The Brooklyn Nets improved their postseason record to 4-1 with a 99-88 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday night. It's hard to break down much of anything when the Nets, who are missing two starters, take on the 76ers, who are missing fifteen NBA-quality players. But here's a few quick takeaways:

  • The 76ers are barely a basketball team, and the crowd showed the fervor that they'd show while watching a high school team that lived 200 miles away; fans were noticeably deader than in their loss to the Boston Celtics Monday night. Matchups matter.

  • Mirza Teletovic (save one half in China) and Bojan Bogdanovic have not shot well in preseason. It's preseason. Don't be concerned yet.

  • With Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez both out for the second straight game, Lionel Hollins tinkered with the Nets lineup, starting Andrei Kirilenko in place of Teletovic. Kirilenko looked spry in his debut start, attacking the lane with confidence and throwing passes from weird angles, but I don't know if he'll ever make consecutive free throws again.

  • Mason Plumlee, who had a below-average rebound rate, picked up 17 rebounds in the starting lineup. So there's that.

  • The Nets ran out their official pregame introduction video, interspersing photos of the players in action with Brooklyn brownstones, bridges, bistros, and bicycles as "Put On" by Atlanta native Young Jeezy played in the background. Understated cool, if a bit confusing.

  • Some nice pocket passes, drives, and fanciness from Deron Williams, and outside of the requisite "it's preseason, so shoot whatever the hell you want" moments, he did nothing to disprove his health. He did wear a wrap on his right wrist, but it didn't appear to impede his play.

  • With four players on non-guaranteed contracts, two open roster spots, and a big man with notorious foot problems, have to imagine that Jerome Jordan and Cory Jefferson make the team out of preseason, while Willie Reed and Jorge Gutierrez get the boot.


James Jones, Andrei Kirilenko

Everyone loves a good pocket pass from Andrei Kirilenko. But how much is it worth? (AP)

The Brooklyn Nets are one of many NBA teams that have put a premium on motion this preseason, preaching a new flex offense based on constant player and ball movement to create open shots.

But is it worth it?'s John Schuhmann had a different take, studying the correlation between ball movement, player movement, and offensive efficiency. After looking through the numbers, he ultimately concludes that "There is no correlation between ball movement and offensive efficiency," and "the same goes with player movement."

In some sense, he's right. Just moving the ball or the man doesn't necessarily mean that man's in any better position to score, and sometimes more passes can actually be bad for an offense: After all, you've only got 24 seconds to score. But that begs a question:... MORE →




BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The Nets played a seemingly oxymoronic historic preseason game Sunday afternoon, losing 95-90 to the Boston Celtics in the first 44-minute game ever in the NBA. The game featured one fewer minute per quarter, and one fewer TV timeout in the second and fourth quarters.

But neither the players nor the coach really seemed to notice much difference.

"I look up there and we're already to the first timeout, so that was kind of surprising," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "That was the only time it really seemed like it was quick. But other than that, I didn't really notice."

Deron Williams, who played 25 of the first 33 minutes but skipped the fourth quarter, said he didn't see much difference, partially due to the preseason rotations, but mostly because it's only a minor factor.

"I kind of play my same rotation, I think, except for not playing the fourth quarter," Williams said. "It's really hard to tell. A minute a quarter, four minutes total in the game, when you're out there real-time you're not really thinking about it. You can't really tell anything."

Nets guard Joe Johnson even admitted that he'd forgotten entirely about the change.

"Honestly, I forgot all about it. At the end of the game, there was probably about a few minutes left in the fourth, and I forgot we was even playing eleven -- what was it, eleven-minute quarters?" Johnson inquired.

Backup guard and 10-year NBA veteran Jarrett Jack agreed that there wasn't much in-game change. "Not in the flow of it," Jack said. "Being that we're used to playing a 48-minute game, you kind of feel it with coming out the last two minutes of the game, you're like, 'man, we really would've had six minutes.' You might get to a time-out or two faster than usual, or you might look up and be like, 'we're already at the six-minute mark.' But it wasn't too noticeable."

Before the game, Hollins said it would take time to implement as a rule, if it ever happened, and that it wouldn't make much of a difference for stars. "If Joe Johnson's playing 35 minutes in a 48-minute game, he's gonna play 35 minutes in a 44-minute game," Hollins said. "It just means the guys coming off the bench will have four less minutes to operate with."

Johnson agreed. "I mean, I don't think it makes that much of a difference, honestly," Johnson added. "It really doesn't. If you still loggin' 36 minutes, it's not really a difference."

The game's official running time was 1:58, nearly 20 minutes shorter than the league's average regulation time of 2:17 last year. Johnson expressed skepticism that they'd ever implement it as a rule.

"I can't sit there and take a minute off every quarter," Johnson lamented. "I know they've been talking about it, but I don't really see it happening."




Jason Kidd & his Milwaukee Bucks were in New York City Sunday afternoon for the first time since the Bucks coach left the city, and in discussing his tumultuous departure from the Brooklyn Nets, Kidd hinted it could've come much earlier.

Kidd told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York that where there's smoke, there's fire, alluding to reports that the Nets considered firing Kidd in December during the team's 10-21 start, evading a question about whether or not he wanted to move on from Brooklyn:

"Did I want to be traded?" said Kidd, whose Bucks play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Monday. "I think once [the Nets] OK'd the talk to Milwaukee, that just showed, whatever you want to call it, rumors or no rumors that they wanted to fire me in December had to have some legs."

Kidd also denied the report that he'd sought more power in Brooklyn, which led to his departure. "No, I don't need any power. My [job] is to learn how to be a coach and be the best coach that I can be."

ESPN New York -- Jason Kidd discusses Nets' tenure


Jared Sullinger, Mason Plumlee

Jared Sullinger dominated as the Celtics won in 44 minutes, 95-90. (AP)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The Nets are no longer undefeated in preseason, losing 95-90 to the Boston Celtics in an historic NBA preseason game.

The Nets raced out to an early lead, holding most of the first half by at least double digits behind 15 first-half points from Jarrett Jack. But the Celtics fired back in the third quarter, getting most of their shots close to the basket and drawing shooting fouls, before the Celtics poured on the points in the fourth behind Jared Sullinger, who finished the game with 19 points and 19 rebounds.

It was the first preseason loss for the Nets, who had previously beaten Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Sacramento Kings twice.

The game's outcome was secondary to the running time: for the first time in league history, the two teams played a 44-minute game, with one fewer minute per quarter and one fewer timeout in each half, to assess both the flow of an NBA game and how the game might fit better into a TV slot.

If the NBA thinks it could work, they would implement it in the D-League before turning its eye to the NBA. It would be a massive rule change in a league that doesn't come across rule changes of that magnitude lightly. It would affect the record books, though perhaps not significantly for the league's premier players.

"The change will be for the guys who don't start," Lionel Hollins said about the potential rule change. "If Joe Johnson's playing 35 minutes in a 48-minute game, he's gonna play 35 minutes in a 44-minute game. It just means the guys coming off the bench will have four less minutes to operate with." It a macro sense, he's right: no player has averaged more than 44 minutes per game since 1978, when a 26-year-old Truck Robinson averaged 44.4 in 82 games. It was a different era -- last season's leaders, Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler, played 38.7 minutes per game.

But in preseason, those minutes don't matter. Teams don't play a regular rotation in exhibition games, so there's not much for the league to glean from substitution patterns. Likely, the league was more interested to see if a 44-minute game could fit neatly in a TV window. The game ended at 5:11 P.M., exactly two hours after it began. It's not clear what the NBA will take from that, but given the flow of the game, it could fit more neatly into a 2.5-hour window.

Notes on the night:

  • Jerome Jordan's making this team. Jordan's played exceptionally well for an end-of-bench big, and kept the streak going with a beautiful spin-and-slam, following it up with a block on the defensive end and a tip-in basket on the next possession. Jordan carried the Nets through a close fourth quarter with his scoring in the paint, With the Nets needing depth in the event of future injury to their big men, Jordan fills a need in the paint and has earned his roster spot.

  • Jordan aside, the Nets struggled mightily in the paint: oversized Celtics forward Jared Sullinger rebounded like there were two of him, and the Nets were outscored heartily in the paint and on second-chance points. Missing Kevin Garnett makes a big difference, but Brook Lopez isn't filling the rebounding gap when healthy. These Nets may project as the worst-rebounding team in the league.

  • Not a pretty game for Brooklyn's European players: Bojan Bogdanovic and Mirza Teletovic both struggled with their outside shot, and Andrei Kirilenko looked off-balance on a couple of possessions.

  • Deron Williams is fast, I would say, faster than most human beings. Other than one egregious airball in the second half, Williams looked strong.

  • Great decision-making in the first half by Jarrett Jack, who looked to pass first and still ended up with 15 first-half points.




Brooklyn Nets forward/center/monk Kevin Garnett will rest during Sunday afternoon's 44-minute preseason game against the Boston Celtics, Lionel Hollins announced before the game. He joins Nets center Brook Lopez, who has a mild right midfoot sprain. Garnett has a stomach virus, according to the team.

Nets center Mason Plumlee will start in his place, next to Mirza Teletovic. Tipoff is at 3 P.M. EST.




The Brooklyn Nets play their fourth preseason game today against the Boston Celtics, and it's a unique game in NBA history: in honor of the number of presidents in U.S. history, it's the first time two teams will play a 44-minute contest, for the league to gather data on how such a game might work.

Each quarter will be shortened by one minute, with one fewer mandatory timeout in the second and fourth quarter. The league's likely to take more notes about about game operation and running time than any rotational changes, since teams don't run regular rotations in preseason.

Brook Lopez will not play for the Nets after suffering a mild right midfoot sprain during the team's trip in China. Kevin Garnett, who played for the Celtics from 2008-2014, is questionable with a stomach virus. Since it's preseason, he's unlikely to play; even if he does, he's played sparingly thus far in preseason, and likely won't see many minutes.




Welcome back to The Glue Guys. Week and a half away from start of the season and The Glue Guys are still in off-season mode!

Start: How stressed should we be about Brook Lopez's Foot?
15:50: Prokhorov-Guggenheim merge: why should we care and how does it impact what we see on the court
31:00: How much can we extrapolate from pre-season buzz about Deron's improved health/happy offense mojo
NBA News (48:30): Shorter Games/Season, NBA TV deal, Diaw's Weight, Bounce Brothers, and Z-Bo-Tie
Killer Komparison (1:12:00): Medical Analysis and Analogies

If you want to download The Glue Guys on your phone Click Here: iTunes


Knockout in China. (AP)

Knockout in China. (AP)

The Brooklyn Nets will hold their open practice on October 26th at 11 A.M. at Barclays Center, and while most open practices are little more than an excuse for a basketball team to jog through various basic drills in front of hardcore fans, the Nets have added a bonus element to their preseason event.
... MORE →


Mirza Teletovic

Mirza Teletovic primed to start in Lopez's absence. (AP)

While beat writers noticed a buoyant Brook Lopez moving without the aid of a walking boot today, talk quickly returned to contingency plans in the absence of the All-Star center.

If Lopez misses the opener with a foot sprain, Lionel Hollins expects to shift Kevin Garnett to the center spot, and insert Mirza Teletovic into the lineup as the starting power forward. On nights when Garnett cannot suit up, the team believes Mason Plumlee can manage as the starting center after starting 22 games at the position last year.

Despite Lopez's setback, GM Billy King seemed optimistic about the team's depth entering the season. King said the team is prepared to deal with the loss of Lopez thanks to the continued development of players like Teletovic and Plumlee.

When asked about the starting five, Coach Hollins expressed "no desire to change anything right now." A sign that Bojan Bogdanovic likely earned the starting wing spot alongside 7-time All Star Joe Johnson.

The Nets season tips off in 12 days at Boston.


Brook Lopez


Nets center Brook Lopez suffered a soft tissue injury to his surgically repaired right foot, leaving his status for the team's opening game against the Boston Celtics on October 29th in doubt. The team categorized the injury as a mild right midfoot sprain.

"Brook Lopez experienced right foot soreness after being stepped on during the pre-season game against the Kings Wednesday night," team doctor Riley Williams III said in a prepared statement. "X-ray and CT scan studies done Thursday in New York reveal no fractures or bone injuries. Brook has been diagnosed with a mild midfoot sprain and is likely to be out for approximately 10-14 days."

Lopez first injured the foot in 2011, breaking the fifth metatarsal on his right foot, requiring surgery. He later required a surgery to replace a screw inserted in the first surgery after it had bent in his foot, and underwent a third surgery in January to fix an additional break to the bone, as well as to realign the foot in the hopes that it would lessen pressure on the bone.

Though any injury to Lopez's foot is going to cause serious concern, the location of the injury within the foot is a positive. The injury is said to be in the middle of the foot, rather than at the fifth metatarsal bone, which runs along the outer edge of the foot. But any injury to a foot weakened by bone breaks and multiple surgeries is a compounding worry.

After playing in all 246 regular season games over his first three seasons, Lopez has missed 134 games in his last three, playing in just five games in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season and 17 last season, missing most of the time due to his right foot injuries.

Nets general manager Billy King will speak with the media regarding Lopez's foot Friday morning.

ESPN -- Brook Lopez could miss two weeks




The first two years of the Brooklyn Nets were marked less by their on-court product than by their lavish introductions, interweaved with bombastic pronouncements of the team's rapid rise to greatness. "Hello Brooklyn. I'm Joe Johnson," the first campaign began, a simple introduction befitting Johnson's subdued style, before intersecting Johnson the star and Johnson the man: "Six-time NBA All-Star and lifelong Razorback." The Nets wanted to get across three things: they were here, they were human, and they were great.

But after two seasons of building the buzz, there's a muted subtext to this year's Nets. The team stayed home for training camp. They went away for two of their preseason games, and only two of their regular season games will be on national television. No one is barking about championships. After two years of lavish spending, bombastic marketing campaigns, and prideful declarations of dominance, the Nets have finally become the Park Slope roommate that's gotten used to his leaky shower and loud neighbors, and just wants to pipe down and pay rent until he can move to a cheaper apartment.

On a related note, the Nets this year project to finish the season with their worst year in Brooklyn. ESPN's SCHOENE released their annual NBA projections (Insider), and they have the Nets finishing 36-46, which would leave them out of the playoffs for the first time since moving to the borough, and projects them as a below-average team on both ends of the floor. Their Real Plus-Minus Projected record has them around the same, at 35-47.

Before you go off the rails and admonish SCHOENE for its inherent bias against Deron Williams or Brook Lopez or Brooklyn Brewery or whatever disdain is folded into the projection, remember that SCHOENE is nothing more than a statistical projection model, with no bias or human error involved. Also remember that the model projected the Knicks to finish 37-45 last year, a projection the team and many of its fans scoffed at as proof of how SCHOENE was foolish, and then watched as the Knicks finished the season... 37-45.

Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez


But there's noise in the signal. Health is a tricky thing for any model to take into account; the Nets remain the hardest team to project in the NBA, with a dizzying collection of variables means they could easily end the season with either 30 or 50 wins. They're relying on Brook Lopez to stay healthy, unless his departure from the team actually makes them better, as it did last season. They're relying on Deron Williams to return to form after two ankle surgeries this offseason, even after Williams struggled last season. They're relying on Joe Johnson to remain ageless, Kevin Garnett to turn back the clock, and Lionel Hollins to impart elder wisdom. They're relying on a flex system that takes time to implement but couldn't be easier to create open shots. SCHOENE's projections are often spot-on, but on a team that projects anywhere, 36 is as good as 46.

If most of those things happen, they shouldn't have any issues competing for the Atlantic Division. ESPN's projection acknowledges that, with that first question mark as its biggest one: "If Lopez does manage to make it through the season, though, the Nets are the one team that can challenge the Raptors atop the Atlantic Division. The other development that would bridge that gap is a potential bounce-back season for Williams. He claims his ankles are finally healthy, and if that's the case, he should be able to improve on his 14.3 points and 6.1 assists from last season -- his worst numbers in both categories since he was a rookie."

If optimism is your game, you can argue that the Nets, who never had both a complete roster and competent coach at the same time last year, are primed to compete throughout the year with a core that led them to a 49-win season two years ago. Last season, one ESPN statistical projection had the Nets winning 64 games, which looks silly in hindsight. But the Nets aren't asking for any accolades, and they're not getting any, statistical or otherwise. Come October 29th, we'll get some answers.