Nets cut down by healthy Bulls

The Brooklyn Nets lost to a superior Chicago Bulls squad 102-84 Sunday afternoon. The Nets record now stands at 6-9 on the year.It was a poor effort from top to bottom. Lionel Hollins squad was missing on offense and not guarding well enough on defense.

The loss means that the Nets still don’t have a win over a good team. The Bulls took control of the game in the third quarter behind a balanced attack that included heavy doses of Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler. The stout Bulls defense stalled the Nets offense, which is not hard, and took over the game.

Things are bleak for Nets fans right now so I tried to find things to be happy about. Read More


Brooklyn’s Finest Kicks - November 2014

Here at Brooklyn’s Finest we strive to provide our audience with in-depth analysis of all kinds of Nets happenings throughout the season. With that being said, I am excited to announce that I have accrued a few sources. Sources which will allow me to report on a topic of the utmost importance.

The sources? Alright, I’ll admit it; I have no sources.

But I do have an important topic. Brooklyn’s. Finest. Kicks. Read More


Should Mason Plumlee have been knocked down a peg?

One was a consensus top-20 recruit and McDonald’s All-American who went to Duke for four years. One wasn’t even a top 100 recruit and went to mid-major Tulsa. One was a first round pick who made all-NBA rookie first team. One was a second round pick who has been on four different NBA rosters, three different D-League teams, and three different teams from various European leagues. One spent his summer playing for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. One plays for the Jamaican National Team and spent his summer trying to make an NBA roster. Over the past four games one guy has averaged 9.25 minutes a game as the backup to Brook Lopez, the other guy has averaged 4.75 minutes a game as a third string center. Jerome Jordan leapfrogging Mason Plumlee in the Nets rotation is even more surprising than it appears at first glance. Mason is certainly the more talented player and a more important part of their future, but is his current play deserving of his benching? Read More


Recap: Nets 99, 76ers 91

Losers of 6 out of their last 7, the Nets came into Philadelphia with a slump to bust. They leave town with a victory but one that conjures no feelings of confidence.

Many pundits have recently pondered if Kentucky’s men’s basketball team could beat the Sixers. After tonight they may be wondering if Kentucky could beat the Nets.

Whizzing ball movement and strong defensive effort led the Nets to an early lead that got as high as 20 points.  But inexcusably poor execution on both ends in the 2nd-4th quarters led to runs of 22-10, 8-0, and 7-0 by the Sixers that kept them in the game. As the Nets lead evaporated, the Philly crowd remembered that they weren’t at a funeral and gave the young Sixers squad some motivation to fight.

Fortunately for the Nets a message was relayed to the Sixers near the end of the fourth quarter. General Hinkie commanded his squad to continue the tank on its plodding path to Mudiay Mountain. From that point on the Sixers executed their orders with a mix of bad shots, head-scratching turnovers, and poor fouls.

The Nets got the win but some of their recurring issues continued to trouble them.

The Nets struggle against athleticism. Younger, quicker players such as Tony Wroten, K.J. McDaniels, and Nerlens Noel gave them fits on both ends.

The Nets also continue to blow early leads. After a quarter and a half it seemed that this game was destined to be a laugher. But complacency struck again and the Nets had to fight much harder than they should have had to against a team on pace for zero wins.

 There were more airballs and audible curses tonight than well-executed plays. Just an overall sloppy game.


Nonetheless, with this game being played on Thanksgiving eve, I found it apropos to utilize everyone’s favorite holiday cuisine in chronicling tonight’s key performers.

Turkey: Joe Johnson. Joe was to the Nets tonight what a perfectly cooked Turkey is to a Thanksgiving meal. Absolutely crucial and will put you to sleep. Nothing spectacular from him, but a solid 21 points on 8-12 shooting that were key in the win.

Stuffing: Kevin Garnett. Stuffing may be the most undervalued item on the Thanksgiving menu. While KG might not get much attention tonight, his 9 pts/rebs. and solid defense was definitely important.

Gravy: Deron Williams. Just as gravy improves its fellow foods, Deron Williams improved his teammates tonight with a game-high 10 assists.

Pumpkin Pie: Alan Anderson. Anderson provided some solid minutes towards the end of the game. Similarly pumpkin pie comes up clutch when a Thanksgiving meal is nearing its end.

Cranberries: Bojan Bogdanovic. Cranberries are a Thanksgiving staple but are rather forgettable in comparison to the other foods. Bojan is a key to the Nets’ success but was rather invisible and ineffective tonight.

Chef: Coach Hollins. The obvious choice to be chef. He cooked up the gameplan to (barely) get his team the win. However creating an adequate strategy to defeat the Sixers requires about as much effort as swinging by the local grocery store and grabbing the Thanksgiving-to-go package.

The Nets were not good tonight. A loss to the Sixers may have led to some blood being shed in the Nets’ locker room. Let’s be happy that it didn’t come to that. Hopefully the Nets can build on their positives, address their issues and come ready to play on Sunday against Chicago.



What we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving

In case you weren’t aware, Thanksgiving is among us. And so, I took the liberty of asking the Brooklyn’s Finest staff what Nets-related things they’re thankful for this year. Here are the responses.

“I am thankful for Mirza Teletovic being a fun player on this otherwise boring team. Also, his name is super cool.” - Austin Reynolds.

“I am thankful that Brooklyn isn’t the Sixers. Or the Knicks for that matter.” - David Vertsberger

“I am thankful that Lionel Hollins has not yet gone crazy and killed someone on the sideline yet. I am also thankful that Deron Williams still has amazing handles.” - Jonah Jordan

“I am thankful that Brook Lopez isn’t out for the season… yet.” - Nick Huth

“I’m thankful for Ryan Ruocco guessing all 5 of Mike Fratello’s drawings and the best broadcast team in the league.” - John Maze

“It’s not Thanksgiving in Canada but I am thankful Andrei Kirilenko is on the trade block.” - Jack Moore

“I am thankful for the Nets interior defense. It’s an almost constant source of amusement and allows viewers to play the game ‘What the Hell are They Looking At?'” - Brian McNichols

“I’m thankful for ‘Iso Joe’ endgames being so ingrained in the Nets DNA that is provided us the delightful bit of trolling from Jason Kidd in the second overtime against Milwaukee. I’m also thankful for Mikhail Prokhorov’s general existence as it is a constant source of joy for all people.” - Josh Koebert

“I’m thankful for Bojan, at least when he plays at home.” - Paul Mitchell

“I am thankful for Jarrett Jack recapturing his ability to be a more than competent backup point guard.” - Jeremy Briggs

“I’m thankful they are in Brooklyn and not New Jersey.” - Brady Jennings



Three Man Weave: Week Five Edition

Last week didn’t go much better for the Brooklyn Nets. An 0-3 West Coast road trip soon morphed into a five-game losing streak after home losses against the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks (in triple overtime), before Friday night’s (narrow) victory in Oklahoma City against the injury-riddled Thunder. The team lost in San Antonio to close the week with a 1-3 record, and their 5-8 mark on the season is still good for second place in the Atlantic Division.

This week our three experts tackle more Nets struggles and inconsistent performances, before listing some NBA-related things to be thankful for after five weeks of the 2014-15 NBA season. Play along in the comments and have a happy Thanksgiving! Read More


RECAP: Nets 87, Spurs 99

Brooklyn Nets 87 Final

Recap | Box Score

99 San Antonio Spurs
Mirza Teletovic, PF 34 MIN | 8-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | -7

Teletovic got the start at the power forward position in Kevin Garnett’s absence and played the third-most minutes on the team, finishing with 22 points and 8 rebounds. He was one of the few Nets to shoot well against the Spurs, making 4/8 threes, and while he only recorded an assist on the night, his presence opened up the floor and allowed the ball to move a bit more than with KG (24 team assists on 34 made field goals, or assists on 70.6% of baskets, compared to 52.9% on the season). On the defensive end he gave up some… considerable size to Boris Diaw and was bullied around the basket.

Joe Johnson, SF 35 MIN | 5-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -3

Johnson struggled shooting the ball, missing five of his seven three-point attempts and 11 of his 16 total shots, and somehow didn’t get to the free throw line once in his 35+ minutes of action. He did a decent job defensively early on an aggressive Kawhi Leonard, holding him to 1-5 shooting on jump shots in the first quarter (3-7 overall in the quarter), but had a bad stretch in the second quarter when he fouled Leonard on a fast break layup and surrendered seven points in just over two and a half minutes, as the Spurs lead stretched to over 15 points.

Brook Lopez, C 25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -16

A night after playing one of his best games of the early season, Brook Lopez struggled Saturday against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio front-line (basically just Duncan and Aron Baynes). Duncan was able to use his length and footwork to bother Brook’s looks from the low-post, preventing him from muscling his way into the paint or following through on his jump hooks. He made a couple of tough layups as the finisher on the pick and roll, including a running bank-shot from above the half-circle, but again was unable to get into a fourth quarter under Lionel Hollins.

Deron Williams, PG 37 MIN | 10-21 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 24 PTS | -5

In another matchup against an elite NBA point guard, Deron Williams again held his own and showed glimpses of being the best player on the floor. Deron went toe to toe with Tony Parker tonight and outscored his San Antonio-counterpart 24-22 in about two fewer minutes, while matching him in assists and turnovers. Parker got his customary shots at the rim and finished at 50% from the field on his 18 attempts, but Deron made a couple of plays on the defensive end; forcing a turnover by reaching in on a Parker drive, and then stealing an outlet pass off of a San Antonio defensive rebound later in the quarter.

Bojan Bogdanovic, SG 24 MIN | 0-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -21

Bojan’s last week of box scores: Saturday, at Portland - 0 points on 0-7 field goals, 0-4 from 3.
Monday, vs. Miami - 22 points on 8-11 FG, 4-5 from 3.
Wednesday, vs. Milwaukee - 19 points on 7-16 FG, 4-11 3FG.
Friday, at Oklahoma City - 3 points on 0-5 FG, 0-1 3FG.
Saturday, at San Antonio - 2 points on 0-7 FG, 0-5 from 3.

Cory Jefferson, PF 8 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +3

Jefferson got into his fifth game of the season and played a little more than eight minutes against the Spurs, as Hollins altered his big man rotation on the second night of a back-to-back. He came in amped up and tried to harness that nervous energy, often ending up on the floor or knocking into other players. He had an assist and two points on two shots (making a jumper), and gave Hollins a more conservative option off the bench after starting Mirza and playing some Alan Anderson at power forward.

Mason Plumlee, C 8 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -5

For the second consecutive game Plumlee saw his minutes and spot in the big man rotation go to Jerome Jordan. His first minutes off the bench came at the start of the second quarter and alongside Brook Lopez, and he finished with only 3 points and an offensive rebound in his eight minutes of playing time.

Jerome Jordan, C 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +4

Jordan was the first big man off of Lionel Hollins’s bench tonight and looks to have leaped Mason Plumlee in the rotation. He grabbed five boards and scored five points on three shots, and had a nice finish on a layup as the trailer while Deron pushed the ball in transition.

Jarrett Jack, PG 25 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -7

A night after having his best game of the season, Jack too struggled with his shot, converting just two of his seven attempts. Since his shot wasn’t falling he chipped in on the boards, set up his teammates, and didn’t take any threes. His push-off foul with about eight minutes left in the third quarter prevented the team from trimming their deficit to below eight points, and Hollins limited him in the fourth quarter, starting with Deron Williams at the point instead. Jack also received a technical foul for confronting Aron Baynes on his way into a timeout, after taking exception to some earlier physicality.

Jorge Gutierrez, PG 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3

Gutierrez checked in when the game was already decided, but added two rebounds and an assist to the stat sheet in his two and a half minutes.

Alan Anderson, SG 22 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -12

It seems like Alan Anderson was another Net who left his jumper in Oklahoma City. He shot one of six from the field in just under 22 minutes, but chipped in on the boards and collected four offensive rebounds, of his seven total.

Markel Brown, SG 3 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +3

Hollins dug deep into his bench tonight and played 13 total guys, including Markel Brown for the first time in his NBA career. He knocked down a three in his two and a half minutes, which is an area he needed to work on at the NBA level, as I wrote about in my preseason piece on wings. Hopefully the defensive-minded rookie can see more minutes in the future.

Sergey Karasev, SG 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3

Sergey appeared with two and a half minutes left in a 15-point game, but got one opportunity to guard Kawhi Leonard before Gregg Popovich could pull his starters. He cut off Leonard’s baseline drive and forced him to spin towards the middle and into help, but reached in on the foul and surrendered an and-one. In those remaining minutes he missed a three-pointer and assisted on two baskets, and it’s unclear what effect this performance will have on his impending trade value.

Lionel Hollins

Hollins has made some changes to his rotation thus far on the road trip, by bringing Jerome Jordan in as the first big off the bench and even reverting to the Mirza-at-center lineup tonight that he’s used sparingly since the opening night loss in Boston. He began the fourth quarter with Jarrett Jack on the bench and Deron Williams with the second-unit (after Deron left the game in the third quarter with a leg injury scare), and wasn’t afraid to ride the hot hand and play Deron almost 37 minutes (against Tony Parker’s 39 minutes). For a team that seriously lacks in athleticism, giving players like Cory Jefferson, Markel Brown, and Jorge Gutierrez isn’t a bad idea, long-term, but burying Mason Plumlee with single-digit minutes in consecutive games seems counter-productive.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Deron Williams and Mirza Teletovic carried the offense tonight and were the only Brooklyn Nets to not struggle shooting the ball. Combined, Deron and Mirza posted 46 points on 35 shots (with 13 rebounds and 8 assists), shooting 51.4% from the field and 50% on 12 three-pointers. The eleven other Nets converted 28.6% of their 56 field goal attempts, for 41 points.
  2. The Nets shot 37.4% from the field and 9-27 from three on the night, but battled back from a couple of 15-point deficits to get it to down eight about halfway through the fourth quarter. The Spurs responded by making their next four shots and all of a sudden it was back to 15 with under four minutes left. San Antonio shot 51.9% on field goals and 8-21 on three-pointers, and the lead was safe enough to keep Tim Duncan and his 7-point, 10-rebound, 7-assist, 4-block, 3-steal statline to just under 26 minutes. Manu Ginobili barely broke a sweat, with 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists in just 24 minutes.
  3. After playing seven games in the last eleven days, it’s no surprise that Lionel Hollins expanded his rotation in the San Antonio game, getting thirteen players into the game. The Nets will have the next three days to get to Philadelphia for a Wednesday night game against the winless 76ers, and won’t play again until Sunday the 30th, at home against the Chicago Bulls. The Nets will have a relatively easy Thanksgiving holiday with some opportunities to rest up, before playing 16 games in December, including five back-to-backs.


Trending (Downward) in Brooklyn: Examining the Losing Streak

So it hasn’t been the greatest couple of weeks for the Brooklyn Nets.

After the team’s 4-2 start to the season, the Nets have dropped five consecutive contests. And with a road back-to-back at Oklahoma City and San Antonio this weekend, it’s conceivable that the losing streak could extend to seven games. Here’s a few things that went wrong for Brooklyn over the last several games: Read More


Brooklyn inches past OKC 94-92

Brooklyn Nets 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
92 Oklahoma City Thunder
Joe Johnson, SF 32 MIN | 2-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 8 PTS | -2

Johnson wasn’t his usual self despite his high minutes against OKC. He attempted just five shots from the field for eight points. He had the highest turnover percentage on the team, and had less overall usage than Bojan Bogdanovic.

Brook Lopez, C 35 MIN | 6-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | -1

Lopez picked up his first double-double of the season, while leading the team in minutes played. He made the most of his offensive opportunities with 50 percent shooting and did enough on the defensive end to disturb OKC with his three blocks.

Deron Williams, PG 31 MIN | 4-11 FG | 7-7 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 17 PTS | -3

Williams didn’t hurt his team, but OKC seemed to get into a comfortable pace when Brooklyn’s starters were in the game. The starting unit was beaten by an OKC squad that’s missing its two best players, and Williams failed to set the tone early and help Brooklyn establish its style of play.

Mirza Teletovic, PF 28 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +15

Teletovic continued his contribution off the bench with an efficient 13 points and 7 rebounds. Although the shooter struggled from beyond the arc, he was able to battle the depleted OKC bench unit to earn some easy buckets. He led the team with a 29.6 defensive rebounding percentage in his time on the court.

Jarrett Jack, PG 31 MIN | 8-15 FG | 6-7 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | +3

Jack came off the bench to play the same amount of minutes as Deron Williams, yet outperformed the starter with 53 percent shooting from the field. On a night where the starters all went negative while on the court, Jack helped lead the bench unit with the highest usage percentage on the team, which ended up being the difference against OKC.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Brooklyn was able to shoot .500 effective field goal percentage, but it was under its season average of .510. Oklahoma City was able to disrupt the starting unit’s offensive rhythm, but Brooklyn’s depth advantage showed through to lead to the narrow victory.
  2. Speaking of depth, the Thunder do not have it right now. Anthony Morrow led the team’s reserves with 11 points, but the likes of Jeremy Lamb, Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins proved unable to create an advantage of any kind against Brooklyn’s second unit.
  3. The Nets were able to find better shots against OKC’s band of role players, while not allowing any Thunder player to truly get going offensively outside of perhaps Reggie Jackson. Despite being at home, the Thunder (3-11) shot a .493 true shooting percentage, compared to the .586 from Brooklyn. Despite Williams being outscored by his replacement Jarrett Jack, the duo combined for 40 points on 12 of 26 shooting as the two hottest hands on the team.


Goodbye Brooklyn? Andrei Kirilenko Missing Road Trip

After a start to the season which saw his on-court visibility plummet faster than Sue Storm’s, it looks like we’ve reached the end of Andrei Kirilenko’s stay in Brooklyn. It was announced this morning that Kirilenko would not be traveling out west with the rest of the team for a back-to-back tilt against the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight and the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow for “personal reasons.”

Since joining the Nets before the start of last season, AK-47 has had a rough go of it, missing substantial time during last season’s rocky start due to back injuries. This season saw him start off in Lionel Hollins’ rotation, but as time’s worn on, he’s been progressively phased out, culminating with appearances on Hollins’ inactive list this week in losses to Miami and the Milwaukee. When asked about Kirilenko’s return following the road trip, Hollins replied “I don’t know.” And while there have been no indications from the team or the league that Kirilenko is done for good in Brooklyn, you can be assured that the rumor mill is warming up. Read More