December 13, 2018

D’Angelo Russell leads Nets with 26 points; but two thrilling overtimes, missed shots, unfavorable calls, and Nets get handed fifth consecutive loss

Wow, wow, wow, what a ride the Brooklyn Nets took its fans on when it played the Memphis Grizzlies last night at the Barclays Center. It took two thrilling overtimes to complete the game, but unfortunately, the Nets came out on the losing end with a score of 135-131. The Nets had their biggest lead of 10 points at 3:52 in the fourth quarter on a Spencer Dinwiddie three-point 25-foot jump shot and then the Grizzlies started to chip away during the waning minutes to end the fourth tied at 111-111.

Then there was the first overtime session, which ended with a score of 117-117 and the second and final session of the game, which led to the 135-131 final score.

“Tough; tough league, tough way to end,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson about how tough of a loss this was for the Nets. “I thought we played a good game and listen – up seven with 33 seconds, the kid makes a heck of a shot, two great shots. I regret we fouled him on that three. Can’t foul him, can’t suck in off the 3-point shooter. We had a guy suck in and then Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) goes to make a contest. You just can’t foul him there and then, hell of a job, he makes a hell of a shot against Jarrett Allen, contested three. That’s on us, but you gotta give them a lot of credit. Give that kid a lot of credit.”

Dinwiddie gave a different perspective of the game as he sees common threads to the Nets’ losses.

“…in a lot of ways it kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Dinwiddie stated. “So, if in the minds for some of the people out there…You know what I mean, like, this one’s going a certain way or whatever, and they have the ability to control that, then it’s going to go that way. (Are) You feeling me? So, there you go.”

In the loss, D’Angelo Russell led Brooklyn with 26 points, eight assists, and three steals; DeMarre Carroll tallied a season-high 21 points and a season-high 12 rebounds in 39 minutes tonight. Ironically, Carroll’s 21 points off the benchmarked the most points he's scored off the bench in a game in his career. Carroll’s previous high was 19 points off the bench with Utah vs. Charlotte on March 1, 2013. Shabazz Napier scored a season-high 18 points, a season-high-tying six rebounds, and two assists in 24 minutes. Three Nets players scored 15 points. Jarrett Allen recorded his team-high ninth double-double of the season with 15 points (5-of-5 FG, 5-of-6 FT) and a team-high-tying 12 rebounds in a career-high 39 minutes. He also recorded a season-high-tying five assists. Additionally, Allen shot 100 percent from the field for the third time in his career. In his first start of the season, Dinwiddie also posted 15 points, five assists, and two rebounds in 43 minutes. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, in his seventh game since returning from injury, tallied 15 points with three rebounds in 38 minutes.

Scoring leaders for the Grizzlies were Mike Conley with 37 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds; Jaren Jackson, Jr., registered 36 points and eight rebounds; Marc Gasol scored 15 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and two steals; Garrett Temple tallied 13 points and three steals, and; JaMychal Green chipped in 11 points and four rebounds.

After the work of a two-overtime game, the Grizzlies do have a minute to breathe, as they meet their next opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

The Nets, on the other hand, only have a few hours to get ready for their next opponent. Next up for the Nets, are the Washington Wizards in DC tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET.

So, will the Nets bounce back?

“We’ve got to bounce back,” Coach Atkinson said. “We’ve got a resilient group. It’s the good thing about having a young group. They’ll bounce back.”

Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe were scoring leaders for the Brooklyn Nets, each scoring 22 points

Fresh off a win against the Dallas Mavericks on St. Patrick’s Day, the Brooklyn Nets were home at the Barclays Center tonight to take on the Memphis Grizzlies and came up with another win. Defeating the Grizzlies 118-115, the Nets have now won two consecutive games (tonight and a win against the Dallas Mavericks) for the first time since January 19 vs. Miami and January 21 at Detroit.

Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe both led the Brooklyn Nets in scoring with 22 points. LeVert (7-of-9 FG, 4-of-4 3FG, 4-of-6 FT - tonight) added to his 22 points, three rebounds, two assists and one block. Crabbe (7-of-10 FG, 4-of-7 3FG, 4-of-4 FT - tonight), who is returning tonight after missing the team’s last two games due to illness, with his first made 3-pointer against the Grizzlies, moved into sole possession of second place in Nets single-season history in 3-pointers made. Crabbe has made 166 3FG this season. Next up is Deron Williams’ record of 169 three-pointers made in 2012-13.

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson was pleased with Crabbe’s performance considering he’s just coming back after recovering from a bug that hitting several players.

“I just think that, especially coming off of a pretty tough illness where he went through well, what we’ve all gone through with the throwing up and the not being able to eat and all that stuff for a couple of days and to come out, I thought that he was a difference maker in terms of shot-making,” Atkinson explained. “His shot-making really put us over the edge and he came back and got a couple of offensive rebounds. He had a big offensive rebound in the fourth quarter I thought when it was a two or four-point game, so that was really good. He was excellent tonight.”

Nets guard D’Angelo Russell co-signs on Crabbe’s return.

“Glad we got him back,” Russell stated. “He came out like he never left, so glad we got him back.”

Russell also likes his team’s back-to-back wins, two months is really a drought.

“It’s a good feeling, Russell said regarding the Nets two consecutive wins. “Like I said, no matter when it comes in the season, the two wins to build off of is a great feeling.”

On the other side of the ledger, Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff gave his assessment of the game.

“I think there was a stretch in that fourth quarter when we just turned the ball over too much,” Bickerstaff said. “We were penetrating, we were getting where we wanted to go, but then the play that we made when we got there wasn’t the right play. And when you’re in the paint, on that baseline, and you make turnovers going towards Brooklyn’s bucket, with their speed and athleticism it’s hard to catch up. Just us understanding the importance of those moments in crunch time, and valuing the basketball, and valuing every possession. If you get a shot, then you at least get a chance to offensive rebound it, and you get a chance to get back and set your defense.”

In addition to both LeVert and Crabbe, scoring 22 points each, other scoring leaders for the Nets included DeMarre Carroll who posted 18 points (5-of-8 FG, 4-of-7 3FG, 4-of-5 FT) with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson recorded 16 points and 12 rebounds with three assists, one steal, and one block in 37 minutes. D’Angelo Russell tallied 14 points, five rebounds, a team-high seven assists, two steals and a season-high-tying two blocks in 29 minutes. In his last five games, Russell has averaged 20.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.4 apg and 1.0 bpg in 29.5 mpg.

The Grizzlies had seven team members with 10-plus points. Starters who scored in double-digits were Andrew Harrison with 19 points and eight assists; Dillon Brooks scored 15 points; JaMychal Green posted 14 points, 16 rebounds, and three assists. Tops scorers coming off the bench for the Grizzlies were Wayne Selden who scored 17 points, Briante Weber tallied 15 points and four rebounds, Chandler Parsons contributed 13 points, and Ivan Rabb chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.

The Memphis Grizzlies will meet up with the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, March 21st in Philadelphia.

The Brooklyn Nets will take on the Charlotte Hornets at home at the Barclays Center, also on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.

DeMarre Carroll scored 22 points and eight rebounds in loss to Knicks

Not a good day for the Brooklyn Nets on this Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday holiday. The event started with a pre-game montage of Nets players giving their views on Dr. King and the significance of his life. That was Thing 1, as Chris Hayes says on his MSNBC show, All in With Chris Hayes. Thing 2, the Nets lost to the Knicks 119-104.

The Nets fell to 16-28 this season and 8-13 at Barclays Center with today’s loss, while the Knicks improved to 20-24 overall and 3-11 on the road with the win.

“I thought they did a great job waiting for us at the rim on our drives,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about the Knicks effort today. “But we do have to do a better job of kicking it out. If they have two guys waiting for us at the rim, we have to make that extra pass. I think we’ve regressed in our ‘making the extra pass’ philosophy and against this team, that’s flood the rim all the time with two bigs, you have to make that extra pass.”

Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson expressed his thoughts on some of the successful things the Nets did tonight, “I think we did a better job at rebounding the first three quarters, the first half especially. I feel like we could have done a better job at keeping them from driving in and fouling them, too.”

For the Nets, DeMarre Carroll scored a team-high 22 points with eight rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes today. Caris LeVert totaled 20 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes as a Nets’ reserve this afternoon. Hollis-Jefferson recorded 16 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes. Quincy Acy added 13 points off the bench and Joe Harris chipped in 10 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.

In the win, Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis led all scorers with 26 points in 27 minutes.

“I just try to slow down mentally and that’s helping,” Porzingas said about his shot selection tonight. “Just not thinking I need to score as much, I just want to be involved and when the shots come I’m gonna take them and those are going to be higher percentage shots. You know, not as many contested shots and not as much me fighting to get the bucket. Just trying to make it easier for myself and I think it’s just mentally, I’m slowing down a little bit and that’s helped me. ”

Knicks rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina, who has been a big concern of many Knicks fans, finished with 10 points and 10 assists in 29 minutes for his first career double-double.

And, Ntilikina’s performance did not get past Porzingas.

“He played great,” Porzingas said congratulating his teammate. “The last few games he wasn’t really in rhythm but tonight you could see that he was pushing the ball and making plays. He was close to that triple-double that I talked about early in the season and you know I still believe that and moving forward as he keeps growing as a player, he will be that type of player.”

Today was the start of the Knicks’ seven-game road trip, the next stop for the Knicks is the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, January 17.

The Nets will host the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday at the Barclays Center at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Nets start off strong against Trail Blazers, but could not close the circle down the stretch, as Lillard and Nurkic lift Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter

High hopes.

Oftentimes, we see potential in an individual or a group and we do our best to be supportive to see them through. Today, the Friday after Thanksgiving at the Barclays Center, Nets fans filed into the arena to support the home team’s efforts against the Portland Trail Blazers. This was the second and final meeting of these two teams this season. Brooklyn defeated Portland 101-97 at their first meeting of the season exactly two weeks ago. So the stage was set, firstly both teams wanted a “W” just for the sake of winning because that’s the reason why you play the game in the first place. Next, layer that with the fact that for deeper statistical reasons, Brooklyn also wanted a win for a 2-0 series against Portland and the Trail Blazers also wanted a win to even the series.

The Nets started off strong, but in the closing minutes just couldn’t close the deal. Former Trail Blazers' guard Allen Crabbe hit a floater, which put the Nets up 121-115. But then the next eight points belonged to Portland, moving up to 123-121. Spencer Dinwiddie then evened the score at 123 points with a put-back layup after missing his own 15-foot pull-up shot, that was a sight to behold. Next, DeMarre Carroll blocked a Jusuf Nurkic shot, and Nurkic snatched the rebound away from Caris LeVert and finished with a foul for a three-point play that put the Blazers up 126-123. Dinwiddie got a bucket which brought the Nets within 126-125, but Portland got a free throw from CJ McCollum, and Dinwiddie’s 3-pointer rimmed out on the following possession and the game ended 127-125.

This was a tough loss for the Nets and Nets’ fans; the crowd left the arena near silence.

“Disappointing,” said Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “You know, games come down to the end like that and go either way. I thought they made the big plays and we shot ourselves in the foot a few times. Turnovers, a couple turnovers there at the end, but good experience for our guys to go against a really good team like that. Good experience for our young guys Jarrett (Allen) and Caris (LeVert), getting their feet wet. We’ll learn from it. Tough loss, really tough loss.”

Dinwiddie had ideas about what could have been done differently down the stretch.

“I think we had a couple of turnovers, a couple of missed shots,” Dinwiddie explained. “Probably we should have gotten to the line and that probably would have helped us out. Free throws are what, the best shots in the game probably? So that probably would have helped us.”

“I think that’s the hardest thing to do in the NBA, you know, is to close games,” Atkinson added. “We saw it the other night in Cleveland, play really well for three quarters. There are great players on these other teams that are determined not to let you win and I think that was a little bit the case tonight. They really relied on their experience, but it’s also a positive experience for us. We can look at this, we can say “how can we close out games, what can we do better, how can we execute better, what can we do defensively differently to close out games?” So that’s on all of us, the coaching staff too, not just the players. So that’s a good point, closing games is a next step for us.”

All five of Brooklyn’s starters scored in double figures today, doing so in the same game for the first time this season. Dinwiddie led the Nets with 23 points and six assists, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 17 points, Crabbe had 12 points, Carroll and Tyler Zeller each had 10 points and Carroll had nine rebounds, and the Nets bench added 53 points.

For Portland, Damian Lillard scored 34 points and nine assists, Nurkic added 29 points and 15 rebounds, and McCollum chipped in 26 points and five assists.

The Brooklyn Nets will meet up with the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, the first of three games on the road and will be back home at the Barclays Center to play the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at 3:00 p.m.

Matinee games and the Knicks have been going together like those hideous orange uniforms they have displayed having lost all previous 6 games. So it was interesting (especially coming off their last 2 games) to see how they would fare against the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday afternoon at the World Most Famous or some would say "infamous" Arena.

With the heat mounting on head coach Mike Woodson and injuries to Raymond Felton, Kenyon Martin and Pablo Prigioni, Woodson elected to go with his bigs in the starting line-up, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani against the smaller Grizzlies. The strategy backfired as Memphis jumped out to a quick 17-8 lead after a Mike Conley short jumper. New York managed to right themselves going on a 14 to 8 run cutting the deficit to two points (25-22) at the end of the first period.

Tim Hardaway, Jr got the crowd into the game with a vicious dunk after a Carmelo Anthony steal giving the Knicks a 3-point (28-25) lead that would not last long. In the blink of an eye, the Grizzlies outscored the Knicks 25 to 12 taking a 10 point (50-40) halftime lead. Ex-Knick Zach Randolph 11 and Tony Allen 13 points leading the way. Meanwhile, the Knicks shooting was atrocious. They attempted 10 three-pointers missing 9. Anthony misses 6 of his first 10 shots, Bargnani 4 out of 5 and Iman Shumpert missed all four of his.

It went from bad to worse in the third period even though New York was only outscored by 1 point (22-21). Jammal Franklin, the latest guard the Knicks made look like an all-star, goes in for an uncontested lay-up pushing the lead to 14 (72-58). Memphis, crushing them on the boards out rebounded them 44-23. Seventeen second chance points and a whopping 11 to 4 in offensive rebounds. The final results would be even more horrific.

Down by 12 to begin the final period, the Grizzlies went up by as many as 19 (85-66) with more than five minutes to go. Boos raining down from the frustrated crowd. The Knicks frantic comeback was started by a Hardaway, Jr 3-point bomb and when Anthony finishes a lay-up, the lead dwindled to 10 (85-75) getting the crowd back into the game. But just like all game and all season, the defense that defined the team last year, could not get stops when needed.

New York managed to get the lead down to four points (91-87) after Chandler converts free throws with 25.6 left. It would be the last points of the game for them as the Knicks lost for the 10th time at home. The big line-up was anything but as Memphis outscored New York 60 to 28 in the paint and out-rebounded them by an astounding 56 to 29. Something Woodson was not pleased with.

"That is embarrassing especially when you start a big lineup," Woodson said.

He called out players he felt were responsible.

"Tyson, Bargnani, Melo have to rebound the ball better and we have to do it as a unit. We could not keep them out of the paint and that was a problem."

The loss dropped their record to 8 and 18 and they are quickly becoming an afterthought in a division that can be taken by anybody.

"I take pride in trying to win games at home" continued Woodson. "That was the whole beauty the last two years. We have been slow in that area and that has put us in a hole. If we won half of our home games we would be sitting at the top of our division the way it is playing out. We have to put a string of wins on the road. That is the only way we can get out this hole."

If the New York Knicks keep losing, be it at home or on the road, Woodson may not be around if they do climb out.

The Memphis Grizzlies lived up to their name on Monday night at the Barclays Center, getting off to a fast and deep start mauling the Nets and ultimately winning the session 112-103.

It wasn’t a blow-out, but with Mike Conley’s game-high 32 points for the Grizzlies juxtaposed to the Nets high scorers Brook Lopez and Spencer Dinwiddie's lowly 17 points each, it just looks worse than it was. But, then again, anytime you lose is not a good thing.

The Nets led the first quarter 19-17 before the Grizzlies went on a 10-0 run ending the quarter 27-19 and then keeping the lead without looking back.

The Nets didn’t go away quietly, scoring 30 points in the third quarter to pull within seven. But, basketball is a game of runs and a Grizzlies run with two minutes remaining in the fourth, kept the Nets at bay.

“They’re an excellent team,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said regarding the Grizzlies. “You know (Mike) Conley really gave us a lot of issues with the pick and roll. I forget, it was you know - made a lot of big shots at the end. It’s tough. They have rollers going down, down the gut of your defense. You have him coming off and you’re trying to – it is a tough play to stop. I thought Brook (Lopez) did a pretty good job on (Marc) Gasol. I thought he fought and did a good job. I just thought the pick and roll defense really hurt us tonight. You know a lot of that has to do with them and Conley, I thought he was really good but I thought we did some good things. I thought we had a ton of looks in the first half, a ton of open looks. I think we were 5-for-19 from 3. We had opportunities, I felt like some decent looks and we just didn’t convert at a high enough level but that is an excellent team right there.”

“That’s a very good team we just played and I think the good thing is we were out there, we competed until the end and we were aggressive and physical with them,” Lopez told reporters post game. “They definitely make their mark by grinding games out and being tough, being physical and I think we responded to that; we didn’t back down, definitely. And we came out in the second half and answered right back and made them call the first timeout.”

For the Grizzlies’ win, Marc Gasol had 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, Brandan Wright added 17 points, Vince Carter put up 14 points, and JaMychal Green chipped in 10 points and six points.

In the loss, Sean Kilpatrick scored 15 points and six rebounds for the Nets. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Trevor Booker each added 13 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

Next up for the Nets will be the Milwaukee Bucks at home at the Barclays Center, tomorrow, February 15, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

The Nets continue to lead early, but is still having troubling closing the deal

On January 25, 2017, the Miami Heat overcame an 18-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter and used a 15-2 run in final 4:35 to beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-106. Last night, the Heat came back to Brooklyn and the Nets pulled out the same playbook, led early and then gave up the lead in the end.  In so doing, the Heat overcame an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to capture a 108-99 victory.

"I don't what it is against [Brooklyn] but they always take the lead against us," said Miami guard Goran Dragic who scored 21 points and five assists. "I'm proud of our guys, how we responded and came back."

“Sometimes you just have to dig really deep and Brooklyn forced us to have to do that,” Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the game. “It’s whatever it takes. The habit we’ve been taking all season long is that we’re a team that it takes a village. There’s not necessarily going to be one guy every single night to defend. We have to do it five-man basketball. Offensively, it’s different guys making different contributions on different nights.”

The Heat scorched the Nets in the second half, outscoring Brooklyn, 34-27, in the fourth. Again, turnovers worked against the Nets. Brooklyn had 22 turnovers to Miami’s 14.

“You felt it,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson regarding the Nets turnovers and pressure from the Heat. “They made every catch tough. Bringing the ball up was a task, sideline out-of-bounds was a task. We had trouble getting open, so we’ll have to go back to the drawing board now and try to help our guys when the pressure is turned up like that, but credit to them. Again, I thought that small lineup really hurt us.”

“They hit us at a certain point and their physicality definitely had an effect,” Brook Lopez told reporters about the Heat’s defensive pressure. “I think we responded well but that initial bout, you know we definitely turned the ball over and they made a run but again I think we responded and we definitely went right back at them.”

In the loss, Lopez had a game-high 30 points and eight rebounds. Randy Foye scored 15 points (5-of-9 FG, 1-of-2 3FG, 4-of-4 FT) in 26 minutes tonight vs. the Heat. Foye’s 15 points last night mark his second-highest scoring output this season (behind a season-high 16 points on January 27th at Cleveland). Bojan Bogdanovic totaled 10 points with six rebounds in 29 minutes vs. Miami. Spencer Dinwiddie recorded a season-high-tying eight assists in 19 minutes tonight (he previously recorded eight assists on January 15th vs. Houston).

With this loss, the Nets fell to 9-45 overall and 7-22 at home. The Nets will host the Memphis Grizzlies next on Monday, February 13, at 7:30 p.m. EST at Barclays Center.

Stephen Curry wins the NBA MVP Award for the second consecutive year; is Sam Bradford delusional; Frank Vogel still looking for an opportunity to coach

In this episode of What's The 411Sports, Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald are talking about:

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry wins the NBA MVP Award for the second consecutive year and the first player to win with a unanimous vote
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wins NBA Coach of the Year award
The Indiana Pacers decided not to renew head coach Frank Vogel's contract
The Memphis Grizzlies fire Dave Joerger and the Sacramento Kings hires Joerger and pays him more money
The Houston Rockets are still searching for a head coach
The NFL issues a warning about eating meat in foreign countries
Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton gets the Los Angeles Lakers head coach position
Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott says he was blindsided by the Lakers’ firing
Miami Heat center Chris Bosh won’t be with the Miami Heat during its playoff run, as Bosh is out for the season because of continuing issues with blood clots
Caitlin Jenner will pose nude for the cover of Sports Illustrated

Additional in-depth conversations focus on: Cardale Jones, Eli Apple, Sam Bradford, Laremy Tunsil, the Penn State scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.

The NY Sports Report focuses on the Brooklyn Nets introduction of its new head coach Kenny Atkinson, which should be imminent since the Atlanta Hawks’ playoff run has come to an end and ending Atkinson's assistant coaching duties.

The New York Knicks is still leaving fans and the media in the dark regarding its head coach for next season. It’s been rumored that former Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel or his agent may have spoken with Steve Mills, executive vice president and general manager of the New York Knicks, and not Knicks president, Phil Jackson. This rumor has left many Knicks fans to worry that Jackson is going to keep Kurt Rambis as the Knicks head coach.

 

 

Joe Johnson Snaps his personal streak of 937 games with at least one field goal

Last night the Memphis Grizzlies came to Brooklyn to play the Brooklyn Nets and it was the Grizzlies’ first game without Marc Gasol, who broke his right foot earlier in the day.

In a pre-game interview, Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Tony Brown spoke about the Nets’ chances against the Grizzlies with Marc Gasol being out of the Grizzlies’ lineup.

“Not having him around obviously helps us a little bit, but then it’s not the end all,” Coach Brown stated.

VIDEO: Watch Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Tony Brown talk about the Brooklyn Nets chances against the Memphis Grizzlies

On the other side of the ledger, Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger was a little concerned about not having Gasol, but wanted to focus on the game with the Nets and would wait until the NBA All-Star break to emerge with a plan to go forward without Gasol.

Regarding the Brooklyn Nets’ chances for a win, Joerger said, “It’s going to be a close game.”

VIDEO: Watch Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger explain the Memphis Grizzlies outlook without Marc Gasol

Coach Joerger’s pre-game interview was followed up by Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley.

Conley said regarding Gasol’s absence, “This team is resilient, we’ve been through a lot of diversity over the years, this is another hurdle, another obstacle to play without our leader, one of the best players on our team, we’re still confident.”

VIDEO: Watch Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley express the team's predicament without Marc Gasol

Okay so, no Marc Gasol. One would think the Nets would have been emboldened by their buzzer-beating win against the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. One would also think that the Nets would have used the opportunity to extend their home-court winning streak to three games. If you are an optimistic soul and said yes, you would be wrong.

The first half looked like it might be a game; the Nets led by five at the end of the first quarter, and only trailed by five at the half. But, in the second half, the Grizzlies sharpened their teeth and mauled the Nets like no tomorrow, ending the third quarter 89-63, and of course, the game at 109-90.

Nets double-digit leaders were: Brook Lopez who finished with 20 points, Wayne Ellington added 18, Bojan Bogdanovic dropped in 11 and Thaddeus Young chipped in 10, as did Markel Brown.

For the Grizzlies, they had seven players score in double digits. Conley finished with 20 points. Interestingly, the next highest scorer for the Grizzlies, Jeff Green contributed 18 points off the bench.

Now, the Nets have lost other games by 20 points or more this season, but this one was different. The Nets’ win against Sacramento and Denver were boosters, and even though Memphis is bound for the NBA playoffs, the Nets had a built-in advantage, no Gasol.

But real the real question on everybody’s mind was how could Joe Johnson end the game with a big fat zero points scored? Prior to last night’s game, Johnson played 937 games with at least one field goal. This was the longest active streak in the NBA. So how did he end up with zero?

“He’s a great pro, man; obviously, it wasn’t his best night,” Coach Brown said about Joe Johnson’s missed field goals. “We were trying to do some things to start the third quarter…..He had some opportunities, but he came up short.”

VIDEO Watch Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Tony Brown explain how Joe Johnson missed scoring a field goal for the first time in 937 games

Thank God for the NBA All-Star break! Also, thank God that the Nets practice facility will now be in Brooklyn starting on Wednesday, February 17, perhaps being closer to the Barclays Center will be helpful to the guys in black and white.

The day after, February 18 at 3:00 p.m., is the NBA trade deadline. Given the team’s performance this season, will the Brooklyn Nets join the shuffle? Only time will tell.

VIDEO: NBA Playoffs Round 2, some surprises; Paul Pierce drops the mic

What’s The 411Sports anchors Glenn Gilliam and Gregory Alcala are talking about the 2nd Round of the NBA Playoffs

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