December 12, 2018

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

On The Way To NBA Playoffs, Nets Take Advantage of 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers were clearly the surprise team in the eastern conference in a strike-shortened season last year under third-year head coach Doug Collins. They stunned the heavily favored Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs after Derrick Rose tore up his knee in Game 1. Then they pushed the Boston Celtics to seven games before succumbing in a very physical series. So there was plenty of optimism coming into this year especially after they traded for center Andrew Bynum. Unfortunately for Bynum and the team, he never played a minute because of knee surgery. Philadelphia is basically playing out the string 14 games under .500 (31-45) when they came to Brooklyn to face the playoff-bound Nets.

The Nets took advantage of an undersized Philly team as Brook Lopez (19) and Reggie Evans (14) first-half points helped establish a 19-point (56-37) first half lead. As a team, the Nets also dominated the boards outrebounding the 76ers by 20 (36-16). Defensively, Brooklyn limited Philadelphia to a meager 34% on 14 of 41 shooting. The Nets shot 49% themselves turning the ball over only 4 times. Shooting guard Joe Johnson playing in his second consecutive game after missing the previous 5, connected on 4 of 7 shots (8 points) still a little confused as to why he was passed over as an offensive option in the last two possessions in the loss to Chicago last Thursday. His backcourt mate Deron Williams was held scoreless for the first time this season attempting only 2 shots.

Philadelphia was down 1 point (16-15) after a Jrue Holiday 3-pointer when Brooklyn outscored them 15-3 the rest of the quarter for a 13 point lead (31-18). Lopez and Evans combining for 25 of the 31 points. The 76ers managed to get back in the game trimming the lead to 5 (38-33) after a Nick Young short jumper. Again, the Nets went on a scoring tear finishing the half on an 18 to 5 run extending the lead to 18 (56-38).

Things would only get worse for the 76ers in the second half as the Nets continued to dominate on both ends of the floor. The rebounding number was an astounding 67 to 34 (24-8 offensive) in favor of Brooklyn with Evans corralling in 24 all by himself.

Said Evans afterward on what the team wanted to do to Philly, "We wanted to hit (the 76ers) upside the head."

It was blunt force trauma in the 104-83 win.

Five Nets finished with double-figure points as Lopez finished with 29. Nick Young came off the bench for Philly to score 18 points in a season that can't end fast enough for them.

Even with the win, Brooklyn lost a chance at winning the division when the Knicks routed Washington. The Nets, however, will be looking to lock up the 4th seed and homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Their next 2 games on the road against Boston and Indiana will be tough before ending the year against lesser teams Toronto, Washington, and Detroit.

Nets Lose to the Bulls 92-90

With Derrick Rose still contemplating his return to the Chicago Bulls lineup and the Brooklyn Nets looking to solidify its playoff spot, both teams met for the last time in the regular season Thursday night at the Barclays Center. The Nets Joe Johnson returned to the starting lineup after missing the last five games (sore left heel) while the Bulls were without Rose, Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain), Taj Gibson (left knee), Richard Hamilton (lower back) and Joakim Noah (right foot) who were all listed day to day.

Riding the hot hand of Brooklyn's Brook Lopez (18 points on 8 of 9 shooting) and taking advantage of the absence of Noah, the Nets jumped all over Chicago right from the start getting out to a 13-point first period (26-13) lead. While Lopez sat for half of the second period, guard Deron Williams picked up the slack scoring 8 points as the defense stepped up limiting the Bulls to only 37% from the floor (0-5 from 3 point land) taking 9-point (47-36) halftime lead. Then Chicago's head coach Tom Thibodeau delivered a message to his team that was well received.

It began on the defensive end as Chicago allowed Brooklyn only 20 points clamping down on their perimeter shooting.

Said Thibodeau, "I thought our intensity picked up. and we had more energy on offense."

The Nets missed 11 out of 16 shots (31%) while the Bulls made 50% of their own (13-26) putting 29 points on the scoreboard. Brooklyn, who at one point enjoyed a 16 (36-20) point lead, entered the final quarter leading only by 2 (67-65) after 2 Williams free throws.

Neither team would lead by no more than 4 points (4 ties) as both squads intensified their defense. The last tie coming with 1:55 left (84-84) when Williams was fouled on a drive to the basket. After converting the free throw, he scored on a short jumper extending the lead to 3 (90-87) the last lead his team would see.

Chicago began its winning 5-0 run with Luol Deng hitting a long jump shot to get them within 1 point (90-89) before ex-Knicks and perennial pest Nate Robinson made his presence known. Robinson began by forcing a Lopez turnover and after a 20 second Bulls timeout, he dribbled right past the free throw line floating up a soft jump shot that gave Chicago the lead (91-90).

"Coach said get it and go if we got a turnover or rebound," said Robinson describing the play.

Brooklyn had plenty of time left (22.7) with a chance to at least send the game into overtime. It did not happen.

Williams broke down the Bulls defense and shuffled the ball off to Lopez who looked like he had a clear layup or dunk but did not have total control of the ball on the way up. It allowed the Bulls veteran Nzar Mohammed to fully extend, cleanly blocking the shot. He then had the composure to grab the rebound. A Chicago free throw pushed the lead to 2 (92-90) giving Brooklyn yet another shot at tying or outright winning the game.

Inbounding the ball with 5.5 seconds, Williams once again penetrated to below the foul line and shuffles the pass to Lopez again. His 17' fadeaway rolled around the rim before falling out as Chicago escaped with the 92-90 victory.

Brooklyn's interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo had no problem with the decisions Williams made down the stretch.

"Deron made a very good decision both times. He found Brook going to the basket the first time and he found him wide open the second time," he said.

Unfortunately, neither resulted in a basket.

The Chicago Bulls took 3 out of 4 games from the Brooklyn Nets which may be a factor in the playoff seedings if they end up with the same record at the end of the year.

"We're trying to get better each game," said Robinson. "It's something that the coach always harps on. Play your best basketball towards the end of the season."

Melo Gores Bulls

April 08, 2012

In a playoff atmosphere, Carmelo Anthony scores 43 points against the Bulls, the 20th time he has scored 40 points or more in a game and his first as a Knick

When the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls last played each other about a month ago, the Knicks were in the middle of a five-game losing streak and head coach Mike D' Antoni still had a job. They played one of their more spirited games during the losing streak, only to come up empty in the 104-99 loss on the road, extending the losing streak to six. To a man, many of the Knicks said they couldn't wait to get back on the court and it showed as right after D' Antoni "resigned" the Knicks went on to win their next five games for interim coach Mike Woodson. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden on Easter Sunday and New York came out like they had their minds on the last time they faced Chicago.

With last year's MVP (the youngest in league history to win the award) back in the starting lineup after missing the last five games with a groin injury, Derrick Rose was looking to give his team a boost. The Bulls had split their last six games but still managed to come into the game with the best record in the east at 43-13. Right from the start, Rose showed rust missing six of his first seven shots in the first half scoring only seven points.

"I felt good," said Rose of his inauspicious start. "It felt good to be out there. I wasn't trying to do too much."

Meanwhile, the Knicks connected on seven of their first nine shots to take an early 12 point lead (15-3). Carmelo Anthony's torrid shooting (12 points on 5 of 5 field goals) maintained that margin going into the second period. Defensive-minded Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said, "big hole to start the game."

The double-digit lead continued for much of the second period with New York getting as high as 16 (35-19) after a Jared Jeffries offensive rebound and lay-up. Chicago slowly chipped away at the lead getting three more offensive rebounds and converting seven more free-throws to get within eight (53-45). Rose got his basketball legs back to begin the third period as an Anthony jump shot increased the lead to 10 (55-45). Rose scored 14 points tying the game at 67 after nailing a 3-pointer. Chicago ended the period up by three (75-72) setting up one of the best Knicks victories in recent memory.

The ball movement that accounted for the Knicks double-digit lead disappeared as they continually settled for perimeter shots in the fourth period. New York closed the gap to one point (81-80) but Chicago outscored them 10-1, taking a 10-point lead with a little more than 3 minutes left. That's when all the fun began. J.R. Smith, who missed 14 of his 18 field goal attempts (7 of 9 from 3-point land) gets the Knicks within 7 after a rare 3 pointer. The Knicks shut out Chicago the rest of the period as the Bulls not only turned the ball over but missed their last four free-throw attempts that could have secured the victory. Trailing by three, Anthony connects on a deep three-pointer, tying the game at 91. Rose then misses his last-second shot, sending the game into overtime as the sold-out crowd roared its approval.

In overtime, Chicago took a 99-95 lead after Rose and Joakim Noah combined for 8 points. Not to be undaunted, Anthony scores the final 5 points, the last three a trifecta with 8.2 seconds left and Luol Deng all in his face. It was Anthony's 43rd point of the night, a season high. His first as a member of the Knicks and the 20th time he has scored 40 points or more in a game. The play-off type atmosphere had Woodson with a wide grin of satisfaction on his face.

"Unbelievable," he started. "They (Chicago) refused to give in after we got off to a great start. We kept grinding. Our team refused to quit."

Anthony got caught up in the fact that both teams will play each other Tuesday night and may face each other in the playoffs.

"This was a playoff type of game. We might play these guys in the playoffs if we keep going. So this was a big statement game for us. A big win today."

The end-of-season stench of disappointment that occupied the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, the newly minted home of the NBA Brooklyn Nets, is gone, for now.

What has replenished the stench is a new smell, more appealing to the ever-growing fan base that the Nets continue to grow. That new smell, similar to a new car smell is hope, opportunity, and expectations. Those are the words that can be and will be attached to the Nets as they begin their 2013 NBA campaign on the road against a promising Cleveland Cavaliers basketball club. What's different about this year's assembled Nets team, despite its new home, is billionaire boys' club owner Mikhail Prokhorov's recently retired and just hired NBA coach Jason Kidd and the new additions that they have acquired to help bolster their roster with the expectations of positive results.

Welcome, Paul Pierce, the 36-year-old veteran, or as we like to refer to him as "The Truth", who has produced a resume that boasts an NBA championship, an NBA Finals MVP and 10 All-Star selections most notably. Meet Kevin Garnett, who aided Pierce in achieving their first NBA championship in 2008 with the Boston Celtics. Garnett is also the proud owner of an impeccable resume, which includes 15 All-Star selections, an MVP award, and the Defensive Player of the Year award, utilizing his anger to induce pain on everyone, not on his team. These Hall of Fame-bound players have to be properly introduced and separated from the rest of the players that complete the Nets offseason moves, and those players include journeyman Jason Terry, wingman Alan Anderson, a rehabilitated and resurrected Shaun Livingston, forward Andrei Kirilenko, and 1st Round Draft Pick center, Mason Plumlee. When you review the Nets 2012-2013 NBA season, analyzing their wins, playoff success or lack thereof, and compare it to the offseason roster changes to modify their chances within the eastern conference there's only one question that needs a response. How good can the Nets be this season? I think they can be very good, but at what expense?

When teams agree to swap players, contracts or draft picks, the overall and general goal is to rid themselves of their unwanted parts to gain something in return that they value more than what they have decided to give up. In this case, the Nets gave up relatively young starters and role players in forwards Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace and guards, Marshon Brooks and Keith Bogans. The combination of Pierce and Garnett representing the upgrades in the starting lineup over Humphries and Wallace at both forward spots is a no-brainer every day of the week, but the difference is which tandem is actually capable of remaining on the court for the duration of an entire 82-game NBA regular season. The Boston Celtics realized that their condensed version of a dynasty, which produced an NBA Championship, had come to a close. On the other hand, the Nets felt that the addition of two soon-to-be Hall-of-Famers may be exactly what they need to make their dreams of contending for the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy a reality.

Basically, the Nets want to win now, but can they really? The Eastern Conference for all intended purposes has regained its honor back in being a respectable conference. The infusion of young talent and well organized and assembled teams spell trouble for the Nets in its climb to reach the mountaintop. Derrick Rose is healthy this year, returning to the same Bulls team that eliminated the Nets in the 1st round of the 2012-2013 postseason. Rose accomplishes the feat of the missing bulk to the Bulls' starting lineup. The Indiana Pacers added backup point guard CJ Watson, and forwards Chris Copeland and Luis Scola to replenish its bench. The Pacers also have All-Star forward Danny Granger back from injury to pair alongside budding star forward Paul George, who enjoyed the finest NBA season of his career averaging 17.4 points and being selected to his first All-Star team. The other NBA team sharing the same state with the Nets in neighboring Manhattan is the New York Knicks. It, too, has altered its roster adding famed NBA bad boy Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) to further improve its team defense. The Knicks also acquired forward Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors to help take the pressure off star forward Carmelo Anthony on the offensive end of the court. Meanwhile, the defending Champs in the Miami Heat are prepped for another title run. The Heat boasts the "Super Friends" in forwards Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and guard Dwyane Wade. The Heat also added much-needed size to its frontcourt in signing former 2007 number 1 overall draft pick in center Greg Oden, as well as, scoring punch off the bench by forward Michael Beasley, the Heat's former Number 2 overall draft pick in 2008.

On paper, the Nets can contend, but the court is where it matters. The questions that the Nets will be forced to answer beginning October 30th, on the road in a meet and greet with the Cleveland Cavaliers will be: Can Jason Kidd inspire starting point guard Deron Williams to play at a level that we have not seen yet? Can Jason Kidd in his initial year as a Head Coach manage the variety of personalities at his disposal? Will Pierce and Garnett survive the 82-game schedule to play in meaningful games in May and June? Will the defense be able to control the game that best fits their strengths, as they will have a difficult time defending the fast-break as well as completing them? And finally, will the bench be able to pick up the time that Pierce and Garnett will inevitably miss this year to keep the team afloat in their absence? If the Nets can answer all of these questions, Brooklyn will have a summer for the ages, but this is their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test and not everyone can obtain their Masters.

Big moves in the NBA, power centers shifted for NBA 2017-18 Season

In this Quick Bites segment:
Derrick Rose says he’s no longer in a “dark place,” he is happy with the Cavaliers.
Russell Westbrook signed a five-year, $205 million extension with the OKC Thunder and the OKC mayor declared everyday Russell Westbrook Day
• With Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony on the same team, NBA analyst Stephen Jackson said that OKC is the scariest team in the NBA.
Carmelo Anthony is happy being in OKC, he told ESPN, "... From an individual standpoint, I feel born again, feel rebirth, a different type of energy within myself, around the guys, around the organization, around the city. You can feel it."
• And, as we all know by now, Dwyane Wade has joined LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers

An historic game and blowout 106-89 win for the Brooklyn Nets over the Chicago Bulls; Lopez has stellar performance and Williams finally brings his "A-Game"

New York City is known the world over for its skyline. Saturday, the bright colors of orange and blue dominated the afternoon skyline with a New York Knicks win over the Boston Celtics. Later in the evening, those colors faded to black, as the Brooklyn Nets took center stage and the stars shimmered brightly against the skyline with the Nets blowout 106-89 victory over the Chicago Bulls. I took a mini survey about the pulse of the Nets while at a few local bars watching the two preceding playoff games. And quite frankly, I didn't like what I saw from Brooklyn, NY. There was not enough black and white nor a lot of chatter about this historic first major postseason game in Brooklyn since October 10, 1956, when the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. This is a monumental game for the Brooklyn Nets, which are in a 4 versus 5 NBA Playoff match-up against the Chicago Bulls. At the outset, I thought this engagement would be very physical and feature some great match-ups, as the two big-city teams clashed.

NBA Playoff Basketball is all about position battles. Two match-ups basketball fans are clamoring for are the all-star center battle between Joakim Noah of the Bulls and Brooklyn's all-star center Brook Lopez, and guard Deron Williams versus Chicago's MVP Derrick Rose. Basketball enthusiasts received good news at the pregame press conference when Chicago's head coach Tom Thibodeau announced Noah looked good earlier in the shoot around and will play tonight. Unfortunately, the same could not be said about the point guard match-up because although Rose practices with Chicago, he did not suit up tonight to face Deron. However coach Thibodeau didn't rule him out for the series, so there still maybe hope for fans to see the dream match up.

I asked earlier would Brooklynites be ready to cheer on their home team in this historical event and quite frankly this was the most boisterous crowd all season and was a key to the Brooklyn Nets first playoff victory.

Right out the gate in the first quarter, you could tell Deron brought his A-game. I have not seen him move so fluid on offense and defense in a Nets uniform. He set the tone early for playoff basketball. His energy was at a gear unlike other games; he had nine points and one assist while he blanketed the other starting point guard Kirk Hinrich leaving him 0 of 0 in the first quarter. Also Lopez was huge in the first quarter. He dominated the banged Noah who also had 0 points while Lopez had 12. Lopez came out soft shooting four straight jump shots and missing then did a nice post move dunk on Carlos Boozer which really got him going for the rest of the night. The Nets were up 25-14 after the first quarter and never looked back.

The Nets shot 55.8% field goal shooting against one the leagues best defensive teams and its bench scoring was phenomenal getting 12 from Andray Blatche and 10 from C.J. Watson.

Williams said during the postgame talk that with his "Double Pump Dunk", he just wanted to show the guys that next year they should put him in the Slam Dunk Contest.

This was a great win in a great playoff atmosphere in Brooklyn.

Game 2 for the Nets vs. the Bulls will be on Monday, April 22 at 8:00 pm. Hopefully, Deron Williams can keep up this intensity for the rest of the playoffs.

Nets Couldn't Handle Charging of Bulls in 2nd Playoff Game

In a dramatic turn of events, the Chicago Bulls has evened the first round of its playoff run against the Brooklyn Nets 1-1, as they dominated the Nets, 90-82 Monday night.

Bulls head-coach Tom Thibodeau said in a pregame press conference that Joakim Noah would be playing limited minutes, but that did not stop the Bulls from giving the Nets a beat down on its home court.

Brooklyn's fans were loud and proud, chanting "Brooooklllyn," the entire game, but the Nets did not match up to the momentum that their loyal fans displayed.

All-Star Deron Williams shot 1-9 and finished with eight points, the same amount of points as Kris Humphries. Williams had 10 assists.

"We didn't get stops, which was the key for us because then we couldn't get out and run like we wanted to," Williams said. "We have to do a better job defensively next game. I've got to do a better job of everything really. This was a bad one for me."

Joe Johnson, who also seemed quiet on the floor went 6-for-18 and finished with 17 points.

Brook Lopez who played 35 minutes scored 21 points.

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo who seemed at ease and jittery during pregame interviews said before the game that his team had the bigger advantage on Saturday, when they beat Bulls 106-89.

"We weren't playing against the normal Chicago defense," he said.

Carlesimo was right. This time around, Chicago tightened up its defense and the Nets suffered from careless turnovers and couldn't stabilize a steady shooting rhythm.

Although Brooklyn didn't come out with the win, fans were excited to see Bulls' point guard Derrick Rose shooting around on the court moments before the game. Rose, who injured his left knee, which resulted in a torn ACL on April 28, 2012 in the first game of last season's playoffs, has not played at all this season.

Thibodeau said that Rose would most likely be sitting on the bench for the entire postseason.

The Nets will travel to Chicago for the third game of the playoffs on Thursday.

Happy New Year! Its 2014, and I'm not saying that I'm excited for a brand new year, but each new year brings new experiences and fresh stories revolving around the sports universe. Sports focuses on the present, the now, the before, after and the future. For this particular subject I would like to dwell between the past and the future.

The future being Seventh Woods, a 6'1" explosive guard out of Columbia, South Carolina, currently a member of the Hammond High School Basketball team. The past being what has stalled the untold futures and careers of two established professional guards, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook, employed by the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder respectively, of the NBA.

Woods is only a sophomore in High School at the tender age of 15 years-old and has an ample amount of time to enhance his game before he can consider the professional ranks, but I'm targeting this infant of a basketball prospect due to the players who have arrived before him with a game similar to his own.

Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook: A Case Study

The last decade featured a new class of point guards. Meet the athletic and ultra-aggressive point guard, capable of playing above the rim opposed to the general and expected characteristics of a point guard whose game is most notable for being a floor general. Now point guards can do both, run the offense as well as dunk on a team's enforcer, if the team has the luxury of employing one on its roster. I target Woods now because, since his game is similar to the two point guards I have listed above who now are experiencing injuries as a result to their style of play, who's to say Woods isn't next?

If you are not familiar with Rose and Westbrook, I will inform you. Rose, at the age of 25 is the starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls. The Chicago native maintains a career scoring average of 20.8 points per game dishing 6.8 dimes per game over the course of five NBA seasons all while missing significant chunks of the last two seasons due to recently reoccurring injuries. He's an MVP as well as a three time All-Star, becoming their first perennial All-Star since one, Michael Jordan laced up his own signature shoes for the Bulls during the 1984 NBA Season. Rose also struck gold as a competitor for the U.S. team at the 2010 FIBA World Championships. All of these accomplishments have been achieved before the age of 25. Making history and creating your own brand only leaves the public craving for more, and Rose's style of play prompts you to fall in love with basketball and what he brings to the hardwood all together.

Rose is an athletic 6'3" point guard who excels in the open court, with an elite ball handling ability capable of penetrating any defense to create for himself and others. Rose relies on his quickness, ball-handling ability with an array of hop-steps and sharp cuts to force his way to the paint along with his toughness, strength and body control to convert layups against suffocating defenses. His talent has aided him in becoming one of the faces of the NBA and now one whose career could be in jeopardy courtesy of that same talent.

Here's where it begins: In game 1 of the 2012 NBA postseason against the Philadelphia 76ers, Rose as he has done constantly throughout his basketball career took a routine cut to the right side of the basket utilizing his hop-step maneuver resulting in his initial knee injury, tearing the ACL, which came with 1:20 to go in the 4th quarter with the game already decided due to the Bulls enjoying a comfortable 87-99 lead. That injury kept Rose from seeing any playoff action for the rest of the year.

Now Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau is known for riding his players to compete at their maximum potential allowing them to play extensive and strenuous minutes. Rose should have been resting on the bench at that point of the game but did he have to make that move with that velocity? Dogs bark they don't meow, and Rose attacks the basket with a fury comparable to almost none. In his MVP speech he explained his style of play dedicating it to his mother which is definitely understood and should be commended and celebrated but is that style of play worth endangering what could be a Hall-Of-Fame career.

Since that injury, Drake's third album title Nothing Was The Same serves as a symbol as to where Rose's career stands. Since that injury, Rose missed the rest of the 2012-13 NBA season removing himself from professional play for precautionary reasons in order to come back at 100%, which he did. Struggling to return to a groove, finding his rhythm all while scoring 15.9 points per game this season, Rose tore his right knee meniscus against the Portland Trailblazers on November 22, 2013. You can draw parallels from Rose's career to Westbrook's.

Westbrook, like Rose is also 25, is the starting point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The California native maintains a career scoring average of 19.9 points while consistently finding teammates, making him good for 6.9 assists per game. Westbrook is a 3-time All-Star, 3-time All-NBA Second team and has struck gold twice for the USA Men's basketball team contributing his services during the Olympic Games of 2012 in London and with Rose in Turkey, for the 2010 FIBA World Championships. In Game 2 of the 2013 playoffs against the Houston Rockets, guard Patrick Beverley of the Rockets collided with Westbrook's right knee on a steal attempt which eventually resulted in a slight tear in his right meniscus, eliminating him from the rest of the playoff festivities. Before the start of the 2013-14 NBA campaign, Westbrook elected to have a second surgery on the same knee, lulling his debut to the delight of the Oklahoman's. On December 27th, Westbrook decided to receive another procedure on his knee, arthroscopic surgery on the same knee, which will further discontinue his play until after the All-Star game.

Although Westbrook did not injure his knee by way of his own doing, who's to say that, that particular injury isn't the result of his style of play similar to Rose, using his athleticism to perform sharp cuts to penetrate the lane and finish with contact. Who's to say that his style of play hadn't damaged his knee during his early basketball years and Beverley's attempted steal only sped up the process of Westbrook's eventual injury.

Could Seventh Woods Be The Next Superstar Injury?

This is targeted to the youngsters who orchestrate their team's offense along with an aggressive and reckless abandon with disregard to any human life while attacking the basket since I am young and indestructible. This is for the new breed of point guards who would rather fulfill the challenge of dunking on the new Mount Mutumbo's rather than penetrate and dish to their own mountains for an easy finish. This is for those who do not pace themselves like guards Chauncey Billups, Chris Paul, Andre Miller and Syracuse prospect Tyler Ennis but play with an "All For Nothing" attitude, respectable but to their own detriment like Rose, Westbrook, and John Wall.

Rose and Westbrook can still be who they want to be on the court, but what's wrong with a little patience and pace. Jason Kidd extended his career with that formula and so did guards Gary Payton, John Stockton and Mark Jackson. I'm not jinxing Seventh Woods but he rivals the athleticism of Rose and Westbrook, even at his age, just take a look. Sometimes your environment dictates your style of play, but it shouldn't dictate your playing span. Injuries to Westbrook and Rose don't just harm them, their families, their employers and their fans, it hurts basketball. We don't want Woods to be the next Rose or Westbrook, the injured versions because I can't change his game, only he can.

Porzingas and Knicks bench lead the comeback to beat the Nets

On a day when Carmelo Anthony was relegated to the bench during the fourth quarter and Derrick Rose was inactive because of an injury, the New York Knicks staged a come from behind win with the use of Kristaps Porzingas, Willy Hernangomez, and Sasha Vujacic.

Porzingas scored 19 points and 12 rebounds and 12 of his points came in the fourth quarter. Hernangomez had 16 points and 16 rebounds and Vujacic added 12 points and made team history with his effort by converting a pair of four-point plays in the game.
Anthony has had better days; he scored 15 points by the third quarter (26:39 minutes), but on 6 of 22 from the field.

“It was tough, trying to get it going and muster up some energy from somewhere,” Anthony said in a postgame locker room interview. “But our second unit and our guys that came in off the bench picked it up for us, so we liked that. Today was a big day for us to get this win, especially after coming off a back-to-back and for guys to step up – for guys like Sasha (Vujacic) who haven’t been playing that much lately to come in ready when his number was called. Billy (Hernangomez) played extremely well tonight. And then K.P. (Kristaps Porzingis) also had a great game, so for those guys to pick it up like that and get us to a victory, we needed every piece of that tonight.”

The Knicks fourth quarter push was not lost on Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.

“They picked up their intensity, picked up their heat, picked up their heat on the ball,” Atkinson said during a postgame presser. “We turned it over, we didn’t get the type of shots we wanted and then I thought they started getting second and third shots. And it’s tough to give any team in the NBA multiple shots at the rim, multiple possessions, and so I think that’s the story of the game really, story of the fourth quarter – us turning it over and then not being able to control the defensive boards. ”

Brooklyn Nets center and de facto team captain, Brook Lopez, thought the Knicks made better use of their second point chances.

“They hit some big shots,” said Lopez about the Knicks. “And, I think we were working hard, they just, they definitely made a lot of opportunity off their second chances throughout the game and that was definitely the key in the last five minutes down the stretch.”

Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led all Nets scorers with 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists pretty much echoed Lopez’s thoughts on the outcome of the game.

“We could have done a better job of coming together, staying poised and doing what we did in the third quarter,” added Hollis-Jefferson. “I feel like there were a couple of times when I made mistakes, I mean we all made mistakes, but there are things we have to try and limit during the stretches where teams are making a run. And we can limit it from a 12-2 run to like a 4-or 6-2 run, and that’ll benefit us.”

Nets top scorers included Bojan Bogdanovic with 15 points and seven rebounds, Trevor Booker scored 12 points and eight rebounds; and Lopez and Caris LeVert each added 10 points.

The Nets fell to 9-40 overall and 7-18 at home with tonight’s loss. Next up for the Nets on Friday will be the Indiana Pacers at 7:30 p.m. at the Barclays Center.

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