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Chasing Playoff Spot, Brooklyn Nets Making Moves

Trade Kevin Garnett to Minnesota in Exchange for Thaddeus Young; Right Now Holding on to 8th Playoff Spot

In their last 10-games, the Brooklyn Nets are 5-5, holding on to the last spot in the Eastern Conference standings, with the 8th seed.

As far as February 27th, 2015, is concerned, the Nets are 23-32, in a 4-team race for the 8th spot, alongside: The Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, and the Boston Celtics.

If the Nets are to contend in the Eastern Conference, let alone make the playoffs, the roster as it stands, has to make some sort of improvement right?

Last week, at the NBA trade deadline, the Nets made a move towards securing a playoff spot.

That meant sending future Hall-Of-Famer, Kevin Garnett back to the place where it all began: the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 1-for-1 swap for Thaddeus Young.

Thaddeus-Young Minnesota-Timberwolves Thaddeus Young, formerly of the Minnesota Timberwolves on his way to the Brooklyn Nets

With Garnett's days numbered as a pro, you would think that he would want to go to a contender with the hopes of one last title-run, but instead, waived his no-trade clause to return to the team that traded him away 8-years ago.

"I did not know the city missed me like this," Garnett told

"I don't think you can ever wish or ever think the city loves you like this. But to see it is reality and I'm very appreciative."

And why wouldn't they.

Garnett was the player that the Wolves drafted out of Farragut Career Academy (Chicago Illinois), in 1995, who immediately gave the north-western team a reason to rejoice.

Under the watch of Head Coach Flip Saunders, Garnett became a perennial All-Star (12 selections with Minnesota, 15 career selections), an MVP and helped lead the Wolves to the Western Conference Finals in 02, against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Unfortunately the Wolves lost that series, 4-2 and following the disappointment of the playoffs and a couple of down years, Garnett wanted out of Minnesota, looking for opportunities to win elsewhere.

He became a champion in 2008 with the Boston Celtics, and that experience along with his impeccable resume as one of the NBA's greatest players, is something the Timberwolves wanted to influence their young core and mentor them until he decides to call it a career.

"With the opportunity of coming here and helping young guys in this transition of being better and bettering this team for the city, I saw this as a great opportunity for me, so I'm just happy to be here," said Garnett to Timberwolves media,

The Timberwolves feature a core of five young and talented players all under the age of 25 in, last-year's no.1 overall pick in Andrew Wiggins, 2015 Slam Dunk Champ Zack LaVine, Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, and Glenn Robinson.

Garnett, who also has the aspirations of owning the Timberwolves one day is in the perfect spot to end his career and in the meantime aid the growth spurt of a young-core expected to turn a franchise around like he once did, 17 years ago.

For Brooklyn, unlike Garnett who is playing mentor and instructor for a team hoping for a better tomorrow, Young was acquired to help today.

It almost seems like Young has been in the league for a decade, but the former McDonalds All-American and Georgia Tech alum is in his 8th NBA season, still young, no pun intended, at 26 years-of-age.

With the exception of Philly where he spent the first seven years of his career, Young is suiting up for his third-team in two-years, now with a realistic chance of actually playing for something.

A day after the trade, Young scored eight points and helped the Nets defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in his first game with the team.

"He didn't play extended minutes. But for not knowing any of the plays and not having a shoot-around or a meeting with us, I thought he played really well," Deron Williams told following the game.

Deron-Williams Media-Day-Photo Brooklyn Nets point guard, Deron Williams

"He looked good for us and he's going to be great for us as he gets more acclimated to the team."

Joe Johnson also seems to be a fan.

"I think he's going to be great," said Johnson about Young to "He just has to get familiar with the system, but he's definitely the kind of player that fits our mode. So he's definitely going to help us."

Joe-Johnson Brooklyn Nets shooting guard, Joe Johnson

Young's career 13.8 points per game is something the Nets can either exploit as a reserve or as a starter.

And in talking about new weapons for the Nets, rookie Markel Brown has also surfaced recently.

The periodically used guard, buried onto the bench due to the depth chart, recalled from Maine Red Claws of the D-League alongside fellow rookie Cory Jefferson, has played in the Nets last three games (Lakers, Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans) contributing on both ends of the floor, scoring a career-high 10 points against the Nuggets on Monday.

Even Williams is getting into the act, showing flashes of his All-Star self, when healthy, producing a double-double against the Lakers, last week in 12 points and 15 assists.

Yet and still, the Nets are still nine games under .500 at 23-32, entering a tough three-game stretch in which they will visit the Houston Rockets tonight, meet Houston's neighbor in the Dallas Mavericks and their new weapon in Amar'e Stoudemire and then host the Golden State Warriors on Monday, to begin the month of March.

No one ever said it would be easy, but the Nets did this to themselves.

Last month on January 2nd, the Nets were 16-16.

As soon as February 1st, the Nets were 19-28, due to a seven-game losing streak in January where the Nets lost to potential lottery teams in Boston, Detroit, and Philadelphia.

For a team that currently has the only hope of the city, they have to be better than that.

The acquisition of Young for Garnett, Deron Williams’ recent play, and featuring young players like Brown may be the recipe for the Brooklyn Nets to finish big.

There are only two months left in the season, and it is time for the Nets to make their push for a playoff spot, now.

Brooklyn Nets Beat Lowly New York Knicks as Expected

Jarrett Jack's Stealth Three-Pointer Helps Net Win 92-88

In the initial year of the brand new Barclays Center of downtown Brooklyn, NY, when the New York Knicks visited the Brooklyn Nets, it meant something.

It was 2012, and the Nets opened their brand new home-arena, completing the transition from the Izod Center in East Rutherford New Jersey to the pressured and prestigious grounds of the city.

Both teams were competitive and every Nets-Knicks game gave fans an excuse to choose their side, creating exciting environments, whether it was Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center.

It's 2015 and times have changed.

The Knicks are no longer the Atlantic Division champs and tonight the Nets reminded them how far they have fallen.

As ice covers our sidewalks creating dangerous walking conditions, New York had no trouble packing into Barclays tonight to witness the Nets defeat the Knicks, 92-88.

This win, increased the Nets winning streak to three, improving to (21-28) on the season as the Knicks, who showed fight, fell to (10-40).

30 games under .500, I know.

At least that's not the Nets who are in the midst of turning their season around, heading in the right direction for a change, after a horrendous month of January.

In the first month of the New Year, the Nets lost 12 of their scheduled 15 games, which included losing streaks of seven and four.

February, the month of love, is proving to be much kinder to the Nets as they have won the first three games of the month, including thrilling wins over NBA powerhouses in the Los Angeles Clippers (102-100) and the Toronto Raptors (109-93).

"The last three games have been great," said Deron Williams, according to

"Three wins in a row. Tonight it was another where things didn't go right for us, but down the stretch we found ways to win."

If Williams is referring to "things didn't go right for us" as far as this game is concerned, then he must be questioning why his teammates only beat one of the worst teams in the league by four points.

Right now, the Nets are in the playoff race, occupying the 8th and final spot and in order to solidify their status as a playoff team or attempt to move up in the standings, the Nets have to be better than just four points against lottery teams,

All in all, they won this game, despite losing their grip on early leads and making the significant plays late in the final quarter to pull off an expected victory.

In the first half, the Nets enjoyed comfortable leads of 10 and 17 behind the strong play of Brook Lopez, who scored 14 of his team-high 22 points in the first half.

As for the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, with help from Lou Amundson, Jason Smith and Lance Thomas, would score nine of his team high 21 points in the last 4 min of the second quarter, battling back from a deficit of 17, entering the halftime period down by eight, 45-53.

I mentioned before that the Nets made the significant plays in the final period to achieve the victory and here they are:

With 1:38 remaining, and the Nets up by a slim 1-point lead, 87-86, Lopez, as he feasted all night from the painted area, connected on a 9-foot floater assisted by Jarrett Jack, to give the Nets a little breathing room, up three-87 to 84.

And here's the dagger.

Jack, courtesy of horrible Knicks defense and an assist by Joe Johnson, stood at the arc of the three-point line, all by his lonesome and connected from deep, giving the Nets the final say, up by four, 90-86, with 13 seconds remaining until the end of regulation.

Anthony couldn't dig the Knicks out of this hole, nor could the triangle offense.

The Nets did what they were supposed to do and that is the only praise that counts.

"This is big for us to close out the first half, especially before All-Star break, going into it on a positive note knowing that we start out from the West Coast right after the break," Joe Johnson said post-game, via

Every win is big, especially when you take care of your business at home as the superior to your opponent.

Four players in double-figures for the Nets in Lopez, Jack (20 points), Johnson (13 points), and Garnett (12 points) is big.

Brooklyn-Nets-players Brook-Lopez Joe-Johnson Kevin-Garnett 750x250

Brooklyn Nets center, Brook Lopez; shooting guard Joe Johnson; and forward, Kevin Garnett

Lopez, albeit coming off the bench receiving starting minutes (33 min tonight) and Williams seeing some action, returning from ailments this season and contributing to the Nets cause is also big.

In the Nets three wins this month, Lopez and Williams have provided stability from two of the most important positions on the court, with Lopez and Williams, both reaching double-figures in wins against the Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors and tonight against the Knicks (Lopez: 24 points vs. LAC, 22 vs. Knicks, Williams: 15 points vs LAC, 11 Raptors).

It might not be what Nets management expected from this team, with how they envisioned Williams and Lopez as the primary pillars of success, but this format is working (Williams and Lopez-role players) and head coach Lionel Hollins would be foolish to remove Jack and Mason Plumlee from the starting lineup as they have earned their current roles.

The Nets will look to improve their streak against the Washington Wizards tonight, and hopefully, if the opportunity presents itself, against the Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets over their next five games (including All-Star Weekend).

A three game-winning streak could prevent Nets management from blowing up Brooklyn basketball, looking forward to the future in rebuilding.

In February, it appears the Nets are not interested in that plan.

For the moment, the playoffs are actually a possibility.

Brooklyn Nets Drop Third Straight Game to Lottery Bound Boston Celtics

Deron Williams Re-Aggravates Sore Left Side and Exits Game

In their last ten games, the Brooklyn Nets are 6-4.

It's better than average, good for most teams right?

Well if you don't count the last two consecutive losses to the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks (both heart-breakers), then you're probably comfortable with the Nets progress thus far this season.

Sooner or later the Nets are going to have to decide what team they are going to be for the remainder of this season.

Can they catapult themselves towards the hierarchy of the Eastern Conference? Or will they mirror the team they once were during the 2012-13 season that enjoyed a short trip to the playoffs, eventually sent home in the first round in seven by the Chicago Bulls.

One game/win does not define a season, but the New York Knicks are in rebuild mode and the Nets are the city's only hope as far as competitive basketball is concerned.

With the precipitation featuring snow recently, the Brooklyn Nets have allowed the unfavorable weather beyond the comforts of the Barclays Center to affect their game, and it showed tonight hosting the Boston Celtics.

With the exception of the first quarter, the Nets struggled offensively for the rest of the game and fell to the lottery-bound Celtics, 89-81, their third straight loss.

The Nets are now three games under .500 at (16-19) while the Celtics improved to (12-21).

It just wasn't their night.

Expending a month's worth of energy in Monday's overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks, 96-88 could have something to do with it, as well as, completing a 10-game stretch which included three back-to-backs.

"The energy was low and I was fearful of that coming in," said Brooklyn Nets Coach Lionel Hollins during his post-game press-conference.

Lionel-Hollins Postgame-Press-Conference 20150105 222307.mp4.Still003

Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins speaking with the media in a postgame press conferenence.

"We just played back-to-backs and one of them was overtime, and now we go back to another back-to-back, so we have a back-to-back, a day off, game, a day off and a back-to-back."

Hollins also expressed that the current schedule along with Deron Williams and his injury status (re-aggravating his sore left side in the second quarter against the Celtics), has forced Jarrett Jack and Joe Johnson to play more minutes than he would have liked.

In the Dallas overtime loss, Jack logged in 44 minutes and Johnson logged in 45.

Jarrett-Jack Brooklyn-Nets-Media-Day 2014

Brooklyn Nets point guard Jarrett Jack

Tonight, Jack logged in 39 minutes producing 15 points and four assists while Johnson contributed 17 points in 37 minutes.

Despite the Nets boasting four players in double figures, including Mason Plumlee who recorded his 7th double-double of the season with 16-12, as a whole, the home-team struggled on the offensive end the entire night as the Celtics out-scored the Nets in every quarter besides the first quarter (2nd: 21-14, 3rd: 29-23, 4th: 20-19).

Oh there's more.

The Nets shot 40.5% from the field, shooting 21.4% from behind the arc and 69.2% from the charity strike.

"When you are consistently at 39%, it's going to be a struggle to score every game," Hollins told the media post-game.

It gets worse!

The Nets committed 17 turnovers opposed to the Celtics 6.

As poor as the Nets offense was, they did compete on defense, but their efforts just weren't enough for a team who was younger and sported fresher legs.

And about those fresher legs, Celtics guard Avery Bradley showed off.

With the departure of Rajon Rondo, Bradley took advantage, torching the Nets for 21 points, shooting 3-5 from three-point range.

Tyler Zeller played sidekick to Bradley's exploits, as the Celtics second leading scorer with 18 points of his own, oh and another thing: every player who checked in for the Celtics recorded points.

The Celtics bench outscored the Nets bench, 34-18.

At the end of the day, it comes down to making shots and the Nets were unable to keep up with the hungrier and younger team.

They looked fatigued and un-enthusiastic.

Tonight, the Nets played with what the Knicks are made of which is just plain old bad.

In his post-game press-conference, Hollins, combated the negatives with his own observations of where his team is now opposed to where they were in the beginning of the year.

"We are playing much better," Hollins expressed.

"We've made progress, were moving forward, I think our culture is better, our togetherness is better, our defense is certainly better, we just have to figure out a way to make shots throughout the course of the game."

It seems like the Nets most recent struggles on the court stems back to the root of what their foundation as an organization is built on: The Big Three.

With the exception of Johnson, Williams and Brook Lopez have missed significant time on the court this season and their absence from this team as leaders, with their presence, continues to take its toll on the Nets, in the present and immediate future.

How long can Johnson and Jack continue to play excessive minutes without suffering injuries or just overall fatigue.

Their games will suffer which will eventually compel the remaining roster of the Nets to carry their load as starters, which isn't their role.

Jack was brought here to provide a formidable guard option off the bench along with Alan Anderson, and due to Williams injuries, his role has increased.

The Nets have to make a decision with their $99 million dollar-man in D-Will.

To trade or not to trade?

Williams re-injuring his sore left side during the second quarter of tonight's game does not help the possibilities of trading the former star at all.

As for the able bodies, Johnson and the crew are looking for the formula to solve their answers.

"I think we've had a few different lineups-us as players, trying to still learn and fine tune it for one another, so this team needs a little more time than we expected," Johnson said post-game.


Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets Shooting Guard

"We just got to keep working hard, keep trusting one another and keep believing in one another."

The positive similarities in Johnson's and Hollins' post-game quotes regarding team chemistry are encouraging but losses like tonight are exactly what can disrupt that chemistry.

The Nets have to take care of their home-court and beat the teams that are inferior.

This weekend, the Nets will participate in another back-to-back. They play Philadelphia at home on the 9th and then will travel to play the streaking Detroit Pistons on the 10th, who are a perfect 6-0 since waiving Josh Smith.

The Nets need to win those two games.

Following Philly and Detroit, the Nets schedule features a ten-game stretch where they will face the likes of the Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies (home-home), and the Washington Wizards (back-to-back; and away-home). The Nets then do a west coast swing to play the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers (back-to-back), and Utah Jazz. They come home to play the Portland Trailblazers (Monday, Jan. 26), then back out to play the Atlanta Hawks (Wednesday, Jan. 28) and back home on Friday, January 30 to face the Toronto Raptors.

It can get very ugly.

But that's why it's Wednesday, were not there yet.

Brooklyn Nets Beat Sacramento Kings 107-99

Mason Plumlee and Jarrett Still Starting and Still Shining

Jarrett Jack and Mason Plumlee continue to start for the Brooklyn Nets; while Deron Williams and Brook Lopez provide their services off the bench.

It wasn't supposed to be that way, but injuries to both stars have kept them away from the court recently, and Jack and Plumlee have stepped up in their absence, so here we are.

It continued tonight against the Sacramento Kings with Plumlee and Jack in the starting lineup, opposed to Williams and Lopez.

There's a synergy there and the Kings experienced the dynamic duo's exploits tonight as the Nets, were able to sustain their late second quarter surge throughout the second half, pulling out a 107-99 win in front of a sellout crowd.

The Nets scored their highest point total (by quarter) of the game in the second with 30 points and the most important scores occurred in the closing minutes.

With 4:20 left, and the Nets leading by a deuce, 46-44, Plumlee and Co. organized a 11-0 run which improved their lead to double-digits, as they entered the intermission period up 13, 57-44.

Jarrett-Jack Brooklyn-Nets-Media-Day 2014

Brooklyn Nets point guard, Jarrett Jack

Plumlee scored half of the points in the run, which included two slams, while Alan Anderson and Jack accounted for the other six.

Plumlee and Jack also scored 10 and 12 respectively, leading the team in scoring individually into halftime.

At some point, you have to ask yourself where are Williams and Lopez?

After all, they did play and provide stability off the bench, but the more Williams and Lopez play in the roles they are currently reflecting, the more they are becoming after-thoughts.

Williams and Lopez, who subbed for Jack and Plumlee respectively in tonight's contest, have me questioning whether or not the crowd is cheering their arrival into the game or the play of the two they have come to replace on the floor.

Just a thought.

If you're wondering, Lopez scored 11 points with six rebounds while Williams chipped in six points and three assists.

The Nets improved to (14-16) overall on the season while the Kings dropped to (13-18), after defeating the New York Knicks just two days ago in OT, 135-129, which really isn't news by the way.

Unfortunately for the Kings, they were unable to sweep the state of New York tonight, as Brooklyn seems to be the only team that matters in the mecca, as far as basketball is concerned.

With the way the Nets are playing collectively, this alignment seems to be the recipe for success.

Plumlee, who had the challenge of facing up against DeMarcus Cousins (7th in All-Star balloting for front-court players with 117,003), one of the best young bigs in the game, held his own scoring 22 points with 4 rebounds, while Cousins produced a double-double in 24 and 14.

Jack and Joe Johnson both scored 16 points.


Brooklyn Nets shooting guard, Joe Johnson

Since Jack and Plumlee replaced Williams and Lopez in the starting lineup, the Nets are 4-1.

It's a small sample size but you cannot argue with results.

To be honest, if Jack and Plumlee started the season, they could've been viable candidates to make the All-Star team as alternates on a team where no-one else deserves the honor.

Another key stat in tonight's game was the fact that Plumlee got to the line eight times, sinking 10 of 16 free throws.

"They got it to me on the block a little bit more and in transition I got fouled a bit," said Plumlee post-game.

"They wanted to foul, so they called them, and I got to the free throw line."

It seems like the only facet of Plumlee's game that is lacking is a face-up game and a 15-foot jumpshot, which is what makes Plumlee's development thus far and production such a surprise.

Although Plumlee and Jack were the stars of the game, the play of the game award goes to Kevin Garnett who flashed back to his Minnesota days for one play late in the third.

With 16.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Kevin Garnett rebounded a miss shot from Kings guard Ray McCallum and led a two-man fast-break, in which Sergey Karasev served him up an alley-oop slam, which Garnett completed emphatically, much to the delight of the crowd.

"I know I'm like 150 years... I can actually dunk the ball," said Garnett regarding his slam-dunk.

"You can't start in the league if you can't dunk."

Garnett finished with 10 points on the night.

With all the success the Nets are experiencing as of this moment, something has to be done about Williams and Lopez.

Two of the highest paid players on the team have accepted their new-found roles as bench players but how long can this last to this team's benefit.

There are a number of players around the league that can produce the numbers that Lopez and Williams are averaging off the bench for a discounted price.

Just saying.

Heat Edges Out Nets for a 95-91 Win

Mason Plumlee Has Good Game Despite Nets Loss

Despite the most recent trade rumors surrounding the Brooklyn Nets big three of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, the Nets have been fairly focused on the immediate task at hand, which involves winning games.

They are not in the basement; but the thought is that Nets management feels that this culmination of talent, specifically, bringing in Williams and Johnson to join Lopez has been a failed experiment and perhaps, demolition is the best possible direction to pursue.

And, tonight's game results didn't help.

Winners of two straight, the Nets returned home from a one game road-trip win against the Charlotte Hornets, and were unable to continue their good fortunes tonight falling to the Heat, 95-91.

At the 1:47 mark in the first quarter, the game was delayed because of a ceiling leak over celebrity row at the Barclays Center. There was some talk after that perhaps the leak had an unsettling effect on the Nets.

The Nets are now three games below the .500 mark at (10-13) on the season, while the Heat improved to (12-13), one game below the .500 mark.

This is also the second straight win for the Heat against the Nets this season. The last two meetings are scheduled for January 4 and March 11 in Miami. Hopefully, Miami in the winter will have a better effect on the Nets.

In a game where Chris Bosh received a DNP due to a strained left calf, the Nets caught a break and failed to take advantage.

The injury bug also affected the Nets as Lopez was out with a lower back strain.

With Bosh's injury, you would expect that the Heat would need the other member of the Big 2 in Dwyane Wade to carry the Heat offensively, and early on Wade delivered.

Through the first fie plus minutes of the first-half, Wade accounted for all of the Heats first 10 points converting all of his shots from the perimeter.

Wade would enter the intermission period leading both teams in individual scoring with 17 points at the half.

Although Wade found early success on the offensive end, the Heat's early double digit lead, which they enjoyed throughout the duration of the first half, stemmed from the depth of their bench.

Chris Anderson, Mario Chalmers, Shawne Williams, and Shabazz Napier all had their moments and combined to score 22 points, as the Heat led at the half 55-45.
As far as the home-team, Mason Plumlee, in the starting line-up for Lopez did not disappoint scoring 13 first-half points converting 6 of 8 shots around the rim.

Opposed to Miami's bench, the Nets found minimal help from their reinforcements; Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jarrett Jack totaled 11 points heading into halftime.

Fortunately for the Nets, two more quarters remained, in which they would seek out the solution in cooling off the Heat.

In the beginning of the third, D. Williams and Co. found that solution.

During the first four minutes of play, the Nets orchestrated a 12-3 run behind baskets made by Kevin Garnett, Plumlee, Sergey Karasev, and Johnson. They cut a 10-point deficit to one, trailing the Heat 57-58.

At this point, I, along with the rest of the crowd figured that the Nets would continue their push and eventually take control of their home-court.

The Heat responded with a run of its own.

Sharpshooter Shawne Williams connected from behind the arc seconds before the conclusion of the third quarter as the Heat built another double digit lead. The Heat entered the 4th quarter 76-66.

Somehow, someway the Nets organized a series of plays which led one to believe that they could re-write the script of their fate in tonight's affair, but one play down the stretch made the difference.

After Wade's turn-around jump-shot assisted by Chalmers found nothing but net to give his pals a 92-83 advantage with 2:16 remaining in the 4th, I thought the Nets chances in possibly securing a win were slim-to-none.

And then this happened.

Plumlee's two points made at the free-throw line brought the Nets closer, 85-93, and a feeling of life.

Then, a Plumlee steal, leading to a three-point shot by Johnson, added a spark. Suddenly, the Nets are now within five, 88-93 with a minute left till the end of regulation.

And a missed 3-point attempt by Luol Deng allowed the Nets to inch even closer as Bogdanovic drained a three in the corner, on one of D. Williams' 11 assists, pulling the Nets to within a basket, down 91-93 with 35.1 seconds remaining in the 4th.

Fans were energized, feeling that the Nets have come too far, albeit late in the fourth to lose this one, but that's exactly what they did.

Once again, the Heat made just enough plays to break the Nets spirits and leave Brooklyn, 2-0 this season.

The Nets couldn't catch that one break they needed to put them over the hump and here is the play that spelled the difference in tonight's game.

The Heat are up two with 35.1 seconds left so it's pretty obvious who would receive the ball in this situation to ensure a Heat victory.

None other than the 3-time champion in Wade, who missed a three point attempt only for Deng to hall in the rebound in which Bogdanovic was called for.

Game, set and match.

Wade scored a team-high 28 points complimented by Deng who recorded 18 of his own.

For the Nets, Plumlee, in Lopez's absence compiled 21 points supported by a solid 15 points and 10 assists performance by D. Williams and 16 points from Johnson.

Despite the Nets poor shooting in this game at 39% from the field, they still had a chance at the end to prevail. Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins has the answers for his team's struggles this season.

"You have to be a good team," Hollins said during his post-game press conference.

"Were struggling to be that right now," Hollins continued. "We're trying to be. We're working at it, we've made progress, but we're not there yet."

Lionel-Hollins 07072014 resized 700x586

Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins talking with the media.

And who could argue with that statement?

Even Johnson agreed with his head coach in expressing his own assessment of tonight's context during his post-game interview with reporters in the Nets locker room.

"I just think we're only helping each other sometimes on defense, night-in and night-out, and it hurts us," Johnson said to the media.

"Our pick-and-roll defense was pretty good, but we gave up a few easy baskets tonight and we have to do better."


Brooklyn Nets shooting guard, Joe Johnson

Reviewing the game's stats, I believe the Nets lost this game because they could not neutralize the Heats bench.

Wade will get his and is capable of getting his on any given night and it was up to the Nets to figure out how they could corral Wade along with the rest of the Heats supporting cast tonight.

The Heat's bench out-scored the Nets bench, 35-24.

Chalmers, S. Williams, and Napier all scored in double-figures registering 10, 10, and 11 points respectively.

What's even more crucial in tonight's loss for the Nets is the road ahead.

In the next two opponents, the Nets will travel north of the border to take on the Atlantic Division leading Toronto Raptors and then towards the mid-west to compete against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Raptors are winners of their last three games while Cavs are 8-2 in their last ten games.

If that isn't convincing enough, the Raptors are 19-6 while the Cavs are 14-9.

Kyle Lowry is emerging as an elite point guard in the NBA and Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love are catching their stride in Ohio.

That's why the Nets needed this game.

A loss tonight could translate into a three-game losing streak over the next couple of days for the Nets.

"We need to go up there and get a win," said Plumlee regarding the next opponent in the Raptors.

"Whatever we have to do doesn't matter; we just need to get a win."

Ya think?

Derek Fisher: A Rivalry Between Knicks and Nets Doesn’t Exist

A Healthy Deron Williams was a Recipe for Brooklyn Nets 110-99 Win Over the Knicks

For the first time as a coach, Derek Fisher stood along the sidelines as his New York Knicks faced a 110-99 loss to the Brooklyn Nets Friday night at the Barclays Center. And for fans--the game seemed like a rivalry between the two New York teams, and perhaps a win for for bragging rights, but for Fisher---the loss meant none of the two.

Fisher, a former Oklahoma City Thunder, although most known for his role on the Los Angeles Lakers has no idea of the subway match between the two teams and quite frankly he's trying to dismantle the thought of a such rivalry.

"Rivalries are not really created until there's been some playoff history and some playoff battles with teams. I know it's fun for folks to talk [and] write about, but in my experience...its not really a rivalry until you beat each other with a huge...prize at stake, and that hasn't happened just yet," Fisher told reporters at a post-game media conference.

The 40-year-old rookie coach stressed the importance of team work, and said he's still learning about the Knicks. What attributed mostly to the Knicks' loss was a healthy Deron Williams, who finished the night with a season-high of 29 points. Fisher blamed defensive communications on how the team guarded the All-Star point guard.

"I think it was a combination of some of our other defensive concepts—whether or not a guy didn't communicate on a pick-and-roll situation or if Deron Williams was isolated," Fisher said. "Deron is an All-Star player. He's healthy again. It's not about not shutting out Deron. It was a team game, and their team won.

Williams, who once played with Fisher while on the Jazz admitted that it was still a little weird seeing his former teammate suited up on the sidelines. Despite it all, he's still "happy for him."

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Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams

"When he played and when I played with him, he was like a coach out there on the floor. I always thought that Fish would make a great coach if he ever decided to go that route. I'm excited for him," Williams said.

A healthy Williams is looking towards the future after being injury-prone for the last two seasons. Whether or not playing against the Knicks is a rivalry, a win is a win, considering the adversity that he's faced.

"Last two years have been a struggle," Williams said. "They're behind me now, looking forward to this one and we got a great win tonight."

‘Same Ole Nets’ Fall to Minnesota

The Nets lost to an inexperienced Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night, and much of their 98-91 deficit is attributed to their weak finish in the fourth quarter. More than 16,000 fans gathered at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to do exactly what they do everything game---cheer their team on. But, in the final few minutes, Brooklyn re-emerged as the same ole Nets. Yes, I said it, re-emerged. Is there anything special about the Nets?

The Nets have been Brooklyn's home team going into the third season, and I'm still watching the same ole Nets. Whether they win or lose, they're still the same ole Nets. Whether or not they have five new players this season, topped with a new coach—they still look like the same ole Nets. Although Deron Williams is healthy now and Brook Lopez seems fine, they are still playing like the same ole Nets.

A healthier Brook Lopez said he was "very disappointed in [himself]" after scoring 10 points Wednesday night. Deron Williams, who finished with 19 points also even expressed his disappointment for how they "closed out the game," but hopes to gain a win againt the Knicks when they play each other for the first time this season on Friday.

I mean, it's still early in the season, right? Although Williams' ankles looked healthy Wednesday, it makes me wonder if he still is the hero of the team. D-Will is undoubtedly Brooklyn's best player and it's evident that his teammates feed off his energy. But the question is, is Williams the best player by default? Is Williams a Derrick Rose, or even a Chris Paul? Back when Williams played for the Utah Jazz, there was much hype about him being one of the best point guards in the league, but can that argument even be supported today? Why are the Nets so reliant of Williams?

In order for the Nets to revitalize and rejuvenate, they need to reinvent their leader of the team. Joe Johnson needs to be more consistent, and the pressure on D-Will needs to be lifted. Otherwise, we'll keep seeing the same ole Nets.

Brooklyn Nets Quiet Oklahoma City Thunder

Nets Beat Back Thunder 116-85

Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are out for the Oklahoma City Thunder which means the Brooklyn Nets will catch a break in their home opener right?


"It's another NBA game and a game that counts," rookie forward Cory Jefferson said to What's The 411TV prior to the tip-off. "They are missing some of their key players but we still have to go out there and handle business."

He's absolutely right.

The Nets can't take anybody for granted. It doesn't matter what the current roster of their opponents reflect. In their regular season home opener, the Nets did the right thing. They took care of the hobbled Thunder 116-85 in front of a sellout crowd of 17,732 at the Barclays Center.

That's what they were supposed to do.

It was also a star-studded home opener which included Grammy award-winning R&B recording artist Ashanti, who sang the national anthem and hip hop artist Fabolous was also present announcing the starting lineups for the Brooklyn Nets.

Regarding the contest tonight, this wasn't a break for the Nets, it was a vacation, target practice, whatever "easy street" activity you would like to call it.

What's significant for the Nets and their personnel was the fact that this was the regular season debut for Nets center Brook Lopez, who sat out the first two games of the season with a sprain in his right mid-foot. Lopez contributed 18 points and six rebounds, an encouraging performance.

The Nets scored early and often and reminded the Thunder what the presence of stars like Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are capable of producing, when healthy.

In the first half, Williams and Johnson combined for 20 points.

Lopez in his first action of the season added seven points and four rebounds while rookie guard Bojan Bogdanovic provided some marksmanship from deep, connecting on two three-pointers scoring 8.

Eight of the ten available players for the Nets all scored as the Nets entered the intermission period up by a comfortable 19 points, 59-40.

Yes, almost 60 in 24 minutes of play.

When it's not your night, it shows and the Thunder made it very obvious that Durant and Westbrook are desperately needed if this team is to have any shot of competing in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

"We did a lot of good things in the first three games, and we didn't do that tonight," said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks following tonight's game.

In the last two deciding quarters, more of the same continued.

The Nets were the favorites in this match-up and they played like it.

In the third quarter alone, the Nets enjoyed leads of +14, +18 and +23.

With 42.8 remaining in the third quarter, Deron WIlliams participated in a defense to offense sequence that just displayed the dominance the Nets enjoyed on both ends of the floor.

Off of a Williams missed three-point shot attempt, the Thunder's Kendrick Perkins collected the rebound and one bad pass later was intercepted by Williams who converted an uncontested layup which put the Nets up 85-62.

It was that kind of night, and with the offensive success the Nets enjoyed, the starters were able to rest for the majority of the 4th quarter as the bench finished off the remains of what was left of the Thunder.

Williams finished with 17 points and nine assists while Joe Johnson supplied 13 points and six rebounds.

Reggie Jackson was the lone high scorer for the Thunder recording 23 points.

Look, the Thunder are a shell of themselves right now and although this outcome was expected there are some legitimate positives that the Nets can take from this performance and apply it to the future games they will confront.

Positives like Brook Lopez exiting this game among the top two overall scorers for the Nets tonight along with reserve guard Alan Anderson, who also chipped in with an efficient 7-8 shooting from the field for 18 points.

"It was great seeing him out there," Nets forward Joe Johnson said about Lopez to the media following the game. "I think his presence alone opens up the floor a lot more for guys like myself and Deron, and he looked great tonight."


Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets Shooting guard/Small Forward

Positives like the bench scoring 50 points to compliment the starting five in a rout.

"Our bench was amazing for us tonight," Williams said in the post-game media sessions. "To come out of the game and get a lift from our bench, that's what we need."

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Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets Point Guard

Positives like shooting 52.4% from the floor, 47.8% from behind the arc and connecting for 89.5% from the charity strike.

"We shot the ball extremely well," said Head Coach Lionel Hollins during his post-game press conference. "We moved the ball, we attacked and they just couldn't stay up with us."

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Brooklyn Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins

And, one more positive was the exploits of rookie starting guard Bojan Bogdanovic, hailing from Croatia.

"He played well and he was much more aggressive tonight" said Head Coach Lionel Hollins about Bogdanovic. "I have confidence in him and I want him to play his game."

The Thunder coming to town also meant the return of Brooklyn's own, Sebastian Telfair now starting for the Thunder due to injuries of Durant and Westbrook.

"It felt good before the game started," Telfair told the media during the post-game sessions. "It is always good to come back to my roots, playing in front of my family and for some of my fans."

The biggest takeaway the Nets can use from this game and apply to their future opponents is confidence.

The offense flourished.

The defense denied any offensive consistency.

Tonight was evidence of what the Nets are capable of when they are clicking on all cylinders.

The challenge is to do their due diligence when playing a team that shares the same aspirations in team goals that they promote.

The Nets will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, November 5, the New York Knicks on Friday November 7th and the Orlando Magic on Sunday, November 9th. Following this home stand is a west-coast road-trip featuring the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers.

How will the Nets respond to the teams on its West Coast swing?

That will be an important stretch to see how these Nets measure up against some of the best teams the NBA has to offer.

The Nets won this game because it was what they were supposed to do. However, the games scheduled in the coming weeks will be telling.

Only then will we see what the Nets are really made of.

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