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Game Recaps

The Daily Report: Nets 107, Bucks 98

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‘”Well, that was close.” – Maverick

In Thornton We Trust

It helps that he scored nearly half his points during the final 12 minutes of play. But either way, 25 points later, Marcus Thornton had arrived.

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Circus: Complete

With seven consecutive road games now out of the way, the Nets return home with a successful 4-3 record behind them. The above-average trip gives Brooklyn a 12-18 record outside of Barclays. They averaged 96 PPG during that seven game span, allowing opponents to score an average of 99 PPG. I also attempted to find out how many miles were traveled during that stint, but my computer exploded.

You Won’t Believe Me, But He Passed This Up…

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Black Magic (Not Quite a) Woman

AKBucks1

AKBucks2

AKBucks3

Like Osmosis…

BlatcheTouch

IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW

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Box Score 

Next: Monday against Chicago

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Game Recaps

The Daily Report: Nets 112, Nuggets 89

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“It felt like a pickup game.” – Joe Johnson

History

11

The Nuggets didn’t reach double-digits until 2:13 into the second quarter. It also took two offensive rebounds just to score that lowly layup. Times are tough in Denver.

No Commentary Needed

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The Return of Reserves

Through three quarters of play, the Nets bench outscored all Denver reserves 40-4. Read that sentence again.

Defense…?

AKCut

PlumOop

Box Score

Next: Saturday @ Milwaukee

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Day-to-Day

The Fight Card: Brooklyn at Denver

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Brooklyn Nets (26-29, 10-18 on the road)

@

Denver Nuggets (25-31, 14-14 at home)

Tip-Off: 10:30 ET

TV: TNT

Line: DEN -1

 

Offensive Rating: Brooklyn – 102.6 (17th), Denver – 102.9 (16th)

Defensive Rating: Brooklyn – 105.1 (21st), Denver – 104.7 (19th)

PACE (POSS Per 48 MIN): Brooklyn – 93.9 (26th), Denver – 99.5 (4th)

 

3 Things of Note

Oddly Enough…

Denver is currently scoring 102.9 points per 100 possessions, yet is ranked fourth in the league when it comes to possessions per 48 minutes (99.5.) It’s probably just a testament to their style of play, but it’s also noticeably worrisome (for the Nuggets, that is) that the lineup of Aaron Brooks-Fournier-Vesely-Chandler-Mozgov is a thing that exists.

Hickson Alert

J.J. Hickson is coming off of a 25-rebound performance in which he also scored 16 points. If you care to do so, you can see all the carnage here. But this helps brings up my next point: Collins, early and often?

Responding

Seriously, you just lost by 40. Everything that could have gone wrong did and now you’re forced to trot out an answer of some sort into the altitude. What happens next?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep-xgd_eETE

 

 

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Game Recaps

The Daily Report: Nets 80, Blazers 124

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“Those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with you. However, leave the limbs you’ve lost. They belong to me now.” – The Bride, probably speaking as a representative of Portland

The Bad, the Worse and the Ugly

First, the bad. Nets starters combined for 35 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and five turnovers. Kevin Love basically mocked that effort only a night prior, finishing with 33 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists. By himself. And, if you’d like to continue adding injury to insult, the Blazers starting-five finished with 56 points, 25 rebounds, 15 assists and six turnovers.

But that’s simply the bad. The worst is clearly worse as the Portland bench totaled 68 points on the evening. This, of course, was matched by the 45-point “effort” from the Brooklyn bench. Oh, and did I mention the Blazers fell only three points shy of matching Brooklyn’s bench total in the fourth quarter alone? Fun times.

Bevy of Botches

Since the Lopez injury, Brooklyn has defended with gambles and chances as opposed to using a tightly woven system. For instance, with no true big man at their dispense, the Nets have chosen to overplay the opposing pick-and-roll, banking on either an ill-timed pass, an open shooter stranded in a low percentage location or, simply put, a bad shot.

DefendingPNR1

Of course, even if they play it right (which they did), it fails to matter if someone like Lillard seizes the opportunity to fire it from beyond the set pick. Needless to say, this happened a lot. Not to take away from the many (and I mean many) times they didn’t play it correctly.

DefendingPNR2

Andray Bleh

Three points, 16 FG% and benched at the half. Any questions?

The Continuing Resurgence of Deron

Below is only one instance, but know his off-ball play has continued to be tremendous.

DWillOffBall

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

The Nets +/- totals…

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IS THIS GOOD?

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to our newest game show: IS…THIS…GOOD!!?? For those that don’t know the rules, we simply present an image or video without commentary and ask one question: IS THIS GOOD? We have two entries this evening, so let’s get to it!

First up, we have a photo that occurred late in the third quarter.

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And finally, a video displaying Marquis Teague’s decision-making process.

ISTHISGOOD

Thanks for tuning in! Be here next time when we ask…IS…THIS…GOOD!!??

Box Score 

Next: Thursday @ Denver

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Day-to-Day

The Fight Card: Brooklyn at Portland

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Brooklyn Nets (26-28, 16-11 at home)

@

Portland Trailblazers (39-18, 21-7 at home)

 

 

TV: YES Network

Tip-off: 10:00 ET

Line: PORT -2.5

 

Offensive Rating: Brooklyn – 103 (16th), Portland – 104.6 (3rd)

Defensive Rating: Brooklyn – 108.6 (18th), Portland – 105.3 (21st)

 

3 Things of Note

The Pending Debut of Thornton

If you ever see this, turn and run.

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Of course, that “succulent” plate of lobster mac n’ cheese fails to answer the questions pertaining to Thornton’s possible minutes. If/When he plays, who does he inevitably steal time from? After all, it’s not like Terry was logging consistent court minutes.

Also, it’s probably best to start mentally preparing for a Blatche-Thornton-Anderson three-man lineup. No pick-and-rolls. No slashing to the paint. Just Lil’ Jon and his obvious foretelling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNtTEibFvlQ

Collins – Scene II

With the return of KG on slate for tonight, I’m assuming Plumlee is sent back to the bench in favor of Collins. Either way, it’s not too hard of a matchup near the rim. As great of a defender Robin Lopez has become, he still rivals Erick Dampier’s offensive game as opposed to his own brother’s (and no, not Contract Year Dampier.)

Rated-PG

Since the break, Williams has averaged 23 PPG, 6.7 AST, 2.7 STL, 48 FG%, 122 OffRtg and 52.1 eFG%. Portland is the third-worst team in the league against the point guard…/drops mic.

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Game Recaps

The Daily Report: Nets 108, Lakers 102

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101-93

Sure, a comeback would’ve been tough, but with just over a minute remaining anything was possible. Until, of course, a likely hero answered the call yet again.

JJDagger

The best part? Let’s say you’re faced with the hypothetical of setting up the last shot (no, you don’t have to grow a beard, unbutton your shirt and carry around a water bottle.)  Isn’t a drive-and-kick to the highest percentage shot location on the floor – to a shooter whose CLUTCH numbers don’t ever seem to die, mind you – the most obvious answer? Of course it is. But that didn’t seem to matter. And while we’re here, let’s not forget about the play that started this whole thing.

AKSteal

10:28

Quite frankly, it was two months, 13 minutes and 32 seconds too late, but dammit, Collins had finally arrived. He checked in, immediately started screening for mismatches (Farmar nods) and made incredible defensive strides in only 11 minutes of play (sure, he was defending Kaman, but don’t worry about that part.) Five fouls and two rebounds later, he exited to worthy applaud. And the thing is, that’s why he was brought in.

With both his stature and role, the high foul totals are likely to continue. Fortunately, he’s a proven big against proven bigs and those guys are hard to come by in the East. My only worry is a seamless transition. It’s clear he can fit, but how will his minutes unfold with a healthy Garnett in play? I mean, he could slip into Evans’s former spot in the rotation, I’m just not sure what that is. A nine-rebound night every other week?

Math

Pierce: 25 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 52 FG%

+

Kirilenko: 10 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST, 50 FG%

=

29th Defense Against Forwards: Lakers   

Small-Samples Rejoice

As you already know, Williams has been either injured or a punchline (or, in some cases, both) for a majority of the 2013-14 season. Once he finally shook off his recently hampered ankles, he made the decision to come off the bench rather than take the place of either Anderson or Livingston in the starting lineup. As the season continued, he slowly found his niche and entered the All-Star break on fire. Now, only two games into the second half of the season, Williams appears good as new.

Take for instance his shot selection. Going 8-12 within five feet of the basket since the break, Williams has changed his approach completely. He drives much more often rather than hoisting it from afar. Even when coming off screens, he has chosen to dribble towards the paint at a higher rate. There’s a lot of basketball left to play, but so far so good for the $100M star.

Blatche Assist I HAVE PROOF

BlatcheAssist

Box Score

NEXT: Tuesday @ Portland

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Uncategorized

Life After Lopez

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard the news. During the second half Friday night, Brook Lopez played through what would later be diagnosed as a broken foot, essentially ending his season. And, even more so, for the team that things couldn’t possibly get any worse…well, they just got a hell of a lot worse.

Take his defensive impact, for instance. Lopez’ offensive-wizardry is a given. He shoots well-above 50% from anywhere within 19 ft. of the basket, which is something no other big in the league can say. But the problem lies in their defense, where the Nets are currently allowing seven more points per 100 possessions when Lopez rests (per NBA.com Stats.) Furthermore, he remains a catalyst in the paint, allowing opponents to shoot only 40% around the rim (tops among defenders who have faced at least eight shots per game at the rim, per SportVU Player Tracking.)

So now, the question remains: Where does Brooklyn go from here? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t that simple. In fact, it’s perplexing.

Outside of the upcoming mix-and-match Nets fans can look forward to, what the future holds is unknown. For example, the five-man-lineup of Anderson-Blatche-Johnson-Garnett-Williams, as well as Blatche-Garnett-Johnson-Pierce-Williams, will probably be used as staples going forward. Those lineups, however, have currently logged a combined four minutes per game. Sure, Blatche has flourished in his limited time as the center in a small-ball lineup, but nothing is guaranteed in an extended role. Plus, Kirilenko will be sliding back in soon, leaving more mysteries around the defensive end of the court.

The rebounding numbers are also an issue, seeing as Lopez is clearly a standout in that category. Brooklyn’s rebounding percentage drops just over 3% when he’s not on the court, the second-largest drop-off as it pertains to their on/off rebounding numbers (Evans, obviously, is first.)

If anything, send your angst towards the would-be offense. The moment Williams returned from that nagging ankle injury, the spacing opened up, finally displaying a light at the end of the tunnel. Everything made sense. It all worked. In fact, the Nets scored nearly 20 more points per game in the six games after Williams’ return as opposed to the nine prior (which really goes without saying.)

Of course, Lopez then came down on his foot awkwardly, leaving an infinite amount of time to jigger more 2013 B.S. (Before Spacing) moments.

Sadly, this happens more often than you think.

Sadly, this happens more often than you think.

So, until the uninvited Asik-for-Pierce deal (which may or may not include Terry and/or Teletovic), this is the team Brooklyn is stuck with. Or, quite possibly, what you see is what you get considering Brooklyn can’t draft a player until 2019. (Read that last sentence again.)

For now, get used to it. This, after all, is your 2013-14 Nets.

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Day-to-Day

A reason for optimism

Following an embarrassing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers the Nets appeared to be in crisis mode. Kevin Garnett skipped his regularly scheduled trip to the podium and the media was held out of the locker room for almost a half hour following the game. (NBA rules stipulate they open up no more than 15 minutes after a game ends.) Deron Williams was inactive and was not required to speak with the media. Garnett and Paul Pierce, however, were required by the NBA to face the music. They didn’t, slipping out the back without addressing what went wrong on the court or what was said behind closed doors.

The devastating loss, which saw Brooklyn pour in 40 first quarter points and just 58 the rest of the game, came two days after a trip out to Los Angeles to face the Clippers. The Nets lost that game as well, although they were missing four starters — Williams, Garnett, Pierce, and Lopez. The private players meeting did little to change the fortunes of the team though. The Nets went on to lose three more games, finally halting the five game skid up in Toronto a week later.

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Breaking It Down

Why the Knicks have been more depressing than the Nets

You can’t quite call tonight’s Knicks-Nets game a marquee matchup, as the promise of high-level NYC basketball dominating the NBA has regressed to a temporary nightmare of injuries, uncertain coaching situations, stars playing below their ability, uneven rotations… It’s been real fun, basically. To preview the joy, I got Robert Silverman of Knickerblogger to answer a few questions about how and why these Knicks have been arguably a bigger bummer than the Nets.

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Breaking It Down

Time for some answers

pistons-nets-basketball

It’s not even Thanksgiving and the Brooklyn Nets season is on the brink of total failure. Another lackluster effort. Another disastrous third quarter. Another loss. Despite Coach Jason Kidd mixing up his starting lineup and rotation the results were the same. Worse yet, the refrain from the players post-game is becoming redundant.

Andray Blatche summarized the disappointment. “I don’t know. It’s very frustrating and very, very embarrassing. It’s like, I don’t know.” He continued, “We’ve got to play with more pride. I don’t know. There’s no excuses, nothing. We’re all just playing bad, and we’ve got to do something.”

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