With all of New York television shut out of the Nets' preseason game in Boston Wednesday night, it's up to me to provide the eyes and ears for the final tune-up before the real games start -- if only I could stay awake through the team's 100-86 loss to the Celtics.
Let's cover this one Good/Bad/Ugly style:
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Weight: 220 lbs.
Date of Birth: October 16, 1982
Years Pro: 5
Before NBA: Michigan State University
Nickname: A-Squared, Double-A
- Full Stats -
Alan Anderson was one of Brooklyn’s biggest mysteries last year, the kind of hot and cold player that perfectly represented the Nets’ tumultuous season.
He filled the final Nets roster spot last offseason, soon transformed into a viable option as a 3 and D off the bench, and ultimately culminated in Anderson starting in Games 6 and 7 in the team's first-round matchup against Toronto, a switch that may have saved the season.
This summer, he returned to the Nets on a two-year contract worth $2.6 million, and may end up being Brooklyn’s incumbent starting small forward if he recovers from an abdominal muscle strain.
Anderson won’t dazzle, but has a funny way of sticking around against all odds. In fact, his career averages of 8.1 points per game, 2.2 rebounds per game, and 1.2 assists per game have taken him halfway around the world, to Italy, Russia, Croatia, China, Spain, and Israel, plus a brief stint in the D-League upon returning to America.
Isn’t every team supposed to have a cagey professional, an unflinching fouler and connoisseur of the three? Didn’t James Posey teach us anything?
Anderson was a small piece of the puzzle; his usage rate of 14.5% for Brooklyn in 2013-2014 ranked him at 256th in the entire NBA, just ahead of Andrei Kirilenko, Martell Webster, Kyle Korver and Andre Iguodala. Of course; different systems mean different game plans – ie, with Curry and Thompson ranking at 28.2 and 20.9, there just aren’t a ton of plays run for Iguodala—but the fact remains that Anderson was more often than not a last option on offense on the floor. That's part of what makes him dangerous; he's no Kyle Korver, but he'll make a defense pay for leaving him. Double team on Lopez? Anderson will hit the corner three. Did the defense collapse on a penetrating Deron Williams? Anderson makes the cut to the basket.
In an odd way, you know exactly what you’re going to get from Alan Anderson: a mixed bag full of highs and lows, everything you’ve never needed and everything you didn’t know you needed. He's old reliable the unreliable. There are few things more frustrating than a possession wasted by his isolated contested jumper, but few things are sweeter than his back-to-back corner threes.
Anderson is duct tape: the old, gritty, classic silver kind. Need a ball handler in a pinch? Anderson. Need someone to check LeBron James? Anderson. Need someone to display an irrational range of confidence? Alan Anderson, at your service. Need someone to do a sketch, comfortably imitating a newscaster while still being 6'6"? You got it.
Unless Bojan Bogdanovic is ready to start, expect to see Anderson in heavy doses. With plenty of scorers in the starting lineup, Anderson’s defensive acumen is well-suited for the defensive-minded Lionel Hollins. Anderson will be asked to do a little bit of everything this season, and he'll answer the call.
***DMoney247 logs on***
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Projected Record: 49-33 (6th in West)
Head coach: Kevin McHale
Projected record: 49-33 (6th)
2013-14 record: 54-28
2013-14 ORtg: 108.6 (4th)
2013-14 DRtg: 103.1 (12th)
Players in: Jeff Adrien, Trevor Ariza, Clint Capela, Joey Dorsey, Alonzo Gee, Scotty Hopson, Nick Johnson, Kostas Papanikolaou, Ish Smith, rights to Alessandro Gentile
Players out: Omer Asik, Omri Casspi, Troy Daniels, Francisco Garcia, Jordan Hamilton, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons
Projected Starting Lineup: Patrick Beverly, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Terrence Jones, Dwight Howard
Another season, another year chasing the Spurs. This is one of the best teams in the Western Conference, but will it be enough?
The Rockets are star-powered. James Harden and Dwight Howard should be able to power them through games against most Eastern Conference teams, and I fully expect Patrick Beverley to take a huge step forward in the absence of Jeremy Lin. But they've got no immediate, reliable help from the bench outside of Francisco Garcia: Nick Johnson looked great in preseason and Troy Daniels was Houston’s unsung hero in 2014, but that’s a whole lot of pressure and responsibility for a couple of kids with hardly any NBA experience.
Although Ariza’s first stint in Houston was mediocre in all senses of the word, his second stop may prove more successful. Having a reliable defensive presence on the floor should stop this from happening again anytime soon.
If the Rockets can snag Rajon Rondo from Boston, that trio might be enough to take down most teams on a given night. Unfortunately, that (or this) sharp-shooting, high-octane team will suffer from lack of depth come playoff time.
Projected Record: 48-34 (7th in West)
Head coach: Rick Carlisle
Projected record: 48-34 (7th)
2013-14 record: 49-33
2013-14 ORtg: 109.0 (T-2nd)
2013-14 DRtg: 105.9 (22nd)
Players in: Al-Farouq Aminu, Tyson Chandler, Eric Griffin, Richard Jefferson, Ivan Johnson, Jameer Nelson, Chandler Parsons, Greg Smith, rights to Emir Preldzic
Players out: Vince Carter, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington, Bernard James, Shane Larkin, Shawn Marion, rights to Tadija Dragicevic
Projected Starting Lineup: Jameer Nelson, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler
Projected Record: 28-54 (14th in West)
Head coach: Flip Saunders
2013-14 record: 40-42
2013-14 ORtg: 105.6 (10th)
2013-14 DRtg: 104.1 (T-14th)
Players in: Anthony Bennett, Zach LaVine, Glenn Robinson III, Andrew Wiggins, Mo Williams
Players out: Dante Cunningham, Othyus Jeffers, Kevin Love
Projected Starting Lineup: Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young, Nikola Pekovic
Projected Record: 26-56 (15th in West)
Head coach: Quin Snyder
2013-14 record: 25-57
2013-14 ORtg: 100.6 (25th)
2013-14 DRtg: 109.1 (30th)
Players in: Quin Snyder (coach), Trevor Booker, Dante Exum, Carrick Felix, Rodney Hood, Steve Novak
Players out: Tyrone Corbin (coach), Diante Garrett, Richard Jefferson, John Lucas III, Erik Murphy, Brandon Rush, Malcolm Thomas, Marvin Williams
Projected Starting Lineup: Trey Burke, Alex Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter
I’ve felt the same way about the Jazz every year since Deron Williams left: where are they going?
Paul Millsap left for nothing. Al Jefferson left for nothing. Derrick Favors’ annual scouting report still reads: “loads of potential, gets in foul trouble too easily;” a problem that's plagued him since the Nets drafted him in 2010. It's easy to believe that this is the 5th NBA season for DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall, it's harder to say that about Favors. You can’t help but wonder what’s taking him so long.
They added Trey Burke last year, and he could be pretty good down the line. But it might take him another four years. And then who's still around? Favors? Kanter? The Utah Jazz are full of players that any team would be excited for, but their entire team is filled with these players, so they never amount to anything. The roster is a jar full of tasty trail max without any of the superstar chocolate pieces to push them over the edge into deliciousness.
Help, however, may be on the way in the form of Australian guard Dante Exum. If his game translates anywhere close to as well as his current Foot Locker commercials, the Jazz could be onto something. Exum is a big, strong guard that can get to the basket and score with consistency. Consistency, in fact, is an important word for the Jazz in 2014-2015. Without it, Hayward was forced into many 8-for-19 shooting nights en route to 24+ point blowouts.
If Exum can hold his own, Burks takes the next step and the team as a whole stops leaning on Hayward for 25 points a night, then this Utah team could trend in the right direction this year. Of course, that is asking Kanter not to go on cold streaks so long that the coach opts for Marvin Williams and Jeremy Evans instead.
In some alternative universe, the Utah Jazz fulfill their potential, make the Western Conference semifinals, and the most interesting thing about their team is no longer the discrepancy in spelling between Burke and Burks.
But here’s the deal with Utah: I just don’t get them. Hopefully, with the leadership of newly appointed coach Quin Snyder and Gordon Hayward’s near-max contract, along with Exum, Favors, Burke and Kanter, the Jazz can finally start making strides towards becoming a relevant NBA team again. It’s well stated, mainly by Jazz fans themselves, that Tyrone Corbin was an awful coach, marred by poor rotations and an inability to manage games and his young players—so have they finally hit the reset button for the last time?
Having young players with inexperience is no longer an excuse in the NBA, just look at the Phoenix Suns last year, a roster with far less raw talent than Utah, the same one that missed Eric Bledsoe for 39 games, and they almost made the playoffs in the treacherous Western Conference.
They ranked 29th in the NBA in points per game and 25th in points per possession just ahead of a Chicago Bulls team that ranked below watching painting dry on a list of pleasurable activities. Even worse, they were dead last at 30th in points allowed per possession and their pace was slightly slower than the creaky retirement home the Nets ran in Brooklyn.
In the Western Conference, that’s a recipe for disaster.
What the Utah Jazz really need more than anything else is a reliable post scorer to take off the pressure from their young core of Exum, Burke and Hayward. Hey, Al Jefferson would be a perfect fit.
Wait. Shoot. Back to square one. Again.
Projected record: 47-35 (4th in East)
Head coach: Randy Wittman
2013-14 record: 44-38
2013-14 ORtg: 103.3 (T-16th)
2013-14 DRtg: 102.3 (T-9th)
Players in: DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries, Paul Pierce
Players out: Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, Al Harrington, Chris Singleton,
Projected Starting Lineup: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Paul Pierce, Nene, Marcin Gortat
SEPTEMBER 24, 2014
Kevin, this is your conscience speaking.
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While the United States takes a week off from basketball to complete their essays on why Mason Plumlee is a good fit for Team USA, the rest of the world is still in action. Today, Nets sharpshooter Mirza Teletovic was at the center of it all during a EuroBasket Qualifier in London.
Teletovic poured in 25 points and 6 rebounds as Bosnia and Herzegovina held on to win 80-67.
BallinEurope, an ESPN Affiliate, said that Teletoivc "kept having his own way through the third quarter. Facing tough D? Nails the 3. Loses his handle? Recovers for the bucket and the foul."
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After a disappointing season in 2012-2013, Teletovic blossomed into Brooklyn's most reliable shooter off the bench and an important cog for the future. In 2013-2014, he shot 38% from beyond the arc and will most likely jockey for a spot in the 3-Point Contest this year in New York.
And, just in case you've forgotten, feel free to relive Teletovic's 34 point game in which he went supernova on Dallas in late January.
Nets fans, just how good is Mirza Teletovic? Be sure to vote on our poll, tweet at us or leave a comment here!