June 04, 2020

Spencer Dinwiddie leads all scorers and cements Nets’ lead over the Bulls with two late free-throws, Caris LeVert and Joe Harris each score more than 20 points

The Brooklyn Nets have entered a new era.

In case you missed it, Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and Brooklyn Nets general manager, Sean Marks, mutually agreed that Atkinson would move on. Assistant Coach, Jacque Vaughn, has been elevated to interim head coach. Under Coach Vaughn’s leadership, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Chicago Bulls 110-107, and now Vaughn’s record is 1-0. With the win, the Nets’ win-loss record improved to 29-34, while the Bulls fell to 21-43 on the season with the loss to the Nets.

By The Numbers

Brooklyn shot .500 (32-of-64) from the field on Sunday and improved to 8-1 this season when shooting .500 or better from the field in a game. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls shot 42.4 percent (39-of-42)

From behind-the-arc, the Chicago Bulls edged the Brooklyn Nets on three-pointers; the Bulls made 12-of-34 vs. Brooklyn’s 11-of-30.

In the land of the free, Brooklyn shot .854 (35-of-41), which was a season-high number of free-throws for the Nets. They have now shot .850 or better from the free-throw line in 10 games this season. Chicago’s free-throw production of 17-of-25 (68 percent), was less than half of Brooklyn’s free-throw production (35-of-41).

Brooklyn outrebounded Chicago 50-31 (+19) on Sunday. Entering yesterday’s game, the Nets’ 48.5 rebounds per game ranked second in the league.

Considering the 28 turnovers made by the Brooklyn Nets versus the seven (7) made by the Chicago Bulls, luck was on the side of the Nets.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Jacque Vaughn

Coach Vaughn was probably sweating a bit on the bench when in the closing seconds the Bulls’ Otto Porter Jr. made it a one-point game particularly with the 28 turnovers made by the Nets.

And, the number of turnovers made by the Nets was a question put before its new coach.

“Not completely sure – we even ended up changing the basketball throughout the course of the game, which doesn’t happen too often,” responded Nets interim head coach, Jacque Vaughn. “We complained that it was a little bit too slippery, and Chicago did too, and they (the referees) changed the ball. I think that was the first seven (turnovers). The other 21, we’ll have to look at tomorrow. But overall, they’re an aggressive team and they’ve always forced you to not be casual – and I think we were casual at times with the basketball. (A) good test for us, especially going out West.”

Despite the number of turnovers, the Nets won the first game under their new coach.

So, what was Coach Vaughn’s message to his team about the last 24 hours and pulling off a win against Chicago?

“Just glad for the guys that were able to get back on the floor, get back to what they enjoy doing, love doing – compete and playing the game of basketball,” said Coach Vaughn. “At the end of the day, that was the best part of getting together and competing today.”

“We have a road trip coming up,” Coach Vaughn continued. “Chicago gave us a little dose of aggressive teams and our ability to take care of the basketball on the road, take care of each other put us in a position to get some wins on the road.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

The Brooklyn Nets had five scoring leaders yesterday, players with scores of more than 10 points. Spencer Dinwiddie led all players with 24 points and six assists (both team highs), while shooting 4-of-9 from the field, 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and 14-of-15 from the free-throw line in 37 minutes. Dinwiddie’s 14 made free-throws matched a season-high, which was also done against Chicago on November 16, 2019. Caris LeVert scored 23 points and added six rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes; Joe Harris also scored 23 points (8-of-12 FG, 3-of-7 3FG, 4-of-4 FT) in 31 minutes versus the Bulls; DeAndre Jordan, with his fifth start of the season, tallied 11 points, a game-high 15 rebounds, four assists, and a game-high three blocks in 29 minutes, and; Jarrett Allen added 11 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench for Brooklyn.

This was the first time three Brooklyn Nets players scored more than 20 points in the same game since January 29, 2020, which was against the Detroit Pistons. They were: Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyrie Irving, and Taurean Prince.

Chicago Bulls Scoring Leaders

The Chicago Bulls had four scoring leaders and three of the four came off the bench: Otto Porter, Jr., Coby White, and Thaddeus Young.

Otto Porter, Jr. led all Bulls scorers with 23 points, four steals, and three rebounds in 25 minutes; Coby White recorded 23 points, eight assists, and three rebounds in 35 minutes; Thaddeus Young (a former Brooklyn Nets player) registered 17 points and five rebounds, and; Lauri Markkanen, a member of the starting five, chipped in 16 points and four assists in 26 minutes.

Coach Speak: Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen

“I thought we battled the whole game,” said Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen. “We were fighting uphill, but I thought our spirit was really good. I thought we had opportunities that were really good opportunities. I thought we left some money on the table in transition, but we kept playing, kept competing. Coby White, I thought, was terrific – 21 points, eight assists, and I think six rebounds. He was good. I thought Lauri Markkanen was active and moving around. Thaddeus Young kind of held it together for us there in the third quarter. A lot of good things. We made some big shots down the stretch too, to make it a one-possession game. We gave ourselves a chance but didn’t make enough plays at the end of the day.”

Up Next for the Chicago Bulls and the Brooklyn Nets

So, what’s next for the Chicago Bulls?

The Chicago Bulls will return home to Chicago to host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m. CT.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets have a four-game West Coast road trip:

• Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 10:30 p.m. ET
• Golden State Warriors on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 10:30 p.m. ET
• Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, March 13, 2020, at 10:30 p.m. ET
• Sacramento Kings on Sunday, March 15, 2020, at 9:00 p.m. ET

The Brooklyn Nets will then return home to play the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Hopefully, the spread of the COVID-19 virus will have abated by then.

TIP-INS:

Spencer Dinwiddie has now scored 20-plus points in a single-season career-high 37 games this season in 63 games played for the Brooklyn Nets. He scored 20-plus points 18 times last season (in 68 games).

Since re-entering the Brooklyn Nets starting lineup on February 3, 2020, vs. Phoenix, Caris LeVert has averaged 24.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 32.8 minutes per contest for the Brooklyn Nets.

DeAndre Jordan recorded his 13th double-double of the season on Sunday and pulled down his eighth game of 15-plus rebounds this season.

 

Caris LeVert led all scorers with 23 points; D’Angelo Russell’s return to the Barclays Center celebrated with an in-arena video tribute

Last night at the Barclays Center, thousands of fans were excited to see the Golden State Warriors on the court. Not to get a Stephen Curry sighting, but to see and welcome back, former Brooklyn Nets player, D’Angelo Russell, who helped to lead the Brooklyn Nets to the playoffs last season. The Nets organization also gave thanks to former Brooklyn Nets point guard, D’Angelo Russell, via an in-arena video tribute for his contributions to helping lead the team to the NBA Playoffs last season.

So, what was it like for former teammates to play against one of its former leading scorers?

“Honestly, it was a little weird,” said Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert about competing against his former teammate for the first time since Russell was traded to the Golden State Warriors. “I’ve never played against him before. In my first year, I was injured with my foot, and, obviously, the second year he came here. So, it was a little different, but it was good competing against him for sure.”

As one might assume, preparing for D’Angelo Russell was also part of the coaching strategy.

“Yeah, I do think it helps knowing him, definitely, and knowing how good he is”, said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “Obviously, we made a concerted effort to limit his touches. He was 5-for-8 from mid-range in the first half, just so everybody understands that the analytics doesn’t always work out. I don’t know what he was from mid-range in the second half, I would be curious to see, but (a) heck of a player – glad we slowed him down a little. But definitely an advantage when you know a guy.”

Other Factors That Helped the Brooklyn Nets

With no Stephen Curry, the Brooklyn Nets were fired up and ready to take advantage of that particular Golden State weakness. Then the mood of the Golden State Warriors team went south when they learned how the Warriors’ were affected by the looming NBA trade deadline. The Warriors’ management held out Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks as trade chips. Consequently, the respected veteran players did not dress for last night’s game, which affected the Warriors’ game plan and psyche.

Coach Speak: Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on his team’s mood after learning about the looming trade deal

“It was a tough night to go out and play,” Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told the media postgame. “Two of our leaders, elder statesmen, guys who are really beloved in the locker room – for the team to find out that those two guys are most likely going to be traded was pretty tough. We all just found out prior to the game. There’s not a really good way to prepare for a game when something like that happens, and I think it showed. Brooklyn played great, and I give them a lot of credit. I thought they were fantastic. We were definitely affected by the circumstances, and we took it on the chin.”

With the 129-88 wire-to-wire victory over the Golden State Warriors last night, the Brooklyn Nets improved to 23-27 on the season, while the Warriors fell to 12-40 with the loss.

How the Brooklyn Nets Won By The Numbers:

So, how did the Brooklyn Nets defeat the Golden State Warriors by the numbers?

The Brooklyn Nets led by as many as 44 points last night, which marked the Nets’ largest lead in any game this season.

The Nets held the Warriors to .128 (5-of-39) from 3-point range last night, which marked the lowest 3-point field goal percentage for a Nets opponent in a game.

The Brooklyn Nets shot 51 percent (51-of-100) from the field versus the Golden State Warriors’ 36.5 percent (35-of-96)

The Nets outscored the Warriors 68-38 (+30) in points in the paint.

The Nets also shot 41.2 percent (14-of-34) from 3-point range against the Warriors’ 12.8 percent (5-of-39).

The Nets bested the Warriors at the stripe, hitting 13 of 15 (86.7 percent) of their free throws compared to the Warriors’ 13 of 18 (72.2 percent).

Brooklyn edged Golden State 65-34 on rebounding and 29-20 in assists.

Brooklyn led Golden State 40-25 at the end of the first quarter, the most Brooklyn has tallied in a first quarter this season; 68-47 at halftime, and going into the fourth quarter, the Nets led the Warriors 95-64.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on his team’s defensive strategy

“Obviously we knew taking D’Lo (D’Angelo Russell), try to bring his percentages down, that was the game plan – first part of the game plan – and limiting Draymond’s (Green) effect on the game with his passing. And mission accomplished. I like how our young guys finished it, you know, finished the game. They showed real progress. All around good defensive effort.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Against the Golden State Warriors last night, Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert led all scorers; LeVert scored 23 points, a season-high eight assists, along with four rebounds in 27 minutes. Joe Harris totaled 17 points and a season-high-tying nine rebounds in 22 minutes; Garrett Temple recorded 16 points (7-of-11 FG) with two rebounds and four assists in 21 minutes off the bench, and; both Taurean Prince and Rodions Kurucs each scored 12 points. In his 20 minutes on the floor, Prince added six rebounds to his scoring total, and Kurucs in his 27 minutes of play off the bench, added five rebounds to his total points. Meanwhile, DeAndre Jordan, also part of the second unit last night, posted 10 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes.

“I think everybody was locked in in terms of what the game plan was, knowing the personnel, knowing who we were shifting off of, knowing who we were staying attached to, trying to take away,” said Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris about using last night’s performance as a blueprint for defensive efforts going forward. “I thought we did a good job just contesting everything too, even if we were in rotations or scrambling, it seems like guys were always getting in to contest. They didn’t have a lot of just clean, open looks. But then a little bit of that I think can be attributed to what I just mentioned, the fact that they are kind of going through sort of an unfortunate time.”

Golden State Warriors Scoring Leaders

For the Golden State Warriors, guard D’Angelo Russell had the hot hand. Russell scored 17 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 33 minutes; guard Jordan Poole, came off the bench and contributed 16 points, four assists, and three steals in 27 minutes; Eric Paschall posted 15 points and five rebounds; and Kevon Looney registered 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists off the bench in 18 minutes.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on upcoming games against elite teams

“Golden State, I thought, played really well the last three games and this game really worried me, so taking care of business was important,” said Coach Atkinson. “Now we look forward to playing two elite teams in the next three games, and it will be a good test to see where we are. But we know we are going to need our physicality and athleticism to play against those two teams. So, good test coming up for us.”

What’s Next for the Golden State Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Brooklyn Nets will travel to Toronto to play the Toronto Raptors this Saturday, February 8, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Then the Nets will travel to Indiana to play the Indiana Pacers on Monday, February 10, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. ET, and then will travel home to meet up with the Toronto Raptors again on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at 7:30 p.m., at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Golden State Warriors also have a tough road ahead, they return home to host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. PT.

TIP-INS:

o Caris LeVert has recorded 20+ points in each of his last two games (both starts), doing so in consecutive games for the first time since November 2, 2018, through November 6, 2018 (three straight games). LeVert has averaged 26.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in 29.4 minutes per game in his last two while shooting .450 (18-of-40) from the field and .556 (5-of-9) from 3-point range.

o In his last three games, Joe Harris is averaging 18.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 26.7 minutes per game while shooting .537 (22-of-41) from the field and .500 (10-of-20) from distance.

o Last night’s win snapped Brooklyn’s eight-game losing streak against Golden State, which had marked the Nets’ longest active losing streak against any opponent. Prior to last night’s victory, the Nets’ last win against the Warriors came on March 2, 2015, at the Barclays Center.

 
 

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.

 

 

Philadelphia 76ers turned up the defensive heat in the second half and hands the Brooklyn Nets a back-to-back loss

Ouch! The Brooklyn Nets’ 117-111 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers must hurt, particularly since the Nets led through the first three quarters. But in the fourth, the 76ers turned up the defensive heat and took charge led by Ben Simmons and handed the Nets a back-to-back loss. The Nets are now 18-24 (six games under .500), while the 76ers improved to 29-16 on the season with the victory.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on Philadelphia’s changes that affected the second half

“Obviously there are two big keys to this game,” responded Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “Give them a lot of credit for the first one, they turned us over a ton – 22 turnovers – and I thought they really hurt us on the glass. I think they ended up having 13 more shots than us, which is not going to work against a really good team. Turnovers and we didn’t rebound the ball like we need to. Credit to them, their length and their athleticism. Ben Simmons had five steals and they were all over the place. We gotta take care of it. We gotta screen better. We gotta pass better. We gotta make better decisions. It’s on us too, but first and foremost, credit goes to them. Heck of a defensive team.”

Atkinson did give praise to his younger players who fought to keep the Nets in the game.

“They swarmed us defensively,” Coach Atkinson continued. “I was really pleased with our bench and with our young guys. Obviously Nic (Claxton) was really good. That whole group was good, so that bodes well for the future. They kept us afloat there in the first half and did a great job.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Brooklyn Nets with 22 points, five boards, and a team-high seven assists in 35 minutes. Caris LeVert totaled 16 points, six rebounds, and a season-high six assists in 29 minutes off the bench; Nicolas Claxton scored a career-high 15 points (6-of-8 FG) and four rebounds in 17 minutes against Philadelphia, also off the bench, which was just one game after scoring a then-career-high 14 points on Saturday vs. the Milwaukee Bucks; Jarrett Allen recorded his team-high 20th double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in 31 minutes; Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot came off the bench and tallied a season-high 12 points in 15 minutes while shooting 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from 3-point range; Taurean Prince posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes and; Joe Harris chipped in 12 points and three rebounds in 33 minutes.

Some wondered if playing tough teams, i.e., Milwaukee and Philadelphia were causing a mental struggle for this Nets team.

“We don’t really have time for a mental struggle,” responded Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie. “Obviously, our season has been very up and down with injuries and lineups and all of that different stuff, so we have to continue to come together as a group. Our focus can’t be external, it has to be internal. Obviously, getting healthy of course, but just figuring it out and gaining that chemistry with our own units, our own lineups and then once we kind of have ourselves down, then we can impose our will on the other teams.”

Brooklyn Nets rookie, Nicolas Claxton, had no mental issues at all when his number was called. He made the most of his time when he was called to play.

“It’s big, especially against Philly – they’re a solid team, Milwaukee is a solid team,” Claxton said about playing real minutes in two straight games. “So, me going out there and producing, I think, is just showing everybody and me showing myself, that I can play at the highest level.”

Philadelphia 76ers Scoring Leaders

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons played like he was on a mission; he led all players with 34 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, five steals, and two blocked shots. Al Horford scored 19 points and six rebounds; both Tobias Richardson and Josh Harris each scored 15 points, Richardson added six rebounds to his total points and Harris added four assists, and; Furkan Korkmaz chipped in 10 points and three assists off the bench.

As the Brooklyn Nets led the Philadelphia 76ers through the first three quarters, with only one point separating the Nets from the 76ers at 91-90 going into the final quarter, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown turned up the defensive heat.

Coach Speak: Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown praises Ben Simmons and his team’s defensive effort

“The spirit of the group, the committed sort of team effort to play defense and rally around each other was evident tonight,” Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown told the media. “We sort of played off of Ben Simmons. He, for sure, was the beacon to our defense, but as a group, as a team, we had many contributors tonight. We went with an unlikely group. I had Ben at the five and Mike Scott at the four and had the young guys surround that group. We just rode that longer as they performed. I wanted to see it. It performed well, so we played it longer. Ben Simmons was ridiculously dominant tonight. He played some four. I played him at the five. He had the ball. He was just multi-skilled, used all over the place in multiple positions. Ball handler, screen setter, post target, he was on the five-man defensively. He was just incredible tonight.”

What’s Next for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Philadelphia 76ers will travel to Toronto to face the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at 7 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will remain home to host the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

TIP-INS:

o Spencer Dinwiddie has now scored 20+ points in a single-season career-high 26 games this season (in 41 games played). He scored 20+ in 18 games all of last season (in 68 games played).

o Jarrett Allen is second in the NBA among players 21 or younger in double-doubles, trailing only Luka Doncic (26).

 

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.

Best Playoff Atmosphere ever for Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center; Nets played with urgency, but lack of experience got in the Way of Nets Advancement

Just like the Philadelphia 76ers last season was a young and inexperienced team and couldn’t advance as far as they would have liked in the NBA Playoffs, the Brooklyn Nets are finding themselves in a similar predicament. The Nets took Game 1 of this first-round NBA Playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers and lost Games 2, 3, and 4. This is not uncharacteristic for a young NBA team. They made a ton of mistakes like other young teams primarily because of lack of experience. Yesterday, the lack of experience was glaring. The Nets played 3.5 quarters in stellar fashion and looked like they were on the brink of tying the series by winning Game 4. We should be going to Philadelphia with a 2-2 series. However, between 4:11 and 2:09 of the fourth quarter, the Nets turned the ball over four times and the Sixers took advantage of those mistakes, just like the Boston Celtics took advantage of the Philadelphia 76er’s mistakes last season.

Similarly, if the Nets can’t win Game 5 in Philadelphia, it will be a wrap for them this season, but not a lost season. In the last two seasons, the Nets only managed to win 20 and 27 games. This season, the Nets won 42 games and made it to the playoffs and for all tense and purposes did not get swept. The Brooklyn Nets were able to accomplish this feat because the new management under Sean Marks is focused on player development and culture, and to a man, the team is all in. And, Sean Marks has been able to do this with no top draft picks and a first-time coach in Kenny Atkinson. The Nets have taken in guys who many considered to be castaways and because of the culture surrounding the Nets, they have managed to shine quickly.

Last season, Spencer Dinwiddie was selected to participate in the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge. This season, Joe Harris beat out Stephen Curry and won the NBA All-Star 3-Point Shooting Contest, and D’Angelo Russell, the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft was cast out of the Los Angeles Lakers by Magic Johnson in 2017. This season, Russell participated in the NBA All-Star Game 2019 and lately is the talk of the “NBA Town” and looked upon by some as the leader of the Nets team. As the regular NBA season was winding down and Russell was tearing up the scoreboard, the “Brooklyn Brigade/Block” consistently chanted, “Thank You, Magic.”

At the end of the day, the Nets should not feel ashamed about this season. It’s their lack of experience, not heart, that is putting them behind the eight ball.

At the end of yesterday’s playoff game against Philadelphia, Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson summed up the outcome: “I think a little bit of our experience, (a) little bit of their length and activity. I think it’s one of their strengths and I thought we got a little out of sorts, had a few turnovers that we didn’t need. We also had a bunch of good looks. I thought we had a bunch of good looks, and they didn’t go down.”

So, what did yesterday’s box score tell us about the Brooklyn Nets top scorers?

Caris LeVert, who was among the Nets starting five in Game 4, scored a team-high 25 points with five rebounds, a team-high-tying six assists and a steal in 42 minutes. D’Angelo Russell posted 21 points, seven rebounds, a team-high-tying six assists, two steals and a block in 37 minutes. Jarrett Allen also recorded 21 points and added a team-high eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 32 minutes to his point total. A good game for Allen by the numbers; he recorded his fifth-career game of 20+ points and his first in the postseason. He also turns 21 today. Spencer Dinwiddie totaled 18 points (7-of-12 FG) with four rebounds and a steal in 27 minutes off the bench. Joe Harris, who is usually the Nets best 3-point shooter was 0-for-6 from the 3-point line but chipped in 10 points, six rebounds, and two steals.

How are Nets players feeling about last night’s game, going back to Philadelphia for Game 5, and down 3-1?

“There’s a disappointment losing any game – whether it be home or on the road – especially, when you’re up, five minutes left to go in the game,” Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert responded. “That’s disappointing in itself. But obviously, with the great crowd, we had tonight, we like to protect our home court. So, it was frustrating. But we’ve got another game.”

D’Angelo Russell sounding a bit more optimistic is looking forward to Game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

“You see two teams out there hungry, trying to compete,’ Russell said. “They sure as hell don’t want to lose to the Brooklyn Nets, and I think we’ve got a chance to beat the Sixers, so it’s just a high-intensity game and that’s what it’s going to look like. It’s going to be hard for all. Bodies are going to be flying. Give each other what we want.”

And, Russell has a game plan, particularly adjusting to Joel Embiid down low clogging the lane.

“I think that’s part of the game plan,” Russell continued. “When these big guys are clogging the lane like that, we’re able to throw over the top and get in and kick it out. When there’s three guys in there, it works in our favor. Like I said, we’ll look at the film, see where the help’s coming from, see where their scouting help is coming from and we capitalize on that. Simple as that.”

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.

Nets center Jarrett Allen now in the NBA history books simply by blocking a LeBron James Dunk

Oh, how sweet it is, to coin a phrase from Jackie Gleason, an early 20th Century comedian from Brooklyn. Right now the Brooklyn Nets and their fans are savoring the sweet because the Nets won their sixth straight game last night against the Los Angeles Lakers 115-110.

This wasn’t just any ole Los Angeles Lakers. This Lakers team features LeBron James, the best all-around player in the NBA and one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball. The Lakers also have rising stars Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, and an NBA standout Lance Stephenson from Brooklyn’s Abraham Lincoln High School. Even with this firepower and James leading all scorers with 36 points, the Lakers were no match for the Brooklyn Nets.

Within two minutes, the Nets put their stake in the ground when Nets center Jarrett Allen blocked a dunk by LeBron James, leading to shockwaves around the NBA. Allen, only in his second year in the NBA, is now the eighth player to block James, a four-time NBA MVP. James has 1,850 dunk attempts and has only nine denials. Let that sink in for a minute.

So what was going through Jarrett Allen’s mind when he attempted to block LeBron James’ dunk?

“He came down the lane and it was just going up to contest the shot,” Allen said matter-of-factly. “It’s LeBron (James), so I had to go up with some extra emphasis, and then I ended up getting it.”

So, let’s get inside the head of a 20-year-old going up to contest LeBron James.

“I’m going to say my quote growing up: ‘Either way, you’re going to be on the highlight.’ If you go up and you block it, you’re going to be on the highlight. You get dunked on, you’re going to be on the highlight. So just go up and protect the rim,” Allen added.

Talk about fearless! This kid is greatness in the making. Allen recorded eight rebounds along with two steals and two blocked shots.

D’Angelo Russell is another young man coming into his own. This was the first opportunity that Russell was available to play against the Lakers since they traded him to Brooklyn. And, of course, the general consensus is that a player in this situation is always ready to turn up.

When asked the question, Russell responded: “No. Honestly, the crowd was electric in there. You could feel it. The Lakers were in town, so we wanted to give them a run.”

“He hurt us,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton, said about D’Angelo Russell. “He’s a talented player, and we know that. When we forced him right and we were up shocking the ball I thought we did a pretty good job on him. When we let him dance and get to his left, he hurt us. Give him credit. He had a big-time game tonight. That’s why this team (Brooklyn) has won six games in a row. They have a lot of different guys that can hurt you.”

Russell led all Nets players with 22 points, 13 assists, and four rebounds. If you still think Russell wanted to prove something to the Lakers, then you might as well spread that thought over the entire Nets team, as six of the nine players in the rotation scored in double digits. Starters Joe Harris, aka “Joey Buckets,” tallied 19 points and four rebounds; and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson registered 17 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Spencer Dinwiddie, who led the Nets’ second unit, recorded 18 points and six assists; Jared Dudley and DeMarre Carroll each chipped in 13 points with five and three rebounds respectively.

When Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson looks at this win against the Lakers he sees a “Team victory”.

“Everybody that came in contributed. I thought Jared Dudley was huge making smart plays at the end of the game. DeMarre (Carroll) was good. I thought everybody that came in – that’s the only way you have a chance to beat this team, is if everybody plays well, and I thought they did.”

Looking at the two other Lakers’ scoring leaders, Lonzo Ball, who was sort of a laughing stock in his rookie season mainly because of his father LaVar Ball, and the way he shot the ball, contributed 23 points, six rebounds and, three assists. Kyle Kuzma tallied 22 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists.

Next stop for the Lakers is New Orleans, as they will go against the Pelicans on Friday, December 21, 2018.

For the Nets, they have a back-to-back; they face the Chicago Bulls tonight in Chicago at 8:00 p.m. The Nets are also at home on Friday, December 21, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. to play the Indiana Pacers at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

LeBron James makes his teammates better;…but…They don't want to have that scrutiny

KEISHA: Welcome back to What's The 411Sports? I'm going to start off this segment by just asking a simple question. Why don't people want to play with LeBron James?

Mike.

MIKE: Well, I think there's a few reasons. I mean, you know. One reason is that LeBron James has made the NBA finals every season since 2011 and I feel like when you're on a team where it's NBA finals or bust, it almost takes some of the fun out of playing, right, because you have this high-pressure mentality. So there's no question that the, you know, the pressure is always on when you're playing with LeBron James.

The other thing is that LeBron James has never been one to shy away from throwing his teammates and coaches under the bus, right? He's had a history of doing this throughout his whole career and the evidence is it's proven. But I think that it's easy to say people don't necessarily like playing with LeBron James, but what about like you go ask a guy like Mike Miller who really resurrected his career by playing with the Miami Heat where they won those two championships. I guarantee you that if you were to ask him. Did you enjoy playing with LeBron James? Of course, the big thing with LeBron James is he makes his teammates better? I think that's the number one reason why he's the top player in the NBA, is because the other four guys that are on the court with him automatically become better players because LeBron can hit them when they're open. LeBron plays such good defense that he's going to find the open man when he makes a steal. He's very good on the fast break despite the fact that he's getting up there in years.

But I think also, you know LeBron has never one to shy away from controversy. So there's always some drama that surrounds him. But I think it's easy to jump on him and say people don't like LeBron people don't want to necessarily play with LeBron but that isn't the case.

Remember how excited the Cleveland Cavs were specifically Kevin Love when he found out that he was going to be teaming up with LeBron James and I know that kind of played out a little bit differently. They did wind up winning a championship together, but I think it's a mixed bag. I think that there are some players that would not want to play with LeBron.

They don't want to have that scrutiny, but then I think that there are guys that would definitely salivate at the idea of teaming up with one of the greatest players of all time.

KEISHA: LeBron is such a presence. I mean, he just, just because of who he is. He's just otherworldly talented and he is a superstar and uber superstar. If you just want to put it even higher and in a League that is driven by stars, what he wants he's going to get, people are going to cater to him. Even Magic Johnson and company at the Lakers they're going to make sure that LeBron James is happy. When they were courting him, Magic Johnson showed up I mean, at least I think an hour earlier, or so before he was going to meet LeBron James because he knew it was that important that he didn't miss that opportunity to meet with him and talk to him and convince him to join the Lakers.

Now. I think that if you are a star and a superstar in your own right, it becomes difficult to play with LeBron because it's not going to be your team. And, you know, there's ego involved. There's machismo, like I'm just as good as you, in theory. Why can't I get this? Why can't this be my team? Why am I automatically pushed aside? So I think that's why you have people like Kyrie Irving and maybe Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, stars and superstars in their own right who don't want to be part of the LeBron James Show.

MIKE: Right.

KEISHA: Because they're going to be the supporting cast. When I was reading some articles the one thing that somebody said was that in order to play with LeBron James you have to specialize in something. You have to suppress some parts of your game to fit in with him and what that does for you long-term, who knows, you know, if you don't use it, you lose it I guess.

Would the Lakers trade Brandon Ingram? Will LeBron James wear a Lakers uniform next season?

Rumor has it that the Los Angeles Lakers would be willing to trade some players including some of its young core for the right offer.

Let’s play GM, what would your Lakers trade look like?

Page 1 of 4
© 1993 - 2018 What's The 411 Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.