December 12, 2018

Nets led for three quarters and in a reversal of fortunes, have lead snatched away in the fourth quarter

Oh, it was going so well for the Brooklyn Nets straight up until the fourth quarter when the proverbial floor fell out from under them. The Nets were leading the Clippers for the first three quarters, ending the third and starting the fourth quarter 97-92. The 97 points not only marked the most Brooklyn has scored through three quarters this season, but the most the Nets have scored through three quarters at Barclays Center since the 2015-16 season, when it scored 98 points against the Washington Wizards on April 11, 2016.

Now, back to the reality of Saturday, because although the numbers through the third quarter were great and perhaps, displaying the upward leap the team is making overall, the only number that matters is the number that is on the board when the clock strikes zero at the end of the fourth quarter. And in this case, when the clock hit zero, it was the Clippers 127 and the Nets 119. With the loss, Brooklyn is 7-10 overall and 3-4 at Barclays Center, while the Clippers improved to 10-5 overall and 3-4 on the road with the win.

When asked how the game slipped away, Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson responded, “I thought their bench did a phenomenal job. Give them credit. I thought they brought the energy. We obviously missed some shots, but I thought (Montrezl) Harrell and Lou (Williams), obviously, those guys came in and changed the game.”

As Atkinson stated, coming off the bench for the Clippers with verve and vigor, Montrezl Harrell scored 16 points and 10 rebounds, and one blocked shot, while Lou Williams registered 16 points, five assists, and one steal. Meanwhile, Danilo Gallinari led all scorers with 28 points and three rebounds; Tobias Harris tallied 27 points, eight rebounds, and three assists; and Marcin Gortat chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.

On the other side of the ledger, Atkinson did not throw his team under the bus.

“Listen, I thought we competed,” Atkinson said about the Nets. “I thought we played hard. We gave them a darn good game, we’re just not at that point where we could get over the hump.”

The Nets didn’t win, which is ultimately the objective of the game, but they did compete.

Nets center, Jarrett Allen, led all Nets scorers with 24 points and 11 rebounds, two assists, and one steal; D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points, 10 assists, three rebounds, and two steals; Joe Harris tallied 19 points and four assists, Allen Crabbe registered 15 points and four rebounds, and; Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in 11 assists and four rebounds. Ed Davis pulled down a game-high-tying 11 rebounds tonight along with four points in 19 minutes off the bench.

“I like the way we competed,” Crabbe told reporters in the Nets locker room about how the Nets played the Clippers. “I think we gave ourselves a chance. First three quarters we played great. I just feel like that last quarter they out-competed us. They made more plays than us and they went home with the W.”

Okay, note to the team, play four quarters; as it isn’t over until it's over.

What’s next for Brooklyn? The Nets will hit the road and travel to Miami to play the Heat on Tuesday, November 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Then, they will travel to Dallas to play the Maverick on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Nets will be back home at the Barclays Center, the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 23rd to play the Minnesota Timberwolves at 12 noon.

VIDEO: Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy: team needs more defense; speaks highly of Tobias Harris and Dwight Buycks at Brooklyn Nets pregame presser

 The Detroit Pistons pulled into the Barclays Center to play the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, and prior to the game, Pistons head coach, Stan Van Gundy, briefed the media on the current state of his team.

Overall, according to Van Gundy, as of late, the Pistons have been struggling with putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket. It’s not that the Pistons don’t have this particular skill set, it’s just that the team’s defensive execution has been lacking and therefore, letting games get away early. According to Van Gundy, Brooklyn will be a test to see if they are making progress towards stopping their opponents’ drives and keeping the ball out of the paint.

Van Gundy believes the Pistons could use some help so he and his team will be meeting to evaluate the team including players in the G-League.

In answering one reporter’s question about Dwight Buycks’ progress, Van Gundy responded, “He (Dwight Buycks), has been hurt for most of the year, but he’s playing very, very well. He attacks and plays aggressively.”

Not wanting to get boxed into who is going to play beyond the starting five, Van Gundy responded “Trying to play the guys on any given night that gives us the best chance to win.”

Pressing on to Tobias Harris, who is known to be an aggressive player with a deadly 3-point shot, another reporter wanted Van Gundy’s assessment of how Harris has been able to adapt to the changing style of play in today’s NBA.

“He just shot the three more and better that’s been the big thing,” Van Gundy said. “Tobias is the guy that is always trying to find a way to get better and he put a lot of time in on that this summer.”

Van Gundy added, “I have tremendous confidence in Tobias period.”

Overall, Van Gundy, believes in the Pistons, as the team has had some outstanding defensive efforts against some very good teams. The test for Detroit is to not let teams get away at the beginning of games, apply a good defensive effort by shrinking the floor, and getting into the gaps.

“The Nets are a perfect example. I think they are 3rd in the league in drives, 50 a game, and third in the league in three-point attempts,” Van Gundy remarked. “You have to cover a lot of ground.”

Joe Harris and D’Angelo Russell each scored 16 points, but all Clippers’ starters scored in double digits

Monday night was not a good night for the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center. Team black-and-white could not make any inroads against the Los Angeles Clippers and its 114-101 loss brings the Nets’ losing streak to six consecutive games. Right now, sitting on a 19-39 win-loss record for this season, the Nets need to hustle to bypass its 20-62 win-loss record from last season in order to show that it is an improved team. It hasn’t helped to have several injured players this season. D’Angelo Russell just returned after he was sidelined for six weeks, now both Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are out with injuries. And, the Nets are really missing Hollis-Jefferson’s defensive presence.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters at his postgame presser that “defensively” is where the Nets struggled the most tonight.

“We couldn’t stop them,” Atkinson said regarding the Nets’ defensive abilities. “We never found any solution to stop them. They really got downhill on us. Their pick-and-roll game, their guards were in the paint and they were laying it up or shooting floaters or throwing the lob. We held them to 16 three’s but, again, did way too many paint drives. We knew we had to keep them out of the paint and we never did it. That was the story of the game, couldn’t stop them.”

The picture is not totally bleak, as there were some bright spots for Brooklyn. In this game against the Clippers, the Nets registered 10 steals led by three steals from Quincy Acy and two steals from Allen Crabbe. Brooklyn’s assist game was tight showing that the team played as a team, edging the Clippers 27-19 in assists. The Nets have averaged 30.0 assists per game in their last three games, compared to an average of 20.7 assists per game for their last three opponents.

The Nets weren’t exactly doormats. Joe Harris and D’Angelo Russell each had 16 points for the Nets, with Russell adding five assists, two rebounds, and one steal. Allen Crabbe totaled 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and a season-high-tying two steals in 33 minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie also scored in double figures for Brooklyn, tallying 13 points, eight assists, two rebounds and one steal in 36 minutes. DeMarre Carroll recorded his eighth double-double of the season tonight with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes.

“Brooklyn shoots a lot of three’s and when they get it going it’s tough,” Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said regarding the Clippers’ need to step up its defense. “For the most part, I was pretty happy. We’ve had some bad losses here. The last two years we’ve had some big leads and it looked like it was going to happen again but we caught ourselves. Give Brooklyn credit. All year they come back. That’s how they play and we warned our guys about that when they started coming back. When they put them away at the end it was nice.”

For the Clippers, all of its starters scored in double digits, along with two from its second unit. Lou Williams came off the bench and led all scorers with 20 points. Austin Rivers scored 17 points. Both Danilo Gallinari and DeAndre Jordan scored 16 points. Jordan added 17 rebounds to his tally and Gallinari scored five boards. Montrezl Harrell tallied 15 points off the bench. Avery Bradley tallied 11 points, and Tobias Harris chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.

Next up, the Clippers will face the Celtics in Boston on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. Also on Wednesday, the Nets will face the Indiana Pacers at home at the Barclays Center at 7:30 p.m.

Brook Lopez hit the buzzer beater over Pistons' Aron Baynes to lift the Nets to a 98-96 win over the Pistons

It was a night of firsts at the Barclays Center. It was my first basketball game, and it was Brook Lopez's first ever buzzer-beating game winner as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons 98-96. The game was competitive all throughout, as the Detroit Pistons are fighting for their playoff lives. Coming into the game the Pistons were tied for the 8th seed with the Miami Heat.

The Pistons played tough through the 1st quarter leading 31-22. Led by Long Island native Tobias Harris with 12 points in the first quarter, the Pistons dominated the points in the paint scoring 18 of their 31 points. Defensively, the Nets toughened up in the 2nd quarter and started hitting their shots, improving their free throw percentage from 29% to 40%. While keeping control of the ball, the Nets only had 3 turnovers and held the Pistons to only 13 points in the second quarter, matching the fewest points the Nets have allowed in any quarter this season. Nets rookie Caris LeVert led the team with 10 points by halftime and the Nets took the lead 50-44.

The third quarter was dominated by the Nets; Lopez scoring 8 points in the quarter, the Nets would take their biggest lead of the night. The fourth quarter, the Pistons started their comeback. Harris led the team in total points with 24 and Andre Drummond had himself a double-double with 13 points and team-high 17 rebounds. Drummond would leave the game in the 4th after suffering a knee injury. They scored 31 points in the 4th quarter. After Harris hit an 8 ft. jumper to tie the game up at 96-96 with 2.4 seconds left, Brook Lopez hit the buzzer beater over Pistons' Aron Baynes with a 10 ft. back-foot jumper to win the game for the Nets for their 14th victory of the season. It was the Nets 2nd buzzer-beating win this season. Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie had a career-high 8 rebounds as a starter tonight. Nets starting guard Jeremy Lin was out due to a sprained right ankle.

After the game, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said about Lopez's shot, "Brook made a heck of a play. It was more of a catch and shoot but he took a dribble, knew how much time was left and made a heck of a shot. It's more about Brook being a heck of a player."

Brook Lopez said he was very confident in his final shot saying, "It felt good. We executed so well on that last play which is something that we've learned throughout the season to do."

Lopez has now scored 20+ points in each of the last 6 games.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said about Lopez's game winner "I thought the defense was pretty good on it... I didn't think Brooklyn got a great, clean look. He's 7'2" and he made a hell of a shot... I don't think there was anything more we could've done on it."
This loss for the Pistons hurt their playoff chances as the Miami Heat won against the Phoenix Suns. They fall a game behind the now 8th and final playoff spot now held by the Heat.

Stan Van Gundy said about the Pistons offense, "our ball movement is sporadic at best. Our offensive energy is not good."

The Pistons look to recapture that offensive spark when they play against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, March 22nd. The Bulls are just one game behind the Pistons who are also looking to make the playoffs.

The Nets are now 5-7 for the month of March, their best month this season.

Atkinson said after the game, "We're trying to improve on our habits. We have set things that we want to do and we've kind of set the groundwork on how we want to play and now it's just reinforcing those habits, doing it for a longer period of time."

The Nets will look to get their first 2nd straight win this season when they go up against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, March 23rd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With forced turnovers, bad shooting, and Brook Lopez not a huge factor, the Brooklyn Nets struggled against a young and athletic Orlando Magic

On Star Wars night at the Barclays Center, the force was clearly with the Orlando Magic, opposed to the host, Brooklyn Nets. To demonstrate how badly thing went for the Nets, lets skip to the 4th quarter. Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton and the rest of the Magic’s starters sat comfortably on the sidelines while the second unit finished the game because the damage to the Nets had already been done.

A second half surge revolving around defense, steals, and a consistent offensive effort, enabled the Magic to hand the Nets their second straight loss in a convincing fashion, 105-82 on Monday night.

The Magic improved to (13-11) on the season, while the Nets fell to (7-17), their third loss in the last five games.

Prior to tonight's game, Joe Johnson told What’s The 411Sports that the Nets would have to get off to a good start and keep their turnovers down. During the first half of the game, Johnson’s pregame strategy came into fruition. The Nets battled with Orlando, keeping it close and competitive, down by seven entering halftime up 52-45. In the 3rd, it all fell apart for the Nets.

Their offense struggled to keep up with the young and athletic Magic, and turnovers in addition to bad shooting, prevented the Nets from protecting their home-court. Facing an uphill climb in the fourth down by 14 points, the Nets would miss their first four shots, while the Magic enjoyed a 13-4 run, led by Andrew Nicholson who scored 10 of his 15 total points, in the 4th quarter alone.

The Magic converted eight forced turnovers into eight points while the Nets offense couldn’t find their rhythm. Even though six players scored in double-figures for the Nets, Brook Lopez, the team’s best player, on his star wars bobble-head night, wasn’t much of a factor recording 11 points total for the game.

“I definitely take responsibility for this one,” Lopez said post-game. “I felt I was a complete negative for our team. I kind of let us down, pulled us back. I definitely need to be better and know I can be. I was very frustrating.”

Where Lopez struggled, Vucevic, his counterpart flourished. The former USC Trojan scored his team-high 18 points in 27 min, 12 of which came in the 3rd. All 12 of Vucevic’s points helped extend what was a seven-point Magic lead to a double-digit advantage, setting up the second unit, who served as the clean-up crew in the 4th.

Payton, who also had a fine game-scoring 17 points and five assists-torched the Nets on the perimeter. Tobias Harris added 15 points and nine rebounds and Victor Oladipo punched in 10.

For the Nets, Jarrett Jack led all scorers with 15 points and described the Nets locker-room following the loss as “Disappointed.”

“We just didn’t perform with the necessary effort to be competitive in the game,” Jack said. “You do that, you get these embarrassing types of losses.”

Thaddeus Young, who finished his night with 10 points, also acknowledged the Nets lack of effort.

“They just played harder than us.” Young said following the loss. “They played harder than us, and they got to all the loose balls. They got to everything they wanted to do within their sets and they took away a lot of stuff that we wanted to do and forced us into tough, difficult shots that we didn’t make.”

The Nets, as a team, shot 38 percent from the field validating the Magic commitment to defense, a testament to their head coach, Scott Skiles, who lives and breathes it.

When most of your core players are questioning the effort of the team, that’s a problem, and the Nets owning one of the worst records in the league doesn’t make it any better.

Wednesday night, the Nets will host the (14-9) Miami Heat, who are in a two-way tie for first place in the southeast division.

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