December 04, 2022

It was the day before Thanksgiving and with dreams of plates full of turkey and stuffing dancing in their heads, thousands of fans brought their holiday spirit into the Barclays Center to cheer on the Brooklyn Nets as they took on the Boston Celtics. Jeremy Lin was once again inactive for the game due to a hamstring injury but the rest of the team was ready for action.

The Nets had a rough start in the opening minutes of the game falling behind 9-2 with 8:53 on the clock with Trevor Booker providing the only basket for Brooklyn. Booker provided the arena with energy due to his hustle on the floor. The Nets struggled from the field and three-point range compiling completion percentages for the quarter of 27.3% and 25% respectively. Unfortunately, sloppy play caused the Nets to commit seven turnovers leading to six Celtics points.

The start of the second quarter saw Brooklyn down by fourteen and it looked like the Celtics would run away with the game, however, Brooklyn pride would thwart such an attempt. The crowd chants of “defense!” propelled the team to respond by limiting Boston’s scoring opportunities and the Nets quickened the tempo leading to Brooklyn fast break points. While the Nets’ shooting woes continued, a three-pointer by Bojan Bogdanovic cut the lead to 10. The three-pointers didn’t always come when they wanted but they were always on time as three point baskets made by Brook Lopez and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson helped the Nets eventually cut the lead to two points at the end of the half.

The third quarter started and the Nets kept the number of turnovers to a minimum but the Celtics were able to penetrate the defense allowing shots from beyond the arc. The Celtics began to heat up from three-point land aiding in extending their lead. The Nets gave a valiant effort but the Celtics never relinquished the lead and left the Barclays Center with a victory, 111-92.

Nets blow nine-point lead; DeMarcus Cousins drops 37 points on Nets in win for the Kings

Sean Kilpatrick scored 22 points, Brook Lopez had 17 points; Bojan Bogdanovic added 13 points, and Isaiah Whitehead chipped in 11 points for the Nets, in their loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. In losing 122-105, the Nets have lost seven straight games.

The Nets kept it competitive through the first half; leading the Kings 35-31 at the end of the first quarter and 59-58 at the end of the first half. However, the third quarter arrived and as in games in the recent past, things began to unravel in a way that no one seems to be able to explain.

“I don’t know,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said. “We have to fix the third quarter blues. For some reason, we don’t come out with the requisite and the energy that we need to. We felt that and I think we called a timeout and addressed it, so we need to figure that one out because that’s hurting us. We cut it to six like you said, made a run there with that group and again they made some shots and we turned the ball over a few times.”

That ball movement in the direction of Sacramento translated into starters DeMarcus Cousins scoring 37 points and 11 rebounds; Rudy Gay posting up 22 points and eight rebounds; and Darren Collison adding 18 points; while Ty Lawson chipped in 13 points off the bench.

Most Nets games are generally run of the mill, but it took Sacramento’s Matt Barnes to make a hockey game out of an NBA basketball game by clocking Brooklyn’s Kilpatrick for seemingly no reason. The officials promptly ejected Barnes for a Flagrant Foul 2 on Kilpatrick with 9:34 left in the fourth quarter and Sacramento leading 97-79. Brooklyn then went on a 14-2 run to cut the deficit to 99-93, but Sacramento responded with a 16-0 run of its own to extend the lead to 115-93.

“It was more of a why, why would you do that, but I mean it was still the same mentality. It was the same killer mentality,” Kilpatrick stated regarding the Matt Barnes hit. “You gotta keep continuing to try to destroy anybody that’s in your way and I think that’s something that told me to get up. I mean at the end of the day if were down 10 and I go down like that and were on a roll, I mean that’s not gonna stop me. I mean I gotta get up and keep playing and I think that’s something that triggered me off the way it did. ”

Next up at home for the Brooklyn Nets is a date with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, November 29 at 7:30 p.m., and still no word when Jeremy Lin will return.

Portland’s McCollum, Lillard, and Turner lift team over Nets; Brook Lopez leads Nets in scoring despite loss

The Portland Trail Blazers came into the Barclays Center to play the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon. Both teams were hoping to turn around a three-game losing streak. The Nets lost their third straight game to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 124-105 loss on the road on Friday. Unfortunately for the Nets, the Blazers came out ahead extending Brooklyn’s skid to four; the score: Portland 129; Brooklyn 109.

The Nets kept the game competitive for the first half; they were only down by three at the end of the first quarter (32-29) and down by just six at the end of the first half (70-64). However, the third quarter is becoming an abyss for the Nets.

"I think one of the things that is difficult for us is the third quarters," Nets center Brook Lopez said. "I think there are usually games where we've come out and teams have made a run and come out and hit first. It is tough to come back from that playing behind the rest of the night."

"I just think we come out flat,” Lopez added. “I think it's on us 100 percent. I mean, I don't think you can look at the other teams. We've had a variety of different guys, and they play differently. I think that one is on us for sure."

C.J. McCollum took over in the third quarter setting the Trail Blazers up for the win. McCollum scored 33 points, Evan Turner had 19 points, and Damian Lillard posted 18 points and five assists.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 21 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Trevor Booker scored 16 points, Bojan Bogdanovic posted 15 points; and Isaiah Whitehead and Justin Hamilton chipped in 11 points each.

Hats off to Whitehead, he’s been filling in for Jeremy Lin and it’s been baptism by fire for the rookie player. Whitehead, who is looking to be a better player, didn’t hesitate to ask his idol Damian Lillard for a few pointers.

“While we were shooting free throws or they were shooting free throws, I was asking him questions,” Whitehead told reporters in the locker room after the game. “He’s either going to answer them or he’s not. He was great enough to answer them. I asked him how he got so quick and how do you read ball screens. I’m trying to learn as much as possible. I just went for it.”

Good for you, Isaiah Whitehead; and big ups to Lillard!

So when is Lin scheduled to return, inquiring minds want to know?

"Jeremy is progressing well," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "I can't give you a timetable or an update in terms of a specific day he's back. I just think he's progressing on schedule."

 

Brook Lopez scores season-high 34 points, which lifts Nets to a win over the Pistons with the loss of Jeremy Lin in 2nd half due to a hamstring injury

The 109-101 Brooklyn Nets win over the Detroit Pistons is just what this young Nets team needed after the two-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on the road on Saturday and a blowout 118-88 loss to the Chicago Bulls at home on Monday.

Brook Lopez grabbed a season-high 34 points in the win, with 24 of those points accumulated in the first half. He also amassed 11 rebounds, nine of those in the defensive column. And, the big guy didn’t stop there. Lopez has been working on his three-point shooting skills and is reaping the rewards; he connected on four of eight attempts from three-point range.

Coming off the bench, shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick was the second highest scorer for the Nets, netting 24 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Harris pulled in 13 points; Bojan Bogdanovic posted 11 points, and Jeremy Lin scored 10 points and four assists before leaving the game because of a hamstring injury.

Brooklyn Nets forward Trevor Booker didn’t score in double digits, but his defensive skills came in handy. Detroit forward Marcus Morris hit a 3-pointer with 2:37 to go putting the score at 103-98 and diminishing the Pistons’ deficit to five points. Detroit tried to make a run to make it a one-possession game, as guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got to the rim at the one-minute mark. However, Booker stepped in with a block denying Caldwell-Pope the shot.

“That was spectacular, but that’s part of who Trevor Booker is and why we brought him here – how hard he plays and his defensive instincts,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “It was really evident on that play. It’s funny, that was a great block, but I thought a lot of guys stepped up at the end, made big defensive plays, big defensive rebounds against a good team.”

The Nets road to a win over the Pistons wasn’t a total walk in the park.

In addition to losing Jeremy Lin, the Nets blew a 16-point halftime lead. In the closing minutes of the game, it was the Pistons’ foul trouble that enabled the Nets to put more daylight between the teams.

In the loss, Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris each scored 23 points for Detroit. Kentavious Coldwell-Pope added 15 points and seven rebounds.

Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo, Dwayne Wade team up to push back Nets 118-88

The Chicago Bulls came into the Barclays Center on Halloween night to play the Brooklyn Nets with an undefeated 2-0 record; and it was apparent from the start, that the Bulls were determined to leave with its undefeated record intact.

Although Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez won the tip over his brother Robin, the Bulls set the tone early, running roughshod over the Nets, taking the First Quarter 38-20. Bulls forward Jimmy Butler wasted no time making his presence felt early. Butler knocked down 13 of his 22 points in the first quarter.

“I think they are playing with more pace,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson stated. “I think (Bulls point guard Rajon) Rondo helps with that. He pushed the ball up the court. They’re versatile off the bench so they can give you different looks with (Nikola) Mirotic coming off shooting. I think they set the tone, they set the pace, they really made their imprint on the game and we definitely did not have it tonight.”

“They were the more aggressive team,” Atkinson continued. “I thought they really came out and really got into us. I thought, for some reason, we were back on our heels a little bit and they took advantage of that. Give them credit. I thought they played really well. They played a great game.”

There’s no question the Bulls played really well. The numbers tell the story.

Nets shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic led all Nets players with 15 points. Other Nets players in double digits were Jeremy Lin with 14 points, four assists, and four steals. Sean Kilpatrick and Brook Lopez each scored 13 points. A telling stat regarding Lopez, he only had two boards and both were offensive rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Bulls had seven players in double digits. Two of the top three Bulls scorers came off the bench. Butler led all players with 22 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Mirotic posted 16 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists off the bench. Isaiah Canaan, another backup player, scored 15 points and six assists. Bulls starting forward Taj Gibson contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds. Dwyane Wade, against a backdrop of cheers, showed the crowd he still has it, tallying 12 points, four assists, and three each in the rebound and steals columns.

It’s early in the season, but the Nets have to get the fire in the belly and stand up to the better teams, or it’s going to be a painful season.

Brook Lopez, Jeremy Lin, and Sean Kilpatrick lead Nets in victory over Pacers, final score Brooklyn 103; Indiana 94

The Brooklyn Nets kicked off its first home game of the season on Friday night with a check mark in the win column. Taking on the Indiana Pacers, the Nets showed the home crowd at the Barclays Center that they are trying to live up to their marketing slogan, We Came to Play.

With only four players in double digits, versus the Pacers five players, the Nets hammered the Pacers 103-94.

“Man, I’m just happy for that group in there,” said an elated Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “They’ve been working their tails off, and I was happy with our defense. Just a great job, great job by our guys.”

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez led all players with 25 points and five rebounds. The “big man” even grabbed a steal. Nets starting point guard Jeremy Lin notched 21 points and just missed a triple-double in his Nets home debut with nine rebounds and nine assists. Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick, who was a great pickup for the Nets last season, came off the bench with 18 points and five rebounds. Additionally, Kilpatrick hit consecutive 3-pointers during the decisive fourth-quarter. Forward Trevor Booker didn’t disappoint, he turned in 10 points and 11 points.

Coach Atkinson didn’t miss heaping praise on Kilpatrick.

“Sean was great,” Atkinson said. “Listen, Sean has had a fantastic summer. He played great in Summer League, and he has just worked so hard. So it’s great to see him have a good night.”

Pacers point guard Paul George led all Indiana scorers with 22 points and nine rebounds. Former Brooklyn Nets player Thaddeus Young, who now wears the gold and blue, scored 19 points and 8 rebounds for the Pacers. CJ Miles came off the bench and scored 15 points and six rebounds.

It goes without saying that the fans left the Barclays Center in a state of euphoria.

The next home game is on Monday, October 31 (Halloween) against the Chicago Bulls; things could get scary!

The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-110

A historical night in New York, while both Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump await results that will determine who will run the country, the Brooklyn Nets were the clear winner in this city. The Nets, seemingly unfazed by the election soared over the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-110 for the win.

Veteran Brook Lopez led his team with 26 points in only 28 minutes. After a small halftime lead (66-65), the Nets knew some offensive adjusting needed to be done.

“Coach (Kenny Atkinson) came in and said our guards only had three rebounds (at halftime),” Lopez said. “That was the battle … Once we had all five guys contributing on the defensive glass, it kind of took care of itself.”

Trevor Booker scored 15 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 14. At least 8 players on the Nets finished with at least eight points—something Kenny Atkinson was pleased with.

“We’re sharing the wealth a little more and in the perfect Utopian motion system, that’s what it should look like, where it’s really everybody’s touching it,” Atkinson said after the game.

Isaiah Whitehead, still in for the injured Jeremy Lin, handled the ball nicely for the Nets, along with some help from Kilpatrick. Whitehead had a little scare in the first quarter after T-Wolves power forward Gorgui Dieng accidently trampled his head. Overcoming the stint, Whitehead returned in the second quarter and finished with six points.

“I’m not sure how many charges he took tonight … Maybe two, but he tried to take like five charges,” Atkinson said while praising the Brooklyn native. “That’s Coney Island toughness.”

The win for Brooklyn will only build up momentum for the team after losing against the Hornets last Friday.

On Wednesday, the Nets will take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden—the first matchup between the New York teams of the season.

Rookie Isaiah Whitehead put up a valiant effort in Jeremy Lin's absence

The Brooklyn Nets fell short to the Charlotte Hornets 99-95 on Friday night at the Barclays Center, stumbling in the final minutes of the game.

The Nets (2-4), who were looking for another early season win, started off the game strong—up at halftime 50-43, but couldn’t seem to keep the momentum. After the game, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson gave kudos to Charlotte for stepping up their defense in the second half.

“I thought that third quarter really hurt us. I thought we got stagnant, I thought the ball stopped moving, and again, they got into us, they started denying some passes (and) got us out of rhythm. So, good job by them; credit to them,” Atkinson said.

Without Jeremy Lin, who is expected to miss at least two weeks due to a strained hamstring, the Nets tried to keep up on both offense and defense, and when the Hornets doubled on Brook Lopez, it made it hard for Brooklyn to stay consistent.

“I just think of the guys that are out there, and I want our offense to run well, whoever is in there. It is just for some reason we just didn’t have any rhythm, and I think they got into us,” Atkinson added.

And that’s what the Hornets did. After keeping the game close, and leading for most of the first half, Charlotte put a stop to the Nets, allowing a 23-6 run in the third.

In Jeremy Lin’s absence, Isaiah Whitehead, made his first NBA start for Brooklyn and in only his fifth career game. Playing 23 minutes, he scored 8 points with three assists and two steals. A Brooklyn native, who attended Seton Hall, Whitehead received some advice from Lin on the bench. Throughout the game, Lin was seen advising Whitehead with a pen and a notepad in his hand. Whatever advice Lin was giving Whitehead during the game, at the top of the list must be learn how to communicate with Lopez.

“We just weren’t finding him,” Whitehead said of Lopez, while criticizing his team’s effort. “We should always find him in the right spots. It’s our job to get him open and call the right plays.”

Lopez, who played 29 minutes, scored 18 points and reached 9,000 points after scoring his 16th point.

Up next for Brooklyn: Minnesota. The Nets will take on the Timberwolves on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8 at the Barclays Center.

 

The Brooklyn Nets closes out its preseason with an eye on progress, development, and improvement

Instead of starting this article at the beginning, I am going to start at the end of the first half of last night’s Brooklyn Nets’ preseason game against the New York Knicks.

The Nets ended the first half leading the Knicks by two points, with a score of 57-55. If you have watched the Nets in previous seasons since coming to the Barclays Center, you probably noticed a different style of play on the floor. The Nets under new management, general manager Sean Marks, and head coach Kenny Atkinson, have mandated and are stressing a new culture of “team” over “I” or “me” translating into unselfishness. Watching the Nets during the last two games, the team’s buy-in to the new system is apparent. Guys were playing unselfishly, the ball moved around, it was definitely team ball. In addition to the two-point lead at the half, the Nets led the Knicks in most of the measurable metrics that matter: field goal percentage 52.6 vs the Knicks 48.9 percent; three-point shots 46.7 vs the Knicks 20 percent, and the Nets made 91 percent of their free-throws compared to the Knicks 64 percent. However, the Knicks did outscore the Nets on rebounds; by half-time, the Knicks out-rebounded the Nets 20-18, which was a sign of things to come.

So, where did the Nets breakdown happen?

The Knicks took a nine-point lead in the third quarter on fast breaks, gaining 49 percent field goal shooting over the Nets’ 46 percent. The Knicks also out-rebounded the Nets; ending the third with a rebound score of 38-24, picking up 18 rebounds in the third quarter to the Nets’ four.

This was not lost on Atkinson.

“I think I said it before, I think rebounding is an issue right now and I think transition defense is something we need to work on, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said at the Nets post-game press conference. “They had a fair amount of fast break points so those are some areas we have to get better at.”

#Truth.

Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin led all scorers with 24 points and 10 assists. However, unlike the Knicks, the Nets only had two starters in double digits; the other being center Brook Lopez who supplied 12 points.

The Nets other double-digit scorers came from the bench Joe Harris scored 15 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 12 points, and Justin Hamilton chipped in 11 points.

Carmelo Anthony led Knicks scorers with 21 points. Starters Courtney Lee dropped 15 points and five rebounds; and Joakim Noah supplied 12 points and six rebounds.

Both benches contributed 59 points; coming off the Knicks bench in double digits were Justin Holiday with 14 points, Kyle Quinn added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Mindaugas Kuzminskas chipped in 10 points.

“I was proud of our guys at the end,” Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said about his secondary line. “They ended up putting their starters back in I think with a nine or 10-point game and when they went out it was eight points.”

Even in the loss, Atkinson complimented his players, as he should have.

“I complimented them on their effort and despite the record, I think we’ve made progress,” Atkinson told the media. “And that’s going to be our message all year, progress, development, improvement. We obviously have areas we have to improve in but again, 10 new players and I like a lot of stuff I see. I think where we are right now is be a little bit more consistent. And that’s the tough part in the NBA over a 48-minute game, to do it longer than the other team. So that’s the overall positive message.”

The Brooklyn Nets are now focused on the regular season. The Nets first regular season game is against the Boston Celtics in Boston on Wednesday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. The Nets open up at home at the Barclays Center against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Perhaps, the fans will give Thaddeus Young a warm welcome when he hits the hardwood for the Indiana Pacers.

The Nets dealt Young to the Pacers on NBA Draft night for Caris LeVert, the No. 20 overall pick and for a future second-round pick. Levert did not play last night because he is out with an injured left foot.

Was Carmelo Anthony’s comment not worded properly, or, did he mean to throw shade at Jeremy Lin?

People are all in a tizzy over the following comment that New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony recently made regarding his former teammate, Jeremy Lin, who is now the starting guard for the Brooklyn Nets.

“He is the face of that franchise — believe it or not.

He came up, they paid him and now the ball is in his hands.

So now he’s one of the franchise players over there.

What do you want me to say about that?

I’m happy for him, excited for him to see how it’s going to work out, turn out over there.”

Are people reading too much into this story to generate a Knicks-Nets rivalry? Also, I know it’s preseason, and it is a very small sample size, but how do the Brooklyn Nets look?

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