August 11, 2020

LeBron James scores a triple-double and Jared Dudley gets to celebrate hitting a three-point shot against the Nets, his most recent former team

 The Brooklyn Nets are going in the wrong direction!

The Nets dropped their fifth-straight game last night, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers, 128-113. With the loss, the Nets fell to 18-25 on the season, while the Lakers improved to 36-9 with the victory. Amazingly, the Nets are currently holding down the eighth seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, which would put them in the NBA playoffs, if the playoffs were held today. It may seem like it’s a little early to talk about playoffs, but in a few weeks after the NBA All-Star break, the playoff hunt will begin in earnest.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers by the Numbers:

The Los Angeles Lakers shot 50 percent (47-of-94) of their field goals compared to the Brooklyn Nets’ 44 percent (40-of-91). From behind the arc, it was pretty much more of the same, the Lakers led with 50 percent on 19-of-38 shots made from three-point land, versus the Nets 45.7 percent (21-of-46). Brooklyn did shine over the Lakers when it came to the free-throw line from a percentage perspective, 80 percent to 75 percent, but points do matter and the Lakers pulled in 15-of-20, contrasted to the Nets’ 12-of-15.

During the first half, the Brooklyn Nets kept it close, only trailing by five points, 75-70, and then at the end of the third, Los Angeles ended that quarter up by just 10 points, 104-94. But during the final quarter, the Lakers decided it was “showtime” and put more distance between themselves and the Nets, up by as much as 25 points (121-96) with 5:32 left in regulation. In the time remaining, the Brooklyn Nets could only chisel off 10 points before the buzzer sounded, which left the Nets 15 points in the hole with the final score, 128-113.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on his team’s breakdown in the 2nd half

“I think we did not shoot it well,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about the Nets not being able to score more points during the second half. “We couldn’t really figure out our transition defense. Even on dead balls, which is very frustrating to me as a coach. They exploited us continuously in transition defense. (The) third game in a row where we really struggled there. So, that was a big one. They shot the heck out of it. I think some of that was us not defending well, and some of that was them shooting the heck out of it.”

“I do think they have to be one of the best, if not the best, passing teams in the league, led by LeBron (James),” Coach Atkinson continued. “Obviously (Rajon) Rondo supports that. They get downhill and I think they started getting into our paint. We throw so much attention at LeBron. He started throwing out to shooters and their spacing was excellent. They went small without JaVale (McGee) in there, so now it’s not two big guys in there in the paint, they have everybody outside. We tried to match up and go small. They did a great job spreading us out, creating space and making shots.”

“You have to stay disciplined,” said Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving regarding the difficulty defending a team that includes LeBron James. “As great as he is going downhill and making plays for others, just have to stay disciplined. I feel like a few times we got caught ball-watching, and he did what a great player should do, and he took advantage of it. Guys were knocking down shots in the first half, and it continued in the second half.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Brooklyn Nets guard, Kyrie Irving, scored a team-high 20 points with three rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 33 minutes against the Lakers last night. Taurean Prince totaled 18 points with four assists, three rebounds, and a game-high three steals in 29 minutes; Caris LeVert recorded 16 points with four boards and three assists in 23 minutes off the bench; Wilson Chandler came off the bench and tallied a season-high 15 points (5-of-7 FG, 4-of-6 3FG, 1-of-1 FT) and three rebounds in 22 minutes, and; Garrett Temple chipped in 11 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.

Spencer Dinwiddie did not cross the double-digit mark in points, but he recorded a game-high 13 assists with seven points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes.

Los Angeles Lakers Scoring Leaders

As dominant as Lebron James was on the court last night, it’s surprising when you look at the stat sheet that he only scored 27 points. However, James’ greatness came in the form of a triple-double, adding 12 rebounds and ten assists to his 27 points in 34 minutes. Both Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma each scored 16 points, with Kuzma’s points coming off the bench and Davis adding 11 rebounds to his 16 total points scored. Similarly, both Dwight Howard and Danny Green each scored 14 points and two steals in 23 minutes and 19 minutes respectively. Howard also added 12 rebounds to his stat line during his 23 minutes on the floor. Lastly, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope rounds out the Lakers’ scoring leaders, chipping in 11 points off the bench in 28 minutes.

Coach Speak: Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel on if the Lakers’ defense sparked the second half of the game against the Nets:

“Yeah, I mean that was sort of the halftime message, as a team, to lock in defensively and guard,” said Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel. “We relied on the positive experience of last night in the Knicks game where we were okay in the first half but really raised our level in the second half. We held them (Knicks) to 34 percent shooting and we did the same thing tonight. Great defensive effort in the second half. Obviously, we shot the ball well, LeBron (James) with a triple-double. Jared Dudley and Rajon Rondo (10 assists) with that second unit gave us a huge lift.”

What’s Next for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Los Angeles Lakers will travel to Philadelphia to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, January 25, 2020, at 8:30 p.m. ET.

As for the Brooklyn Nets, they will travel to Detroit to play the Detroit Pistons also on Saturday, January 25, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Nets will then head back to New York City to play the New York Knicks the very next day on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., at Madison Square Garden. Then, on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, the Nets will host the Detroit Pistons at home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

No two teams in the Eastern Conference went through more of a positive roster change on paper than the Brooklyn Nets and the Detroit Pistons. As it is well documented across the basketball globe, the Nets added Jason Kidd as head coach, along with two soon-to-be Hall of Famers in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, and five key bench players. The team also added 6th man of the year Jason Terry; Mister all world, Andrei Kirilenko aka AK-47; scoring and defending wing Alan Anderson; former McDonald’s- All American Shaun Livingston; and reserve rookie big man Mason Plumlee out of Duke University. These moves put the Nets atop the NBA elite if everyone can stay healthy and gel quickly since they have an older team.

As for the Pistons, they also added several key pieces that can put them atop the Eastern Conference, starting with the Coach Maurice Cheeks a great mentor to point guards and a former all-star point guard himself. Detroit made a big free agent splash with one of the most dynamic versatile players in the world, Josh Smith. The sign and trade for Brandon Jennings is pivotal in the new NBA where point guards rule the league. Similarly, drafting Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the lottery fills a major hole in the Piston’s roster. Caldwell-Pope has all the tools of being a top shooting guard in the league. Additionally, an old face from its championship team, Mr. Chauncey “Big Shot” Billups adds playoff experience to a young roster.

For fans that came to the game looking for a point guard showdown, no such luck. Since it is pre-season, some of the key players on both teams were out. Absent were Deron Williams with an ailing right ankle, while Brandon Jennings was marked DNP due to dental issues. More to the point, there are a lot of unanswered questions coming into this season reflected in this game. How will Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett and Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce complement each other since they have similar games? Is the Nets’ bench deep enough to overcome its aging roster? Can a young athletic team like Detroit be the Nets Achilles heel?

Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson seem to fit better together more so than Kevin and Brook. I guess the chemistry playing with each other earlier in their careers in Boston helped. They were able to make seamless switches on defense and knew when to clear out on the offensive end making sure spacing was adequate. I don’t foresee any problems here.

The combination of Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett is under construction, but there are positive signs. They both have a high b-ball IQ, so they were able to find each other a lot in the post and in the mid-range, giving each other easy buckets. During the first quarter, they played six minutes. Kevin was 3-3 and Brook was 2-3 from the field, super efficient. On the negative side, Brook and Kevin are both high post players, which can leave the big men too high up and away from boards. They combined for two rebounds in the first quarter. The Nets won’t be able to live up to its lofty preseason expectations with its center and power forward having two rebounds in a quarter and a total of four for the game. Also, the defensive transition was a problem for the two big men. They were late getting back a couple of times leading to easy baskets by Detroit.

That Achilles Heel was present a lot of times tonight. The Pistons looked way too young and athletic tonight for one of the oldest teams in the league. So many easy baskets were scored by Andre Drummond by simply out-running or out-jumping the Nets. This really led to the 99-88 loss to the Pistons. The Nets seem to want to play an up-tempo style. However, I would take notes from the Spurs know when to run because you may get run over.

As I watched the game, I was thinking this could be a tough year for the Nets. I was concerned because I wasn’t sure where the team was going to get its scoring from off the bench. Then I realized former 6th Man of the Year, Jason Terry, was not playing. So I felt less concerned. AK-47, a great pick up, helped on both ends of the floor, offense and defense. His basketball IQ is through the roof. He made some great passes and steals with his great basketball instinct and hustle. I can tell he will be a crowd favorite. I also saw Brooklynite Gary Forbes on the Nets roster. He was a star for Benjamin Banneker High school right downtown Brooklyn. He stepped right in, didn’t look nervous during his 17minutes and looked like he could be a spark plug off the Nets bench. However, Coach Kidd reminded us during the postgame press conference that the Nets’ roster is already set at the maximum 15 guaranteed contracts. So it looks like Mr. Forbes is trying out for other teams.

 

10/17/2013

Editor's note: The Brooklyn Nets have requested waivers on forward Gary Forbes, Nets General Manager Billy King announced tonight. Forbes, who was signed to the training camp roster on September 30, appeared in four preseason games, averaging 6.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.

The Nets roster now stands at 17 players.

Brook Lopez scores season-high 34 points, which lifts Nets to a win over the Pistons with the loss of Jeremy Lin in 2nd half due to a hamstring injury

The 109-101 Brooklyn Nets win over the Detroit Pistons is just what this young Nets team needed after the two-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on the road on Saturday and a blowout 118-88 loss to the Chicago Bulls at home on Monday.

Brook Lopez grabbed a season-high 34 points in the win, with 24 of those points accumulated in the first half. He also amassed 11 rebounds, nine of those in the defensive column. And, the big guy didn’t stop there. Lopez has been working on his three-point shooting skills and is reaping the rewards; he connected on four of eight attempts from three-point range.

Coming off the bench, shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick was the second highest scorer for the Nets, netting 24 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Harris pulled in 13 points; Bojan Bogdanovic posted 11 points, and Jeremy Lin scored 10 points and four assists before leaving the game because of a hamstring injury.

Brooklyn Nets forward Trevor Booker didn’t score in double digits, but his defensive skills came in handy. Detroit forward Marcus Morris hit a 3-pointer with 2:37 to go putting the score at 103-98 and diminishing the Pistons’ deficit to five points. Detroit tried to make a run to make it a one-possession game, as guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got to the rim at the one-minute mark. However, Booker stepped in with a block denying Caldwell-Pope the shot.

“That was spectacular, but that’s part of who Trevor Booker is and why we brought him here – how hard he plays and his defensive instincts,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “It was really evident on that play. It’s funny, that was a great block, but I thought a lot of guys stepped up at the end, made big defensive plays, big defensive rebounds against a good team.”

The Nets road to a win over the Pistons wasn’t a total walk in the park.

In addition to losing Jeremy Lin, the Nets blew a 16-point halftime lead. In the closing minutes of the game, it was the Pistons’ foul trouble that enabled the Nets to put more daylight between the teams.

In the loss, Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris each scored 23 points for Detroit. Kentavious Coldwell-Pope added 15 points and seven rebounds.

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