the Brooklyn Nets get the “W” defeating the Charlotte Hornets 134-132. Inching closer to the .500 mark, with this victory the Nets improved to 17-19 overall and have won nine of their last 10 games, while the Hornets fell to 16-17 overall and 4-10 on the road with the loss.

“Great fight,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about the Nets win against the Hornets. “We lost the game three or four times and we just kept coming back. They hit tough shots, we came back and hit tough shots. Just a great basketball game. It was just a fun game to be a part of. Give a lot of credit to them, (the) same thing they didn’t give up, that’s why they’re a good team. That’s why they’re a playoff team and it was a good test for us tonight and we made some big plays to pull it through.”

Coming off the bench, Dinwiddie led all scorers with 37 points, which is two points shy of his career-high set on December 12th at Philadelphia. Dinwiddie also had a season-high 11 assists in 41 minutes off the bench, recording his first double-double of the season in the victory and a career-high seven 3-pointers tonight.

On where this win stands with the rest, Dinwiddie gave his assessment to the media.

“I mean, obviously we didn’t lose a lead, so it is not disappointing or anything like that in terms of close games we’ve had in the past,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s a dogfight, they’re a good ball club, obviously, they’re sixth in the East I believe before this game. They have a phenomenal player who is probably going to be an (NBA) All-Star in Kemba (Walker) and we made just enough plays, just enough shots, just enough stops. So, it’s a credit to our group in terms of maturing.”

Leading the Nets starters, Joe Harris scored a season-high 27 points, six rebounds, two assists, and the one steal that mattered in this game. Both Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and D’Angelo Russell recorded 16 points. Hollis-Jefferson added a season-high 15 rebounds, a season-high-tying six assists, and a season-high three blocks. Hollis-Jefferson also registered his second double-double of the season. Russell, who only played 27 minutes, added four assists to his 16 points. Nets rookie Rodions Kurucs never ceases to amaze, he recorded his second-career double-double with 13 points, a career-high 12 rebounds, three assists, and a career-high-tying three steals in a career-high 39 minutes.

DeMarre Carroll came off the bench for the Nets and scored 12 points and four rebounds.

Brooklyn’s bench outscored Charlotte’s bench 55-35. The Nets’ bench is moving up the ladder on NBA bench scoring, entering last night’s game against Charlotte ranking third in the NBA in bench points per game (45.4). The Nets’ reserves have averaged 48.0 bench points per game in their last 10 games. The Nets also edged the Hornets 31-26 in assists, recording their third game of 30-plus assists this season.

For the Charlotte Hornets, Kemba Walker scored a team-high 35 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Jeremy Lamb registered 31 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals; Marvin Williams recorded 14 points and 12 rebounds; Nicolas Batum tallied 13 points and three assists, and; Tony Parker, yes that Tony Parker formerly of the San Antonio Spurs, chipped in 10 points and five assists in 21 minutes.

Time to get your popcorn, as the Nets and Hornets will face off again, this time in Charlotte, on tomorrow, Friday, December 28, at 7 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on the YES network or listen via radio on WFAN.

 

TIP-INS:

Spencer Dinwiddie recorded his eighth game of 25+ points this season last night against the Charlotte Hornets, which marks the most for any NBA player off the bench this season and the second-most in a single-season in franchise history (most: 10 for Bubbles Hawkins in 1976-77).

Rodions Kurucs is the first Nets rookie to record a double-double in consecutive games since Terrence Williams in the 2009-10 season. Kurucs has scored in double figures in six of his last eight, averaging 12.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 28.0 minutes per contest in those eight games.

 

For the New York Knicks at 3-4, defeating the Atlanta Hawks tonight 95-91, seven games in and 75 more games left to complete their 82-game campaign, their world is already crumbling before they can experience enough time to be wholesome. Those to blame for their less than impressive start to their season include the cheerleaders, the president, and general manager, the hot dog vendors, as well as, the vending machines.

The blame game has already begun as well as the finger-pointing. One would assume that there would be a level of confidence attached to the New York Knicks label based on the season they enjoyed not too long ago capturing the Atlantic Division Crown, and winning 54 games in the process. To the naked eye, this team hardly resembles the team that accomplished those achievements last year due to the numerous roster changes in personnel but what’s most alarming about their start is their current mindset. Last year's Knicks team, although it struggled to play defense throughout the year, a re-occurring theme for the past decade, played with a certain level of intensity, focusing on competing against all challengers no matter the match-up and the strain. Last year’s Knicks team entered the season with expectations that they placed upon themselves of what they envisioned for themselves, revolving around the prime objective of winning an NBA championship, and with wins against the Spurs (which made me feel for the first time in a decade that the Knicks had arrived), three victories against the Miami Heat, as well as, winning a game on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder, fans, the public as well as myself believed that a championship was actually within reach. Sadly, thus far, I have not seen that same aura that surrounded the Knicks last year.

When you hear starting point guard Raymond Felton state that "I've got to play harder," team owner James Dolan requesting must-wins against the likes of the Atlanta Hawks, and star forward Carmelo Anthony having to validate the coaching of head coach Mike Woodson to the media, there is obviously a problem.

Tonight's win should grant the Knicks some breathing room until they face the Houston Rockets tomorrow night at home in an early season test against a Western conference contender. The result should indicate the direction of where this season’s destination will be.

The loss of center Tyson Chandler, out 4-6 weeks suffering a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula courtesy of a penetration dribble by Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker last week, will definitely impact the Knicks defense around the basket. The black cat has not left MSG as yet. This latest loss to their frontline makes their inside presence as soft as gummy bears relying on center Andrea Bargnani to be the last line, the enforcer. This loss to their front-court has prompted management to inquire about the services of Forward Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets a rebounding demon for G Iman Shumpert, in my opinion, an absolute mistake not because of what Faried can provide but because of what Shumpert can become, and that's one of the best two-way shooting guards in the league.

All in all, I believe it is too early to panic regarding the Knicks current state due to the infant stages of this 2013-2014 NBA season. Mike Woodson is still trying to find the correct ingredients in assembling the first and second unit. J.R. Smith has just returned furthermore planning to remind us all who the reigning 2012-2013 Sixth Man of The Year is. Bargnani is not comfortable yet, although recording a double-double in tonight's affair with 20 points and 11 rebounds seem as though he’s getting his feet wet, enjoying his new role and responsibilities and at the end of the day Melo is still on the roster right? Let them play.

As for Thursday's nationally televised wine and dine between the Knicks and the Rockets, I expect a shootout, if the Knicks are willing to respond because I know the Rockets will. James Harden is only scratching the surface of becoming the best shooting guard in the league behind Lakers G Kobe Bryant and Heat G Dwyane Wade. Every player in the NBA salivates at the opportunity to lace them up against their former employers and look for G Jeremy Lin to expose the Knicks as well as Felton. I do not know who on this roster is capable of defending Rockets C Dwight Howard but it will be fun to observe the Knicks and the schemes they will entertain and execute against arguably the best big man in the NBA. The only way the Knicks will be successful this season is if they replicate the production they relished last season and that is scoring more than the other team, a feat that Anthony has to spearhead being the Numero Uno. We'll see how much the Rockets fare under the Broadway lights as well as the North Pole conditions that we love so much as natives.

Quick Takes: Kemba Walker on Trade Block, Enes Kanter trolled LeBron James

• It looks like the Charlotte Hornets are ready to trade Kemba Walker.
• According to The Score, LaMelo Ball appears to be causing some headaches for his coach in the LKL, a premier men’s basketball league in Lithuania.
• LSU RB Derrius Guice signs with agent from Kendrick Lamar's record label’s new sports division.
• New York Knicks center Enes Kanter trolled LeBron James on Twitter after the Cavaliers 148-124 loss to OKC. Kanter tweeted: "148. #StriveForGreatness"
Zion Williamson - one of the top high school basketball players in the country with 1.1 million Instagram followers- has announced his decision to play for Duke next season.

And, according to Keisha, Duke is known as the "Duke of the North"

Nets win game but lose Jeremy Lin to a reinjured left hamstring

Check out the Nets vs. Hornets Video Highlights

With the Brooklyn Nets, you never know what the outcome of the game is going to be. On Monday night, the Nets (7-22) met up with the (17-13) Charlotte Hornets at home at the Barclays Center. The Nets are fourth in the Atlantic Division and the Hornets are leading the Southeast Division. In fact, every team in the Southeast Division has a better record than the Nets. So to think that the Nets might lose this one wouldn’t be too far-fetched.

The Nets trailed the Hornets by nine points (40-31) at the closing of the first quarter, and then again the same point spread at the closing of the first half, Hornets 63 – Nets 54. Given the way that the Nets have been losing steam in the third quarter, it was amazing to see the team keep its composure and close the gap, ending the third stanza with only a five-point deficit 88-83. Equally important was that Nets guard Jeremy Lin re-injured his left hamstring during the third quarter; he abruptly left the game, and the Nets didn’t seem to miss a beat.

It was the fourth quarter where things got very interesting. The Nets showed their Brooklyn Grit; they kept the game close and went back and forth with the lead. Brook Lopez even scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth. Sean Kilpatrick added 10 of his 23 points in the fourth.

As the minutes wound down, and with just under two minutes left in regulation, the score was tied at 111-111. Kilpatrick hit a three, then Hornets center Cody Zeller dropped a cutting dunk to bring the score to 114-113, and then at the 1:06 mark, Nets shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovich hit a three to bring the score to 117-113. With 32 seconds left, Hornets guard Nicolas Batum posted up a three-pointer bringing Charlotte within one at 117-116. Now, at the four-second mark, the home crowd audibly engaged holds their collective breath as Hornets point guard Kemba Walker drives for a layup, but it is blocked by Nets power forward Trevor Booker. However, Zeller grabs the rebound and makes a putback layup putting the Hornets ahead by one point (118-117). Brooklyn calls a timeout to regroup with two seconds remaining on the clock.

When Zeller grabbed the rebound and then made the putback, Nets backup guard Randy Foye, listed at 6-foot-4, was right there; but Foye, no match for the 7-foot center, couldn’t get the block.

But when the timeout was over, Foye redeemed himself.

Foye stationed behind the arc received an inbound pass from Bogdanovich. With just .9 seconds left in regulation, Foye pushed up, released the ball just before the buzzer and drained a three to seal the deal. And, just like that, the Nets stung the Hornets with a 120-118 win.

Making that buzzer beater and winning the game, didn’t stop Foye from feeling a little bit guilty that Zeller got that putback layup to put Charlotte up by one.

“It was my fault,” said Foye, diagramming the team’s defensive scheme. “It’s my fault he got the layup. Trevor [Booker] switched and blocked the shot. I was supposed to block out Zeller.”

“You know, Zeller put that basket down with a few seconds left, but the way our team maintained focus, and our mental strength, was fantastic,” said Lopez. “It was a great validation for our guys.”

It sure was.

Foye’s buzzer-beating three marked his first points in 21 minutes off the bench on Monday night.

In the win, Bogdanovic led all scorers with 26 points. In fact, this was the second game this season that Bogdanovic, Kilpatrick (23 points) and Lopez (21 points) all scored 20 plus points in the same game. The last time was against the Lakers on December 14, 2016.

Booker posted 12 rebounds, Lin scored 17 points before his departure in the third quarter, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson chipped in 10 points.

Brooklyn shot .533 from the field (40-of-75 FG) and .484 from 3-point range (15-of-31 3FG) in the win. The Nets’ .484 shooting from 3-point range marked a season high (previous high: .481 vs. Detroit on 11/2).

In the loss, Charlotte had six players in double digits; Batum had 24 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals; Jeremy Lamb scored 17 points, and Walker and Zeller each had 15 points.

Next, up, the Nets are on the road to play Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Washington Wizards on Friday, and then back home to play the Utah Jazz in the New Year on Monday, January 2nd, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Sean Kilpatrick, a spark off the bench, scores a career-high 25 points in Nets loss

Tonight, the Nets hosted the Charlotte Hornets at the Barclays Center. Coming into the game, the Hornets have held the Nets winless in the series this season. A win for Brooklyn would not only be their first against Charlotte this season but would also end a two-game losing streak. What would also be a first was Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s return to the Nets lineup, his first appearance after missing 50 games with a fractured right ankle.

Part of the Nets’ strategy would be to contain Hornets guard Kemba Walker which proved successful as he was held to two points in the first half. The Nets offense sputtered as Brooklyn had a field goal percentage of 35.3% and turned over the ball ten times leading to eight Hornets points. Although Brooklyn struggled from the field, the team went to the free throw line twelve times versus two times for Charlotte. At half-time, Charlotte had the lead 46-36.

The Hornets maintained their ten-point lead until the 3:30 mark when Nets guard Shane Larkin’s three-pointer cut the lead to single digits. Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick, who normally provides a spark off the bench, did just that by completing a three-point play after driving to the basket and getting fouled. Hornets lead was cut to four. The energy of both the Barclays Center and the Nets heightened as Brooklyn locked down on defense.

The fourth quarter began with a three-point Charlotte lead and it quickly turned into a battle of the point guards as Shane Larkin and Hornets guard, Jeremy Lin, went back and forth scoring points for their respective teams. The Nets hot streak would end as their turnovers disrupted the rhythm of the offense and created scoring opportunities for the Hornets. The Nets found themselves down by 11. When the Nets needed a jolt of electricity, Sean Kilpatrick answered the call. His two three-pointers followed by a thunderous dunk by Hollis-Jefferson cut the lead to three. Unfortunately, the Nets couldn’t capitalize on scoring opportunities in the waning moments of the game and fell to the Hornets 105-100. Brook Lopez scored 29 points and Kilpatrick had a career-high 25 points.

Kemba Walker key in spoiling Nets post All-Star Break win streak

The Charlotte Hornets traveled to Brooklyn to take on the Nets on Sunday evening. It would be a homecoming for Hornets point guard Kemba Walker who was born and raised in the Bronx. Coming to play the Nets has not been a pleasant homecoming for Walker as he has yet to record a win on the road against the Nets in his career thus far. Brooklyn entered the game determined to keep that tradition alive while the Hornets were looking to extend their winning streak to five games in a row.

Both teams had shakeups to their respective rosters with the Hornets acquiring former Nets guard Courtney Lee from Memphis and the Nets playing their first game since Andrea Bargnani was waived. Brooklyn needed to be able to contain the driving ability of Walker and his backup former NY Knick Jeremy Lin.

The Hornets would double team at times around the basket leaving Nets shooters open on the perimeter. When the perimeter shots didn’t fall, the Nets were able to penetrate the defense and gained an advantage in points in the paint 16-10 in the first quarter. Due to poor shooting by the Nets, the Hornets were able to extend their lead to 15 points, but the determined Nets closed the gap to 8 at halftime.

The third quarter saw the Nets struggle to contain the Hornets offense and trailed by 17 points. However, Brooklyn was not ready to be counted out. Showing their scrappy side, the Nets went on a run that brought them within four with just under five minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, that would be as close as the Nets would get as turnovers at crucial moments proved detrimental. Kemba Walker made key plays to propel the Hornets past the Nets 104-96.

 

NBA All-Star 2016 Snubs

February 02, 2016

VIDEO DISCUSSION: NBA All-Star 2016 Snubs: Kemba Walker, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, JJ Redick

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