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Report: Nets Discussing Joe Johnson Trade with Charlotte

The rumor mill churns on with Nets buzz, as the latest report from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski has Brooklyn picking up trade talks with the Charlotte Hornets, this time centered around Joe Johnson.

The Hornets and Nets are discussing a larger package that would likely include guards Lance Stephenson and Gerald Henderson and forward Marvin Williams, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

In such a deal, the Nets would receive native Brooklynite Lance Stephenson, who… well… it’s hard to sum up in a few short sentences. Henderson and Williams would supply some offense and depth, both things Brooklyn desperately need. In order to make the salaries match with that package, the Nets would have to also ship out either Bogdanovic or Teletovic, at least according to ESPN’s Trade Machine. Johnson’s contract expires in the summer of 2016, as with each player (minus Lance’s team option for 2017) that would come over from Charlotte.

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Recap: Nets 73, Jazz 108

Okay, now it can’t get worse, right? I could accept Brooklyn looking disengaged and outmatched on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers. They’re a good team. The Utah Jazz are not. And yet, the Nets once again were run off the floor with relative ease. Brooklyn was putrid offensively, poor defensively and it’s not one, two or three problems. It’s more around the 62-65 mark. Based plainly off conjecture, I’d expect a major shake-up soon, if solely because of this:

Actually getting into the game, things looked bleak early when the Nets played an underwhelming first quarter in which Kevin Garnett looked like their best player. In 2015. In typical Brooklyn fashion, the second quarter was when things got way, way out of hand. The Jazz broke into a double-digit then 20+ point lead and the rest is history. Idea: send the Nets to Belize.

FULL BOX SCORE Read More

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The 2015 Brooklyn Nets Trade “Value” Column

Each year NBA fans eagerly await Bill Simmons’ Trade Value Column over at Grantland. This year we decided to do our own list that focuses on just the Brooklyn Nets… and boy does it get depressing fast. Let me start by thanking David Vertsberger, Josh Koebert, and John Mazlish for their input on this list, although I’ve probably forgotten or ignored all of it and just gone with the old gut.

If you are unfamiliar with Simmons’ list, it is a ranking of player’s value to a team. This does not just mean their talent, but their desirability including contract amount, contract length, and age. As you may guess, age and contract amount are not Nets-friendly categories. So let’s get right into it and see if we can make this a fun exercise. Starting at the bottom: Read More

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Brooklyn Nets’ Mirza Teletovic Out For Season

Fan favorite Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic experienced shortness of breath during last night’s game versus the Los Angeles Clippers. After testing at a local hospital our worst fears have been realized….no more Mirza this season.

Teletovic was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary embolus, which means he has blood clots in his lungs. We at Brooklyn’s Finest are not doctors, but that sounds bad. Unfortunately the actual doctors agree with us, and Mirza will be treated using blood thinners, thereby ruling him out for the rest of the season.

We wish for nothing more than Mirza’s return to health and to see him come back next season firing threes with impunity.

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Recap: Clippers 123, Nets 84

It’s not over, until it’s over. Unless you’re the Nets and you allow the Clippers to shoot nearly 60 percent from the field on their way to a 70-37 halftime lead. Brooklyn led 17-14 midway through the first quarter, but the Clippers would end the quarter on a 20-6 run and never look back. The dunking duo of Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan combined for 38 points on 18 of 21 shooting as the Clippers ran away with it. The game will be remembered for another alley-oop by Jordan, who jumped from beyond the restricted area to add Brook Lopez to the list of eliminated defenders throughout the young center’s career.

The bench was the only bright spot in the big loss after the team’s narrow victory over Sacramento the day before. The energy from the Clippers, who are now riding a three-game winning streak and had two days of rest, appeared to be something that the Nets were unable to match. Brooklyn now have a day of rest before completing a three-game road trip in Utah. 

BOX SCORE 

Grades:

Joe Johnson: In the absence of Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett, Johnson was unable to steady the team in the face of the Clippers aggressive offense. The veteran swingman also shot just 4 of 12 in 25 minutes of action. D

Brook Lopez: Despite being the tallest player on the court, Lopez was passive while facing off against the more athletic Deandre Jordan. In 24 minutes, the center attempted just three shots and grabbed a single rebound. He has officially earned my lowest grade of the season. D-

Mason Plumlee: As the only Brooklyn starter to finish with double-digit scoring, Plumlee finished with 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting. He battled Blake Griffin early, despite allowing 13 points in the first quarter and 24 on the game. The weak point in his performance came from the charity stripe, finishing with 4 of 11 shooting from the free throw line. C+

Jarrett Jack: Going up against his former teammate, Jack was unable to take advantage of the familiarity in another passive performance. As the team’s starting point guard, he finished with a team-high 26.7 turnover percentage while shooting 27 percent from the field. D

The Bench: While playing an abnormally large amount of minutes due to the blowout, the Brooklyn bench provided a number of positives. Darius Morris scored 11 points on 5 of 13 shooting, while Jerome Jordan led the team with 11 rebounds in 21 minutes. B-

 

 

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Recap: Nets 103, Kings 100 – Another Ugly 4th Quarter

For tonight, let’s ignore the fourth-quarter collapse, the lack of offensive execution, and the disappearing defense down the stretch, and instead view the game at face value and without any context. The Nets took the first game of their West Coast trip, 103-100 in Sacramento, and evened up their road record at 10-10, while looking good for the first half of the game (cue context).

BOX SCORE

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Three Man Weave: Week Thirteen Edition

Whereas in the last few weeks the Brooklyn Nets took their customary step forward and then two steps back, this week they instead tripped themselves up early before salvaging a game in Washington and ending their losing streak at seven games. A loss the next night at home to the Wizards was the team’s eighth in their last nine games, and at 17-24 on the season the Nets are just a game ahead (in the loss column) of the Charlotte Hornets for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Brooklyn hung tough for stretches with the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies, but surrendered big first and third quarters and lost by double digits in both games. The losses ran the losing streak to a season-high seven games and, as per usual this season, the trade rumors grew louder. By Friday’s game in Washington Brook Lopez was nearly traded twice, before management reportedly rejected the Thunder’s proposal and put trade talks on hold. Brook responded with a 26-point, 3-rebound effort in the upset of the Wizards and momentarily justified GM Billy King’s indecision, and then followed it with 15 points (on 13 shots) and 5 boards in the loss the next night. For now it appears that Brook Lopez’s status with the Nets is safe, but that could change after the next prolonged losing streak.

Last week we highlighted the increasing difficulty of the Brooklyn Nets’ schedule and their road-heavy February, while this week will be spent almost entirely on the West Coast. The Nets will go to Sacramento on Wednesday, Los Angeles Thursday against the Clippers (on TNT), and Utah Saturday, before returning to Barclays for five of their next seven. The games against the Kings (16-24) and Jazz (14-27) will be their only contests against sub-.500 teams until they meet the (6-36) Knicks on February 6th, and could be considered must-wins if the Nets hope to claim a playoff appearance.

On top of snapping their seven-game losing streak and nearly trading their former-franchise center (at least twice), the Brooklyn Nets organization was put up for sale by owner Mikhail Prokhorov last week. Discussions are still preliminary, and the team’s sale should take priority within the NBA’s offices once the Atlanta Hawks situation is settled.

In this week’s Weave, our three experts address a potential Nets sale and the ramifications to the team this season. They’ll also speculate as to Brook Lopez’s future in Brooklyn following a week full of trade rumors, and the team’s chances of reaching the .500 mark again this season. Read More

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An Investigation into the Bulls and Nets Rosters

On twitter the other day someone posed the question of whether any NBA team has comparable front court depth to the Bulls rotation of Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson, and rookie flamethrower Nikola Mirotic. The simple answer is no, there isn’t any team that combines that amount of talent, and versatility amongst their big men, however the Nets are probably the closest approximation that exists, albeit a poor man’s version. A very, very, very poor man’s version. After realizing this I began thinking more and more about the Bulls and the Nets, and realized there rosters actually have a lot of similarity. The Nets are a worse version of the Bulls basically across the board, and aside from a few stretches each Nets player has a more talented Bulls counterpart. What’s the point of this you ask? Good question. Let’s get started. Read More

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Recap: Nets 90, Wizards 99

After last night’s impressive 22 point victory the Nets couldn’t make it two straight as they lost by nine to Washington. It was a competitive game throughout, other than an 18-2 run the Wizards went on in the middle of the third quarter the game was pretty evenly back and forth. After being up 51-50 the Nets struggled and only scored 39 points in the second half in a pretty slow paced grind it out game on both ends. The Nets continued their string of poor shooting going only 4-17 from three, at some point this has to end. In some ways it still could have been worse, the Wizards are a better three point shooting team than Brooklyn, but they also struggled to a 5-16 performance from outside. Additionally, the Wizards shot a Plumlee like 14-27 from the line, while the Nets went 14-18, and Plumlee himself went 3-4.

Coach Hollins continued to tinker with his rotation, especially on the wing. Bojan started the game again and played a solid 26 minutes, but Alan Anderson ended up playing 30, including the more important crunch time minutes. Meanwhile Sergey Karasev was dealt another DNP, Karasev has been suffering from an illness so its possible Hollins was resting him, but he seems to have fallen out of the rotation yet again. Up front Mason and Brook played 24 and 27 minutes respectively, and only a few together in the combination that worked so well last night. Coach Hollins continued to put a heavy burden on Jarrett and Joe has he played them each 40 minutes. Deron Williams absence has forced Hollins to play the two of them a lot, but he should look to balance out the rotation a little more by giving some more time to Morris, Karasev, or even Markel Brown.

If the Nets had been told before Friday’s game that they would win one game in a blowout and lose the other in a competitive game, they would probably be happy to hear it. The Nets offense stagnated down the stretch as Joe couldn’t get enough good looks, Jack and Mason pick and rolls weren’t leading to much, and Brook struggled in the post. With all of those things going wrong and no Deron around the Nets really struggle to get good looks, and despite solid defense couldn’t get the win. Tonight was a disappointing loss as the Nets were in it the whole time and certainly could have won the game, but the Nets will take these two results and try and build from it.

FULL BOX SCORE

Grades:

Jarrett Jack: Jack played a very strong game overall as he shot the ball well (10-18), dished out a solid eight assists, and played surpassingly solid D on John Wall helping to limit him to 11 points on 5-15 shooting. Unfortunately Jack turned the ball over five times, and struggled at the end of the game when Brooklyn needed him. Whether it was from fatigue or not, Jack settled for a couple tough midrange shots on key possessions, and if he had executed a little better the game might have turned out differently. B+

Joe Johnson: Joe was able to get pretty good looks against the Wizards wing trio of Porter, Butler, and Pierce, but he struggled to connect as he went 6-17 from the field in route to 15 points. Joe’s defense seemed fine and he got three steals, but he finished with the lowest +/- of the starters at -11 and didn’t really do anything particularly positive out there on the court. Hollins needs to try and rest him some more though, he’s 33 and played 37 or more minutes in nine of his last ten games. C+

Kevin Garnett: Garnett started off the game shooting the ball well scoring a quick six points in the opening minutes, but only hit one field goal from there on out and finished with eight. On defense he seemed to struggle a bit with the Wizards size as both Seraphin and Nene scored on him a couple times in the post. Garnett’s rotations were good as usual, but Nene is a tough matchup for him at this point, and Nene finished as the Wizards leading scorer with 20. C-

Bojan Bogdanovic: Bojan got the start, and based on his play probably deserved to get crunch times over Alan Anderson. He shot 50% on his six attempts, used his size to secure five rebounds, and wasn’t getting noticeably torched by Bradley Beal. He ended with a team high +8, and deserved a bit more time in this one. B

Mason Plumlee: Mason was limited by foul trouble throughout the game, ending with five fouls in only 24 minutes of play. Mason was good on offense shooting 4-7 despite a couple ugly post ups early and his transition game and pick and roll game always helps open up the floor for the Nets. He only got three rebounds in his minutes though, and a couple times seemed hesitant to contest shots at the rim because of his foul trouble. B-

Alan Anderson: Anderson only got up four shots in 30 minutes of play, and was his usual non impactful self. Anderson doesn’t really seem to hurt the Nets when he’s out there, but he also doesn’t really seem to help at all as he’s oftentimes barely noticeable. He ended up a game low -14, so maybe he was hurting the Nets, and nothing in his play really justified him playing over Bojan down the stretch. D

Brook Lopez: After his hot game last night Brook forced a bit too many difficult shots out of the post leading to his 5-13 performance from the field. Other than one brief stretch in the second quarter where he had a couple of and ones Brook didn’t do much else on offense tonight. He did do a decent job on D though as he has the size/strength to matchup with the Wizards bigger post players. C+

Mirza Teletovic: Mirza had one sweet deep three from the top of the key, but otherwise was pretty ineffective going 2-7 from the field. Mirza was also out hustled for a couple offensive boards by Humphries, and beat by Seraphin in the post a few times. Despite all of this Mirza still only finished as a -2, and the way he opens up the Nets offense can’t be ignored. Mirza’s struggles have made us all here at Brooklyn’s Finest very sad, hopefully he can pick it up soon. C-

Darius Morris: Darius only played a brief seven minutes of relief for Jarrett, but didn’t do anything particularly exciting. The only category on the box score Darius had more than one in was +/-, nothing to write home about. Maybe the Nets should look to sign one of the backup PG Nate’s (Robinson or Wolters), as Hollins doesn’t seem to trust Morris in that role. C

Cory Jefferson/Markel Brown: They got into the game with 30 seconds left, nuff said. Incomplete

Coach Hollins: I went over Hollins rotations more in depth above, but overall they weren’t great. In terms of strategy the Nets still lack anything particularly creative on offense, the Nets lack in talent, but it would be nice to see Lionel try and mix it up a bit and get the ball moving a little more. C+

The Nets next play Wednesday at Sacramento, 10:00 ET.

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Recap: Nets 102, Wizards 80

Less than 24 hours ago it seemed that Brook Lopez was on his way out of Brooklyn. Multiple media outlets reported that the framework was in place for a 3-team deal that would send Lopez to Oklahoma City. Fortunately for the Nets, Billy King chose to sleep on the deal before signing the dotted line.

As soon as King shut his eyeballs, everything changed. King slept like a baby, and while he slept he dreamt. In his dreams a hulkish, curly-headed specter appeared. He spoke slowly, jovially and added intermittent wookie howls. He swore to King that things would turn around. He begged for one more game and promised to prove his worth. He was Brook Lopez, and boy did he make good on his promise.

The Nets had played a solid 1st half, containing the Wizards uber-talented backcourt and holding a 3-point lead. But this wasn’t uncharted territory for the Nets. So many times before had they played solid in the first half only to fold for the remainder of the game. Game after game they lacked someone who could put the team on their back and build up a lead rather than watch things burn.

Tonight Brook Lopez was the player the Nets have needed. The player who they have been waiting for all season. The player who can make a dizzying array of crafty shots from any spot within the three point line. The player who can singlehandedly propel his squad to a win over elite NBA teams. The player who, when on his game, should bring back much more in a trade than Jeremy Lamb and Kendrick Perkins.

With that being said, this Nets 102-80 win was due to more than just Lopez’s dominant outing. However, after a day full of speculation and uncertainty about his career, Brook’s 25 second half points to halt the Nets’ 7-game losing streak are more than worthy of being the story.

“Famous Last Words”

In lieu of player grades, I am going to borrow a concept used by Jason Lloyd, a Cleveland Cavalier beat writer whose work I greatly respect and enjoy. After each game he makes a list of random  nuggets that he gathered throughout the game. His column has been penned his “Final Thoughts”, I’ll call mine my “Famous Last Words”.

1) While Kevin Garnett rarely plays over 20 minutes, he always seems to have a positive impact in some way; whether it be on-point passes, altering shots, or just making smart reads on either end.

2) As KG ages it’s easy to forget how truly skilled of a player he was and still is.

3)  I certainly didn’t go into tonight’s game expecting Jarrett Jack (26 pts.) to outscore Washington’s young duo of electric guards. John Wall and Bradley beal combined for just 20 points on 18 shots.

4) The Nets’ defense tonight did an excellent job at keeping John Wall out of the paint. The Nets typically struggle with guards that have the type of athleticism that he possesses, so it was encouraging to see them be up to the task defensively.

5) Brook Lo-witzki?

6) The Nets television broadcast is super enjoyable. Ian Eagle is so skilled at his job.

7) I enjoyed this nugget from Devin Kharpertian (@uuords on Twitter): Jarrett Jack and Brook Lopez outscored the Wizards in the 2nd half by themselves, 44-40.

8) I don’t think I would have the mental wherewithal that Brook Lopez did, to compete at such a high level after my employer repeatedly tried to get rid of me. I gained a ton of respect for him tonight.

9) This was definitely the most fun I have had in covering a Nets game this season. Hopefully they can start a winning streak, as they look to make it 2 in a row tomorrow night at home in a rematch against the Wizards.