Some Nets news and notes from around the 'net:
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Some Nets news and notes from around the 'net:
After two days of rest and a shootaround cancelled due to inclement weather, the 6-14 Brooklyn Nets take on the 10-12 Boston Celtics in Brooklyn tonight at 7:30. These two teams made a trade this offseason that you all know about by now, sending Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry south to Brooklyn for Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, and three first-round draft picks, and it's the first time these two teams see each other in the regular season.
The Nets pushed for the trade in the hopes that it would make them contenders, the Celtics wanted to start fresh, add some draft picks, and sink like a stone to the bottom of the Atlantic. So far, they've reversed roles... MORE →
Citing a team source, David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that Jason Kidd blew up at Lawrence Frank with a profanity-laced tirade that quieted Frank and eventually led to Kidd dismissing him from his bench entirely.
As Aldridge reports:
Kidd tried, gradually at first, to start putting his own imprint on the team. He would be, a member of the organization said last week, direct and honest with players in film sessions, going over things one-on-one with players -- "that's a bad shot, and here's why. That's losing basketball, and here's why," the source said. He tried to point out that he did know a couple of things about defense based on his career as a player (whether he specifically mentioned his four first-team all-NBA defensive team selections is unknown), and that he had ideas that were different from Frank's.
But Frank "wouldn't stop talking," the second coaching source countered.
And several outlets have reported Frank was angered that Kidd chose assistant Joe Prunty instead of him to coach the team in his absence while Kidd served his DUI suspension at the start of the regular season.
The denouement came in the now well-reported blowup Kidd had with Frank, where Kidd, according to a source, told Frank: "Sit the (bleep) down! I'm the coach of this (13-letter word) team! When you're on the bench, don't (bleeping) move!"
Frank did as he was told. Other coaches playing the Nets thought he was ill, he was so quiet during recent games.
In the few days since he left, Kidd has tinkered with the Nets' pick-and-roll defense, trying desperately to find coverages that will aid Brooklyn's horrible defense against the 3-pointer. The Nets are the NBA's worst team at guarding 3-pointers, allowing opponents to shoot 41 percent from there.
Aldridge delves further into detail about the current Nets issues, and how they go beyond injuries: "Lopez didn't hide behind the injuries, saying the chemistry the team has should compensate for lost players -- and this season is even more bizarre than the one where the Nets went 12-70 early in his career."
Usually, basketball players compete on the court: for loose balls, for rebounds, to score and shut down, for victories. But today, the two men who have led the depth chart at small forward for the Brooklyn Nets competed indirectly for the best comment about the Nets-Celtics trade this offseason that swapped the men's jerseys.
The always-vocal Gerald Wallace, who manned the small forward position for 69 games (68 starts) last season for the Nets, said earlier this year that the Nets look confused, not like championship contenders. Today, when asked about it again, he... MORE →
Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams told reporters he'll definitely play against the Boston Celtics tomorrow, marking the first time he'll see the floor since November 20th against the Charlotte Bobcats. Williams hasn't played in a full game since November 13th, a blowout loss to the Sacramento Kings, and was expected to return today.
More interestingly, the other Nets starter out of the rotation said he might make a return. Forward Paul Pierce, who was ruled out for 2-4 weeks with a broken bone in his right hand sustained on November 29th, practiced with the team today and told reporters that he might make a return tomorrow against his former team, ten days after the original diagnosis.
Pierce says "good chance" he plays tomorrow.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) December 9, 2013
Pierce was seen shooting around before the team's Saturday night victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. If he plays, it'll be the first time he steps on the floor against the Boston Celtics, where he spent fifteen seasons. Pierce is the franchise leader in three-point field goals and steals, and his 24,021 points in Celtics green ranks second behind Hall of Famer John Havlicek.
Pierce also said unprompted he'd be welcome to playing off the bench if it helped the team, according to Newsday's Rod Boone:
Pierce said he's willing to do whatever it takes to help this team. Even said, unsolicited, that'd he'd be willing to come off bench. #Nets
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) December 9, 2013
Asked Kidd if Pierce off bench is an option. Said they haven't discussed it, but admitted he worked with 2nd team today to see how he looked
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) December 9, 2013
In our latest episode of #BKConnect, Rod said that it may be good for Pierce to come off the bench when he returns, to give the second unit a scoring punch.
Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko and guard Jason Terry did not practice. Kirilenko hasn't played in a game since November 8th, fighting what he calls the worst back spasms of his career. Terry is nursing a bruised knee.
— Fake Lawrence Frank (@LFrankDaily) December 8, 2013
Last week, Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd
fired demoted top assistant Lawrence Frank, citing philosophical differences. According to Kidd, Frank's now doing "daily reports" on the team, an intentionally vague comment. But one fan took Kidd's suggestion to heart, opening a Blogspot account releasing fake and hilarious Lawrence Frank reports.
Here's a snippet from yesterday's "report", following the team's win against the Milwaukee Bucks:
- That Raduljica character is one to keep an eye on. He might look like a Serbian lumberjack, but he's got some smooth moves. Strong tattoos, too.
- Not sure what happened with the Greek kid, Knight, and Ilyasova last night, but, man, Henson is something else. His arms are just too long. I don't trust him.
- How did you get Paul Pierce on the plane? Does he have family in Wisconsin?
The reports have gone viral, as the Twitter account that tweets out the articles has picked up thousands of followers in the span of days. It's a humorous respite from an otherwise dark beginning to the Nets season. As Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote in a tweet: "No clue of the @LFrankDaily author, but the entire NBA -- front office, coaches, staff -- is reading and roaring over the entries." (The tweet has since been deleted.)
Click below if you want to read what Lawrence Frank may or may not be writing daily.
Hit a shot outside of 15 feet, so that's new. Returned to the starting lineup but it's clear that the Nets are limiting his minutes.
Played with more defensive intensity than usual (man, I never expected to say that about Kevin Garnett), but he couldn't hit the third rail if he laid on the subway track.
Has some great potential as a "3 and D" guy as long as he's not the one that has to facilitate any offense. Let him run around screens, get to the corners, cut to the basket, get open shots, and defend the opponent's best or second-best scorer in all sorts of lineups. There's potential there. But, and I can't stress this enough, don't let him facilitate.
Took some ill-advised shots in the third quarter (making one), but the Nets didn't really use him as their primary facilitator until late in the game tonight, electing instead to give the ball to Lopez and float Johnson over to the weak side. (Not coincidentally, Johnson hit his only two three-pointers off cross-court feeds from Lopez.) In the fourth, Johnson took over playmaking duties, finding Lopez for an easy dunk and Garnett for a midrange jumper on back-to-back possessions to bolster the lead, and hitting the dagger jumper with under a minute left.
Dominated the first three quarters when no one else could find the bucket, scoring in the post and on cuts. More impressively, he threw a couple of really nice passes, including the two aforementioned cross-court finds for Joe Johnson for open 3's and a dump-down to Kevin Garnett at the rim that could've been two points had Garnett caught it cleanly and Garnett wasn't shooting 46 percent in the restricted area. Yes, Zaza Pachulia and Larry Sanders are sidelined and John Henson's built like a stop sign, but give him credit for taking advantage.
He really, really wants to score. Sometimes, it works.
Got the call over Mason Plumlee as the team's backup center and played decently, even hitting a few shots near the rim and drawing a shooting foul. But he's not rebounding nearly as well as last year.
He plays at 70 miles per hour while his mind runs at 55. You can see him excited to burst into lanes and hit open teammates, but he's just ever-so-slightly out of control.
His made threes are pretty and he does a more decent job defensively than you might expect but not a serious impact.
On the latest episode of #BKConnect, Rod Boone, Chris Shearn, and myself discuss Jason Kidd's decision to dismiss Lawrence Frank, the emergence of Mirza "Fearza" Teletovic, and whether or not Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce can coexist when Pierce returns from his broken hand injury. Mostly watch it for my impeccable fashion sense and shaving strategy.
To get your question on air, hit up YES Network through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using the hashtag #BKConnect.
In Milwaukee, the Brooklyn Nets look to steal a win from the Milwaukee Bucks and avoid tying them for the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Early, Brook Lopez made a statement, and that statement was in reverse one-handed Brookie Monster form. Lopez took Udoh baseline and threw down a man's jam in Udoh's face to give the Nets an early lead in the first quarter.
Bonus: listen to Donny Marshall get excited. He's got a great excited whoop.
Starting Lineup: Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez.
Injury Report: Deron Williams (ankle), Paul Pierce (hand), Andrei Kirilenko (back), and Jason Terry (knee) have all been ruled out.
When & Where: 8:30 P.M. EST, Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
Watch: YES Network (Pregame at 8 P.M.)
Listen: CBS 880 AM
A scout from the Eastern Conference spoke with Marc Stein of ESPN, telling him the same thing Joe Johnson said after Thursday night's loss to the New York Knicks: the team lacks a real identity.
Here's the full transcript of what the scout told Stein:
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