Three Man Weave: Week 20 Edition

The Brooklyn Nets are officially impossible to figure out. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 60 games or six as the sample size, the Nets have ceased making sense months ago. Last week was the latest example of the team’s high-variance play, in defeating the Golden State Warriors in their first home game in almost a month and then losing three straight to the Charlotte Hornets, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz. Read More


Sifting Through the Wreckage of Brooklyn Nets 91, New Orleans Pelicans 111

Things started off pretty sweet for the Brooklyn Nets. They were moving the ball well, playing solid defense, and frustrating the New Orleans Pelicans, who were coming off a back-to-back. Unfortunately for the home team things soured quickly, then irreversibly spoiled, with injuries to both pride and person as the Nets lost their 4th straight at home and lost it big: 111-91.

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Recap: Nets 88, Jazz 95

If there’s one positive to come out of tonight’s devastating loss to the Utah Jazz, it’s that hopefully the dual-point guard experiment with Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack in the lineup together will finally be put to rest. Head coach Lionel Hollins avoided the combination completely in the first half, letting his starters play the entire first quarter and then going to Jack for the first six-plus minutes of the second, before subbing Williams back in at point. In the third quarter Jack entered for Deron at the 4:57-mark and would play the rest of the game, but was joined by Williams with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter and the Nets down by three.



Recap: Nets 100, Suns 108

That was ugly. Ugly for the Nets, ugly for the Suns, ugly for basketball. Only thing that wasn’t ugly were those gorgeous stars and stripes jerseys the Nets donned.

Brooklyn got off to a poor start behind three turnovers in three minutes and foul trouble for our lord and savior Markel Brown. Markieff Morris and Eric Bledsoe quickly showed that the Nets wouldn’t have a real answer for them throughout the night. The Suns were working Brooklyn on the glass as well. Despite all this, the Nets went on an 8-0 run midway through the first quarter to get back in the thick of things, where the game remained for essentially another two quarters.

Neither team could pull away from the other until Brooklyn went on a massive 25-7 run to close the third quarter behind Cory Jefferson and Bojan Bogdanovic. Stop laughing. Meanwhile, the Suns were on a march to infamy by missing their first 21 threes before P.J. Tucker finally connected on one. It was that kind of game.

Brooklyn’s run gave them a double-digit lead and seemingly control, until a 16-2 Phoenix run to close the fourth quarter sent the game into overtime. Jarrett Jack had a chance at hitting his second game-winner in a week’s time but his long two fell in and out.

Brandon Knight, after making three of his first 15 shots, scored the dagger in extra time to give the Suns the W. On the bright side, the Nets beat the Warriors on Monday!


Grades: Read More


Recap: Nets 91, Hornets 115

The Nets were out-rebounded, out-passed and outshot despite playing in Brooklyn and against a Charlotte team that sits right next the them in the conference standings. The game felt over after the first quarter, due to a 35-15 deficit sparked by the efficient play of Mo Williams compared to the passive play of Deron Williams.

In the battle of the Williams’ the Hornets were at a natural advantage, considering Marvin Williams added 18 points and seven rebounds. But the point guard battle was dominated in the first half by 11 assists by Mo Williams before halftime, as Deron Williams mustered only five in contrast and six for the game. The rest of the Nets didn’t make much noise offensively as the Hornets found easy baskets through halfcourt execution against the smaller Brooklyn lineup.


Joe Johnson: The power forward experiment continued for Joe Johnson with no success to speak of against the Hornets. He struggled to make an impact offensively and his undersized presence likely led to the rebounding advantage for Charlotte. D+

Mason Plumlee: The most efficient starter from Brooklyn clearly looked more effective compared to the rest of the Nets. His seven rebounds were enough to lead Brooklyn in a category that the team lost 49-38. B-

Deron Williams: Poor shot selection plagued Williams throughout his team-high 27 minutes of action, but six assists helped to get Plumlee involved early, despite the game long deficit. C-

Alan Anderson: He barely made his presence felt on offense and despite his single steal the Hornets scored the most while he was on the floor. Not the best matchup for Anderson. D

Markel Brown: Our editor, David Vertsberger, is attempting to coin #MarkelSanity, but that movement was on hold tonight as the young swingman failed to stand out from the mediocre perimeter play around him. C-

Thaddeus Young: As one of the only Nets players to bring a sense of energy, Young helped Brooklyn cut into the deficit at times, only for it to be reestablished while he was on the bench. The trio of steals and rebounds were timely, but it seemed like a game that he could have gotten more than his eight points on hustle alone. C+

Brook Lopez: He had the team’s only block, but we’ll hold off on the Defensive Player of the Year campaign for now. D+

Bojan Bogdanovic: Arguably the best player on the floor for the Nets had 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting and five rebounds. He looked engaged defensively, but it wasn’t enough to have a significant impact on the team’s effectiveness when he was on the floor. B

The Nets will attempt to bounce back against the Suns on Friday at 8 p.m. EST.


Markel Brown and Our Restrained Hopes

Most NBA teams will not win the championship this year. In fact, 96.66% won’t… sorry to break it to you. To take it even further, there’s only a handful of teams that have a realistic chance to win that title. So with all of this disappointment, why do fans stick around? Hope. And players like rookie Markel Brown are capable of giving Brooklyn Nets fans hope, slight as it may be. Read More


Three Man Weave: Week 19 Edition

After completing an eight-game road trip that has kept them away from the Barclays Center since February 6th, the Brooklyn Nets finally return home again this week for their next five games. The Nets began their long road trip with three straight losses in Washington, Milwaukee, and Memphis, and came out of the All-Star break embracing small-ball in their starting lineup, in the wake of trading starting power forward Kevin Garnett to Minnesota for Thaddeus Young.

By Friday’s first post-All-Star-and-trade-deadline game against the Los Angeles Lakers, head coach Lionel Hollins went to his wings to replace KG’s spot in the starting lineup, shifting Joe Johnson to the power forward (alongside Deron Williams, Alan Anderson, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Mason Plumlee) and keeping Brook Lopez on the bench as the backup center. A sprained ankle held Bojan out of the next three games and allowed rookie Markel Brown to seize his spot in the starting lineup with his strong play on the defensive end and on the boards, beginning with his 10-point, 11-rebound, 4-block starting lineup debut Monday in Denver.   Read More


Recap: Nets 110, Warriors 108


The Brooklyn Nets led the Golden State Warriors from start to finish to only rely on late game heroics from Jarrett Jack. Jack’s jumper with 1.1 seconds left on the clock gave the Nets the lead and the win. It erased the charge Warriors lead by point guard Stephen Curry. His 18 fourth quarter points put the Warriors in a position to win the game despite Brooklyn leading for a majority of the game. The win puts the Nets (25-33) into sole possession of the eighth seed in the playoffs.

Here are three good and three bad things from the Nets win over the Warriors.

Three Good Things:

Aggressive Deron Williams is Back! - Aggressive Deron Williams is the best Deron Williams. It isn’t the most efficient Deron, but he is the DW that can help the Nets the most. Williams was 8-19 from the field, 4-7 from three, while dishing out 4 assists. He finally looks healthy enough to run the team effectively. Being aggressive has it’s drawbacks though as Williams had 4 turnovers and didn’t play great fourth quarter defense. I think his 34 minutes may have been a bit much, but he played well for the majority of them.

The Bench - The Nets bench was the most impressive part of this game. Brook Lopez carried the unit with 26 points, on 11-22 shooting, and 6 rebounds. The backup center was active on both ends of the floor and seemed like he could not miss at times. Thad Young had another impressive game with his new team as he put up 14 points, on 5-9 shooting, 4 assists and 4 rebounds. The unit was rounded out by Jarrett Jack (9 points and 5 assists) and Bojan Bogdanovic (7 points). Neither had big scoring totals, but they played efficient basketball and Jarrett Jack hit the game winning shot.

Shutting Klay Thompson Down - A big part of the Nets stealing a win against the Warriors was that Klay Thompson did not play well at any point in the game. He shot 3-17 from the field and 1-9 from three point range. Markel Brown and Alan Anderson combined to play fantastic defense on one of the league’s best perimeter players the whole game. If Thompson gets hot at any point in this game the Nets lose, but they didn’t let it happen.

Three Bad Things:

Big Man Defense - The Nets’ big men struggled on the defensive end in the first half. It could be due to the small ball lineups that Lionel Hollins has employed since the acquisition of Thad Young. The bigs kept finding themselves on an island on pick and rolls which gave the Warriors easy alley oop opportunities. Andrew Bogut had 16 first half points, including a hook shot that made Coach Steve Kerr cackle, to lead the Warriors. The defense tightened up in the second half, but they still struggled in the pick and roll.

Fourth Quarter Steph Defense - Steph Curry was finding himself wide open too much in the fourth quarter. He fueled the Warriors comeback and the Nets allowed him to get hot. I think Curry is the hardest player in the league to stop once he’s hot. Actually, he was more than hot. Curry was shooting hot lava from his fingers while his feet lit the floor on fire as he walked. The Nets were relying Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack to cool Curry down. That didn’t happen. They consistently lost him in transition (not smart), going around screens (difficult to not do) or when he crossed one of them up so bad they looked lost (happens to everyone).

Markel Brown’s Minutes - When Lionel Hollins was in Memphis, coaching the Grizzlies, he consistently caught the ire of the fan base because of his unwillingness to play Tony Allen at times. I don’t think Hollins likes players that can only play one side of the ball. He has found his new Tony Allen in Markel Brown. Brown isn’t as good of an on-ball defender as Allen, but he’s really good and probably the best the Nets have. There was no reason that Markel Brown didn’t have a chance to stop Steph Curry in the fourth quarter. It should be interesting to see if Brown’s playing time keeps fluctuating going forward.