Recap: Nets 97, Bucks 103

After falling to the Wizards by 37 points on Saturday to start an eight game road trip, the Nets failed to bounce back against the Milwaukee Bucks. Jarrett Jack’s game-high 26 points failed to spark a fourth quarter comeback that was required after to a miserable offensive performance to start the second half.

So how bad was the third quarter for Brooklyn? Well, the Bucks allowed just four Brooklyn field goals while forcing the Nets into eight turnovers. The Bucks shot 33 percent in the first half, but increased defensive pressure from Milwaukee disrupted Brooklyn’s offense. Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Giannis Antetokounmpo sparked the comeback, forcing three steals while also racking up 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Brooklyn gave up 21 fast break points to Milwaukee, which was the difference maker in the third quarter.

The Brooklyn bench did little to provide energy against the younger Milwaukee side, getting outscored by its counterpart 36-25. Lionel Hollins chose to roll with a nine man rotation, but it seemed like just eight players hit the court with more struggles from Deron Williams. The former all-star shot 0 of 5 from the field for no points and four turnovers off the bench as he struggled with an illness.

Brooklyn has little time to think this loss over, as the team plays Memphis on Feb. 10 to continue the eight-game road trip.



Jarrett Jack: It’s hard to fault Jack for his 26-point performance, although he failed to guide an attempted comeback in the fourth quarter. Regardless, the team relied on his shot making all night, and he mostly delivered. A-

Joe Johnson: Johnson scored 19 points while shooting 50 percent from the field, but he was otherwise outplayed by the more energetic Antetokounmpo in all other aspects of the game. More playmaking from the veteran swingman could have been a crucial component of steadying the ship in the third quarter. B

Kevin Garnett: Although not as invisible as Williams, KG played just 13 minutes while scoring 6 points. He picked up half as many rebounds as Joe Johnson, and for a player that will possibly be sitting out against Memphis tomorrow he could have done more defensively to disrupt the Bucks. C-

Mason Plumlee: The team struggled when Plumlee was on the floor, mostly due to the defensive struggles once Milwaukee began to hit their shots. Still, he led the team in rebounds with eight and narrowly outperformed Brook Lopez offensively. C

Brook Lopez: Shooting an efficient 5 of 7 from the field wasn’t enough to help the bench unit keep up with Milwaukee in the closing half. Lopez also picked up five personal fouls and failed to lead the bench in scoring, despite the struggles from Williams. C


Recap: Nets 77, Wizards 114

The Nets came into this one with a three game winning streak including wins against the Raptors and Clippers while the Wizards were on their season worst five game losing streak. Unfortunately for the Nets those trends turned out to be absolutely meaningless for tonights game. The Nets started out the game relatively slowly as they were down 28-19 after one quarter, and not looking good on either end. As is often the case for the Nets the second quarter was even worse as they got outscored by eleven resulting in a twenty point halftime deficit. The Nets then failed to mount any type of run in the third quarter, were down by 28 at the start of the fourth and rode their bench guys out the rest of the way in route to the 35 point blowout loss.

Like most blowout’s, the Nets lost big due to a combination of poor play and bad luck. With KG out resting tonight the Nets played almost exclusively big-big lineups with some combination of Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee, and Jerome Jordan. These lineups kill the Nets spacing, and as a result the Nets really struggled to get good looks. Neither Jarrett Jack or Deron Williams could get much penetration against the Wizards solid defense, and the Nets shot an atrocious 33.8% from the field for the game. The Nets were 0-9 from three at the half, the product of both bad looks, and also just bad luck. The Nets shooting woes are what led to the 77 point performance, but giving up 114 points to a middling offensive team like the Wizards isn’t great even in a fast paced game like tonights. All the Nets misses in the first half led to a ton of transition opportunities for Washington, and the Nets were outscored 18-0 in transition in the first half. The Nets lack of speed and athleticism certainly hurts the team in transition, but tonights defense was especially awful as both the Nets guards and bigs were lazy getting back on defense. The Nets were on a back to back, but the Wizards also played last night so that doesn’t really excuse the Nets players lack of effort. There isn’t to much else to say about this game, the Nets got thoroughly outplayed on both ends of the court tonight and the game was never competitive after the first quarter.



Jarrett Jack: Jarrett was 3-12 from the field and had six turnovers on the game. He was also one of the main culprits for the bad transition D as he frequently watched as his own shot missed and John Wall leaked out past him for easy fast break opportunities. This is a pretty ugly game for Nets player grades, this isn’t even the worst of it. D

Alan Anderson: Alan shot 1-6 from three, posted a team worst +/- of -27 and basically didn’t do anything to help the team on either end. It’s sad to admit, but the Nets really rely on either Alan or Bojan hitting some shots to help the offense out, and when neither of them can, things get ugly fast. Anderson ended with zero turnovers which is good, but also zero assists, sources tell me that isn’t good. C-

Joe Johnson: When Alan Anderson plays awfully it’s one thing because he’s Alan Anderson, when Joe Johnson plays as bad as he did tonight the Nets wing play is about as bad as it gets. Joe played 24 minutes, didn’t get to the line once, was 3-11 from the field with no threes, and only recorded one rebound and one assist. Combine all of that with lethargic defense, and Joe had a truly awful performance. F

Brook Lopez: If a lone bright spot from tonight exists, it was Brook. He scored 19 points on 8-15 shooting, and had a solid eight rebounds to go along with it. He was able to get deep post position and nail a couple of hooks, but on the other end he had trouble keeping up with Nene and Marcin Gortat on the pick and roll. His offense was good, but his interior D was lacking and neither he or Mason deterred many of the Wizards looks in the paint. B

Mason Plumlee: Mason Plumlee got abused by Marcin Gortat in pick and roll, and struggled to get anything going on offense as he only got four shot attempts in the game. As much as playing with Mason hurts Brook’s post up spacing, playing with Brook might hurt Mason’s spacing on the pick and roll even more. However, none of that is exciting. Causing about five beers to be spilled on the sideline? Very exciting. C-

Deron Williams: Deron was the only Nets player who really created anything in this game as he dished out seven assists and had zero turnovers. He also shot 0-8 from the field, and has shot a combined 6-29 his last three games. Despite the poor shooting he only posted a -10 +/- on the day, one game +/- is really noisy, but that was the best of anyone who played over ten minutes for Brooklyn. If his shooting doesn’t stay ridiculously awful he might earn the starting job back soon. D+

Jerome Jordan: Jordan scored nine points on 3-4 shooting from the field, but only had three rebounds in 21 minutes of play, and was a big reason why Gortat ended with five offensive rebounds on the day. His individual offense was fine, but having him out there really doesn’t help the offense in anyway. In games where KG is active Jerome basically doesn’t play, his play tonight shouldn’t alter that in anyway. C-

Cory Jefferson: In games where KG is resting I’d like to see Lionel give more of the fourth big minutes to Cory instead of Jerome. Cory’s almost certainly a worse player at this stage, but he’s a rookie, and he at least provides some hope of semi-spacing for the Nets. He didn’t impact the game at all tonight (0-1 from field, only one rebound in 14 minutes), but he could be a piece in the future if Lionel gives him time to develop. D

Bojan Bogdanovic: Bojan played 20 minutes, Alan Anderson played 21, neither did much to help the Nets. Bojan shot the ball slightly better (2-5 v.s. 1-7), but he’s not as good on the defensive end as Anderson. Neither provides much off the bounce creation, but it’s good to see that Bojan is firmly back in the rotation at least. C-

Darius Morris: Morris played the whole fourth quarter, but only got up two shots and had zero assists. However, with Deron back healthy the Nets won’t be playing him at all in close games anymore. He’s been a below replacement player when he’s been in there for Brooklyn, and it might be worth it to at least try a D-League guy in his place. D+

Markel Brown: Markel only played six minutes at the end, and didn’t do anything of note in those six minutes. Nonetheless, the Nets are currently only playing three wings, so it might be nice to give him a few minutes at backup SG in a competitive game and see what he does. C

Sergey Karasev: Sergey has clearly fallen back behind Bojan and Alan in the rotation, and like Markel played an uneventful six minutes at the end of the game. If Hollins doesn’t feel comfortable giving Markel a shot, I think he should at least give Sergey 4-8 minutes a game just to try and give Joe/Deron/Jarrett a little more rest. C-

Coach Hollins: My only real complaint with Coach Hollins in game coaching today was his decision to play Jerome ahead of Cory, other than that it’s hard to blame him for the awful shooting. It’s also difficult to know how much of the Nets lazy fast break D can be blamed on him. One thing of interest is that he tried a zone for about five possessions midway through the third quarter. It didn’t work as Washington scored on it almost every time down, but I like to see a coach trying things so I give him credit for that. C-

The Nets next play Monday in Milwaukee at 8:00 ET.


Brooklyn Film Festival: Jarrett Jack’s Clincher

In case you missed it, the Nets came away with a tight win over the Knicks last night. How, you ask?

(Video courtesy of The Brooklyn Game)

Let’s break this crafty little play down.


The play starts off simply enough, with Jack coming off a Lopez screen to receive the inbounds pass from Joe Johnson, who at this point had nine points in the fourth quarter.


Now we see Johnson use a Lopez down screen to curl over to the weak side, while Bogdanovic sets a soft screen and quickly clears out to the right of Jack. Here’s the Nets first scoring options. If Lou Amundson had decided to pin himself to Lopez, Jack could have found Johnson cutting under the rim for an easy layup. If Langston Galloway had felt the need to pressure Jack, Bogdanovic could have found some space on the right wing for an open three or take to the rim.


Alan Anderson sets a down screen for Johnson, which frees him for less than a second before Lance Thomas recovers. If not for Thomas’s strong maneuvering, Johnson could have found himself with a wide open look. Jack gets the ball to Joe Jesus, and then…


Jack sets a hard screen on Thomas, forcing Calderon to check Johnson while Thomas tries to get back on his man. Remember when I mentioned that Johnson scored nine in the quarter? Well, either the Knicks were in “DEAR GOD DON’T LET HIM SHOOT” mode, or Calderon and Thomas mis-communicated, because both stuck to Johnson like glue. This left Jack wide open on the left wing, and no real way to save this possession.


If Carmelo helps, Alan Anderson is wide open in the corner. If Amundson helps, Anthony covers his man in Lopez, and Anderson is once again open in the corner. Neither of these things happen, and Jack knocks down the open three.

This is one great play call from Lionel Hollins. The Knicks were surely going to focus on Johnson, and so Hollins took advantage of this accordingly. If the Nets can keep up this level of creativity on the offensive end, we might have a postseason appearance on our hands after all.


Recap: Nets 92, Knicks 88


Facing their riva- can we even call them a rival? I mean, seriously? Anyway, facing off against the Knicks, the Nets pulled out a narrow victory behind Jarrett Jack’s game-sealing three and free throws in the final minute. With that,

Brooklyn has now won three games in a row for the first time since January 2nd. Is that… consistency? Momentum? Sweet!

There was another 47 minutes of basketball, though, and it was certainly something. These two teams aren’t great, so we had more than a few sequences that didn’t look like basketball. Picture a missed lay-up into a rebound tipped around into multiple dives on the ground into a missed fast-break opportunity into a… you get the point.

The Nets looked comfortably in control throughout the first half, with the exceptions being every minute Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee spent on the floor together. It did not work, at all, as usual. But the Nets looked like they could somewhat cruise to an easy enough win.

Then the third quarter happened. New York outscored Brooklyn by ten, took the lead in the fourth, and suddenly the game was, well a game. Joe Johnson started cooking early in the quarter, but it was Jack’s heroics with under a minute to go that won this one for the Nets. Up one with half a minute (10 on the shot clock) to play, Lionel Hollins drew up a beauty of a play (video breakdown on its way) that got Jack wide open from the left wing. Bucket. Two free throws later and this one was over.



Three Man Weave: Week 15 Edition

After the litany of distractions that surrounded the Brooklyn Nets last week, the team played hard in their two losses against Eastern Conference playoff teams. The presence of trade rumors have been a constant throughout the 2014-15 season, but an ESPN report early Monday changed the conversation to Lionel Hollins, and ownership’s concerns about the team’s competitiveness under Hollins in his first season as head coach of the Nets.

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Recap: Nets 109, Raptors 93

THE STREAK IS OVER! No, not Brooklyn’s losing streak, even though they avoided losing their fourth straight road game for the first time since December 2013. The Nets have now won two in a row. The big streak that ended last night was the Toronto Raptors undefeated streak against Atlantic Division opponents this season. The Nets, who were led by former Raptors Jarrett Jack who finished with 24 points and Alan Anderson who added 22 beat out the division leading Raptors 109-93. The division loss is Toronto’s first in ten games this season.

After losing a 15-round heavyweight fight in New York in overtime where Brook Lopez and Jarrett Jack combined for an insane 70 points in a 127-122 loss, Jack dominated Kyle Lowry… again.

The Brooklyn Nets put on a shooting clinic from all aspects of the floor. The Nets shot 49 percent from the floor, including a ridiculous 47 percent from the land of the extra point. Plus when they got to the line, they didn’t mess around. The team shot 87 percent from the charity stripe. If the Nets can get consistency shooting the ball like this, all is not lost in the playoff chase. The Brooklyn Nets have now scored more than 100 points in a season high four straight games.



Recap: Brooklyn Nets 102, Los Angeles Clippers 100

The Brooklyn Nets hung around tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers in a game that was equal parts sloppy and exciting early, with big plays scattered between plenty of missed jumpers and offensive fouls. The Clippers offense exploded after halftime while the Nets quietly kept scoring, and while the Nets’ first-half offense devolved mostly to “get the ball to Brook and watch”, the second half saw more movement and soon the three-pointers started falling. Bojan Bogdanovic and Alan Anderson were aggressive in the second half and missed plenty of open looks, but kept taking good shots. After a Bad Free-Throw Shooting Contest broke out late in the fourth quarter, Alan Anderson’s aggressiveness in shooting the basketball would help the Nets take back the lead after he made a huge corner-three with Blake Griffin fouling him. Jarrett Jack closed the game with a crossover and step-back jumper on DeAndre Jordan, and the Clippers couldn’t get a shot to finish the game. The Nets win 102-100 against the Los Angeles Clippers, after losing their last four games, and will travel to Toronto for a possible revenge-game against the Raptors on Wednesday.


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Deron Williams needs Lionel Hollins

Deron Williams is almost back in the lineup, Brooklyn Nets fans! Ever since Deron Williams went down with rib injuries, the Nets have crashed and burned to 2-10 record which includes a 39-point humiliation on national television to the Los Angeles Clippers and a 35-point smack down to the Utah Jazz that should have been an undercard in the WWE Royal Rumble this past weekend.

Even though Deron Williams is participating in non-contact drills in practice, the Brooklyn Nets have held Williams out of Wednesday’s game versus the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks. It might be frustrating to Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets, but it is a smart move. As hot as the Atlanta Hawks are right now, winning the last 16 games which is the equivalent to being the lead story on SportsCenter if they lose, now is not the time.

But when the time comes for Deron Williams to come back, the question still remains… Will it really matter with the fortunes of the Brooklyn Nets? Read More