Brooklyn Nets: The “Blueprint” Of Dysfunction!

As of this writing, the Brooklyn Nets are 9-22 and will not sniff the playoffs this year. It has been a year filled with injuries, communication problems, and rumors of Lionel Hollins being fired almost every week.

The dysfunction and stability of this franchise has been a source of concern (and entertaining drama based on how you look at it) that will go on for the near future. With the piling losses, the questionable rotation patterns, the ridiculous free reign Jarrett Jack has running the point, and the Brooklyn Nets have entrenched themselves at the bottom of the league. I mean, if it wasn’t for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Nets would be team that would the laughingstock of the NBA.

But if anyone has noticed, the Brooklyn Nets have major impact on other teams in the NBA. Have you noticed that a loss to the Nets brings out real issues to other teams? Here’s some examples…

1.) Houston Rockets

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It’s Lionel Hollins’s Prerogative!

It’s been no secret that Lionel Hollins’s decisions have been - let’s be kind here - puzzling. There have been times that his decisions have cost the Brooklyn Nets some games this season. There have been times that his communication skills have dipped slightly (Okay, folks, it’s been nonexistent!) below the level of NBA coaching standards in crunch time. Lionel Hollins does have the reputation of having accountability issues such as…

Throwing people under the bus, AKA…

Throwing people out in the ocean with no boat, AKA…

Leaving people out in the desert with no shade or lemonade.

But last week was comical to me. It happened in the press conference after the Nets lost to the Dallas Mavericks. After Deron Williams drank the New York water and got  hurt - again - leave it to Lionel Hollins to provide all of the entertainment and drama. This time it concerned the playing time of Bojan Bogdanovic.

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Recap: Nets 93, Magic 100 - Collapse in Orlando

Despite leading by as many as 12 points in the second half, the Brooklyn Nets collapsed on the road to lose to the Orlando Magic 100-93.

The game started well for the Nets. Even though they were playing on the road against a team with twice as many wins as them, the Nets commanded the pace and flow of the game in the first half of the game. The team only committed two turnovers in the first half, largely due to the surprisingly capable floor generals of Jarrett Jack.

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Brook Lopez Looking a Bit too ‘Slopez’ for This Years All Star Game

This summer the Brooklyn Nets chose to resign Brook Lopez to hold down the fort during the franchises rebuilding process. Lopez is shooting a career low 48 percent from the field so far this season. He will likely not be making his second All Star game appearance due to the slight decline in offensive numbers and the recent uptick in the caliber of big men in the Eastern Conference.

Lopez is taking 15.8 field goal attempts per game in 33 minutes this season, both of which are his most since the team was based in New Jersey. Yet, he is struggling this season.

It is important to note that defenses have had the luxury of zeroing in on Lopez because of the lack of consistent offensive threats around him compared to past seasons. However, excuses such as this doesn’t mean All Star game voters will take it easy on him. Despite Brooklyn using him at the highest rate since before his first major injury in 2011, Lopez has actually seen himself fall in the pecking order of big men in the Eastern Conference.

Andre Drummond leads the pack of recently emerged big men as he averages 18 points and 16 rebounds and will likely start if the voters give him the respect he is deserved. He’s not much a shot blocker but his rebounding skills are reminiscent of a young Dwight Howard. Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy also coached Dwight Howard during his best years under the same system that he currently runs in Detroit but with Drummond as the lead dog in the paint.

Pau Gasol is having yet another age defying season averaging a double-double for the fifth time in his career. He finds himself at the center position regularly with Hoiberg at the helm allowing him to block shots at the highest rate of his career at more than two per game.

Paul Millsap has taken on a much greater role with the Atlanta Hawks since DeMarre Carroll defected to Toronto. He is collecting career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. Not to mention those new career high numbers are on top of him making the last two All Star games.

Other big names like Chris Bosh, Kevin Love and Hassan Whiteside make the competition even more difficult to make it in, let alone in one of his worst seasons. Not to mention that Lebron often starts at the four in All Star Games taking away another possible big man landing spot for Lopez on this year’s All Star team.

If there is any optimism for Lopez to make the All Star team this year it is centered on averaging over eight rebounds per game for the first time in six seasons. But it likely won’t be enough to overcome this year’s competition. Not to mention Brooklyn’s small market isn’t going to be inflate the amount of votes he gets

Nets fans haven’t found much to rally around this season. Lopez having a slower year, their exciting rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is out until March with an ankle injury and the Nets one of just three teams in the league without 10 wins as we approach 2016. The cherry on top of the lack of excitement surrounding this team is how they won’t even have a first round draft pick to look forward due to the Pierce-Garnett trade in a year where they should be in the lottery.


Recap: Nets 111, Heat 105 - “At This Point With Lionel Hollins, Anything Goes”

Lionel Hollins, much like Wayne Ellington, was feeling it vs. the Heat

Lionel Hollins, much like Wayne Ellington, was feeling it vs. the Heat

As the estimable Ian Eagle explained in the waning seconds of the game, the Brooklyn Nets “looked like a completely different team in the second half” of their 111-105 victory in Miami. The Nets team of the first half continued their disturbing trend of both turning the ball over and not playing defense, causing head coach Lionel Hollins to contemplate serious measures before exiting the American Airlines locker rooms at halftime. Rather than shake up his entire starting five, however, Hollins decided instead on his backcourt, and the emergence of Shane Larkin and especially Wayne Ellington triggered a 67-48 second half run and would make just enough of their free throws to hold on for the six-point victory.

The defensive effort was night-and-day for the Nets in each half. Much like in their last meeting a week and a half ago, Dwyane Wade dominated his match-up with Bojan Bogdanovic (and even Jarrett Jack for some possessions in the second quarter) and alternated between setting up teammates and only taking shots within his comfort zone. Wade would continue to make adjustments as the Nets sent more defenders and pressure at him, keeping his head up for Hassan Whiteside rolls to the rim whenever Brooklyn extended their pick-and-roll coverages (see video below). With Chris Bosh making both of his shot attempts from deep (on his way to a perfect 5-of-5 night on three-pointers) and providing the stretch element to the half-court offense, and the Nets’ offense submitting an 0/8 stretch over the last four and a half minutes of the first half, and a 14-point Miami lead at halftime somehow seemed insurmountable.

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Brooklyn Nets Rumors: Nets Don’t Want Tony Wroten

Now that the Brooklyn Nets are officially going backward and down a bottomless pit after an ugly loss to the Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets fans can scour the internet looking for Brooklyn Nets rumors to keep themselves occupied. The rumor that is the leader in the clubhouse will be if Joe Johnson can be traded at the deadline, and if not will he be bought out of his contract.

But there are more speculations in the Brooklyn Nets rumors bucket to talk about and it started Thursday when the Philadelphia 76ers waived point guard Tony Wroten. After being passed over by Brooklyn and nine other teams this weekend, the Nets have made it clear that they do not want Wroten on their roster.

Check out what Fred Kerber of the New York Post said about the situation…

” A league source said Nets have no interest in guard Tony Wroten, who was waived by Sixers on Thursday and cleared waivers on Saturday. Wroten had 29 turnovers versus 20 assists for the Sixers in eight games.”

It’s very interesting that the Nets passed on Wroten. At this point, what do the Nets really have to lose at this point? They really need to do SOMETHING to get a spark on offense. This really wouldn’t have set the Nets back on the balance sheet. They had the cap space courtesy of the trade exception that they still possess. Plus he was not under contract after this season. With Wroten making around one million dollars, this was a low risk move for the Nets that wouldn’t have messed with the salary cap in the offseason. They could have easily grabbed him off the waiver wire because of their bad record.

Granted, the guy can’t throw the ball in the ocean standing neck deep in the water, shooting a putrid 23.1% from three-point land. With those stats, he would fit right in with this bunch. But Wroten can score and get to the basket with speed. That is something that would more interesting to watch than watching Jarrett Jack pound the ball into the ground for 15 seconds of the shot clock and shoot a contested long-range two.

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Recap: Nets 96, Wizards 111 - Gee Wiz! Brooklyn Nets Fall Apart Again

Deron Williams is starting to be the new “Six Degrees of Separation” when it comes to the Brooklyn Nets. I can’t get away from this guy. I know the Nets would love to do the same. After avoiding playing Deron Williams in the “revenge” game after he got hurt again, leave it to fate for a Williams reference.

Remember a few years back when the Nets were in New Jersey and were awful (believe me people, they were worse than this) and finished 12-70? They were aligning themselves for the number one pick and supposed to scoop up John Wall? Instead they lost the lottery (in other news…water is wet), dropped to third and drafted Derrick Favors. Then they traded him away in a blockbuster trade for guess who?

Deron Williams!

Boy it sure would have nice. Maybe the franchise is built around Wall and Jarrett Jack wouldn’t be starting. Oh well. John Wall dominated in the game to the point of 22 points and 13 assists as the Washington Wizards ran by the Brooklyn Nets in the fourth quarter 111-96. It is the second straight loss for the Nets while the Wizards have now won four straight. Brooklyn is now in a free fall after winning four straight home games. They have now lost six straight home games and have won only three of ten in the month of December. Ugh!

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Are We Being Too Tough On Joe Johnson?

Merry Christmas to all people around the world and a happy new year. I’m pretty sure most NBA fans got their Christmas present from ABC and ESPN, watching a full day’s worth of NBA action. I was enjoying all the games and came up on an interesting bit of information watching the Lakers/Clippers game: It seems that Kobe Bryant is the leading vote-getter for the All-Star game coming up in February.

Now let’s put this all in perspective. Kobe Bryant as of this writing has about 200,000 more votes over the runner-up Stephen Curry.

Yeah, that one. You know, the MVP, the champion, the little guy that is embarrassing the league right now. Also, Bryant has more votes than players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, nd a couple players across the Staples Center halls in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

Outside of a “Final Curtain Call” for Kobe Bryant… WHY?!

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The Brooklyn Nets Take Up Archery With Jarrett Jack

On Wednesday, when the “Deron Williams” game didn’t materialize because of a strained hamstring (Writer’s note: There was no evidence of the Brooklyn water causing this!), leave it to his replacement at point guard to make everyone wonder if things may have been better if Williams stayed or not.

The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks played a very entertaining overtime game in which the Nets lost… again, to the Mavericks, 119-118. But this game actually had a game within a game started by Wesley Matthews and Jarrett Jack. I like to call it “Air Archery”.

I hope this does not disrespect Nike or his “Airness”, Michael Jordan, for the use of the word “Air” but it applies in this case.

We’re going to fast forward straight to overtime after Thaddeus Young, who went nuts in this game to send the game into overtime with a three pointer with a hand in his face. More on that later.

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Brooklyn Nets Miss Kevin Garnett in Loss to Timberwolves

The Brooklyn Nets honored Kevin Garnett on his first game back after being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for current player Thaddeus Young. It was a formal changing of the guard after dismantling the “Five Year Plan” that was supposed to bring a title to Brooklyn. The Nets had only respectful things to say about Garnett as he returned to the Barclays Center to play since the last minute trade deadline deal.

Here’s what Joe Johnson said of Kevin Garnett, courtesy of the New York Post

“He was great for us. Just his leadership alone, his championship pedigree - that  was for more than anything that we could have asked for at that point in time. So he definitely left his mark,” Joe Johnson said. “That’s my buddy man. …I talk to him probably once or twice a week.”

Do you ever wonder what he’s saying in those conversations?

The Nets showed their appreciation for Garnett’s service before the game. Then they laid down and allowed his new team to giftwrap a “W” just in time for the holiday season.

Sunday afternoon, the Brooklyn Nets got beat pillar to post to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-85, to lose it’s 20th game of the season, with a five-game losing streak to boot. It’s not the fact that the Nets lost to the Timberwolves, it’s HOW they lost to the Timberwolves.

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