Some Nets news and notes from around the 'net:
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Some Nets news and notes from around the 'net:
Kidd & Frank developed a professional relationship, one that ultimately led to Kidd publicly imploring Frank to join him on the sidelines as his top assistant once Kidd earned the head coaching job... only to dump him a month into the season.
The New York Post recently caught up with the former coach and asked his opinion of the well-publicized Frank-Kidd breakup. ... MORE →
The Brooklyn Nets have underwhelmed this season. At 7-14, they've only just begun their first winning streak. But think of it this way: the team hasn't inspired a rant as bad as the one by this New York Knicks fan below from any of you. I don't know if I've ever seen a man so mad at his basketball team, ever:
The Brooklyn Nets began their first winning streak Tuesday night, defeating the Boston Celtics 104-96 and enjoying dominant performances from Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. But the most interesting performance was a player who didn't even start and finished with just four points: Paul Pierce.
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While Deron Williams put the finishing touches on a Brooklyn Nets victory, it was Brook Lopez who helped them get there in the first half. Lopez dominated the first half, scoring 16 points on 7-8 shooting, and bullied every opponent the Boston Celtics threw at him. Lopez shot straight through and over Jared Sullinger, Vitor Faverani, and Kris Humphries, and nobody on the Celtics could do anything to stop him:
Though most of the focus was on Williams -- who played his best game of the season upon his return from an ankle sprain -- Lopez's teammates recognized his excellent post game, one he finished with 24 points on 10-13 shooting.
"We want to (go through Lopez) every game," Williams glowed. "We feel like he has an advantage most nights, if not every night, so we're gonna play through him. They came and doubled him and he made great plays out of the double-team."
His increased awareness and ability to attack against double-teams is something we've also noticed this season.
After the Brooklyn Nets picked up a 104-93 victory over the Boston Celtics, marking their first winning streak of the season, Nets forward Kevin Garnett was asked to describe the mood in the team's locker room compared to in November (when the team started the season 5-12), and the fierce Garnett wouldn't hold his tongue.
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Near the end of the Brooklyn Nets victory over his Boston Celtics, former Nets forward Gerald Wallace's frustration boiled over just a bit. After an intentional foul on Alan Anderson, Anderson tossed the ball in Wallace's direction, which Wallace fired back at Anderson in frustration. Nets teammates quickly pointed out Wallace's toss, and Crash was quickly assessed with a technical.
Though Anderson handed the ball somewhat innocently to Wallace, it's like the old saying goes: they never get the guy who throws the first shot.
Played his first game since the team diagnosed him with a broken bone in his right hand, wearing a protective black glove. He didn't look to force his offense much, though it looked like coach Kidd implored him to get a few shots in the second half. From someone healing a broken hand, not his worst outing.
It's amazing how much better he can look when he knows he doesn't have to play 25 minutes! Okay, so he wasn't Superman, but it beats him trying to pace himself as a starter.
He certainly forced a few bad shots in the first half, but it's hard to blame him: the team was calling his number on most possessions that Brook or Deron didn't get it. Did make a few more midrange shots than we're accustomed to seeing and played some great defense down the stretch. One of his best games this season.
Looked perfect as the fifth-best player in a starting lineup. Spotted up around the perimeter and took advantage of driving lanes when an opportunity presented itself.
Welcome back, Deron. Looked tentative early, which is understandable when your ankles have acted like flypaper, but got more comfortable as his stint progressed, hitting a nice reverse layup on his first attempt and bullied Jordan Crawford on his way to the basket on his second. Was productive offensively throughout the game, hitting jumpers and layups alike, and led an effective fast break in a way that Shaun Livingston and Tyshawn Taylor just haven't been able to do this season. One caveat: he got absolutely destroyed on the defensive end by Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford, who ran him ragged around screens on and off the ball.
Did not force his offense, which is a very good thing, but didn't make many shots, which is not so good of a thing. Did hit the capper with under a minute left, though.
Nobody stood a chance. Jared Sullinger is too small, Vitor Faverani too inexperienced, Kris Humphries too Humphries. He pushed and smashed and backed down and then lofted a soft knife through their hearts and into the basket time and time again. He tore them apart, burned them and bullied them, swatted them at the rim and dunked through their porous interior defense. Looked a bit tired in the fourth trying to back down Jared Sullinger's size and the Nets couldn't get him the ball late, but a generally great game for the big man.
Andray Blatche ran the floor behind Paul Pierce, absorbed contact, and flipped up a layup in the first quarter, while adding just the right amount of paprika to his roasted chicken recipe. Andray Blatche caught the ball on the left block, stared at the basket, and threw a shot directly into his defender as he then set his chicken on fire. Blatche put the fire out just in time to give it a smoky flavor during some great possessions near the basket in the third quarter fighting for loose balls, then took some ill-advised isolation possessions during dessert when he poured garlic salt all over a hot fudge sundae.
Hey, is Deron Williams back?
Yeah, Deron Williams is back.
Williams returned to the Brooklyn Nets -- and to form -- Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics, hitting a variety of shots inside and out, including this scoop layup while falling to the ground after toying with Jeff Green for a few seconds off the dribble. Williams made his return to the court after sitting out nearly three weeks with a sprained ankle, and looked like an elite point guard in his first game back.
Slow break? Maybe. Hard to call a transition play between Paul Pierce and Andray Blatche "fast." But Pierce made a nice move to get to the basket and dish to Blatche to get him the ball, and Blatche put down a tough shot through contact to hit the and-one. Blatche followed up the make by punching a demon back into hell.
It was a part of the best first quarter the Brooklyn Nets put up this season, who led 31-20 after the first twelve minutes.