3 Lessons Learned From Brooklyn’s First Win

Breaking news to Brooklyn’s Finest: The Brooklyn Nets will not go 0-82 for the season. The Nets, who were basically left for dead with a beleaguered GM who is the laughingstock of Brooklyn, beat the Houston Rockets, 106-98. Okay, let’s be clear, no one on the Brooklyn’s Finest staff thought the Nets would go 0-82. 0-11 maybe, but not 0-82. The Nets entered this game winless at 0-7, playing the Rockets who were enjoying a four-game winning streak after starting the season 0-3. The victory was the first for the Nets franchise since they were in New Jersey back in March 13, 2006, spanning eight games.

Bojan Bogdanovic came off the bench to lead the team with a season-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Joe Johnson added a huge double-double with 16 points and ten assists. Brook Lopez, fresh off his foot injury scare against Milwaukee over the weekend, scored 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Brooklyn won this game on the defensive end, scoring six unanswered points to unlock the game at 93 to lead 99-93 and never looked back. The Nets slowed James Harden, holding him to 23 points after Harden exploded for 43 and 46 points in the last two games. Dwight Howard finished with 20 points, 17 rebounds, and five blocks. Usually the fourth quarter is the time the Brooklyn Nets warm up the bus and get dressed early, but the Nets held the Rockets to 15 points in the last frame which included forcing Dwight Howard into two missed layups which led to the Nets gaining momentum throughout the rest of the game.

Here’s the three lessons learned in this game…

1.) The Brooklyn Nets are awful but let me introduce you to a team that is worse…

If you are new to Brooklyn’s Finest, you will find out that I am brutally honest when it comes to the Nets. If they are awful (and they are) I have no qualms about pointing out that fact and why. But let me tell you this right now…


But the team, they play on Friday is. The Brooklyn Nets have a golden opportunity to have a two-game winning streak. I realize some of you are laughing so I will pause to let you catch your breath. Finished? Good. The Sacramento Kings, who the Nets play on Friday, are actually in worse shape than the Brooklyn Nets. Don’t believe me?

Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King probably was the laughingstock of the NBA when he gave coach Lionel Hollins a vote of confidence this past Monday. I personally barbecued him myself on Brooklyn’s Finest based on his explanations and talk of exploratory trades.

As stupid as he sounded, the Sacramento Kings probably made Billy King the most respected man in the building right now. Why?

Because no matter how bad things are going in Brooklyn, Billy King in that press conference kept a straight face and kept all of the issues in house. He did something that all managers in all corporation should avoid… throwing people under the bus.

Unlike the Sacramento Kings. As of this writing, the Kings are in a 2-7 hole, after beating the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. The Sacramento Kings’ locker room is a ticking time bomb that will explode soon enough. Sure, they won. Who cares?

There were reports that detailed a confrontation between DeMarcus Cousins and Kings coach George Karl. Cousins reportedly unloaded with a profanity-laced tirade after losing to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday. Karl wanted to suspend Cousins for two games for the incident.

Well that did not happen.

What makes things worse, according to, Kings GM Vlade Divac is already thinking about a coaching change. The report alleges the Divac asked for the players’ input in a team meeting on Tuesday, saying…

“We don’t know what to do with George [Karl], do you think we should fire him?”

DeMarcus Cousins did apologize Wednesday for his actions in a statement issued to Yahoo! Sports that eventually got to It says in part…

“It is no secret that  we are all frustrated with losing-me more than anyone. I let my frustrations get the best of me in the locker room after the San Antonio loss — that is my bad.”  For the record, my frustration is not about any one person or coach. There is no one to blame. All of us are accountable. My frustration is that we are 1-7, simple as that.

It seems that Cousins is not alone. Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, and others are unhappy with Karl as well. Think about it, the Brooklyn Nets could end George Karl’s tenure with a win on Friday night.

For all of his faults, which we probably will continue to point out on this site, a special shout out to Billy King.

2.) Well, well, well, Lionel Hollins made some adjustments…

The Houston Rockets came out with a small lineup surrounding Dwight Howard, with Trevor Ariza, Ty Lawson, James Harden, and former Brooklyn Nets guard Marcus Thornton. Instead of using the same starting lineup, Lionel Hollins went with a big lineup, inserting Rondae Hollis Jefferson into the lineup. What does this do? It establishes the defensive presence that the Nets needed from the start. Look, it’s clear that the Nets can’t score, so defense is going to be Brooklyn’s only hope to stay in the arena by the fourth quarter. Jefferson got the hook when he turned the ball over three times early but Bojan Bogdanovic took over and led the team for the rest of the night. Now that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will see the court again, how about Thomas Robinson? In 13 minutes Robinson showed the energy that helped the Nets get over the top in the fourth quarter. He had six points and six rebounds, which included a big dunk late.

3.) The Brooklyn Nets played well in the fourth quarter and Jarrett Jack was on the bench. Coincidence? NO!

Jarrett Jack had his usual high volume, poor shooting game, scoring seven points on 3/10 shooting. He saw a lot of pine in the fourth quarter while Shane Larkin scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out two assists and provided an offensive spark during the second half. The 15 points was a season high for Larkin. Is there anybody that wants to join my “Trade Jarrett Jack” movement? It’s easy to join and it’s free…

Here’s what I learned…

The Duke Blue Devils, UNC Tar Heels, and Kentucky Wildcats CANNOT beat the Brooklyn Nets.

Trust me, if this losing streak had made it through the weekend, with a 40-point blowout to the Golden State Warriors, the discussion would have begun.