Mason Plumlee CENTER

First and foremost: the game was cut short because of a horrific leg injury to Paul George, who needed to be carried off by a stretcher. It was a gruesome image, and if you want to see it, well, it's out there. But for now, I send my heartfelt wishes to George on a speedy recovery, and hoping that the doctors and physical therapists that are sent to help him recover can help bring him back to full health.

The injury cast a pall over the evening, cutting the scrimmage short, but we'll try to keep this Plumlee-focused:

Plumlee's Blue team may have struggled with its arbitrary rival, but Plumlee shined against his very real roster spot rival, DeMarcus Cousins. After a rough first half, Plumlee dove to the rim for dunks and easy buckets alike for 10 third-quarter points, none better than a pretty one-handed alley-oop in transition.

Plumlee backed up Anthony Davis, first entering with 4:42 left in the first quarter, and had a slow start. Led off his offensive repertoire with a cringeworthy possession where he should've dunked immediately and hesitated. Had a smoother stint in the second quarter, but his unpolished offensive game and lack of natural alley-oop attempts meant his offensive performance was nearly nil. Plumlee was stronger on the defensive end, stopping Andre Drummond on a couple of possessions.

But it was his efforts in that third quarter that highlighted why Plumlee's a good fit on Team USA. He didn't play out of his comfort zone. He didn't take possessions that other players would finish. He had a clearly defined role and executed it about as well as anyone could. (He also, for the record, made Cousins look bad.)

No matter what, it's worth noting that Plumlee has worked his way onto this roster and earned a spot in the final 19, a remarkable achievement for a late first-round pick just a year ago. The fact that he's even here is incredible, even if you consider his inclusion came on the heels of a few dropouts.

But at the end of it all, we're just hoping Paul George makes a full recovery. As the old cliche goes, injuries are part of the sport, but nobody wants to see someone go down like that. An awful ending to what was otherwise a fun night. Our best to PG.


 

There's no denying the global reach of the NBA & the Brooklyn Nets. After Nets CEO Brett Yormark returned from a business trip to China last week, the team announced a preseason schedule including two games in Shanghai. Forward Andrei Kirilenko and coach Lionel Hollins are spreading health & wellness with Basketball Without Borders in Africa, and Kirilenko fell in love with a cheetah.

Now, it looks like the man in the middle has made his way to Russia, the home country of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, and met his twin in Moscow. Via Oregon Live:

The twins attended a streetball tournament in Moscow on Thursday, and will head to Perm, located on the European side of Russia on the Kama River, where they will hold a clinic Saturday.

The clinic will be held at the Olympiets club court, which was refurbished as part of a partnership with the NBA and Sibur, a Russian gas processing and petrochemical company. They are refurbishing 10 courts around the country "to grow the game of basketball in Russia by providing safe and accessible basketball facilities."

Lopez has not played in an NBA game since December 20th, when he broke a bone in his right foot in the fourth quarter of an overtime loss. He has since had two surgeries, one to repair & realign his right foot, and another to clean out his left ankle.

Lopez's twin brother Robin, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, blogged about the experience:

We went straight from the airport to the hotel, which is right across from the Kremlin and Red Square. You can almost see St. Basil’s Cathedral, one of the most iconic European landmarks, from my hotel room. It’s just out of view, but it’s there.

We had the rest of the day off, so we took a quick stroll into Red Square, which was everything I was expecting and nothing I was expecting. It was interesting. The architecture is definitely an East meets West feel, a hodgepodge of cultures. There’s Nordic influences, some Italian, some Indian, some Turkish. It’s such a mix of cultures. For the most part, as an American, my view of Russia mostly shaped through spy movies and superhero comic books, along with a few history classes I’ve taken. So it’s nice to see the real Russia, not the vilified version you see in fiction. And despite some frosty relations between the United States and Russia, I haven’t noticed any animosity at all. People have been very friendly and welcoming right from the start. Nothing standoffish or anything of the sort.

 

Anthony Davis, Mason Plumlee

Teammates! (AP)

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obama selfie

The Corrado family was eating at Arthur Bryant bar b q in Kansas City when the President came in. The resulting selfie has become a small viral sensation. But we know that the real significance is that one of the Corrados, who appear to live in Colarado, was wearing a Nets hat.

 

AP

AP

In these United States of America, we love our country. We take sports way too seriously. When combining these two passions, people can get quite emotional.

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The Nets announced a rather international preseason schedule today opening up on October 7 with Euroleague Champion, the Israeli basketball club Maccabi Tel Aviv, at the Barclays Center, and including exhibition games against the Sacramento Kings in Shanghai (Oct. 12) and Beijing, China (Oct. 15), respectively.

The six-game preseason schedule  includes three home contests at the Barclays Center. A complete preseason schedule is below.

 DATE DAY TIME OPPONENT
10/7/14 Tuesday 7:30 PM vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv (Barclays Center)
10/12/14 Sunday 1:00 AM at Sacramento (Shanghai, China)
10/15/14 Wednesday 7:30 AM vs. Sacramento (Beijing, China)
10/19/14 Sunday 3:00 PM vs. Boston (Barclays Center)
10/20/14 Monday 7:30 PM vs. Philadelphia (Barclays Center)
10/22/14 Wednesday 7:30 PM at Boston (TD Garden)

 

The announcement in its entirety can be found here.

 

Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez

Is it really time? (AP)

The Nets are dedicated to bringing a championship to Brooklyn. But let’s face it: they're most likely not winning one with this roster next season, and the same applies for the season after. So is it time for the Nets to throw in the towel with their core and re-build once more?

I say no -- and it all goes back to the future.
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LeBron James, Mason PlumleeOn a team with two MVP winners and dozens of All-Stars, one voice rose above the rest on defense:

Mason Plumlee.

Per John Schumann’s NBA.com notebook:

I will say that Plumlee was the most vocal big man in the scrimmage. You can see the Kevin Garnett influence, because he’s always letting his backcourt teammates know if they’re by themselves on the perimeter or if there’s a screen coming.

Plumlee told YES Network about Garnett's influence in March:

Schumann took note of Plumlee’s struggles on offense, too:

Plumlee struggled offensively in the scrimmage, missing two free throws and committing two turnovers (an illegal screen and a traveling violation). Second, in talking about the bigs, Krzyzewski said that Plumlee “is going to be in the scrimmage on Friday.” Reading between the lines (which may be a bad idea), it sounds like Plumlee probably won’t be with the team beyond that.

That will happen to a sophomore competing with the world’s most talented players. Still, Plumlee refused to shrink in a gym full of the game’s giants. The guy on the fringe of camp seized a leadership role on defense. No small feat.

Plumlee possesses the athleticism to be an impact defender, and all signs appear to him having the work ethic to reach that goal. Plumlee growing as a more vocal defender only improves his chances to make that next step.

The best defenses are frequent communicators, and it’s reassuring to see Plumlee take another page from KG’s book.

NBA.com -- John Schumann, USA Camp – Day 3 Notes

 

Joe Johnson, DeMar DeRozan

Joe Johnson (AP)

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Paul Westphal

Westphal (AP)

The Brooklyn Nets have finalized Lionel Hollins's coaching staff, surrounding him with six assistants, including one advanced scout.
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Duje Dukan, Cory Jefferson

Cory Jefferson at Baylor last season. (AP)

Nets forward Cory Jefferson had to wait longer than any draftee before hearing his name called on draft night, going 60th overall to the San Antonio Spurs before the Nets acquired his rights. But if you believe Jefferson’s college coach, he could have saved himself a lot of waiting.
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