March 24, 2018
Ruth J Morrison

Ruth J Morrison

DeMarre Carroll scores 11 of 15 points in first quarter; Nets bench kept team in the game; Coach Atkinson visibly disturbed by Nets effort in first quarter

It’s NFL Super Bowl Sunday, and the Brooklyn Nets had a 12-noon date with the Milwaukee Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo aka the “Greek Freak”.

For the Brooklyn Nets, things got ugly fast. Save, DeMarre Carroll and Jahlil Okafor off the bench, the Nets shots weren’t going down; their trajectory seemed to be off, too much force, too much spin, etc., etc. Meanwhile, the Bucks seemed to be scoring at will.

At the end of the first quarter, it was Bucks 36, Nets 22. When the Nets dig themselves into a hole early, the outcome is usually not good, and today’s 109-94 thumping by the Bucks proved the point.

What hurt the Nets the most this afternoon?

“Our start,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told the media without hesitation.

“Somehow, for some reason, we weren’t ready,” Atkinson continued. “I don’t understand how that happens. I’m a little upset with our group that we weren’t more ready mentally, physically. You give up 36 points in the first quarter; it’s like, that team is too good, too good to let that happen. We did show some fight with our bench. I thought they came in and gave a glimmer of hope there. But too big of a hole against a very talented team.”

The Nets’ bench outscored the Bucks’ bench 38 – 30; however, the Bucks outrebounded the Net 54-36.


“Against some of the best teams in the league, we’ve competed and we’re ready, but we were on our heels from the start,” Atkinson added. “And if you do that against a bigger team, a more athletic team, that’s just going to happen. You have to take 36 (points Bucks made in the first quarter) on the chin. So we just weren’t ready for the fight. I thought (Eric) Bledsoe set the tone. I thought he was the difference. He was an absolute ball of fire out there. We couldn’t stop him. Obviously, Giannis (Antetokounmpo) is going to do what he’s going to do, but Bledsoe really set the tone for them and dominated us.”

Spencer Dinwiddie, who did not have a good day in the points’ column, picked up his eighth game of double-digit assists this season. He totaled one such game in his first three NBA seasons combined and he credits his teammates for getting the Nets back in the game.

“I think Caris [LeVert] and D-Lo [D’Angelo Russell] did a great job picking up the pace, Staus [Nik Stauskas] hit a big shot,” Dinwiddie said. “I think Joe [Harris] had great energy, DC [DeMarre Carroll] was part of that run as well as Quincy [Acy], so I think those guys should be attributed for that run. Give all credit to those guys for getting us back into it; obviously, we didn’t get close enough.”

DeMarre Carroll recorded a team-high-tying 15 points and three rebounds in 32 minutes, with 11 of his points coming in the first quarter. Caris Levert came off the bench to also score 15 points and he leads the Nets with 27 games scoring in double figures off the bench this season. Nets rookie center Jarrett Allen tallied 14 points (7-of-11 FG) and a team-high seven rebounds in 27 minutes in his fourth-career start for Brooklyn. Allen Crabbe chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

Like Dinwiddie, D’Angelo Russell was not a points’ leader against the Bucks, but he recorded seven assists in 18 minutes off the bench.

Eric Bledsoe led all scorers with 28 points and six assists in the win for the Bucks. John Henson tallied 19 points and 18 rebounds; both Khris Middleton and Antetokounmpo scored 16 points, while Antetokounmpo added eight rebounds to his tally.

Antetokounmpo twisted his right ankle with about 7 1/2 minutes remaining and left the game, not long after the Nets had cut what had been a 28-point deficit to seven. Post-game, the Greek Freak assured the media that he’s fine and would have gone back into the game if his team needed him.


This game against the Nets was Jabari Parker's second game after returning from a year-long injury and he helped the Bucks with 11 points off the bench. Bucks head coach Joe Prunty is pleased with Parker’s progress so far and is looking forward to Parker’s contributions.


Next up for the Milwaukee Bucks is the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.

The Nets will host the Houston Rockets also on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. at home at the Barclays Center.

Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie posts game-high 23 points and rookie center Jarrett Allen scored a career-high 20 points with five rebounds in the loss

The Barclays Center was a sea of Purple and Gold when the Los Angeles Lakers came to town for its match-up with the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. The crowd was boisterous but respectful as they over-powered Nets fans in cheering the Lakers on to a 102-99 victory. Although the Nets lost, all was not lost for Nets fans as they got to see former stalwart Nets center Brook Lopez for the first time since he was traded to the Lakers. Lopez was the Nets’ rock, the solid foundation that helped keep the team together during the lowest points of the rebuilding years. On Friday night, the Nets management showed its respect for and gratitude to Brook Lopez with a video tribute.

So, on this night, Lopez belonged to both Nets and Lakers’ fans, and he was appreciative.

“It was great,” Lopez said about being embraced by the Lakers and Nets fans. “It was such an awesome moment. That’s the kind of stuff you dream about as a kid and to see that kind of support from both Laker and Nets fans it’s really awe-inspiring. It’s such a fantastic moment. I can’t thank them enough for the continued support.”

It’s easy for an organization to celebrate a solid player like Lopez, particularly when he can take it up a notch to help pull his team over the finish line.

“Brook (Lopez) was great, Lakers head coach Luke Walton told reporters about how Lopez impacted the outcome of the game. “He had a huge block down the stretch. Jarrett Allen was killing us tonight on his rolling. Brook recognized, he got there late and had a big block. He hit those big three’s obviously. When Brooklyn is out there and they have Quincy Acy playing at the center and four shooters running around, it’s challenging to not change your lineup as well. Brook was great tonight. He did a good job. We don’t win that game without him, obviously. He hits some big buckets for us, and like I said he had that big block for us.”

“The second unit did a great job of setting the tone in that fourth quarter,” Walton continued. “Our two biggest keys coming into tonight’s game were taking pride in our individual defense and rebounding. In the first half, our individual defense was awful, which is why Brooklyn had so many points. Second half we started to turn that up a little bit (individual defense). Our rebounding was pretty darn good all night. In the third quarter, we started playing some better defense and to start the fourth quarter our second unit was really engaged and communicating and being aggressive on that end of the court. It set the tone for being able to keep Brooklyn to a low scoring quarter.”

“Credit to Luke and his group, I thought they played a heck of a game,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told the media. “I thought we competed. I thought it was a great basketball game for the fans, for everybody to see and unfortunately we came out on the losing end.”

“I thought they made some shots,” Atkinson continued, as he explained the turning point in the game. “I think our offense got stagnant, really in that fourth. You love the pick-and-roll and I love it and Spencer’s (Dinwiddie) good at it and D’Angelo (Russell), but there are times we’ve got to get off it and move it a little more. So I thought our shot selection was iffy at best, I thought that hurt us and bad shots lead to what they do best, is transition, and they were coming at us in waves. But again, I think they played a heck of a game. ”

“I think they did a great job on the glass and we didn’t match their physicality in the rebounding game,” Dinwiddie said postgame. “They got extra shots and also limited us to one possession a lot of the time.”

To drive Dinwiddie’s point home, the Lakers out-rebounded the Nets 56 – 38.

Although, the Nets bench outscored the Lakers bench 41 – 30, it was Los Angeles’ starters that out-worked the Nets’ starters. Four of the five Lakers starters scored more than 15 points while only two Nets starters scored in double digits. For the Lakers, both Lopez and Julius Randle scored 19 points, while Randle added 12 rebounds to his tally. Brandon Ingram had a triple-double with 16 points, eight boards, and 10 assists; Josh Hart added 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Jordan Clarkson chipped in 11 points off the bench.

For the Nets, Dinwiddie posted a game-high 23 points, a team-high-tying seven rebounds, and a team-high nine assists in 32 minutes. Russell recorded 15 points, four rebounds and, three assists in 24 minutes off the bench. Joe Harris posted 11 points and a team-high-tying seven rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. Harris has now scored in double figures in 25 games off the bench this season.

Nets rookie Jarrett Allen started and scored a career-high 20 points with five rebounds and a career-high-tying two steals in 24 minutes.

“It’s good to see that I’m progressing at a good level but it’s sad to see us lose,” Allen said regarding his career-high scoring accomplishment.

When asked about battling with former Nets center Brook Lopez, Allen said, “face of the franchise, now I’m here trying to become the face, too, so just going back and forth. It was a good challenge.”

Allen made some inroads, as he outscored and outrebounded Lopez, but time will tell if he will become the face of the Nets franchise.

We’re rooting for you, Jarrett Allen, we’re rooting for you.

Nets guard to represent Brooklyn at NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, February 16-18

So, the votes to get Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie’s participation in the 2018 NBA All-Star activities were not in vain. The NBA has recognized Dinwiddie’s talent and the tremendous improvement in his skill level, which has helped to push the Nets’ win-loss record past last year’s record in the face of injuries to principal players.

Dinwiddie was chosen to participate in the 2018 Taco Bell Skills Challenge as part of NBA All-Star Weekend, held February 16-18 in Los Angeles. The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will take place on Saturday, February 17, at Staples Center and be aired on TNT and ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. ET. All-Star Saturday Night also includes the JBL Three-Point Contest and Verizon Slam Dunk.

Dinwiddie will become the fourth Net to participate in the skills challenge, joining Jason Kidd (2003, 2008), Devin Harris (2009) and Deron Williams (2012). Kidd won the event in its inaugural season in 2003.

The three-round, obstacle-course competition, which tests dribbling, passing, agility and three-point-shooting skills, will feature a head-to-head, bracket-style tournament format. The four big men will be on one side of the bracket and the four guards will be on the other side of the bracket. First-round matchups will be announced at a later date.

A native of Los Angeles, Dinwiddie has appeared in 51 games (41 starts) for the Nets this season, averaging 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 28.4 minutes per contest (all career highs). He currently ranks 14th in the NBA in assists per game among qualifying players.

Below is the roster of the 2018 Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

2018 Taco Bell Skills Challenge Participants

Now, with this NBA All-Star accomplishment for Dinwiddie, we can get started on the Spencer Dinwiddie Most Improved NBA Player campaign.

Spencer Dinwiddie scores 27 points to help lift the Nets over the 76ers; D’Angelo Russell making great strides since his return from injury

Last night, the Brooklyn Nets (18-33) had a date with the Philadelphia 76ers (24-23) at the Barclays Center. No one I spoke with before the game put the odds in favor of the Nets to win, but win they did. The Nets snapped a four-game losing streak to defeat the striving Philadelphia 76ers featuring Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, who was just selected to play in the NBA All-Star game, 116-108.

“We’ve got guys with a lot of pride and I think they always seem to bounce back after a tough loss or a poor performance quite honestly,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said regarding keys to victory against Philadelphia. “Tonight I thought all the things we talked about pregame, you know we were more competitive, more together, did a good job sharing the ball. I thought the defense in the second half was really the difference. I think we held them to 23 and 20. We put them on the free throw line 20 times in the first half so we limited that. It was really the defense, the story of the game in the second half. And obviously we shot the ball well, that helps.”

Regarding a reason Philadelphia may have struggled against the Nets and other non-playoff-bound teams, Embiid said, “…Maybe we’re too cocky, going into the game thinking that it’s going to be easy. Got to give them a lot of credit, they play hard, they make a lot of threes, they shoot a lot of threes and we didn’t guard them well today. But we gotta do a better job next time.”

The Nets shot .506 (39-of-77) from the field, .406 (13-of-32) from 3-point range and .893 (25-of-28) from the free-throw line. Brooklyn posted nine blocks in tonight’s game (led by two blocks apiece from Jarrett Allen and Quincy Acy), which marked the team’s third-most blocks in a game this season.

In the win, Spencer Dinwiddie had a team-high 27 points, his second-highest scoring game of his career (behind a career-high 31 points on January 8, 2018, vs. Toronto). D’Angelo Russell, who recently returned to the lineup after a six-week injury, scored 22 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. In his second start for the Nets, rookie Jarrett Allen put up a career-high-tying 16 points and 12 rebounds; DeMarre Carroll added 15 points and five assists; and Allen Crabbe chipped in 14 points and five rebounds.

Jahlil Okafor, who was recently traded from Philadelphia to the Nets, added eight points and three rebounds in 14 minutes. This was his first time playing against his old teammates.
“It was a lot of fun, just to see all those guys,” Okafor told the media postgame. “You get really used to being with them every day and I haven’t seen them in a month and a half to two months so it was good to see them and obviously we came out with a W so that felt great.”

Like the Nets, four of the five Philadelphia starters scored in double digits with Embiid leading all scorers with 29 points and 14 rebounds; Simmons tallied 24 points and seven assists; JJ Redick scored 20 points, and; Dario Saric added 12 points and six rebounds.

Next up, Philadelphia will face the Miami Heat on Friday, February 2, 2018, while the Brooklyn Nets will meet up with the Los Angeles Lakers at home at the Barclays Center, also on Friday, at 7:30 p.m.

NBA designed a new format to allow captains of each team to choose their players

The NBA shook things up a little bit with a reconfiguration of the NBA All-Star 2018 teams. This year, instead of an East vs. West NBA All-Star game format with teams comprised of members from their respective conference, each of the two teams will be headed by the top two players who received the most votes. In this case, they are LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Each team captain will then select players regardless of conference.

Below is a list of teams and players: 

Team LeBron

NBA All Star 2018 Team LeBron James photo credit NBA

Starter: Kyrie Irving, G, Boston Celtics
Starter: Kevin Durant, F, Golden State Warriors
Starter: LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
Starter: Anthony Davis, F, New Orleans Pelicans
Starter: DeMarcus Cousins, C, New Orleans Pelicans
Reserve: Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards
Reserve: LaMarcus Aldridge, F, San Antonio Spurs
Reserve: Kevin Love, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
Reserve: Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
Reserve: Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana Pacers
Reserve: Kristaps Porzingis, F, New York Knicks
Reserve: John Wall, G, Washington Wizards

Team Stephen

NBA All Star 2018 Team Stephen Curry photo credit NBA

Starter: Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors
Starter: James Harden, G, Houston Rockets
Starter: DeMar DeRozan, G, Toronto Raptors
Starter: Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks
Starter: Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers
Reserve: Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers
Reserve: Jimmy Butler, G, Minnesota Timberwolves
Reserve: Draymond Green, F, Golden State Warriors
Reserve: Kyle Lowry, G, Toronto Raptors
Reserve: Klay Thompson, G, Golden State Warriors
Reserve: Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves
Reserve: Al Horford, C, Boston Celtics

Quick Takes: Kemba Walker on Trade Block, Enes Kanter trolled LeBron James

• It looks like the Charlotte Hornets are ready to trade Kemba Walker.
• According to The Score, LaMelo Ball appears to be causing some headaches for his coach in the LKL, a premier men’s basketball league in Lithuania.
• LSU RB Derrius Guice signs with agent from Kendrick Lamar's record label’s new sports division.
• New York Knicks center Enes Kanter trolled LeBron James on Twitter after the Cavaliers 148-124 loss to OKC. Kanter tweeted: "148. #StriveForGreatness"
Zion Williamson - one of the top high school basketball players in the country with 1.1 million Instagram followers- has announced his decision to play for Duke next season.

And, according to Keisha, Duke is known as the "Duke of the North"

VIDEO DISCUSSION: University of Alabama sorority member racist social media post goes viral, and she is promptly expelled from school

NY Giants safety Landon Collins and other Alabama-affiliated athletes took to Twitter to respond to racist remarks made by Harley Barber, a member of the Alpha Phi sorority at the University of Alabama, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"Alpa Phi, 'Be weary of the company you keep for they are a reflection of who you are or who you want to be.' Harley Barber didn't wake up this morning and decide to spew racist rhetoric for the first time in her life. Therefore, I believe I speak on behalf of my brothers and myself, when I say, the Bama football team does not need the support, cheers or high fives of anyone who condones this type of intolerant, hateful behavior. #BuiltByBama."

The school and the sorority expelled Barber. She is now back home in New Jersey and told the NY Post:

"I did something really, really bad. I don't know what to do and I feel horrible. I'm wrong and there's just no excuse for what I did."

Collins said he would be willing to speak with her.

Does Collins need to speak with her? Should he speak with her? Or, are the expulsion from school and her sorority enough to be teachable moments?

Comment here.

At his sentencing hearing, the judge compelled Dr. Larry Nassar to listen to victim impact statements from his victims

The statements made by Olympic gymnasts at Dr. Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing in a Michigan state courtroom for sexually abusing more than 100 girls and women were heart-wrenching and compelling.

With so many girls and women molested by Nassar, why isn’t this story resonating to the level of the Penn State scandal?

With names such as Ally Raisman, Simone Biles, Rachael Denhollander, how could Dr. Nassar have gotten away with so many molestations for so long?


Should Kristaps be more worried about the state of the Knicks than whether he is a starter on an NBA All-Star team?

New York Knicks PF/center Kristaps Porzingis did not get selected for a starting position in the 2018 NBA All-Star game.

Porzingis believes he should be a starter on the NBA All-Star team and says that players know it.

Although Porzingis didn’t make the cut for the starting position on the NBA All-Star team, he was selected for the reserve team.

Did Kristaps Porzingis Get Snubbed for NBA All-Star 2018 Starting Position?


Will D'Angelo Russell be able to pick up where he left off in time to help his team to see a significant improvement over last season?

What's The 411Sports hosts Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald are talking about Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell’s return to the lineup in a game against the Miami Heat at the Barclays Center.

After several weeks of rehabbing a knee injury, Russell made his debut in a sensational game that saw the Nets beat the Heat 101-95. Although Russell only scored one point, his teammates praised his leadership on the floor.

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