June 16, 2019

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

“While the optics of this injury may have appeared to be more severe, surgery will not be required”—Dr. Martin O’Malley

On Monday night, you could hear a collective gasp from Brooklyn Nets fans all over the New York metro area when Nets guard Caris LeVert came down hard on his right leg after colliding with Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jeff Teague at the Target Center in Minneapolis. LeVert was doing what he always does putting his heart and soul into every game and this time he was attempting to block a Timberwolves shot in the closing seconds (3.7) of the first half.

Even watching on television, you could tell from LeVert’s body language, sitting up and then lying down with his hand over his head that he was in pain while waiting for medics to take him to the hospital. According to a press release from the Nets, LeVert returned to New York with the team and later he was evaluated at the Hospital for Special Surgery, a Nets partner hospital, by Nets’ Team Orthopedist Dr. Martin O’Malley. Following the evaluation, LeVert was diagnosed with a subtalar dislocation of the right foot.

“Fortunately, tests performed this morning revealed that there are no fractures and only moderate ligament damage,” said Dr. O’Malley. “While the optics of this injury may have appeared to be more severe, surgery will not be required. Caris will begin a period of rehabilitation with the Nets’ performance staff, following which he is expected to return to full strength and resume all basketball activities without any limitations this season.”

LeVert also gave fans reassurance, while thanking everyone for their best wishes.




In 14 games this season, LeVert has averaged a career-high 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.2 steals in 29.7 minutes per contest. He is the only player in the league this season to convert multiple game-winning baskets with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation or overtime.

The way LeVert was playing this NBA season, I had him in the conversation for NBA All-Star consideration and it was amazing and heartwarming to see the outpouring of love and respect from players around the league when the news of LeVert’s injury became public.

We wish LeVert a full and speedy recovery.

The Brooklyn Nets may not have any NBA All-Stars this season, but that did not stop their confidence, as they beat the Atlanta Hawks tonight at the Barclays Center, 94-89.

After a 14-point loss to the Hawks Wednesday night, Deron Williams led his team with 24 points; Brook Lopez finished with 20 points.

Nets interim coach, PJ Carlesimo said before the game, "It's easier when you play the same team, just makes your preparation better."

Former Hawks' guard Joe Johnson added 18 points and helped Brooklyn maintain its lead for the entire fourth quarter.

Prior to tonight's game, Hawks' head coach Larry Drew praised Johnson as a great addition to his new team.

"Brooklyn is a talented team. Joe is starting to find his rhythm."

A (Joe) rhythm that Drew still lacks on his team.

"When Joe left, it was tough. We had 9-10 new faces and we had to make them look familiar."

Familiarity was not in Atlanta's favor tonight, hitting only 5 of 22 from the field in the final quarter. Jeff Teague finished with a double-double, 21 points, and 10 assists.

Brooklyn is now 16-7 at home, with an overall record of 24-16. Under Carlesimo, the team has won 10 games.

The Nets play the Knicks on Monday, their third matchup this season.

The New York Knicks did its part beating Toronto to help itself get an NBA playoff spot, but the Nets kept them out by losing to the Hawks 93-88

We are at the point in the NBA season where teams have solidified their playoff position. Some teams are trying to improve their spot, while others are hanging on to faint hopes. Such is the story of the four teams that took to the floor Friday night. The Brooklyn Nets hosted the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center while the New York Knicks were on the road against the division leading Toronto Raptors.

The Nets know they will face the Chicago Bulls (who took them out in 7 games last year) when the playoffs start in two weeks. There will be no urgency to play their starters extended minutes to keep them as fresh as possible. For Toronto, it's the same story, the team is looking to win its division for the first time in franchise history. Atlanta holds a 1.5 game lead over New York for the 8th and final spot. It's more like 2.5 games as if both teams end up with identical records, the Hawks would get in due to having a better conference record. Comments were made recently by the Hawks general manager Danny Ferry that they would not mind missing the playoffs (they would face Miami or Indiana in the first round) so they could be a team in the lottery. It had folks from the NBA shaking their heads.

When the Nets introduced their new big 3 (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry) last year the biggest question was how many minutes they would play during the course of the regular season as new first year Head Coach Jason Kidd knew that keeping them healthy and fresh would be the key to their postseason success or failure. Terry is no longer with the team, Pierce has been relatively healthy under those controlled minutes but Garnett's (his replacement Mason Plumlee has played very well in his place as evidenced by his game-winning block against LeBron James and Miami this past Tuesday) back has been a reason for concern. Before playing against Detroit last week on the road, Garnett missed the previous 15 games.

So it was no surprise when Brooklyn took the floor Friday night, the starting line-up had the look of an exhibition game. The Nets were without the services of Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston and Alan Anderson with little used Jorge Gutierrez starting in place of Williams. Garnett started his second straight game at center.

Plumlee continued his stellar play coming off the bench after Garnett's 3 minutes of play. Although he missed 2 of 3 free-throws, he connected on all 3 field goals scoring 7 points as the Nets took a 7 point (23-16) first quarter lead. The Hawks didn't play the second quarter like they were giving up on their playoff hopes. Led by Jeff Teague (all 14 points in the quarter) Atlanta outscored Brooklyn 39-24 to take an 8 point lead (55-47).

Atlanta extended the lead to 10 (66-56) after a Teague layup but the Nets closed out the 3rd quarter on a 17-8 run getting them within 1 (74-73) setting up the game that could define the Hawks post-season plans.

Neither team led by more than 5 (86-81 Hawks) after 2 Paul Millsap free throws. His 27th point of the game gave them a 1 point lead (89-88) with 1:46 left. Teague adds to the lead with 2 free throws and then Kyle Korver blocks Marcus Thorton's lay-up attempt. Joe Johnson misses a floater followed by another Teague basket. Game over.

The New York Knicks did their part beating Toronto on the road but had to be hanging their collective heads when they learned about the 93-88 Atlanta win. The loss broke Brooklyn's 15-game home winning streak. Maybe Ferry was playing reverse psychology with his players when he made his no playoff comment. Looks like it's working.

Brooklyn's Bit: Prior to the game, New York High School, College and Pro legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar introduced his SkyHook Challenge to bring awareness to the Chronic Myeloid Leukemia he was diagnosed with in 2008. Skyhook Challenge is a timed trivia game fans participate in to see how many questions they can answer about Abdul Jabbar's basketball history. 

Brooklyn Nets could not contain the fiery Paul George

Paul George and Jeff Teague were the tag team that carried the Pacers to a 106-97 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on Friday night. In the loss, the Nets dropped eight straight and 11 consecutive losses at home.

Brooklyn trailed for the entire game before taking its first lead 85-83 with 8:37 left on a 3-pointer from Quincy Acy, who just signed a multi-year contract with the Nets. Acy scored his eight points in 12:33 minutes. Although Acy was signed for his defensive skills and physicality, his 12 minutes were in the fourth quarter.

On the other hand, Caris LeVert, who only scored four points, saw 29:42 minutes.

“I thought we needed his defense really at the end,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about LeVert at a postgame presser. “I know we struggled offensively, but I feel very comfortable with having him out there. Defensive end, we knew that they were going to go to that one-three pick and roll, so putting him on (Jeff) Teague – turned out he got on Paul George after the switch and really did a good job – Paul hit a great shot with a hand in his face. So it was really defensively. And then offensively, sure, they’re young guys and sometimes they do too much and I think that’s our job. We have to rein them in a little bit and again improve our execution, help them make the simpler play, keep defining their roles and what we are looking from them offensively.”

George and Teague led all scorers with 24 points each and George added to his tally 11 rebounds. Helping out Indiana were Myles Turner and Aaron Brooks both with 11 points, and Thaddeus Young chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.

In the loss, Brook Lopez scored 23 points and six rebounds for the Nets. Sean Kilpatrick had 18 points, Joe Harris added 15 points, and Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in 13 points.

The Nets have had several close losses, even if they bounce back the next day, right after the loss you can tell it hurts.

“It’s not for lack of effort or lack of trying,” said Lopez after the Nets loss to the Pacers. “We just have to really get over that hump. It’s just going to take all of us being on the same page and working and believing we can do it in the last five or three minutes of the game.”

The Nets play Toronto on Sunday at 12 noon at the Barclays Center.

Disastrous 3rd Quarter Dooms Nets, Playoff Upset Hopes Dashed with 4-2 Series Loss

Unfortunately for the Brooklyn Nets, their Game 7 has come a game early.

Down 3-2 in their 1st-round series against the Atlanta Hawks in this year’s NBA Playoffs, the Nets returned home, hosting the Atlanta Hawks for their Game 6, a possible closeout-game for the away team.

Earlier in this series when the Nets backs were against the wall, they delivered. Down 2-0, the Nets tied this series up winning the next two games at home, highlighted by a 35-point outburst from Deron Williams in Game 4.

But the Nets failed to win a pivotal Game 5, on the road and here we are.

The Nets season is on the line and to force a Game 7, the Nets have no choice but to lay it all on the line like a Game 7 and Friday night, they failed to do so.

The Hawks had their way with the Nets all game long en route to a 111-87 win, advancing to the second round to challenge the Washington Wizards, eliminating the Nets from the post-season.

In tonight's contest, Paul Millsap led all scorers for the Hawks with 25 points (6 assists and 9 rebs) accompanied by DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver, who found success consistently, both scoring 20 each.

As far as the Nets are concerned, as a team, this game got away from them in the 3rd quarter alone, which sealed their fate early in the second half.

The Hawks scored the first seven points of the 3rd, extending what was a 51-45, six-point half-time lead to a 14-point, 59-45 lead, forcing a Nets timeout, through the first two minutes of the quarter.

Deron Williams would answer with a trey, cutting the deficit to 11, 59-48, with less than nine minutes remaining in the quarter and then the Hawks retaliated with yet another run.

Deron Williams Media Day PhotoBrooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams

"When it started happening (Hawks run), I called a time out," Hollins said post-game.

"Then I called another time-out and you could just see they had the wave of momentum that they weren't going to let up."

Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll would hit back-to-back three's and Al Horford would sink two consecutive buckets generating a 10-0 run, which ballooned their double-digit lead to 21, 69-48, forcing the second Nets timeout of the quarter in less than three minutes.

And that 21-point lead continued to 26, as the Hawks shot 57.4% from the field in the 3rd alone, shutting out the Nets who struggled to keep up with the no.1 seeded Hawks, shooting 37.5%.

In addition to their shooting woes, the Nets had a hard time taking care of the ball, committing five turnovers which aided the Hawks in scoring quick, easy baskets, contributing to their runs in the 3rd, routing the Nets in the process.

"The thing that's been killing us turnovers," said Joe Johnson. "Each and every game, no matter what game, and especially again tonight, at the start of the third quarter we started off with three or four turnovers and they go on a 12-0 run. We never bounced back from that."

Joe JohnsonBrooklyn Nets shooting guard, Joe Johnson

The runs, early in the 3rd quarter by the Hawks sucked the life out of the Nets, and created a deficit that the home team was unable to cope with and the pace of the game, without a doubt favored the visiting Hawks.

"We gotta stay being true to who we are and that's playing house basketball," said Carroll post-game.

"That's getting up and down the court, and I think Jeff Teague did a good job of that even though he didn't score tonight."

And they didn't need him to.

Teague distributed the ball like a true floor general, collecting 13 assists, helping three Hawks to score 20+ points, almost four in Horford who finished with 18 points.

The Nets on the other hand, didn't have a 35-point D-Will performance to lean on and as a team, lacked one 20-point scorer which defined their offense tonight.

It wasn't there.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 19 points, followed by 13 from Williams and 12 by Johnson.

The Nets entered the final quarter down by 26-points, and with an uphill battle ahead of them, waved the white flag within time.

At the 4:40 minute mark in the 4th, Hollins called a timeout subbing in Jerome Jordan, Darius Morris and Earl Clark for Williams, Johnson and Mason Plumlee and you didn't need a basketball analyst to know that this Nets season has come to a close.

Those subs were drowned out by the boos that filled the Barclays Center and to begin the quarter the PA announcer didn't even bother addressing the crowd, a home-game ritual where he asks Brooklyn to stand-up.

It wouldn't have helped.

The Hawks were focused and the Nets couldn't match the level of play necessary to force a Game 7.

"They were the better team and they showed it in the last game here," Hollins said during his post-game press conference which is the painful truth.

Only three teams in NBA history have successfully upset a no.1 team in the NBA playoffs (94 Nuggets, 99 Knicks, 07 Warriors) and like father time, history is undefeated also.

In closing, Hollins reflected on the season expressing his gratitude to the players he's coached and also shared his thoughts on the immediate future.

"We'll have to collect our thoughts and get ready for the summer," Hollins said.

"It is an important summer for our young players. We're going to attend two summer leagues and try to get some of our internal players better, then I'll get with Billy [King] and our front office and we'll talk about other needs."

And those comments capped off a frustrating season leading into what could be an interesting off-season for the home-team, but most importantly there's always next year.

Disastrous 3rd Quarter Dooms Nets, Playoff Upset Hopes Dashed with 4-2 Series Loss

Deron Williams 35 Points led the way

All they needed was one.

All the Brooklyn Nets needed was one win in their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks to generate the confidence they needed going forward to have a realistic shot of winning or just being competitive, after losing the season series 4-0.

And after failing to return home with a win, the Nets answered the call in game three to extend this series, at least for another game.

They defeated the Hawks 91-83 in their 2015 postseason home debut, recapturing the attention of the fans while dispelling the early projections of an opening-round sweep, of course, favoring the Hawks.

I mean they are the no.1 seed in the Eastern Conference and pretty much owned the Nets all season long.

But those fortunes have changed.

The tides have turned, and on Monday night, the Nets enjoyed that good ol' home-cooking for the second straight game behind the performance of an unlikely hero.

After an up-and-down year of injuries and inconsistent play, Deron Williams erupted for a team-high 35 points and helped lead the Nets to a 120-115 win in extra time, tying the series at two apiece.

Unlike any other game this season, as an observer watching how he was able to exploit his match-ups and get to his spots, you actually wanted the ball in Williams’ hands.

He finished the first quarter with 11 points, but I highly doubt that anyone saw what was to come from the Texas native once the second half arrived.

Williams scored 16 points in the 4th quarter alone, connecting on four threes, none bigger than his last points of the quarter, a trey, which put the Nets up, 102-101 with under two minutes to go.

And moments later, Brook Lopez, who feasted down low for 26 points, found the basket for two on a floater, a critical possession, improving the Nets lead to three, 104-101.

Brook Lopez 600x591Brooklyn Nets center, Brook Lopez

You could almost feel it. The Nets were about to execute the unthinkable and what seemed like a long shot a week ago was becoming a reality, but this is the Nets were talking about, 38-44 at season's end and that's not how this past regular season played out for the home team.

This 2014-15 campaign was a roller coaster ride, and the Nets, staying true to who they really are, took the crowd on yet another twisted turn.

One made free-throw by Jeff Teague, poor defense on Paul Millsap and a missed game-winner by Williams, was all the Hawks would need to tie this game up in the closing minutes of the 4th and send this game into OT.

At least if you were a fan, you got your money's worth in addition to a free "We Are Playoffs", T-shirt.

But in all honestly, Brooklyn was provided with a reason to smile.

In the OT period, the Nets traded baskets with the Hawks and in the end, made the necessary plays to secure the victory.

And this time, they didn't need Williams to rise to the occasion.

Instead, Bojan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young took turns saving the Nets season from an improbable 3-1 comeback situation.

Bojan Bogdanovic 600x338Brooklyn Nets shooting guard,  Bojan Bogdanovic


Thaddeus Young 650x366Brooklyn Nets power forward, Thaddeus Young

With the Nets down by a deuce, 113-111 and a little over a min remaining in the 5-minute period, Lopez found Bogdanovic for a corner three, giving the Nets the go-ahead basket, now 114-113, quickly erasing the thoughts of a loss looming which seemed like the likely narrative just 20 seconds ago.

With the Nets down by a deuce, 113-111 and a little over a min remaining in the 5-minute period, Lopez found Bogdanovic for a corner three, giving the Nets the go-ahead basket, now 114-113, quickly erasing the thoughts of a loss looming which seemed like the likely narrative just 20 seconds ago.

"I got a couple open shots today because we are doing a great job on the pick and rolls," said Bogdanovic following the game.

"Brook is doing a great job swinging the ball to shooters."

And then Young, who has been a godsend since his arrival in Brooklyn, scored the final basket the Nets would need in this contest, sinking a running jump shot and collected the foul, missing the and-1, which put the Nets up for good 116-113, with 54 seconds left.

In a must-win game, the Nets delivered despite the constant criticism from the outsiders especially Washington Wizards own Paul Pierce, who last week, was openly critical about his time with the Nets last season and the core players which this team was built on.

Pierce said he "Hated" his time with the Nets and called out Williams for not wanting to be the man that $99 million dollars would warrant him being, but yesterday night, Williams showed up and quieted the critics.

He was the man and every man.

He was the man the Nets needed to come alive in a crucial game four and everyone including Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins-loved every minute of it.

Lionel Hollins 07072014 resized 700x586 Brooklyn Nets head coach, Lionel Hollins

"For him to come out, it showed a lot of character to put on the performance like that, especially when we needed it because without that performance, I don't know if we get out of here with a win," Hollins said during his post-game press conference.

But that's why Williams has been the target of the criticism aimed in the Nets direction.

In the team’s season-long struggles, Williams has struggled and as the "Star" of the team, all of the blame, unfortunately, has landed on the shoulders of No.8.

But it's only right to shower him with the praise he deserves because William's performance has provided the Nets with new life in this first round series.

"We really needed to get this win to stay in the series," Williams said.

"It was definitely one of my better games this year for sure and probably as a Net."

And how can you argue with that?

Williams also said that this win was a team win, and that is a fact as six Net's scored in double-figures.

In addition to Deron and Lopez, Bogdanovic scored 15, Young added 10, Joe Johnson poured in 17 and Alan Anderson finished with 11.

As a team, the Nets were out-rebounded, 55-40 especially during the second half of tonight's game where Hollins elected to go small surrendering rebounding and defense for offense.

"Well, Brook got in foul trouble and he was tired, and we needed a change," Hollins said.

"It's just something that sometimes your gut says, 'what else is there to do?' That was what came about in my gut, and fortunately for us, it worked."

And what worked for the Nets, on this night, happened to be enough to fend off the Hawks, who boasted six players in double-figures, just like the Nets.

Teague and DeMarre Carroll led the way with 20 points each.

Kyle Korver and Millsap both scored 16 points. Al Horford added 17 and Dennis Schroder chipped in 10.

But it wasn't enough.

"We had some opportunities tonight that we just didn't take advantage of,” said Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks Head Coach and NBA Head Coach of The Year, for your information.

"In this situation and in this time, it's important when you get an advantage or an opportunity. You have to take advantage of it. Credit to Brooklyn."

The Hawks led by 12, late in the 3rd and also led by eight heading into the 4th, to no avail.

Monday night belonged to the Nets, and most importantly Deron Williams.

"I played with Deron in Utah for a few years and that's the Deron I remember," Korver said post-game.

No kidding.

He continued: "You know, that's what he's capable of. He hit some really amazing shots, and you've got to give him credit."

This team will go as far as Deron will take them; and with the series tied 2-2, the Nets have the momentum and are in the right position to upset the no.1 seed.

It also doesn't hurt that Deron has the full support of Coach Hollins, who defended the point-guard earlier today regarding all of the criticism he's received recently.

"It means a lot when you're struggling like that and your coach comes out and defends you the way he did," Deron said.

"It means a lot. Says a lot about him and how much he cares about not only me but, this team and our players."

For the first time in a long time, the Nets are actually in a good place.

Game 5 is tomorrow night back in Atlanta.

The Last time the Nets won a road playoff game was when they outlasted the Toronto Raptors, in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs, game 7 to be exact.

It's time for the Nets to mirror those results come Wednesday night.

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