"I don't think it's a serious injury, but it's still tweaked," Kirilenko said after the game. "I assume it's going to be a couple days."
The Nets play tonight against the division-leading Toronto Raptors, and Kirilenko wasn't sure last night if he'd be good to go.
"We'll see tomorrow," Kirilenko added. "Usually, the next day is a crucial day. So we'll see in the morning how it feels."
Kirilenko's injury is the third to Brooklyn's frontcourt in the last two weeks: Kevin Garnett has missed five games battling back spasms, and Paul Pierce left the same game as Kirilenko just 73 seconds in after re-aggravating a "stinger" in his neck & shoulder area that has bothered him for a few years.
Both Kirilenko and Pierce are officially listed as day-to-day.
BY SAM LACHOW
The Brooklyn Nets host the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors, hoping to even up the season series at two games apiece.
|7-3||Last 10 Games||8-2|
|103.0||Points scored per 100 possessions||105.0|
|103.9||Points allowed per 100 possessions||101.0|
|94.1||Possessions per game||94.5|
|45.1%||Field goal percentage||44.2%|
|Joe Johnson (15.2)||Top Scorer||DeMar DeRozan (22.8)|
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BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The NBA at its heart is a cold, ruthless business, with general managers swapping players and salaries for the betterment of their team. That's why it was no surprise to former Nets forward Reggie Evans to hear he'd been traded to the Sacramento Kings on February 20th in a deal that brought Marcus Thornton to Sacramento.
"I wasn’t shocked by the trade," Evans said before his new team lost to the Nets 104-89 in Brooklyn Sunday night. "I was surprised knowing that it was Sacramento that wanted me, but I wasn’t shocked too much by the trade. Like I told (Nets GM) Billy (King), it’s never personal. It’s always business, so I understand. I’m not the type to hold grudges or take it so personal once you get traded. It’s business. At the end of the day I’m still living out my dream and that’s to play in the NBA."
Evans, who played 17 minutes in his new team's 104-89 loss in Brookyln, had fallen out of coach Jason Kidd's rotation near the end of his tenure with the Nets.
"(Kidd) never gave me no reason. We never had no one-on-one talk or nothing like that," Evans said. "I never knew why I didn’t play. All I can do is control what I can control and support my teammates and whatever decision he wanted to do and just take it on the chin and still be there for my teammates and still work hard. So I’m clueless, I don’t know."
When fans and personnel think about trades, it's often through the prism of the team: how will player X affect our team's product? Can player Y fill a need? Is player Z's contract expiring, and how does that affect the team's luxury tax status? There's a sense of detachment: it's the impersonal stuff that gets the focus. But the hardest part of the move for Evans hasn't been adjusting to his life on the court, but off it.
Evans has four children, including four-month-old London Evans, who was born during this season, and son R.J., who often accompanied Evans in Brooklyn's locker room. His kids are in school until June, and he didn't want to move them out in the middle of the year.
That doesn't mean it's easy. The Kings flew from Toronto to New York Friday night, and Evans didn't take long to get home. "ASAP," he said. "I ain’t looking at the hotel room. Hell yeah (it's good to see family)."
"My little baby, she was out there with me for like a week. R.J. will be out there for a little while when we are done with this road trip. Him and my little brother will be out there for like two weeks to cheer with me. The girls are kinda little upset because they have school but they’ll be alright, so I still have someone out there with me."
"That’s the hardest part about it, knowing I have four kids here. You know me, I’m really into my kids’ life like hard, real hard. Everyday, being in their life, even when I’m not with them being on the phone talking to them. We’re Skyping or iPhone or whatever. The trade part, it is what it is, but the family is hard."
Hello Walt. I understand if this team is breaking you. But thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. I swear to you that they're not bad. Pick up a shirt at The Brooklyn Game Store and get it cleaned at Lavandería Brillante. Your support keeps us cooking. Thank you!
Here's an early roundup of last night's Nets festivities.
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During Marcus Thornton's post-game interview following a Nets-high 27 points, Shaun Livingston took it upon himself to photobomb Thornton and Chris Shearn, mean-mugging the camera unbeknownst to Thornton. The clip gave the YES truck a good laugh, as you can see in the Instagram video above.
It is my personal belief that photobombs are the next great American artform, so hopefully this is the first of many.
It was a tale of a few Nets games tonight: a rapid-fire start, a lull that led to a tie game, and a fiery second-half stretch that led to some fun garbage time moments. The Kings aren't a good team, and other than a few minutes in the third quarter, the Nets treated them as such, slicing through Sacramento's underdeveloped defensive schemes and causing deflections throughout.
The star of this game was the former King himself, Marcus Thornton. But we'll talk about him in a bit. Though they had issues defending DeMarcus Cousins, they defended home court and set a franchise record by forcing their opponent into more turnovers than assists for the sixth straight game. Hard to complain.
Posted up the smaller Kings guards early to get some good looks at the basket, threw some beautiful cross-court passes, didn't commit any turnovers, and made Jason Thompson lose his legs.
All in all, a good day at the office.
Got out to a quick start all over the floor, tracking down loose rebounds, throwing one beautiful outlet pass, and throwing down one alley-oop from Joe Johnson. He's a major part of why this team can create so many deflections on the perimeter, thanks to his IQ and length.
Quietly good game from Johnson, who didn't take over the offense but played well within it.
Pierce played for all of 73 seconds before that stinger in his right shoulder got him again, keeping him out for the game. That's bad news for the Nets, who like Pierce at the 4 because of the different looks he gives them. I'd be surprised if he played tomorrow, considering how quickly he got the full-game hook.
Played with an impassioned desire to stay in the paint on most possessions, and he put down two really nice dunks -- one off the dribble in the fist half and the other on the fast break in the second. Though he struggled to defend DeMarcus Cousins, everybody not named Jason Collins did.
Entered the game earlier than usual with Pierce battling his shoulder injury, and immediately threw two beautiful passes slicing between Kings defenders. Left the game with a sprained right ankle.
It does not appear to bother him that Marcus Thornton has usurped his spot on the depth chart.
MARCUS THORNTON REVENGE GAME.
The Nets had two issues in the third quarter: they couldn't score, and they couldn't stop DeMarcus Cousins. The guy below Thornton took care of the first one, but Thornton was all over the scoring woes, dropping 21 points in the second half against his former team in a variety of fun ways inside and out and turning a close game into a blowout before Sacramento had any idea what was happening.
The Nets needed a guy like Marcus Thornton, someone who can step onto the court and shoot with reckless confidence. Joe Johnson is a slow burner, but Marcus Thornton is a firecracker with one speed: "shoot."
Played really solid post defense against DeMarcus Cousins in both sthints, limiting Cousins -- one of the best scorers in the league -- to just one putback layup in the first four minutes they played on the floor together and nothing at all in the second. It was amazing to see Collins get into Cousins's head like that, causing Collins to complain to referees and commit silly fouls. This is the type of game that Collins has that makes him valuable, even if he does little else.
Continued to show his defensive progression in the starting lineup, quickly deflecting two passes, the first of which led to a steal and a coast-to-coast layup. Without Garnett as he battles back spasms, Plumlee has shown a real knack for defending inside. Unfortunately, he can't stay out of foul trouble.
Made his NBA debut, becoming the fourth Mexican-born player in NBA history. Give him an A+ for that alone.
Paul Pierce only lasted 73 seconds against the Sacramento Kings.
Pierce left the game with what was classified by the team as a "sore shoulder" after getting a hit from Jason Thompson on a post-up that left him incapacitated. Pierce immediately reached for the spot before running off the floor accompanied by trainer Tim Walsh to the locker room. He would not return.
This isn't the first time Pierce has dealt with the injury. According to YES Network's Chris Shearn, Pierce has dealt with physical issues in his neck and shoulder area for the past four seasons. Pierce classified it as a "stinger" this week.
With the increased workload inside at power forward, Pierce has left each of the last three games to tend to that specific injury, but Sunday night marked the first time it's knocked him fully out of a game.
Deron Williams still has his crossover, and since he missed the shot, Jason Thompson still has a shred of dignity. This came in the third quarter of the Brooklyn Nets-Sacramento Kings game, and it's good to see that Williams can still make someone look silly with that crossover.
Shaun Livingston put the finishing touches on a game-opening 17-4 run against the Sacramento Kings with this pretty alley-oop feed from Joe Johnson after poking the ball loose to start the fast break. Even putting his injury past aside, it's incredible how effortless Livingston's leaps are -- and how crucial he's become in the starting lineup.
The Nets hope to start a new winning streak and climb above .500 against the Sacramento Kings tonight.
Starting Lineup: Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Mason Plumlee.
Injury Report: Kevin Garnett will miss his fifth straight game with back spasms.
When & Where: 6 P.M. EST, Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Watch: YES Network
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
The Brooklyn Nets will be without Kevin Garnett for the fifth straight game since he suffered back spasms, the team announced today.
Kidd said that Garnett "looked good" in pregame workouts and that he was not concerned about Garnett's health long-term, but Garnett hasn't suited up since playing a 12-minute stint against the Denver Nuggets on February 27th.
Nets rookie center Mason Plumlee will start for the fifth straight game in Garnett's place. The team won three straight games in Garnett's absence before dropping a 91-84 loss to the Boston Celtics Friday night. He's shot 11-16 (68.8 percent) as a starter in the past week, averaging 6.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 18 minutes per game.
Despite Garnett's otherworldly defensive acumen, the Nets have allowed just 95.5 points per 100 possessions in the four games since he went down, the second-best mark in the league since that time. They've also forced 77 turnovers in the last three games, the most the team has forced since the first five games of the 1981-1982 season.
But they've also been able to pick off some talent with the league minimum, most notably starting guard Shaun Livingston. Using David Berri's Wins Produced model (a model I, admittedly, have problems with), Forbes finds that Livingston is one of the league's most underpaid players, producing 4.3 wins despite making a league-minimum salary:
Once the fourth overall puck in the NBA Draft out of high school (in 2004 by the Clippers), Livingston’s career floundered through eight teams in eight seasons. But as a cheap free agent pickup by the Nets last summer, he’s come through as a solid fill in for point guard to Deron Williams, averaging 7.8 points, 3 assists and just 1.3 turnovers in 25 minutes a game.
Their blurb about him is a bit of a misnomer, as Livingston hasn't done his damage filling Williams's role, but fitting in alongside him. But that's a minor quibble that loses the bigger picture: Livingston is in the midst of a career year despite making just the minimum.