Deron Williams

AP

Getting trimmer and shedding muscle was this summer's NBA trend, as stars like Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, as well as Nets guard Joe Johnson, entered training camp noticeably slimmer than in seasons past. But Deron Williams went in the opposite direction, using his time in walking boots to put on muscle on his upper body.

"(I added a) little bit (of muscle)," Williams said. "When you're in two boots, and then you get out of one boot and you can't put the other foot down on the ground, all you can do is lift weights. So I ate weights for a little bit. That helps."

Williams added he came in at the same weight as he's been in years past, so the bulk-up could've been either purely toning his upper body, or adding upper-body strength to compensate for his inability to work out his lower body in the boot.

Listed at 6'3" and around 210 pounds, Williams already has a size advantage over most point guards, and may look to post up more. Only 27 of Williams's possessions came in the post-up last season, according to Synergy, less than 2.5 percent of the time. In his last full season in Utah, Williams went to the post-up about 4 percent of the time.

"I did that in Utah as well," Williams said about using his size to post up smaller guards. "I just got to get back to playing basketball, man. Y'all want me to predict what the hell's going to happen this whole year, I'm just going to go out and play basketball, have fun, that's all it's about, man. Just having fun."

 

AP

AP

After undergoing back spasms he called the "worst of his career" last season, it didn't take long in training camp before Andrei Kirilenko's back acted up again.

Kirilenko sat out of the team's second practice with lower back tightness, and expects to be out for 7-10 days. Kirilenko says he feels no pain in the back. "I don’t want to say it’s the right time, but it’s better now than in the middle of the season when you start missing games," Kirilenko said.

The Nets play their first preseason game on October 7th, against Maccabi Tel Aviv at Barclays Center. Kirilenko was non-committal, but likely won't risk a back injury for a preseason matchup. "I don’t really know what’s gonna happen the next 5-6 days," Kirilenko said. "This is a very important time to maintain it."

The 6'9" forward missed 37 games last season, mostly due to back spasms. He practiced the first day, playing five-on-five drills with the starting unit. He doesn't attribute his latest injury to training camp, since the workouts have been light and he's worked out all summer to improve his cardio and conditioning. One Nets source said that Kirilenko came into camp in "much better shape" than last season, when he took the entire summer off from basketball activities for the first time since becoming a professional.

Coach Lionel Hollins was unconcerned. "It’s part of the game," Hollins said. "You just have to deal with it."

 

AP

AP

Deron Williams had some choice words for Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.
... MORE →

 

Andrei Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko (AP)

BY ANTHONY PIGNATTI

Here we go again?

It's just the second day of camp, and Andrei Kirilenko missed practice today due to a back issue. Kirilenko missed 37 games last season, most notably because of back spasms, which he described as "the worst of my career." Today, the issue is being described as a "tight lower back."

A Nets official said Kirilenko's sitting out was just precautionary, adding that Kirilenko entered training camp in much better shape than in the previous year.

As Kirilenko enters his 13th NBA season, you have to wonder if his age, now 33, is catching up with him.

Additional reporting by Devin Kharpertian

Team Banner-Pistons

Posted on: September 28th, 2014 by Alex Mazer Comments

 

Projected record: 34-48, 11th in East

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Stan Van Gundy

Stan Van Gundy is Detroit's best hope for success. (AP)

Head coach: Stan Van Gundy
Projected record: 34-48 (11th)
2013-14 record: 29-53
2013-14 ORtg: 102.9 (T-19th)
2013-14 DRtg: 107.3 (T-25th)
Players in: Stan Van Gundy (coach), D.J. Augustin, Caron Butler, Spencer Dinwiddie, Aaron Gray, Cartier Martin, Jodie Meeks
Players out: John Loyer (coach), Chauncey Billups, Josh Harrellson, Peyton Siva, Rodney Stuckey,
Projected Starting Lineup: Brandon Jennings, Jodie Meeks, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond

Someone's got to be 11th.
... Team Banner-Pistons">MORE →

Team Banner-Celtics

Posted on: September 28th, 2014 by Max Rodriguez Comments

 

Projected record: 28-54, 12th in East

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Rajon Rondo

The Celtics will be without Rajon Rondo for 6-8 weeks. (AP)

Head coach: Brad Stevens
Projected record: 28-54 (12th)
2013-14 record: 25-57
2013-14 ORtg: 99.7 (T-27th)
2013-14 DRtg: 105.2 (20th)
Players in: Marcus Smart, Marcus Thornton, James Young, Tyler Zeller
Players out: Jerryd Bayless, Kris Humphries
Projected Starting Lineup: Rajon Rondo, Marcus Smart, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger

Watch the show "Deal Or No Deal" just once. It seems perfectly entertaining. Look at those people winning all that money!
... Team Banner-Celtics">MORE →

Posted on: September 28th, 2014 by Jaymz Clements Comments

 

Projected record: 27-55, 13th in East

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Elfrid Payton, Aaron Gordon, Roy Devyn Marble

Orlando Magic draftees Elfrid Payton, Aaron Gordon, Roy Marble. (AP)

Head coach: Jacque Vaughn
2013-14 record: 23-59
2013-14 ORtg: 99.3 (29th)
2013-14 DRtg: 104.9 (T-17th)
Players in: Seth Curry, Channing Frye, Aaron Gordon, Ben Gordon, Willie Green, Roy Marble, Elfrid Payton, Luke Ridnour, Peyton Siva
Players out: Arron Afflalo, Doron Lamb, Jason Maxiell, E'Twaun Moore, Jameer Nelson, Ronnie Price, rights to Milovan Rakovic
Projected Starting Lineup: Luke Ridnour, Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Channing Frye, Nikola Vucevic

Some existential questions will plague mankind so long as we have conscious thought. Why are we here? Are we alone in the universe? What are the secret powers of sriracha sauce? And:... ">MORE →

Team Banner-Bucks

Posted on: September 28th, 2014 by William Rausch Comments

 

Projected record: 22-60, 14th in East

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Jason Kidd

New Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd. (AP)

Head coach: Jason Kidd
2013-14 record: 15-67
2013-14 ORtg: 100.2 (26th)
2013-14 DRtg: 108.9 (29th)
Players in: Jason Kidd (coach), Jerryd Bayless, Jared Dudley, Michael Eric, Damien Inglis, Kendall Marshall, Johnny O'Bryant, Jabari Parker
Players out: Larry Drew (coach), Jeff Adrien, Carlos Delfino, Miroslav Raduljica, Ramon Sessions, Ekpe Udoh
Projected Starting Lineup: Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Larry Sanders

"Kafkaesque" was the word I once used to describe the history of the New Jersey Nets prior to Jason Kidd the player's arrival in 2001, so it makes sense that Kidd's one-season tenure as coach ended up just as surreal and illogical.

Scratch that. It was bats—t insane.
... Team Banner-Bucks">MORE →

Team Banner-76ers

Posted on: September 28th, 2014 by William Rausch Comments

 

Projected record: 19-63, 15th in East

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Sam Hinkie, Nerlens Noel

76ers GM Sam Hinkie (forefront), with 2013 draftee Nerlens Noel (background). (AP)

Head coach: Brett Brown
2013-14 record: 19-63
2013-14 ORtg: 96.8 (30th)
2013-14 DRtg: 107.5 (27th)
Players in: Keith Bogans, Nemanja Dangubic, Joel Embiid, Pierre Jackson, K.J. McDaniels, Dario Saric
Players out: James Anderson, B.J. Mullens, Adonis Thomas
Projected Starting Lineup: Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Hollis Thompson, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Nerlens Noel

The last two songs on Philadelphia hip-hop group The Roots’s latest album, 2014's ..And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, are "The Unraveling" and "The Tomorrow."... Team Banner-76ers">MORE →

 

Tim Duncan

How will this 2014-2015 NBA season shake out?

The Brooklyn Game asked 20 contributors, both to The Brooklyn Game and YES Network, the official television home of the Brooklyn Nets, to preview and project the NBA season. We compiled the predictions from to create our official full-season prediction. (For a list of contributors, click here.)

Over the next week, we'll unveil our projections for all 30 teams, including in-depth previews of each team.

Start here with the Eastern Conference:

 

AP

AP

The NBA is littered with wing players who nosedive in effectiveness once they've hit the wrong side of 30. One of the exceptions to that rule is Joe Johnson, who's played at an eerily consistent level over the last decade.

Johnson's true shooting percentage has steadied between .517 and .564 since the 2004-2005 season, his career-high coming last season. His production has never been otherworldly, but it's also rarely wavered, despite approaching 40,000 minutes on his career odometer.

Johnson credits one exercise that's almost a daily staple for him, even when the team's on the road, and an exercise most NBA players eschew:... MORE →

 

"System of what?"

That was Lionel Hollins's reaction when asked about implementing last year's on-court principles. "When I was watching what they did last year, it was watching players. It wasn't trying to watch what they did, because it's really not the same team," the coach said, referring to the team's lineup switch last season necessitated by Brook Lopez's injury.

Seems like everything's just a little bit different.... MORE →