THE PAST AND THE FUTURE AND THE *croaks*

AP

Monday afternoon, ESPN released its Summer Forecast of the NBA’s Eastern Conference ranking the Brooklyn Nets as the eighth seed. The forecast record was not any better at 39-43.

Each year, ESPN’s Forecast sets off a series of contentious debates among local fan bases, and sure enough, Brooklyn Nets fans are irritated by the ranking:


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Brooklyn Nets rookie Markel Brown took over the Nets official Twitter account to answer some fan questions this weekend. As Brown is most known for his dunks, most questions were about his high-flying prowess.

The question on most minds: could Brown join in on the All-Star Weekend Sprite Slam Dunk contest, scheduled to take place at Barclays Center this year?
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Is Joe Johnson a Hall of Famer?

Posted on: August 11th, 2014 by Ryan Carbain Comments

 

Dwyane Wade, Chris Andersen, Joe Johnson

Seven-Time All Star and likely Hall of Famer Joe Johnson (AP)

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Markel Brown out 4-6 weeks

Posted on: August 11th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Brooklyn Nets rookie Markel Brown broke a bone in his right hand while working out in Las Vegas on Monday, the team announced this afternoon.

Brown suffered a non-displaced fracture in the fourth metacarpal in his right hand, and is expected to miss four to six weeks. He has been fitted for a cast.

Four to six weeks means it's likely he'll play in training camp, which starts in late September. That means we shouldn't miss any of this come opening day.

 

2015 All-Star New York Basketball

The Barclays Center could host the DNC

On Monday officials from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) plan to visit the Barclays Center as part of a two-day tour intended to exhibit Brooklyn as a viable host for the party’s 2016 Presidential Convention.

The Associated Press reports that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a borough resident, and host of other New York officials will escort members of the DNC’s Technical Advisory Group around Brooklyn and Manhattan to sell Brooklyn as an acceptable destination. Since the Borough's hotels cannot accommodate all the expected visitors, Manhattan's hospitality sector and the City's public transit systems are also central to the presentation.

The DNC visitors will take in the usual sights: The Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn Academy of Arts, but The Brooklyn Nets franchise also features prominently in the pitch. The Nets’ home, the Barclays Center, will host the Convention’s main activities and DNC participants will receive customized Nets jerseys. The Brooklyn Game sources added that the retirement of The Brooklyn Knight increased the Borough’s chances of landing the convention exponentially.

Best of luck, Brooklyn. A party convention is an economic boon regardless of party affiliation.

AP – NYC to showcase Brooklyn to Dems in convention bid

 

LeBron James, Mason Plumlee

Another decent case for more  Plumlee minutes. (AP)

Mason Plumlee’s summer continues to get better. Fresh off surviving a round of cuts on the U.S. Men’s National Basketball Team, ESPN Analyst Bradford Doolittle made the case that Plumlee  deserves more minutes during the ’14-’15 season.

From Doolittle’s ESPN Insider piece (subscription required): “Plumlee's 19.0 PER was a revelation for the Nets a season ago, as he played 1,275 minutes and started 22 games to help Brooklyn survive the lost season of Brook Lopez.” Doolittle points to his brother Miles development in year two and a Brooklyn atmosphere that may call for Plumlee to step up: Andray Blatche is gone, Kevin Garnett  may not be able to contribute “much more than 20 minutes per night,” and concerns remain about Brook Lopez’s health.

Doolittle noted Lionel Hollins propensity to play traditional big man lineups as another reason Nets fans should see more of Plumlee on the court. Specifically, for those fans calling for Plumlee at the power forward spot, Doolitte cited Plumlee’s potential defensive prowess at the 4:

He played much more in the middle than at power forward as a rookie, but according to 82games.com, his defensive PER was much better at the 4. Plumlee's numbers at Synergy Sports Technologies suggest he wasn't comfortable stepping out against jump-shooters, but he's got the mobility and athleticism to guard most 4s.

Finally, Doolittle believes that Plumlee’s strong inside presence on the offensive end complements the strong face up games that the rest of The Nets group of bigs possess.  At the four or the five, Doolittle, like quite a few Nets fans, think Plumlee can play along with Lopez, Garnett or Teletovic (and what big couldn’t work with a stretch 4 like MT3) with relative ease.

All signs point to a bigger role for Plumlee next year, regardless of his status with the USA Men’s Basketball Team.

ESPN – Players who deserve more minutes

Is Deron Williams slow?

Posted on: August 7th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

AP

AP

How fast is Deron Williams?

It's a simple question that used to be impossible to answer definitively. But now, thanks to NBA.com's newly public optical tracking data, we can learn not just how fast Deron Williams ran, we can also figure out how his speed evolved over the course of last season.

Let's start with this:
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Today's creepy story of the day comes from NBC New York:
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Nets draft pick headed overseas

Posted on: August 6th, 2014 by Alex Mazer Comments

 

San Diego St Wyoming Basketball

Xavier Thames (AP)

Brooklyn Nets draftee Xavier Thames is headed overseas.
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The large-scale Brooklyn development that essentially brought both the Nets and The Barclays Center to Brooklyn underwent a rebranding of its own yesterday: “Pacific Park.”

The former "Atlantic Yards" development, consisting of 22 acres anchored by the Barclays Center, has long been a lightning rod for criticism among various local community associations. The principal developer, Forest City Ratner, formerly run by Barclays Center majority owner and Nets minority owner Bruce Ratner, claims the rebrand signifies a new phase of the project “from pre-development to vertical.”

Jessica Dailey of Curbed.com takes note that it “probably doesn't hurt that a new name also sloughs off associations with past lawsuits, controversies over eminent domain, and visceral community opposition.”

The first building to break ground will be 535 Carlton, a 285,000-square foot building with 18 stories and 298 rental units.  In order to meet development requirements, the new building plans to be 100% affordable.

The new architect on the project, COOKFOX, envisions a connection with the neighborhood: keeping the base of the building low, made of familiar brown brick customary of a traditional Brooklyn townhouse, and a setback that includes a communal terrace and gardening plot.

You can learn more about the project, including project renderings, here.

Brooklyn, what do you think about Pacific Park?

 

Practices for the United States national men's basketball team pick back up on August 14th, so Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee has about one week before he continues his training against some of the best players in the world.

In the meantime, Plumlee returned home and took part in the McDonald's Community Clinic, at the practice court at Barclays Center Tuesday morning. The clinic was hosted in conjunction with Project S.Y.L.V.I.A (Saving Youth Lives through Vision, Intellect, and Athletics), a non-profit from Coney Island dedicated to giving kids opportunities through athletics, and 40 kids from the ages of five to 11 had the opportunity to play basketball with Plumlee.

Plumlee made the "last 16" for the US national team, and will have to survive at least another round of cuts if he wants to make the final 12-man roster. But hey, if Plumlee can take on 40 kids, he can definitely take on DeMarcus Cousins.

 

Becky Hammon

Becky Hammon, attending a San Antonio Spurs playoff game. (AP)

When the rest of the NBA focused their efforts on national players, the Spurs searched overseas to discover new talent. After the success of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, the league followed suit. Now, while much of the league recycles head coaches and employs assistant retreads, the Spurs found another untapped source to fill out its coaching staff: the WNBA.

In the most Gregg Popovich way possible, the Spurs announced that the team hired Becky Hammon, a soon-to-be-retired WNBA Six-Time All Star, as an assistant coach.  There was no pomp and circumstance, just a brief press release and a scheduled media availability session (which Pop, predictably, will not attend).

In the NBA world, it’s history: Hammons is the first woman to serve as a full-time assistant with a NBA franchise (Lisa Boyer served as a part-time assistant on the 2001-02 Cleveland Cavaliers). In the cantankerous world of Popovich, she’s just another assistant coach, just as Tim Duncan, one of the top ten players to ever play in the NBA, is just another player.

Why was she hired? Her credentials from the Spurs are below, and they should speak for themselves. But there’s another instance of why she’ll fit in just fine in San Antonio’s culture. Last year, while recovering from injury, she joined the Spurs coaching staff as an unofficial intern.

From the San Antonio Express News:

“I’m kind of just there, a fly on the wall soaking up how they run things over there in the film sessions,” Hammon told the Express-News’ Mike Monroe. “I get a lot out of their film sessions, just listening to the coaches go back and forth on what they think is happening on certain plays."

By all accounts, she impressed players and coaches alike. Then the man who might know Pop the best, the individual who served as the building block of a great franchise chimed in: “She’s willing to learn. Pop is willing to have anyone who has that perspective.”

Duncan learned to cede minutes to elongate his career and win another championship. Kawhi Leonard learned a new jump shot to potentially become of the NBA’s next stars. Bold prediction: Becky Hammon is willing to learn, and I think she’ll wind up alright on the bench.

The Spurs found another source of talent today, it’s going to be fun watch the league follow suit again.

From the Spurs’ official release:

A six-time WNBA All-Star, Hammon has spent the last eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars. She is the Stars all-time leader in assists (1,112) and three-point field goals made (493) while ranking second in franchise history in points (3,442) and games (218). In 2012 Hammon was the top vote getter for the Stars All-Decade Team.

In her WNBA career Hammon has appeared in 445 regular season games, averaging 13.1 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 28.0 minutes. She has earned All-WNBA First Team honors twice (in 2007 and 2009) and was named to the All-WNBA Second Team in 2005 and 2008.

A three-time All-American at Colorado State, Hammon went unpicked in the 1999 WNBA Draft. She signed with the New York Liberty in May of 1999 and spent eight seasons with the Liberty before being traded to the Stars in a draft night deal in 2007.