A sampling of fan tweets from Thursday night's win:
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A sampling of fan tweets from Thursday night's win:
We haven't really talked about this yet, but he fouls a lot. Also, I think he may lead the league in unsuccessful block attempts per minute. Not a minus, though.
Pierce played his second straight game off the bench with a protective glove after returning early from a broken hand injury. Like Tuesday, he wasn't spectacular, but he also didn't look out of place. Got a nice look for three in transition and made a few vintage moves to the basket, pirouetting around defenders and finding slivers of space.
Solid, but he doesn't look fully healthy.
Hard to really measure his impact, though the way he reacted on the bench to Andray Blatche's superfire in the third quarter was good enough for me.
Like a mute skunk, he quietly stunk.
You could argue that he gets an A+ for playing his second straight game like Healthy Deron Williams™, for an excellent two-way game where he pushed the pace against the league's premier point guard, for hitting his three-pointers and playing system defense, and for controlling the game in the way that he knows and few other players can only dream of.
But really, Deron Williams gets an A+ for these two plays and you damn well know it as well as I do.
Please stay healthy.
Great game from Iso and Sniper Joe alike; got loose off flare screens and in the corners on more than one occasion and even played some decent possessions out of the post. Carried the team offensively for much of the game.
Left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury, a potentially crushing blow. Didn't have a field day against DeAndre Jordan, but was effective in his minutes.
ANDRAY BLATCHE WENT FULL BLATCHE. In the third quarter, with Brook Lopez out of the game following a scary injury, Blatche surpassed his season averages in the first half, and putting on his best show in the fourth quarter, hitting ridiculous midrange jumpers, setting up Mason Plumlee for an easy dunk. He played so well that the got a chance to live out what I can only assume was his childhood dream: the crowd roared for a Blatche clearout to close the third quarter. He got the ball at the top of the key, dribbled in place for a few seconds, and clanked a 28-foot three-pointer.
Like I said: Blatche went full Blatche. No other way to say it.
The Nets are a completely different team now that Deron Williams is back and Paul Pierce has shifted to a sixth-man role. The team is unselfish on offense and lockdown on defense, scoring 81 points through three quarters while holding the Clippers to just 33.3% shooting from the field.
While Williams and Pierce have been impressive, integral parts to the recent Nets success, point-forward Andray Blatche has been in a world of his own! Blatche went unconscious in the third quarter, hitting one crafty shot after another, none sweeter then a rainbow jumper over DeAndre Jordan.
The Barclays Center erupted as Blatche played point guard to close out the third quarter. A standing ovation was all too appropriate for the 9-year veteran and his explosive play as of late. As for the play? He clanked the three. But the way he carried the third quarter, who cares?
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez suffered a sprained right ankle in the third quarter Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers and would not return to the game, the team announced.
Lopez sprained the ankle crumpling to the ground after a double-team in the post. He left the game immediately afterwards, staying on the bench and even returning briefly before heading to the locker room. It is Lopez's third ankle injury this season and the second to his left ankle; Lopez sprained the left ankle against the Phoenix Suns on November 15th and missed eight games with the injury.
It's a sickening blow to the team: just as Deron Williams returns to form, Lopez goes down with yet another ankle injury. There is no word yet on whether or not the Nets will play him tomorrow against the Detroit Pistons, but they usually do not play injured players on the second half of back-to-backs.
Deron Williams is putting on a show in Brooklyn!
After teasing us with a nasty crossover on Chris Paul and nailing a three-pointer, D-Will showed us the real stuff just moments later. Williams went vintage and crossed up CP3 yet again, hitting the beautiful floater to end the second quarter.
The killer crossover is back. Deron Williams took us back to his Utah Jazz days, crossing over Chris Paul, turning Paul around as he drained the triple. Its good to see Williams's ankles are holding up and he's still able to show us that he's got it.
After sitting out nine straight games, Deron Williams has come back on fire. Williams played an excellent game in Tuesday's victory over Boston, scoring a season-high 25 points. Having Williams back and healthy has completely changed the team's dynamic; they are active on defense and potent on offense. And after struggling in the beginning of tonight's game, Deron had taken over and looks as good as ever.
The frustration's mounting for Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko, who now says he'll need at least ten more days before he returns to the court -- if that.
"I’m definitely getting better every day. From this point, it’s very tough to give a timetable. Probably ten days," Kirilenko told The Brooklyn Game before Thursday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
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Starting Lineup: Deron Williams, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez.
Injury report: Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee) will both sit. Paul Pierce will come off the bench for the second straight game.
When & Where: 8 P.M. EST, Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
Riding their first winning streak of the year (technically!), the Brooklyn Nets take on the Los Angeles Clippers. Of course, this game’s storyline lies in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce finally playing against their former coach, Doc Rivers, as well as Deron Williams facing off against Chris Paul. The Nets played the Clippers on November 16th and ultimately lost 110-103 without Garnett, Pierce, Williams or Lopez available.
Tonight, they’re all healthy (or healthy-ish) and will look to avenge their loss from earlier this season. Here are the three biggest questions going into tonight’s tilt against the Clippers:
1. How badly will Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan abuse the Nets in the post?
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Via Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
Knicks, Nets & Warriors all interested in Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) December 12, 2013
Lowry, a quick point guard, has an expiring contract worth $6.2 million. He's been more closely connected with the Knicks than anyone else, and the Nets don't really have much to offer to the Raptors. Toronto and Brooklyn both have full rosters, meaning the Nets and Raptors have to give up an equal amount of players (or waive players) to make any trade work.
The Nets could offer some combination of Mirza Teletovic, Reggie Evans, and their minimum-salary players for Lowry, or go big and take back additional salary in a trade that sends Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett away. (Not happening) I don't see an enticing package for a team loosely looking to move a solid point guard.
Plus, as Howard Beck of Turner Sports/Bleacher Report says:
Re Kyle Lowry: I'm told Raptors are shopping him everywhere, but NY is "most promising destination" at this point. TOR wants a 1st-rd pick.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) December 12, 2013
If the Raptors want a first-round pick, the Nets don't have much to offer. The next pick the Nets can trade via CBA rules is in 2020, and I'd be shocked if the Nets moved a pick seven years in the future for an expiring contract in 2013. More likely, the Nets have been placed in the discussion to drive up the asking price for other teams.
But we'll keep an eye on it.
In the midst of their first winning streak of the season -- two games is a winning streak! -- the Brooklyn Nets stay home for just their second streak of consecutive home games on the season, taking on the 14-8 Los Angeles Clippers. The game is broadcast nationally, only on TNT.
A lot of reunions in the last few days: after the Nets, armed with former Boston Celtics forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, beat the Celtics 104-96 Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Clippers, coached by former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, beat the Celtics 97-88 Wednesday night. Now, Rivers and the Clippers are in Brooklyn to take on Garnett, Pierce, and the Nets.
This is the second and last time the Nets will see this Clippers team, having lost the first matchup 110-103 in Los Angeles on November 16th without Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez, who were all nursing various injuries. Of course, that'll change tonight.
Lopez returned six games ago, and Williams is finally back, punctuating his emphatic return with a game-high 25 points and 7 assists in the team's win over the Boston Celtics, using drag screens to get going in transition. Pierce, who missed the game with a strained groin, will most likely come off the bench in what could turn into a long-term 6th-man role for the future Hall of Fame forward. Garnett may sit, but that's only if head coach Jason Kidd wants to rest his 37-year-old on the second game of a back-to-back. After a solid defensive performance Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics, that's unlikely.
This will also mark the 20th game between Williams and Clippers point guard Chris Paul, and despite Paul's standing as the best point guard in the league, Williams has a slight statistical edge over him in their head-to-head matchups. Williams averages 16.7 points and 8.5 assists per game against Paul, shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from three-point range; Paul averages 16.4 points and 9.2 assists, but shoots just 43.6 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from deep -- well below his career averages.
Plus, Williams's teams are 14-5 in the 19 games.
Still, no one controls a game like Paul, an obsessive offensive wizard with a sublime ability to set up himself and teammates in full control of the pace of the game. The one knock on his armor is his curiously declining three-point shooting: after hitting 40.9 percent of his threes in the 2009-10 season, his three-point percentage has declined steadily each year, bottoming out at the unspectacular rate of 30.4 percent so far this year. Of course, with Brooklyn's perimeter defense in the shambles it's in now, they might give him a boost tonight without even trying.
Beyond that, the Clippers are led by Lob City magistrates Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in their frontcourt, with long-distance shooter Jamal Crawford in the backcourt. Griffin's known for his dunking but is more than a dunker offensively, DeAndre Jordan is known for what he did to Brandon Knight but is more than a destroyer. Expect to see Jamal Crawford try to make at least one defender fall with a crossover.
Game tips off at 8 P.M.