Good morning, Nets fans. Thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. Buy an iPhone case in The Brooklyn Game Store to give to someone pretentious.
Here's some Nets news and notes from around the 'net:
Undefeated update: The Nets are undefeated in 2014 and undefeated in 2014 when Jason Kidd elects not to wear a tie.
Tonight: The Nets take on the Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 P.M., the third seed in the Eastern Conference despite an 18-16 record. To compare, 18-16 would rank ninth in the Western Conference. Repeat: the third-best record in the East wouldn't even make the playoffs out West.
But anyway, the Hawks: Feature solid players Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, and shooting specialist Kyle Korver, but have lost two straight and are 2-3 since losing starting center Al Horford to a torn pectoral muscle. Horford is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Cold-Blooded Russian: Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko getting some credit for his heady play in his limited time.
The Ticket, the Cooler, and The Gun: Not just the weirdest prize pack ever anymore. The three best players in net rating during the team's two wins: Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson, and Kirilenko. Kirilenko's solid play and improving health leave coach Jason Kidd with a conundrum: does he continue to roll out a lineup with two point guards (Deron Williams or Shaun Livingston), or eventually insert Kirilenko into the starting five?
Armor Up: The Springfield Armor, who team sources confirmed were interested in former Nets first-round pick Terrence Williams, ended up passing on Williams in the D-League waiver pool. Instead, they picked up Darius Johnson-Odom, a 2012 second-round pick. Johnson-Odom impressed at the team's 2012 open draft combine and has had two solid showings for the D-League squad, leading the team in scoring in each of his first two games, most recently a 20-point outing in a 98-90 Armor victory.
North Korea Nets: Former Nets players Kenny Anderson and Cliff Robinson joined forces with Dennis Rodman to play in an All-Star exhibition game against North Koreans. This is not a drill.
Tweet of the night: Tyshawn Taylor:
I slipped on ice today .. And somehow broke my nail ... It's hasn't stop bleeding yet and this was like 11 this morning --
— tyshawn taylor (@tyshawntaylor) January 6, 2014
Nicknames? The Nets haven't officially said what all of their nicknames will read as on January 10th, when they play the Miami Heat with nickname jerseys instead of their regular ones. So far, only "The Big Ticket," "Truth," "D-Will," and "Кириленко" (Andrei Kirilenko's last name in Russian) are on sale as official nickname jerseys. Shaun Livingston also said at media day that he'd go as "S-Dot."
But if you take a look at other Nets apparel in the Nets store, you'll see some other nickname apparel being sold:
Reggie Evans: Joker. This one is more interesting than you think. Evans said earlier this season that despite Joker being his nickname, the NBA might run into copyright issues with DC Comics for the Batman nemesis. (It's the reason Brook Lopez didn't go with "Batman.") But the team is currently selling Joker t-shirts, which makes me think they either haven't had any problems or were able to smooth it over with DC.
Update: Yup, Reggie is Joker.
Joe Johnson: JJ. If that's right, it's a terrible choice when Joe Cool is sitting right there. Even Tippy Toe Joe would've been better. This is Johnson's least clutch move in a Nets uniform.
Brook Lopez: Brooklyn. He said this would be the one on media day. Though he won't play, his "Brooklyn on the front, Brooklyn on the back" nickname shirt is for sale in the Nets store, making me think that the rest of them are also the correct nickname.
Mason Plumlee: Plums. Plumlee was coy about what his nickname would be when I asked him earlier this season, but "Plums" shirts are now available for sale. I prefer Mighty Mase or Plumdog Millionaire. "Plums" isn't a nickname. It's a plural for a type of fruit. It's a fruit, right? I refuse to look it up because that's how boring plums are.
Jason Terry: JET. Duh.
Players without definitive nicknames, either from their own words or the Nets store: Alan Anderson, Andray Blatche, Tornike Shengelia, Tyshawn Taylor, Mirza Teletovic. My guesses: "A Squared," "Dray," "Toko," "Tee Y," "MT3," respectively. Though if Teletovic goes with "Fearza," my entire career has been validated.
Joe Cooled: After scoring in double digits in 24 of his first 27 games, Joe Johnson has yet to hit the 10-point mark in each of the last five games, shooting just 30% in that time and 4-23 from three-point range. He did do this, though.
Thanks for the update, Reggie:
Former Net on the move: Courtney Lee, shooting guard for the Nets for a one-year stint in the worst year in franchise history, will be traded from the Boston Celtics to the Memphis Grizzlies when league offices open on Monday. The Grizzlies are Lee's fifth NBA team in six professional years. The Nets traded Lee after he started 66 games on their 12-70 team in 2009-10 in a deal that landed them Troy Murphy, who played just 18 back-injury-plagued games in New Jersey.
Across the river: The Knicks beat the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, 92-80. The win improves them to 11-22, one game behind the Nets and last place in the Atlantic Division.
But the city still has that New York smell: The Nets & Knicks are on pace for the second-worst combined home record in cross-state/cross-bridge history, anti-beaten only by the 2009-10 year, when the Nets finished with a record of 12-70. Nets play the Hawks at home tonight, for the record.