Recap: Nets 96, Bulls 82

With both teams facing the second night of a back-to-back, the Nets were able to outlast the Bulls in Chicago behind an augmented starting lineup including Brook Lopez. With Kevin Garnett taking the night off, Lopez started alongside Mason Plumlee and led the team with 29 points for his highest scoring performance of the season.

After a rough first quarter that saw Brooklyn down 31-24, the Nets responded with a dominant second quarter to go into the half up 55-45. Joe Johnson was the reason for the surprising turnaround, scoring 14 points in the second quarter and forcing Jimmy Butler into foul trouble. Brooklyn excelled in the low post with both Johnson and Lopez winning their respective matchups in the paint.

The Nets as a team shot 43 percent from the field, but more importantly forced the Bulls into a subpar 38 percent shooting. Derrick Rose continued his inconsistent season with just 4 points on 2-of-15 shooting and Butler continued the backcourt struggles, shooting 25 percent from the field. The second half was more of the same from Brooklyn, as the offense took advantage of a fatigued Bulls squad that didn’t seem interested or capable of creating its typical intensity.



Three Man Weave: Week Ten Edition

For the Brooklyn Nets, last week could be considered progress. The team put together its first three-game winning streak of the season while taking two of three games last week, and began integrating Deron Williams and Brook Lopez off the bench as they returned from injury. Both players have struggled in their limited minutes with the second-unit while Jarrett Jack and Mason Plumlee have excelled in their absence, and head coach Lionel Hollins addressed the situation after Saturday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers. The Nets looked a bit better on offense, scoring over 100 points in each game of their three-game streak before mustering only 85 points against the Pacers, and continue to beat up on the bad teams in the league (12-5 against sub-.500 teams). The schedule will get tougher and the Nets will have to improve upon their 1-11 record against good teams, but continue to inch closer to .500, at 13-16 (entering Monday’s game against the Sacramento Kings).

This week will feature four games on the schedule for the Nets, including two back-to-backs, with only one against a potential playoff team. DeMarcus “BOOGIE” Cousins will be a tough cover for Mason Plumlee, and could require the bulk and strength of Brook Lopez, in their matchup Monday night, while Tuesday’s road game in Chicago against the high-scoring Bulls will be a nice test for the Nets after their 25-point loss to the Bulls two weeks prior. They’ll begin 2015 with a double-road back-to-back in Orlando Friday night and Miami on Saturday, and sit just percentage points behind the Heat for the 7th-seed in the Eastern Conference playoff hierarchy.

This week on the Three Man Weave our three experts will evaluate the Brooklyn Nets in relation to their peers in the East, and discuss the latest Net to excel in an increased role and with additional minutes. Finally they’ll address the Nets’ rotation and how best to balance scoring between the first- and second-units, while working major players back from injury absences. Give us your thoughts in the comments below, and have a happy New Year! Read More


Nets Conquer The Kings

The Brooklyn Nets conquered the Sacramento Kings 107-99 in a thrilling basketball contest. Mason Plumlee’s 22 points and 4 rebounds lead the Nets to victory. The Nets’ record moved to 14-16 with the win.

Here are three good and bad things from the Nets-Kings game.

Three good things:

Mason Plumlee DESTROYED EVERYONE - Plums was awesome against the Kings. It’s like everyone on the Nets realized how to play with him and the coaches figured out how to use him all at the same time. The pick and roll is where Plums excels no matter where it is on the floor. The short corner? He’s got it. On a fast break? Check. With DeMarcus Cousins staring him down like tomorrow’s breakfast? No problem. Plums also was effective in the post and got to the line 16 times, the most on the team, with 10 makes. Plums is taking over and nobody can stop him!

The Rotation Rotated Well - Lionel Hollins may have finally figured out what he wants to do with the rotation. Brook Lopez and Deron Williams played under 20 minutes, while also avoiding bad combinations that drug the offense down. Floor spacing and defense were emphasized instead of always having a star on the floor. When Lopez and Williams were in they were on a short leash and it proved effective. A run always followed one or both exiting the game. This development may not be a good indicator of either player’s future in Brooklyn.

Keeping The Turns Down - The Nets kept their turnovers down and the Kings up. Lionel Hollins’ squad only had 9 turnovers to the Kings 21. It looked like the ball was covered in butter whenever it got into the Kings hands while the Nets may have had stickum on. Guards were making good decisions and not over dribbling (looking at you Deron) into turnovers. Taking care of the ball against a team as athletic as the Kings is paramount. Ty Corbin (Vivek Ranadive) wants them to play fast and they are athletic enough to turn turnovers into easy points so keeping them under 10 was great.

Three bad things:

Losing Shooters - The Nets did not do a good job of stopping the Kings from shooting three pointers. They consistently lost shooters in transition for open threes or didn’t go over screens quickly enough.A team that is down gets back into games by hitting free throws, getting easy baskets and threes so the Kings started feeding Cousins and hitting threes. I think they have to play better defense on the perimeter going forward. It confused me so much when nobody put a body on Nick Stauskas in transition. If it’s driving me crazy just imagine what Lionel Hollins is saying right about now.

Oh Mirza…Oh Mirza - This wasn’t Mirza’s best game ever. He was 4-11 from the field and took a few bad shots. He still commands the respect of the defense, but he has to be more consistent with his jumper if he wants that to continue. He did hit two clutch threes in the fourth quarter to keep the Kings at bay, but otherwise a down game from MT.

DeMarcus Can’t Be Contained - Nobody on the Nets could properly contain Boogie for the whole game. They tried doubling him on the catch with Plums and K, but it didn’t work. They tried to let Plums or Lopez body him up, but it only worked once or twice and resulted in Boogie trying to erase Plums from existence with a massive dunk. The only thing that actually worked was trying to disrupt his catch or let him make his own mistakes. Trying to do anything just resulted in him powering through whatever player Hollins threw at him.


Recap: Nets 85, Pacers 110

Coming off a three game winning streak at home against one of the Nets main competitors in the middle of the East the Nets looked to be in a good position to get a key win tonight. The Nets started the game 4-4 from the field and KG drew an early technical on David West by Lance Stephenson-ing his ear.
Hopefully no one feels the need to meet me in Temecula about the Nets, but they shot a Kobe-esque 32.8% (23/74) for the rest of the game in route to what ended up being a blowout loss. The Nets starters certainly didn’t play well, but it was the 5-32 shooting performance from the bench that really killed the team. In a game where scorers like Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, and Mirza Teletovic all came off the bench for Brooklyn there really is no explanation for such a poor showing. In the past couple games the Nets have begun centering their offense around a spread pick and roll attack with Jack/Deron using screens from to Mason/Brook/KG as the main form of offense. The pick and roll offense worked against the Nuggets and Celtics, but against Indiana’s stiffer defense completely collapsed. The Nets have seemingly abandoned the flex offense they ran predominantly for most of the year, but should have at least tried it tonight to see if they could get some quick looks. In the first half the Nets offensive woes largely stemmed from shot selection and shooting poorly. Nets players settled for a variety of midrange jumpers, contested threes, and contested hooks around the rim that wouldn’t produce an efficient offense even if the Nets had been hitting. Indiana does a great job of forcing teams into these shots, but the Nets consistently settled for shots instead of swinging the ball and looking for opportunities to attack. In the second half things got even worse as Deron Williams, Jarrett Jack, and many other Nets began turning the ball over and letting the Pacers get out in transition. The Nets let the leagues second worst offense (by Offensive Rating) in the Pacers score at a league average rate of approximately 1.06 PPP by allowing 48 points in the paint and 21 points in transition. It was an incredibly dissapointing performance on both ends of the floor for Brooklyn. The Nets have escaped with a couple come behind wins against weak competition recently, but the Nets new offense and insertion of Mason and Jarrett into the offensive lineup doesn’t appear to be the “fix” Coach Hollins was hoping for.



Jarrett Jack: Jack was one of two Nets to shoot >50% from the field as he continued his hot shooting by going 10-15 from the field in route to a team high 22 points. However Jack posted 5 TO’s to only 2 assists, a truly atrocious stat line for a starting point guard. Jack has done a great job scoring the ball of late, but he doesn’t create enough for other Nets and is never going to help on the defensive end. B-

Sergey Karasev: Karasev was one of the lone bright spots for the Nets as he shot 5-9 from the floor and posted a team best +/- of +14. Karasev’s recent performances have earned him a spot in the starting lineup as he shoots the ball well, can create a little off the bounce, and isn’t a complete sieve on the defensive end. A-

Joe Johnson: Joe didn’t shoot the ball great from the field at 4-12, but did a good job bullying his way to line where he was 8-8. He also managed to dish out a team high 6 assists, and often was able to kick out from his post ups and find shooters on the perimeter. On the defensive end he didn’t do a great job keeping up with Copeland, but it was overall a solid job. B+

Kevin Garnett: In one of the few times this year Garnett played in a back to back Coach Hollins limited him to 14 minutes despite solid play when he was in the game. Garnett and Karasev were the only two Nets to post positive +/-’s, but Garnetts was aided by him mostly playing at the beginning of the game. Ultimately Garnett’s blow in David West’s ear is probably the most memorable thing that happened in this game, so that counts for something. B

Mason Plumlee: After a string of fantastic performances from Mason he cooled off a good bit against the Pacers big frontline. Mason only got 5 shots in his 32 minutes as the Pacers did a good job bumping him on his dives to the rim, limited him to one offensive rebound, and prevented the Nets from getting out on the fast break. On the other end Mason was a step slow on rotations a couple times and cost the Nets a couple points at the rim by failing to rotate quickly. C

Brook Lopez: It was an awful outing for Brook as he shot 0-5 from the field and failed to get anything going against Roy Hibbert. Brook was often utilized in lineups with Mason that failed miserably yet again, as Brook settled for long two’s and tough running hooks against the packed paint. D

Deron Williams: In his second game coming off the bench Deron went 2-7 from the field, and had 3 turnovers with only 3 assists. On defense Deron repeatedly over helped and wasn’t quick or long enough to get back out to shooters on the perimiter. The Nets are going to need better performances from Deron and Brook if they hope to get anything of value for a potential trade. D-

Alan Anderson: Anderson played the most of any bench player as Coach Hollins tried and failed to utilize him in small ball lineups to help get the Nets offense going. Anderson isn’t awful, but he doesn’t really do anything valuable on either end of the court, and at this point it seems clear that Karasev is the Nets best option on the wing. C

Bojan Bogdanovic: Anderson still deserves a spot in the rotation though because he still hasn’t been as bad as Bogdanovic. Bogdanovic continued his poor play going 0-4 on offense and continually getting abused by Rodney Stuckey on the other end. Coach Hollins should continue to let Bojan try and adopt to the NBA game, but at this point he isn’t helping the Nets to win in any way. D-

Mirza Teletovic: Mirza continues to frustrate as he shot 0-6 from the field and posted a team worst -23 in only 16 minutes of action. Mirza has taken some questionable shots recently trying to break out of his slump, but he continues to hurt the Nets. Mirza has proven that he is a capable shooter and he’ll pick it up, but right now its sad to watch my favorite Nets player struggle out there. F

Jerome Jordan: Jordan got in for a brief stint at the beginning of the 4th where he shared the court with Mason before returning for the last three minutes of garbage time. Jordan somehow managed to post a -15 in just 5 minutes of action, but he didn’t play noticeably bad or good. C

Brandon Davies/Darius Morris: These two came on together with three minutes left to get outscored by 8 in their meaningless court time. Davies missed a corner 3 off the backboard as someone shouted “hell no” on his first shot, that was the end of the Davies/Morris excitement. C

Coach Hollins: After three straight wins Coach Hollins understandably sticked with the starting lineup with Jack and Plumlee. Nobodies performance tonight warranted a change in that, but hopefully Hollins adds some elements to the offense other than pick and roll then stand around. It would also be interesting to see how Karasev plays if given more minutes as he has outplayed both Bogdanovic and Anderson to this point. C-

Brooklyn plays home on Monday against the 12-17 Kings at 7:30.


Recap: Nets 109, Celtics 107

It was a battle of season-long trends in today’s Nets-Celtics matchup. After playing to a first half stalemate, the Nets allowed their typical 3rd quarter opponent run, resulting in a 12-point Celtics advantage. But the Celtics proceeded to predictably give up a late game lead, thanks to the strong 4th-quarter play of Jarrett Jack and Alan Anderson for the Nets.

The Nets’ lack of athleticism was again an issue as they struggled to keep up with the younger Celtics, but the heady play of Brooklyn’s veterans helped them steal a game they didn’t deserve to win. Jarrett Jack mid-ranged his way to a game-high 27 points, and was the catalyst on offense for most of the afternoon.



Jarret Jack: Played admirably in Deron Williams’ role and minutes. Kept the Nets alive amidst a 3rd quarter run by the Celtics and made what ultimately became the game-winning shot. A

Sergey Karasev: Decent game from him, but he needs to trust his shot. Passed up several open looks to make questionable passes. C+

Joe Johnson: Not Joe’s most inspiring effort. Looked slow on both ends and couldn’t get his shot to fall, finishing just 4 of 13 from the floor. C-

Kevin Garnett: In what is probably his last game in the Boston/TD Garden, KG was invisible. Played just 17 minutes which is about 16 more than I remember him playing. C

Mason Plumlee: Yet another solid showing from Plumlee. Incredibly active on both ends, keeping the ball alive and making some veteran plays defensively. The starting spot should remain his, but he has to start knocking down his free throws. A

Mirza Teletovic: Struggling to find his rhythm lately. Made some shots and stayed active defensively, but still isn’t looking like himself. C+

Brook Lopez: Played just 14 minutes in his 2nd game back from injury. He didn’t look terrible, which is a positive! C

Deron Williams: Continued the season-long trend of injured Nets returning and looking a bit rusty. Showed some life in the 2nd half but wasn’t his usual self. B-

Bojan Bogdanovic: Missed several open looks and failed to make any type of positive impact. Not exactly looking like a dark-horse ROY candidate right now. D

Alan Anderson: Made some huge plays on offense in the 4th quarter. One of his better games on the season. A-

Lionel Hollins: Pushed the right buttons to get his team a win. It was sloppy, but it was a win. B+

The Nets return home tomorrow to take on the 10 and 19 Indiana Pacers.


The Pros to Mason Plumlee

After an eight-game absence that’s spanned two weeks, Brook Lopez’s return had become the dangling plot thread in the tragedy that is the Brooklyn Nets’ 2014-15 season. Columns have been written about Brook’s impact on the Nets offense and how his return will affect the spacing and swinging of the ball that’s afflicted the team of late, but the recent play of Mason Plumlee has altered the conversation a bit. Tim Bontemps of the New York Post made “the case for keeping Brook Lopez out of the starting lineup” in his piece on Monday, breaking down the various (and logical) points as to why he believes Mason Plumlee’s recent performance in the starting lineup merits an extended look. Read More


Recap: Brooklyn Nets 102, Denver Nuggets 96

‘Twas two nights before Christmas and at the Barclays

The Nuggets were playing two games in two days.

They traveled to Charlotte the evening before

And got smacked in the butt by the Hornets’ screen door.


The Nets beat Detroit just a few days ago

And that made the Pistons say “Josh Smith must go!”

KG was in his kerchief; Mirza in his cap (meaning they were ready…artistic license for the win)

But Lopez was just coming back from rehab.


Right out of the gate both teams ‘rose such a clatter,

No D being played; don’t know what was the matter.

Straight to the hoop went Plums with aplomb,

Pulled down those boards and threw down the dunks.


Like the moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,

Brooklyn was relaxed and just went with the flow.

Even without Deron; on an injury vacation,

I’m really enjoying this eight-man rotation.


The Nets forced up tough shots, but forgot to box out,

So their rebounding numbers were something in doubt.

Lucky for them Denver’s D was on leave,

No doubt clouded by visions of a wild Christmas Eve.


With their fiesty old driver and his tested approach,

Brooklyn’s starting to get behind Lionel; their coach.

More rapid than before, these guys, they are playin’,

Hollins whistles and shouts as he calls them by name.


“Now Jarrett, now Johnson, now Bojan, and KG!

On Sergey, on Jerome, on Mirza, and Plumlee!

To the top of the key! Get up on that ball!

Now breakaway, breakaway, breakaway all!”


As leaves that before wild hurricane fly,

The Nets were out hustling and playing those guys.

And leading the charge was their very own Mason,

Blocks, boards, and putbacks were what he was chasin’.


We all hope that this winning will happen each day,

But we’re getting used to inconsistent play.

‘Tis the game and the season, where everything’s right,

So Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!




Jarrett Jack: This was a very good “traditional point guard” performance from Jack. He stayed in the background for much of the game, but did what needed to be done. Jack finished with 17 quiet, but important points on only 13 shots, 8 assists, and only 3 turnovers. A

Joe Johnson: This is the kind of performance Nets fans like to see from Joe Johnson, where he plays within the team until they need him to stop playing within the team. When Brooklyn started their fourth quarter run, flames started appearing around Joe and they helped burn down the Nuggets chances at winning. Seeing a very efficient 11-19 for 27 points (4-5 from 3) next to Johnson’s name makes the victory all the sweeter. A+

Sergey Karasev: The Swiss Army Knife…eh, Russian Army Knife. Karasev played pretty good perimeter defense (although no one really defended much on either team) and chipped in with a bit of everything. 12 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, and 1 game-icing steal with no turnovers is going to keep him high up in this rotation. B+

Kevin Garnett: KG only saw the floor for 13 minutes and didn’t do much when he was out there. Not outstanding, but not bad either.  C

Mason Plumlee: Oh, did Brook Lopez dress tonight? Oh, did he also get to play a little? Oh, might he return to the starting lineup? NOT ON MASON’S WATCH! Plumlee was hustling, cleaning up the garbage, and making it really hard to argue that Lopez should have that spot. He rebounded where no one else would and whipped the crowd into a frenzy that seemed impossible for most of the game. A++++++++

Bojan Bogdanovic: 13 minutes, 1 three-pointer made, 1 two-pointer made. Nothing else. Come on Bojan, be better. D+

Mirza Teletovic: 16 mintes, 1 three-pointer made, 1 two-pointer made. 3 rebounds. Better than Bojan…I guess? D+

Brook Lopez: Only played 8 minutes in his first game in 18 days. Brook tired quickly and never quite managed to shake off the rust, but he was effective when he was out there with 6 points and 4 rebounds. Lots of people have been speculating, but if the Nets decide to bring Lopez off the bench he might destroy other backup big men. B

Darius Morris: Morris looked like he was going to get some decent minutes in this game, but Coach Hollins wisely chose to not mess with the lineup that stormed ahead in the fourth. As it was, the young point guard looked capable in his limited play. C

Cory Jefferson: Another limited minutes player that surprised me since the Nets were rebounding badly most of the game. Jefferson only got in for 7 minutes and was active, but just couldn’t get back out there. C

Alan Anderson: Anderson somehow got 26 minutes although I’m not sure why. His defense was average (which was actually good for this game), but he contributed little else. C

Brandon Davies: Two minutes….he played for 2 minutes. Why was he listed as active rather than…

Jerome Jordan: Poor Jerome. Poor, poor Jerome. Poor, poor, poor, poor, poor Jerome. Listed as inactive due to the reactivation of Brook Lopez, the young, exciting, rubber-armed center couldn’t play in a game where the Nets needed rebounding.

Lionel Hollins: Coach gets credit for eventually finding a lineup that worked and sticking it out. I’m personally knocking him though for making Jordan inactive because it’s my recap and I’m allowed to do that. B

Next: Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics on Friday, December 26th.


Sergey Karasev: Who can he be?

As a new crop of potential draftees are evaluated before every NBA draft, they are analyzed in a multitude of ways. How does their talent project to the next level? Do they have the mental fortitude to stay committed for 82+ games? Can they be paid millions of dollars without entering the Tyson Zone?

There are thousands of ways to critique and break down prospects, but one question reigns supreme amongst fans and pundits alike: Who is their NBA comparison? Answering this question can provide a look into a prospect’s potential. It is a way of projecting the unknown, but history has ultimately proven it to be a crapshoot. It’s just as easy to hit as it is to miss. Nevertheless, this question is a source of amusement and debate that will persist for centuries, even as the NBA begins to employ robots and the top prospect is heralded as the next Optimus Prime.

When 19 year-old Sergey Karasev of Russia threw his name into the 2013 draft, he received a few comparisons himself. His European descent, sweet lefty stroke, and flair for the dramatic led many to peg him as the next Manu Ginobili. But after going 19th overall in the draft to the Cavaliers, Sergey failed to live up to the expectations. He played in just 22 games, often looking lost and overmatched. He was ultimately shipped to the Nets during the offseason in one of Cleveland’s cost cutting moves to aid with the acquisition of LeBron James. Read More


Three Man Weave: Week Nine Edition

The Brooklyn Nets again finished a four-game week replete with injuries, trade rumors, and squandered opportunities. A loss Tuesday at home (and in the rain) against the even more-injury riddled Miami Heat soon turned into an 0-2 back-to-back, after a blowout fourth quarter in Toronto Wednesday night. The Nets hung with the LeBron James/Kevin Love/Kyrie Irving combination for much of Friday’s loss in The Cleve, but starting point guard Deron Williams suffered a “low-grade right calf strain” in the first quarter and left the game after logging just ten minutes. He would sit out in Sunday’s home victory against the Detroit Pistons and could return either tonight against the Denver Nuggets or Friday afternoon in Boston. The day after Deron’s injury, a #WojBomb from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski described advanced trade negotiations with the Sacramento Kings centered around Deron Williams. Read More


Recap: Nets 110, Pistons 105

The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons at home tonight, 110-105. For tonight’s recap I kept a running diary of the action, starting in the second half. You can find all stats and box score information here.

Read More