Recap: Brooklyn Nets 122, Toronto Raptors 127 - Brook and Jarrett Combine for 70

Jarrett Jack and Brook Lopez wanted this one. With the Nets having lost 11 of their last 13 games, the point guard and center tried putting the team on their backs and carrying them to a much-needed victory against the division-rival (and division-leading) Toronto Raptors, but were unable to win it in regulation and the Raptors scrapped and fought their way to a five-point victory in overtime.


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Trending in Brooklyn: 2015 is Terrible

If you thought being a Brooklyn Nets fan was hard in 2014, well, the new year hasn’t exactly been any easier. Let’s take a look at why:

Everything About 2015 Has Been Awful

Here are a few unfortunate trends from 2015 so far. I would love to go into more detail on each one other than just bullet points, but if I were to do so this piece might not be published until 2017 or so.

  • The Nets are 3-11 in 2015, compared to 15-16 in the 2014 portion of the season
  • The Nets have not won a single game in Brooklyn in 2015
  • Brooklyn is shooting an astonishingly bad 27 percent from three in 2015, down from an only kind of bad 34 percent in 2014
  • Both the Nets’ offensive and defensive ratings have been notably worse in the month of January, and they combine for a net rating of -10.5
  • In 14 games in 2015, Brooklyn has eclipsed the 100-point barrier only four times
  • Brooklyn has lost its last three games by 85 combined points
  • In 2015 the Nets offensive rating has plummeted to 94.3 during the fourth quarter
  • Brooklyn’s defensive rating has also been worse in the fourth, giving up 106.5 points per possession in January
  • All of these numbers could have potentially been even worse if the game against Portland wasn’t postponed

The Nets have only one more game left in January, and it’s against the 31-15 Toronto Raptors. Let’s just try to get through that and hope that these awful numbers are a January thing and not a 2015 thing.

Mason Plumlee. Still Good at Basketball.

Despite the team’s struggles Mason Plumlee has continued to improve his numbers over the last several games, and is now shooting 67 percent with averages of 14 points and seven rebounds in almost 27 minutes per game in his last 10 contests. I wrote on Plumlee’s improved play in my last Trending in Brooklyn column, but I’m doubling down this week for two reasons:

  1. Plumlee is still playing well even when nearly every Net has shot the ball worse than their seasonal averages lately
  2. I must find at least one positive thing to write about in order to retain my sanity, and well, there’s just not a lot of positive Nets things to pick from.

But seriously, check out the field goal percentages of the team over the last 10 games:

Screenshot 2015-01-29 22.58.20

Click to enlarge. Green text signifies a player’s last 10 games stats being better than their seasonal numbers. Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference

Of the 13 players that have logged minutes, Plumlee is one of only four players to be shooting above his average for the season, and he’s blowing that number out of the water. He’s shooting 59 percent on the season, and if he can keep up his pace from the last month he could finish the season with a field goal percentage in the 60s for the second season in a row.

January Has Not Been Kind to Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson is shooting only 37.7 percent for the month of January, which marks his worst shooting month since January of 2009* when he was a member of the Atlanta Hawks. His three-point percentage is all the way down to 31 percent as well, and he’s been unable to make up for the poor efficiency by getting to the free throw line. Johnson has shot only 24 free throws in January, compared to 38 and 40 in November and December, respectively (with the same number of games played in each month. As a result his scoring is down to only 14 points per game in the month, and if the Nets are to break out of their recent slumps they’re going to need Johnson to bounce back.

*Not including October months with only one game played.


RECAP: Brooklyn Nets 102, Atlanta Hawks 113

The Atlanta Hawks are the hottest team in the NBA right now and the Brooklyn Nets were the latest victim to be sacrificed into the magma-filed crater of Eastern Conference dominance. The Hawks 113-102 win over the Nets represented their 17th straight win and their 38th win of the season, matching their total from last season. While the score remained reasonably close throughout, the Hawks always seemed in control.

Coach Lionel Hollins attempted to shake up the Nets a bit by starting a lineup that had only played 17 minutes together on the season: Jarrett Jack, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, and Mason Plumlee. As the 2014-15 Brooklyn Nets are want to do they started well, forcing 7 turnovers and playing aggressively in the first quarter.

Even with that start, you could see it slipping away as the first quarter ended. Atlanta’s shots started falling and Brooklyn’s defense got a little more slack, which surely had nothing to do with the entrance of Bojan Bogdanovic and Brook Lopez. As the ancient proverb says “Given room, the Hawks will fly free and decimate you by spraying fire from their talons.” - Anonymous.

For much of the game the Brooklyn Nets fought, clawed, and scratched to hang onto the rim of the Hawks volcano, but simply managed to keep their toes just above the lava level. The score was close for a while, but ultimately all must perish in the intense heat of the Hawks.

This one was not simply about desire or strategy, Atlanta is a better team in every aspect and they are as hot as heat gets. Without perfect execution, the undermanned and less-talented Nets didn’t have a shot, and their execution has been far from perfect this season.



Joe Johnson: As usual, Johnson got his points (26 of them). He didn’t do too much else though with only 2 rebounds and 1 steal. If he’s going to drift on defense, not rebound, and not pass, this team is not going far (spoiler alert: they’re not).  C+

Mason Plumlee: This should have been a game where everything was coming up Plumlee. The Hawks are generally undersized in their front line and Plumlee could have used that athleticism to make them work. Instead, Mason looked like he was thinking of wicked dunks to use in the All-Star Weekend contest. He ended up with 14 points, 7 boards, 3 blocks, and assist, and a steal, but none of those runs that make him seem unstoppable…you know the ones. C-

Jarrett Jack: With 13 assists, Jack distributed well and with only 1 turnover, protected the ball well too. Unfortunately, he also shot 13 times, making only 5 of those. The less he’s shooting and the more he’s passing the better it is for everyone.  B-

Alan Anderson: Anderson played his typical unremarkable 36 minutes. He helped fight for loose balls and played decent perimiter defense (which is better than anyone else mangaged) and even managed to add 15 points and 6 assists. Sometimes a steady hand is all they need. Tonight they could have used a little more though. C+

Kevin Garnett: Started out doing some KG things like rebound, play defense, and make jumpers. Finished the first half doing KG things like yelling and fouling. Ended the game doing old man KG things like sitting on the bench. D

Brook Lopez: The defense took an immediate hit when Lopez came in, but he was still relatively active…you know, for Brook. He just couldn’t chase the smaller, more athletic Horford around and quickly tired. Toward the end of the game he just couldn’t get the defensive stops and rebounds that the Nets desperately needed. C-

Sergey Karasev: I’m not sure what Karasev said about Coach Hollins’ mother, but it must have been nasty because he has fallen out of the rotation fast. Only 10 minutes tonight where he went 0-2. D-

Bojan Bogdanovic: Bojan’s movement has been much better of late opting for dribble-drives and cuts rather than just shuffling his feet on the wing. Tonight those movements seemed to spark a little bit of life in him as he made a few great decisions with the ball and even hit 2 of 4 from downtown (although he only had one assist because his teammates missed). With Deron Williams out, I would love to see Bojan get a few more playmaking opportunities. Maybe he’ll even start hitting shots again…it’s worth a try. B-

Cory Jefferson: Jefferson put in some good minutes in the first half, grabbing a few rebounds and staying active. Coach Hollins apparently disagreed because he barely shifted in his seat on the bench during the second half.  C

Darius Morris: Poor Darius Morris may as well have been a roadside tourist trap the way Jeff Teague was passing right by without even looking at him. To top it off he went 0-6 from the floor.  F

Next game: vs. Toronto Raptors on Friday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 PM.


Lionel Hollins the latest Net under the bus

According to league sources, the Brooklyn Nets are concerned over the lack of fire in the team after getting run out of the gym by 39 points by the Los Angeles Clippers and 35 points by the lowly Utah Jazz. Now the Brooklyn Nets get to live in infamy as the fifth team in NBA history to be blown out by 35 points or more in back to back games. Here’s what’s scary Brooklyn Nets fans: we haven’t hit rock bottom yet. Read More


Three Man Weave: Week Fourteen Edition

The Brooklyn Nets are, unequivocally, a mess. Seemingly all facets of the organization have spiraled downwards in the last week or so, from the on-court product to management to even ownership, with crazy rumors and reports leaking by the day. To top it off, winter storm Juno has already cancelled Monday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers and locked down much of the Northeast and the New York metropolitan-area, putting a potential cabin fever element into an already explosive mix. Assuming general manager Billy King doesn’t lose electricity or battery life in his cell phone, this could be the week where we see a major trade (or firing). Read More


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.


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.



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


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.


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. 



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-