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David Aldridge from NBA.com has some interesting thoughts on NBA teams, specifically NY teams, and the pressure to win immediately in the Big Apple.

He states:

If they were, say, the Charlotte Knicks, with a record this morning of 9-21, having lost back to back games to, um, Toronto, with no real hopes of being competitive this season and facing the prospect that their star player might walk after this season, wouldn't the choice be obvious? The Charlotte Knicks would start dealing their available assets and take a long, hard look at whether they'd move Carmelo Anthony before the trade deadline. And no one would fault them for it.

If they were, say, the San Antonio Nets, with a coach that looks perilously close to being in over his head, a team that simply hasn't clicked and key players already out for the season and/or on the shelf, wouldn't the path be clear? The San Antonio Nets would "reassign" their coach, make the best deals they could for whatever teams wanted their marquee names and look forward. And no one would say anything about it.

His point questions the win-now strategies of the Nets/Knicks, essentially saying the media market and pressure to "own New York" has caused them to make unwise decisions for their future.

Definitely worth a read.

Stein: Pau for Brook discussed

Posted on: December 30th, 2013 by Chris Hooker Comments

 

ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the Nets discussed a Pau Gasol-Brook Lopez trade before Brook went down with his foot injury last week.

He states:

Sources with knowledge of the discussions told ESPN.com that the Lakers did indeed engage the Nets earlier this month in some exploratory talks to see if Brooklyn had interest in such a swap. Sources say that the Nets balked at the idea when it was presented before Lopez's injury, but it's still noteworthy if it happened.

This trade would be ridiculous, even with Brook's injury. The Nets are trying to get younger, not older, and even if Brook's body is broken, Pau is not getting any better.

Please don't let this happen.

 

Jason Kidd yells at one of his 15 miserable basketball players. (AP)

Jason Kidd yells at one of his 15 miserable basketball players. (AP)

Hey.

Hey guys. What’s up?

Is anybody out there?

I have to say, you guys were pretty quiet yesterday during last nights Nets-Pacers game. I didn’t get any comments on the game grades following the loss, and your Twitter presence was, how do you say, not as loud as usual. Do you guys not like me? Do you miss Devin this much already?

I’m not a needy girlfriend, so I am going to assume the problem is the team and not me. You guys are fed up, and I am too. This is a team that I picked to win the title this year, and if you take out my team bias, then I at least thought they should be in the Eastern Conference Finals. And now, sitting at 10-20, they might not even make the eight-seed. It seems stupid to think about the playoff standings after 30 games, but when your team that was, at the very least, supposed to win more than the 49 games from last year, and is now already ten games below .500, it’s okay to start panicking. It’s okay to maybe not care as much as you did a month and a half ago.

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Brook Lopez to have surgery Jan. 4

Posted on: December 29th, 2013 by Chris Hooker Comments

 

The Brooklyn Nets announced yesterday that Brook Lopez will surgery on his fifth metatarsal on January 4th.

Lopez broke the foot in last weeks lost to the Philadelphia 76ers. Billy King since announced that the center is out for the season.

The Nets stated that more details on the surgery will be forthcoming as is.

And we are all still depressed.

 


Jason Terry POINT GUARD

Made one shot and had a goofy collision with Lance Stephenson that resulted in a foul. That's about all I remember.

Mason Plumlee CENTER

Finished two big alley-oops from D-Will and had some better defensive moments than in recent memory. He didn't shut out Roy Hibbert, but I thought he played him tough and provided his usual instant energy style of play. There's a case to be made for more minutes, but his one-dimensional game did hurt that case.

Paul Pierce POWER FORWARD

One of his best offensive days of the season in the first half, as he was simply on fire shooting and was making buckets from all over the floor. But Paul George was the better Paul tonight, and a lot of that was because of the defense Pierce played on him. In the third quarter collapse, he was the reason the Nets stayed in the game, but they also ran a few iso plays for him that didn't go well.

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

Deron Williams was simply not good tonight, and Livingston should have played more minutes before of it. Played good D on Watson and even hit a jump shot!

Kevin Garnett POWER FORWARD

Kevin Garnett cannot shoot a basketball to save his life.

Alan Anderson SHOOTING GUARD

Good defensive moments and made a couple of buckets. I like what he brings on both ends of the floor, but with the state of the roster right now, it's tough to argue that he should be back to being a starter.

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Got burned by George Hill on several occasions and was lazy with the basketball. I don't understand what went on with him tonight. Played with little energy and urgency and refused to attack the basket. Didn't start the fourth quarter and it was warranted.

Joe Johnson SHOOTING GUARD

Speaking of playing with little energy and urgency, Joe Johnson was apparently playing NBA 2K tonight. He couldn't shoot, he couldn't defend and appeared to be checked out by the fourth quarter. Should not have played in the last 12 minutes.

Reggie Evans POWER FORWARD

Had a nice little put back dunk. That's it.

Mirza Teletovic POWER FORWARD

Your quintessential Mirza game. Made a few threes and had some nice offensive moments, but then he started missing. Then he made a few more buckets, and then he missed some. Had a hard time guarding David West, because David West is about a million times stronger than Teletovic. I don't think he should be starting, but more on this later. Still, for a moment in the second quarter, we got a nice little #FEARZA hashtag rolling. That was fun.


 

With Lopez out, Reggie Evans must play a bigger role in the Nets back court rotation. Here he is with a strong put back slam to put Brooklyn up four.

Jason Kidd, the rookie veteran

Posted on: October 29th, 2013 by Chris Hooker Comments

 

AP

AP


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When talking European players, the general theory is that there is an adjustment grace period.


Year one is typically a mess. It’s a different game, a different country, and adjustments are needed before the player can transform into Dirk Nowitzki. But year two, that’s when expectations will be met or fall short.

If anyone knows this, it’s Mirza Teletovic.

After agreeing to a three-year, nine-million dollar contract with the Nets, the Bosnian was generally was seen as a disappointment by Nets fans. Many pegged him to be a potential starter before the season started, and certainly expected him to play more and shoot better than he did.

In his 53 games last year, Teletovic averaged 9.4 minutes and 3.5 points. The supposed three-point specialist only shot 34% from behind the arc.

Mirza Teletovic is hoping for a bounce back season. (AP)

Clearly, year two is going to need to be an improvement.

“It’s true,” said Teletovic of the year one adjustment. “For me, this year, it’s 80% easier than it was last year. It’s just different terminology, the way of basketball, the way of life, the way of travel. It’s just a big difference compared to Europe.”

Head coach Jason Kidd has also seen the improvements in Teletovic, and has high hopes that he can become the three-point threat the Nets signed him to be.

“Mirza is shooting the ball well here,” said Kidd. “We know that he can do that, and we’ve got to make sure we can get him on the defensive end to help. He’s learning our concepts. It’s a little bit different than something he’s probably used to, but he’s giving the effort. As a coach, but also as a teammate, those guys want to see that effort. He’s doing that.”

For those who have never seen European basketball, Teletovic was able to give a little insight into what makes it such a different game.


“(The NBA) is a lot more games in a short, short period,” said Teletovic. “It’s a lot more running around at a faster pace. It’s aggressive, there’s more one on one, you are more responsible. You have to help everybody out. It’s a different way of playing.”

Teletovic also stated that having experienced veterans like Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez on the team also makes the transition much simpler.

“They really talk to you,” said Teletovic. “They talk and you listen to them and you know what to do. They make it easy for you.”

 

(AP)

Training camp officially wrapped up at Duke this afternoon, and players seemed pleased with the effort that went into the week.

“Guys worked hard,” said point guard Deron Williams. “Guys listened, worked hard. It was a good training camp overall.”

The Nets concluded their final day, again, by focusing mainly on defense. They closed the session with a scrimmage before getting on the bus to leave campus.

“We put in a little offense, but we are strictly thinking about defense right now,” said head coach Jason Kidd. “Guys had a great week. They’re being patient and working hard. We had no injuries, we’re coming out healthy, and guys fought through fatigue. We asked a lot out of them, we tip our hats to them. They responded.”

The issue of fatigue is another one that Kidd has continued to stress. It seems like the team is putting in heavy conditioning work now, so when those situations come on game day, mental instincts will kick in and not slow them down.

“As a player, I never went through five days (of training camp),” said Kidd. “As a coach, it was good. We threw a lot at them concept-wise. And then the last couple days, we got up and down to play a a little bit and see how they would respond. Again, guys fought through fatigue for five days straight, and we have to compliment those guys for coming to work.”

While the veteran guys have impressed the coaching staff and returning players, Williams made sure to give praise to backup sophomore point guard Tyshawn Taylor.

“Ty had a really good camp,” said Williams. “He had a lot to prove coming in, and with me being out, it gave him a lot of time to get a lot of reps out there. He slowed down, made great decisions out there on the floor. He’s still learning.”

All in all, it appears the experience in Raleigh was a positive one. Team bonding was taken advantage of, the practices were efficient and the group looks ready to take on the preseason starting Tuesday in Washington.

“It’s still a veteran group that knows how to work hard and came really prepared and ready to learn,” said Williams. “We got a lot accomplished these last few days.”

But the point guard still has one more request for next season, as he looks south and sees the champs training in the Bahamas.

“Maybe we’ll go somewhere more exotic next time,” he joked.

 

Paul Pierce, Jason Terry

Paul Pierce (left) and Jason Terry look on at Nets training camp. (AP)

Day three of Nets training camp at featured extra cameras, as the team’s morning session was broadcast across the airwaves and interwebs as a part of NBATV’s Real Training Camp series.

But according to the team, that didn’t have any bearing on today’s practice.

“I thought we were a focused group today,” said forward Paul Pierce. “When we get into the gym, we’ve got to get our work done. Nobody’s posing for pictures, nobody’s looking into the camera. We come into the gym, we’ve got our work. That’s the primary focus.”

Shooting guard Joe Johnson agreed with Pierce.

“It doesn’t change it at all,” said Johnson. “We just try and come in and put forth a great effort. We try to learn something in practice every day. That’s how it goes in these things.”

It seems like the third training camp session was a success. Head coach Jason Kidd stressed that today was a productive “mental” day, addressing how players can lose focus and attitude when their bodies begin to tire.

“Being the fifth practice, the quick turnaround, being a team with wisdom, being able to be tired and accept being tired,” said Kidd. “Being a championship team, you have to fight through all those times of being tired and helping each other. Guys were supporting each other, the last drill ended on a high note. I thought the guys got better today.”

Early on, the focus tends to be on building chemistry and getting used to each others playing styles. That's true on day three. Last night, Deron Williams Instagrammed a photo of the team after what looked like a fun evening and bonding experience at Duke’s swimming pool. Turns out, that was anything but the case.

“I haven’t seen the picture. I can only imagine that in that picture, they were all tired,” said Kidd. “It wasn’t the pool routine that a lot of those guys thought they were walking into. But I got the report that everybody was tired leaving the pool, instead of it being all floaties. A lot of guys don’t want to go back to the pool. It was a great bonding experience for those guys.”

“Yesterday, I was beat. I’d rather be out here on the court. They ain’t never going to get me back there,” joked Johnson. “See, when we went down there, they made it seem like it was going to be all sweet and gravy, like we were going to tread water for a little bit. We got down there, it was swimming laps.”

Pierce relished the workout as a bonding experience between the team.

“I haven’t swam laps in years,” said Pierce. “It was good for some of the vet guys to get in the pool, get some laps in and at the same time, it’s part of team bonding.”

It’s very early in the process. The Nets are three training camp dates under their belt, not a single game has been played, and we're still 28 days out from the first regular season game. But all in all, the team has liked what they’ve seen so far.

“It’s just our energy every day,” said Pierce. “Guys wanting to be out here, guys wanting to work, guys wanting to get better. Guys enjoying being around each other. Guys understand we’re on a journey, we’ve got a long mission ahead of us, understanding the necessary steps we’ve got to take. We’re enjoying each other on the court, off the court, when we go to the hotel and have a bite to eat.”

Johnson agreed that the team is off to a solid start, but there is still ways to go.

“We’re just trying to get familiar with one another,” said the guard. “We’re going to have mistakes and mishaps, but it’s just part of this learning curve we are going through.”

 

The NBA officially released their top jersey sales from last season, globally and domestically, and a few Nets were featured in the list.

Deron Williams' #8 was the eighth-best selling jersey, Kevin Garnett's Celtics jersey came in 14th and Joe Johnson finished 15th in global sales.

Deron Williams also took the number eight spot in U.S. sales.

The global top ten in NBA jersey's was LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, Blake Griffin and Rajon Rondo.

Honestly, if the #11 Brooklyn Brook Lopez jersey isn't number one next year, there is something seriously wrong with this country.

JET ready to fly again

Posted on: October 2nd, 2013 by Chris Hooker Comments

 

Jason Terry. (AP)

Nobody has higher expectations for themselves than Jason Terry.

“This year, (my goal is) to get back to the title of being one of the best sixth men to ever play the game,” Terry boasted. “If I do that, my presence will be felt, and hopefully it will equate into a championship.”

A good goal, and an attainable one. Terry was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2009, but was not that guy in his lone season in Boston last year. But in Brooklyn? Terry feels much more comfortable.

“In Boston, I wasn’t healthy. I was fighting that all season, and at the same time, I was learning new teammates, new surroundings, being on the East Coast, moving my family,” said Terry. “That whole thing was an adjustment. It wore on me a little bit.”

But now, despite being in a new city, he is joined by familiar surroundings. He played with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in Boston. He knows Deron Williams “from being in Dallas.” He knows Joe Johnson “from being in Atlanta.” He played with Jason Kidd and for assistant coach Joe Prunty with the Mavericks. He “spent some time in Dallas” with assistant coach Lawrence Frank.

“Being more familiar with the guys and the support group, knowing that I’m a veteran guy and understanding my role,” said Terry. “Getting back to Brooklyn is more like Dallas.”

It’s also helpful that his role is clearly defined heading into the season, which wasn’t the case in Boston.

“Last year, for me at this time, I was in a totally different situation,” said Terry. “I didn’t know what my role was. I was more like, ‘Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it.’ But now, (Kidd’s) made the point, ‘You’re our energy off the bench, you’re our sparkplug. We need you to do what you did in Dallas.’ That’s the biggest difference."

He and Kidd are on the same page. Kidd’s seen firsthand what Terry is capable of if he pulls off a bounce-back season, and he is expecting his talent to return.

“Jason’s a guy who’s again talked about taking pride in coming off the bench,” said Kidd. “Just looking at the starters, they need the bench to be strong. Not every other day, but every day. For his leadership, his understanding, his attitude. He has a championship, so he knows what it means to be successful.”

Terry has developed a reputation around the league for his confidence; his willingness to take the big shot, the bravado, the attitude he possesses before the season even starts.

He’s done this with his bold predictions vocally and in ink. Terry famously tattooed a Larry O’Brien Trophy on his tricep the year the Mavericks won the title, when nobody else predicted the same result. He did this again after his trade to Boston, which obviously did not have the same success.

We already know that JET is doing the same thing for his new city, but what design and where on his body is still the question.

“Coming soon, coming soon, coming soon,” Terry said laughing. “We’ll see how big it is first, then we’ll know where to put it. I have so much confidence in this team and I do think we are going to win it. That’s just me.”

It’s exactly this attitude that makes Terry a valuable teammate, and an eventual fan favorite. His leadership and confidence in his team is his trademark, and it’s already begun on the second day of camp.

“He is a teacher out there on the court,” said Kidd. “At this point in his career, he’s helping the younger guys and that’s big on this team.”

“A prime example is the guards,” said Terry. “Yesterday in camp, we had a problem getting over the pick-and-roll. Being a veteran guy, I was showing the little nuances, little tricks to help them in that process. That’s where I use my expertise. Guys are open, and that helps also.”

After having arthroscopic surgery to remove an irritant from his knee in June, he’s been limited in training camp practices and being held out of contact drills. This hasn’t stopped him from being the leader the Nets expect out of him, and that’s totally fine for his teammates.

“Some guys hate to see a guy standing on the side, running his mouth when he’s not in the hit, so to speak,” said Terry. “It’s a fine balance and guys respect me.”

“I don’t let frustration set in,” he continued. “I’m competitive, obviously I get the itch. I want to jump out there in contact drills when I can’t. But, I know it’s more important for me to be healthy than anything. I’m just working my way up, trying to still be vocal, still help the young guys out, and still let my presence be felt.”