If you missed this morning's Sacramento Kings-Brooklyn Nets preseason game, you might have missed Mirza Teletovic firing at the basket with total disregard, burying six three-pointers in nine attempts after his inclusion in the starting lineup. Teletovic fired them all: wide open from the corner, off-balance with a hand in his face, catch-and-shoot off a curl, and more, leading a second-half comeback that erased a double-digit lead in the third quarter.

Teletovic, who shared this video after the game, scored a team-high 22 points in 27 minutes and made a few nifty plays, including a touch pass on a fast break to Bojan Bogdanovic for a layup.

Teletovic improved over his first two years in Brooklyn, shining after getting a role under Jason Kidd's Nets last year and hitting 39 percent of his three-point attempts last season. With Paul Pierce out of the picture, there's a chance for Teletovic to make an even bigger mark in a contract year.

 

AP

AP

The Nets will play a 44-minute preseason game Sunday afternoon against the Boston Celtics, in a landmark decision that could change the future of the NBA. In preparation for playing four fewer minutes this weekend, the Nets got five extra ones in this week.

The Nets staved off the Sacramento Kings, blowing a late fourth-quarter lead before winning in overtime in the second of their two NBA Global Games in China over the Sacramento Kings, 129-117.

With Lionel Hollins returning from illness to coach and Kevin Garnett out to rest, The Nets took a 32-21 first-quarter lead behind 14 points from Brook Lopez, but struggled with their starters off the floor, shooting 4-16 and getting outscored 36-16 in the second quarter. The Nets fired back in the second half behind Mirza Teletovic's reckless shooting and a youth infusion, but a late three-pointer by Sacramento's Omri Casspi tied the game at 112 and eventually sent this one to overtime.

Teletovic led the Nets with 22 points, with Mason Plumlee adding 18 and Brook Lopez 16. 14 of Lopez's 16 points came in the first quarter.

Some notes on the game after the jump:
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Good morning! Usually your bleary eyes aren't accustomed to eyeballing anything but Nets basketball at this time of day, which unfortunately never happens this early on a weekday morning. But today, you're in luck! That means you, Brook Lopez!

Yuichi Masuda, Kikuo Ibe, Brook Lopez, Shigenori Itoh

He's happy. (AP)

Yes, the Nets are in Beijing taking on the Sacramento Kings as part of the NBA's Global Games Initiative, and in the interest of making the game palatable to local fans, it's airing at 7:30 A.M. Eastern Standard Time.

So while you stumble to your coffee pot and try not to trip over that wire right there (no, not that one — that other one), here's three things to watch in this morning's game:
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Lionel Hollins faces low odds to win Coach of the Year. (AP)

Lionel Hollins faces low odds to win Coach of the Year. (AP)

After two lavish seasons of spending and expectations, the Nets enter their third year with tempered expectations, both in the organization and around the league, and recently released odds reflect it.
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Deron Williams, Kris Humphries

Nets-Celtics to participate in experimental reduced game . (AP)

Give Commissioner Adam Silver this: He’s not afraid to dip his toes in the water. Neither are the Nets, it turns out.

The Brooklyn Nets will play host to a 44-minute exhibition game with the Boston Celtics this Sunday reducing the time of the game by four minutes.

The format reduces each quarter one minute meaning the pair of divisional rivals play four, 11 minute quarters. Both The Nets and Celtics volunteered to try the reduced format.

"When this idea came up at the coaches’ meeting, I thought it was a unique experiment that was worth participating in," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said in a prepared statement. "I’m looking forward to gauging its impact on the flow of the game. Since there is a shorter clock, it affects playing time, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays into substitution patterns.”

In addition to reduced playing time, the game will feature a new format for mandatory timeouts:

During this 44-minute game, each quarter will feature two mandatory timeouts per quarter, with the first triggered at the first dead ball under 6:59 of the period if neither team has taken a timeout prior, and the second mandatory timeout will be triggered by the first dead ball under 2:59 if neither team has taken a timeout subsequent to the first mandatory timeout.

The test case seeks to examine several issues. First, is the matter of game time: The average NBA game last two hours and 15 minutes. The exhibition game will be studied closely for an impact on “player-substitution patterns and flow of the game to determine if there's a better experience.”

Reducing each game by four minutes also can reduce the impact and stress the long regular season has on a NBA player’s body. At first glance, a four-minute game reduction seems small, but it actually leads to 7 less games worth of playing times.

The NBA may also take a look at this format in additional preseason games and select D-League games.

Despite stratospheric team valuations, and a jaw-dropping 9-year $24 billion dollar broadcast rights deal with ESPN and Turner Sports, the Commissioner Silver-led NBA remains fearless when it comes to trying something new.

 

Mikhail Prokhorov

Mikhail Prokhorov (AP)

Zach Lowe joined the chorus of voices skeptical about The Nets’ playoff chances this year. In his annual column that offers readers “33 Crazy Predictions for the NBA season” Lowe predicts that the Detroit Pistons leapfrog one or more of the following projected playoff teams “Miami–Brooklyn–New York–Indiana” under new Head Coach Stan Van Gundy.

Now before you go picking fights, Lowe does not trash the team when he notes “Brooklyn has lots of interesting pieces, including stealth first-team All-Rookie candidate Bojan Bogdanovic” but adds the team faces a challenge reintegrating “Brook Lopez without sacrificing what emerged as a legit top-10 defense last season.” Lowe shares the near universal concern for “Lopez and Deron Williams” health.

This site, and several others, noted the improvements Lopez has made defensively to leverage his size and strength to protect the rim and body up big men in the post. But, there is no denying that ball handlers lick their chops each time they see a slow-footed Lopez stretched far from the paint.

These tendencies were on full display in the team’s first exhibition game with the Kings. You saw some of Lopez’s better tendencies bodying up talented scorer DeMarcus Cousins. You also saw some the challenges Lopez faces as Kings’ guard Darren Collison and Ramon Sessions turned on the jets when Lopez left the paint to defend a pick-and-roll.

From what we saw in just a few preseason games: Lopez “ices” most picks and rolls very conservatively ceding plenty of room for a pull-up jumper.  A strategy the Nets tried last season. It’s a defense far different from the Nets aggressive “long ball” scheme that asked its big men to play to the touch, and its position-less wings to “switch” on most pick-and-rolls in search of turnovers. It should be noted that in the first two exhibition, other big men Nets rosters have varied their pick-and-roll coverage – showing and playing to the touch –  compared to the more conservative style of Lopez.

Lopez’s integration on defense is a fair question mark that we hope to explore more as the season progresses.

Lowe also predicts ownership of one teams will change hands during the season, and it might be The Nets:

Mikhail Prokhorov wants to retain control of the Nets even if he can strike a deal with Guggenheim Partners for some minority stake, but no one in the league offices would be surprised if Prokhorov eventually cashes out.

Reports from several outlets and direct statements from team management refute any interest in a sale, but money does talk, and Prokhorov proves quite adept at furthering his fortune.

Either way, the Nets get the opportunity to put predictions and projections behind them on October 29 when they open up the season in Boston.

Grantland –“33 Crazy Predictions for the NBA season”

5 Biggest Brooklyn Nets Rivals

Posted on: October 14th, 2014 by Alex Mazer Comments

 

AP

AP

Who are the 5 biggest rivals to the Brooklyn Nets? You may be surprised to find out.

next-2

 

AP

AP

What do you know about your Brooklyn Nets' coaching staff? If your answer is “not much,” you’ve come to the right place.
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The BrooklyKnight was always doomed.
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AP

AP

Preseason officially kicked off this past week, with the Nets winning each of their first two exhibitions against Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Sacramento Kings. They've got four more games and under three weeks until the start of the regular season.

They've undergone an exhausting journey since Wednesday, flying from New Jersey to Shanghai to Beijing as a part of the NBA's Global Games initiative. They've got plans to go sightseeing tomorrow, but the trip has left some players wanting to spend their time recuperating. "Man, I'm gonna be honest with you, I'm probably going to be sleeping," Joe Johnson joked about the trip.

But for some, the journey isn't about promoting the NBA's global brand: it's just about sticking around at all.
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AP

AP

Reigning NBA MVP and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot and will require surgery, the Thunder announced today. The Thunder did not give a specific timetable for Durant's return, citing a typical recovery time of six to eight weeks.

The injury will rule Durant out of the Brooklyn Nets home opener on November 3rd, and barring a speedy recovery, also likely means he won't play against the Nets on November 22nd, the only two games the two teams play this year.

Durant has led the NBA in scoring for five consecutive seasons, averaging 29.3 points per game in that span and a career-high 32 points per game last season.

 

In a tightly contested game, the Nets struck final blood thanks to a big late shot by Mirza Teletovic, beating the Sacramento Kings 97-95 in Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Arena in the first of two preseason NBA Global Games in China.

With the lead waffling back and forth, Mirza Teletovic hit a three-pointer with 56.2 seconds left, putting them up for good. Four Nets scored in double figures, led by Brook Lopez, who finished with 18 points on 6-13 shooting in 25 minutes.

Assistant Paul Westphal coached in place of Lionel Hollins, who sat out with an undisclosed illness.

Preseason is never an indicator of future success in any statistical sense. Teams are too busy tinkering with different lineups and looks. Players spend the time re-acclimating to NBA speed, particularly players coming back from injury. But while little of what you'll see in the box score is reflective of what you'll see in the regular season, it can sometimes be an indicator of different playing styles and comfort levels.

Some notes on the night:
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