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Brooklyn Nets’ Blueprint of Dysfunction: Sacramento Kings

The Brooklyn Nets have gotten their fair share of criticism from media and fans alike. The Boston fans taunted the Nets in the Boston Garden, thanking them for the first-round draft picks. That was after a dreadful start when the most hardened NBA critic had issues trying to figure out when the Nets would scratch the win column. How about that game against the Golden State Warriors? The Nets figured out a way to lose a game that was impossible to lose. After watching game after game of ineptness from the coaching staff down to Jarrett Jack’s shot selection, you would say that this team is full of dysfunction.

But have you NBA fans noticed something?

NBA coaches are starting to drop like flies around the league and there is one common denominator here…

THE BROOKLYN NETS!

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Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, and the Blueprint of Dysfunction

The Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks will be linked in the Big Apple for a while. First, the Nets moved to Brooklyn with Mikhail Prokhorov and James Dolan taking shots in the media. Then the Nets moonwalked their way into the playoffs while the Knicks suffered their way to the worst season in their storied history. Then the similarities of these franchise started to mirror each other.

After less than two years as head coach, Lionel Hollins was fired by the Brooklyn Nets.

After less than two years as head coach, Derek Fisher was fired by the New York Knicks.

Now the Brooklyn Nets are mired in a serious losing streak, losing 16 of their last 20 games. Now, that includes winning two of their last three.

The New York Knicks are in a losing streak of five straight and nine of their last ten.

The Brooklyn Nets are close to 30 days since the firing of Lionel Hollins and they still have…

NO IDEA OF A COACH! …Just an interim coach in Tony Brown

This is badoodles.

The New York Knicks are about 30 hours since the firing of Derek Fisher and they have…

NO IDEA OF A COACH! …Just an interim coach in Kurt Rambis.

The Brooklyn Nets are close to 30 days since the alleged reassigning of Billy King and still…

NO IDEA OF A GENERAL MANAGER!

Now that might change real soon. The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly started their search this week. But it is still not a good look for a franchise to not have some sort of order so close to the trading deadline. But there is some comfort for Nets fans these days knowing the next General Manager will have a clue…

The New York Knicks have that issue locked up with Phil Jackson.

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Recap: Nets 105, Nuggets 104 – “Joe Johnson Delivers at the Horn!”

Joe Johnson, cold blooded

Joe Johnson, triumphant

Let’s set the stage for the final possession of the Brooklyn Nets’ 105-104 home victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets…

The Nets thankfully did not resemble the team that took the floor Saturday in their loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Monday’s squad played aggressively from the opening possession and attacked the basket with a specific plan against the younger, deeper, and more athletic Nuggets team, and looked to exploit any size mismatches they could generate. Post-ups became commonplace whenever Gary Harris or Will Barton switched onto a taller player, and Brooklyn guards found early success in getting to the middle of the lane and drawing a Denver center before dropping passes down to Thaddeus Young or Brook Lopez on either block.

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Recap: Nets 98, 76ers 103 – Sixers Rookies Shine as Nets Stumble

With under 30 seconds left in the game and his team down by just one point, Thaddeus Young pivots on top of the key to look to hand off the ball to Joe Johnson to set up the offense in what was the most important possession of the game. The opposing team’s point guard, T.J. McConnell, interjected on the pass to steal the ball, pass to Robert Covington and down low to Nerlens Noel for the jam to make it a three-point game.

The Brooklyn Nets would go on to lose the game, 103-98, to the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.

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Brooklyn Nets: Questions A-Plenty!

Before the season started, our Editor-In-Chief, Paul Mitchell, had all of the Brooklyn’s Finest staff to submit an over/under of how many wins the Brooklyn Nets would have this season.

The general consensus from everyone was that the Nets would stink. Most stayed within the 25-30 win range. I can’t remember exactly what I guessed on the record (I’m thinking about 20-25 wins), but I was thinking deep down it would be about 17.

Man, I wish I trusted my gut.

The Brooklyn Nets hit a five-game losing streak after getting beat, 114-100, to the Indiana Pacers in a game that wasn’t even that close. Brooklyn was down by 20 in the first half on the strength of the Pacers outscoring them, 36-20, in the second quarter. After going into the half down 62-43, the game was basically over and the only things that matter at this point in the Brooklyn Nets season is…

1) How much did Brook Lopez score?

2) When did you say Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCollough were coming back?

3) Is Joe Johnson getting traded or bought out?

4) Man! Are they ever going to get a General Manager?

5) Do you think the Golden State Warriors will get to 73 wins?

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Recap: Nets 128, Kings 119 – The Nets Reign Three’s

The Nets reign three’s on the Kings as their offense finally exploded on Friday night. The Nets hosted the Sacramento Kings and their 21st ranked Defense (according to Basketball Reference). The Nets tallied their season high in points (128), obliterated their previous season high of 12 made 3-pointers in a game (they knocked down 18), while tying their season high in 3-point attempts with 28.

It started early during the 1st quarter when Bojan Bogdanovic nailed back to back 3-pointers and Joe Johnson knocked down a few of their own, and although the Kings made multiple runs over the course of the game, the outside shooting continued all night as unlikely as it seems for this Nets team and they came away with one of the more entertaining victories of the season.

Their opponent helped as not only is the Kings defense a bit lackluster, but they play at the league’s fastest pace (99.8 possessions per game via Basketball Reference). This game was played fast with 101 possession. And on top of that, the Kings lost one of their best players, and a difference maker on the wing in Rudy Gay. He went down in a heap on a defensive rotation early in the 1st quarter, returned in the waning seconds of the 1st and to start the 2nd but left shortly after and never returned.

With Gay out of the game, the wing tandem of Joe Johnson and Bojan Bogdanovic had their way totaling 50 points and shooting 19 of 26 from the field ( 73%) and 12 of 16 from the 3-point line (75%). Donald Sloan joined the party in the second half. He finished with 17 points including 4 of 5 from the 3-point line. The Nets as a team finished 18 of 28 from the 3-point line, good for 64% on the game in an absolute offensive explosion for a team that has been defined by their struggles from the outside offensively all season.

The Nets defense continued to struggle as they gave up 119 points (admittedly on lots of possessions). The Nets did a nice job on DeMarcus Cousins in the first half though he started to heat up a bit in the second he was never truly dominant, a credit to the Nets team defensive schemes. Darren Collison lit up Shane Larkin when the benches took the floor and Rajon Rondo was seemingly throwing lobs to Willy Cauley-Stein all night on his way to pairing 15 assists with his 15 points.

FULL BOX SCORE

To the Nets credit it was more than just a good shooting night. The outside shooting edge (54-24) made up for the fact that the Nets turned the ball over 10 more times than the Kings. But the Nets also dominated a good rebounding team 46-31 and mostly controlled the paint. The absence of Rudy Gay obviously aided in this category but it was impressive nonetheless given Cousins and some of the Kings other front court players.

Where the Nets really shined last night was in their ball movement. It was the great ball movement and balanced floor spacing that led to so many open and good looks. The Nets average 291 passes attempted per game according to NBA.com’s Player Tracking statistics which puts them around 22nd in the NBA. Last night, they totaled 343 total passes, a mark that would put them 3rd in the NBA just above the Spurs.

For the Nets, the win snapped a 5-game losing streak and gave Tony Brown his 3rd win in 14 tries. The Nets have now won three homes games within their last 19. They look to steal another win in Philadelphia tonight before a four game home stand that straddles the All-Star break before they leave town for the annual Barclays Circus road trip (9-games total).

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Recap: Nets 100, Pacers 114 – No Defense, No Chance

"Wear Brooklyn At", indeed

“Wear Brooklyn At”, indeed

If Monday’s Brooklyn Nets loss to the Detroit Pistons was infuriating, due to the team’s inability to string together consecutive stops or scores and ultimately close out a winnable game, then Wednesday’s 100-114 home defeat at the hands of the Indiana Pacers was a near disaster that veered dangerously close to blowout-territory more often than not.

Following a steady diet of pick and rolls against the Reggie Jackson/Andre Drummond duo on Monday, Brooklyn had no answer for the more varied and spread-out screen-and-roll attack of the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers pushed the ball at will and encouraged the Nets to play maybe a bit outside of their comfort zone, and the turnovers soon followed. Three giveaways in the team’s first 10 possessions led to an early 17-9 deficit, and the Pacers’ strong three-point shooting would produce a nine-point advantage in the first quarter alone.

Brook Lopez continued to supply the Nets’ half-court offense, and in the second quarter become the quickest Net to score 1,000 points in a season since Vince Carter in the 2008-09 season. He opened the game with a three-point attempt that won’t be making any list of “Things I Liked” from this recap, but mostly attacked the smaller Pacers frontline and used his arsenal of upfakes and jab steps to draw 14 free throws in 38 minutes – scoring 21 points on 8/13 shooting, with eight rebounds and three assists (to three turnovers).

The quicker tempo clearly favored Joe Johnson, however, as the 15-year veteran had the lift in his jumper with a 4/5 output from deep. The added responsibilities of guarding All-Star starter Paul George didn’t deter Johnson from his duties on the offensive end either, as he kept up with George through screens and on his pull-up jumpers, and forced him into a 17-point output on 18 shot attempts. Johnson would dish out a season-high six assists in just the first half, and finished with 20 points (on 7/12 shooting) to go with nine assists, three turnovers, four rebounds, and a pair of steals.

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Recap: Nets 100, Pistons 105 – “The Shane Larkin Show”

Thomas Robinson dunks as Reggie Jackson looks on

Thomas Robinson dunks as Reggie Jackson looks on

The Brooklyn Nets continue to lose games in the most infuriating of fashion, in playing teams tough and learning actual lessons on the basketball court before ultimately falling due to the talent disparity and mental lapses. Monday’s 100-105 home loss to the Detroit Pistons was just the latest example of the Nets competing against a quality opponent, until the small mistakes and lack of consistent scoring or defensive stops proved insurmountable.

Against the Pistons, the Nets played one of their more complete games of the 2015-16 season. The offense converted on 48.8-percent of their shot attempts – including 7/16 from the three-point line – while holding their Detroit counterparts to 42.9-percent shooting and 10/30 from deep. Even the offense’s usual issues with passing and ball-handling weren’t present against the Pistons, with a 28:11 assist-to-turnover ratio, and the ever-inconsistent Brooklyn bench chipped in with 46 points.

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Did Brook Lopez Really Get A Max Deal?

In my one year of covering the Brooklyn Nets, I have come to learn one thing: Things are never what they seem with this team. I pride myself in figuring out tendencies and trying to predict potential scenarios. It just can’t happen with this team. Even contracts. You would think Brook Lopez’s contract would be cut and dry. I mean, he’s the franchise player and the future of the team is placed on his shoulders. His contract wouldn’t be complicated, right?

This is the Brooklyn Nets. Nothing is simple with this franchise.

Chris Mannix of Yahoo! Sports, mentioned undisclosed protections in Brook Lopez’s contract. Protections that would protect the Nets from liabilities if his foot injuries continue in the future. How undisclosed are these protections?

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Recap: Nets 103, Pelicans 105

Before we get to the game, let’s all the Brooklyn Nets fans to close their eyes and give thanks…

To the month of January being over.

February could be worse, and it might be. But the All-Star break is coming up and it is the shortest month in the calendar.

The Brooklyn Nets have mercifully ended the month of January, in which they lost Jarrett Jack for the year with an ACL injury (What’s worse is that it was the Boston Celtics game, the team who gets the Nets’ first-round pick. Hey, Boston! Lighten up, will ya!), fired Lionel Hollins and reassigned Billy King on a Sunday morning, lost to Deron Williams’s new team with him actually on the floor, and finally losing a heartbreaker to the New Orleans Pelicans, 105-103.

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