After three full weeks without leaving the bench, even when healthy or in garbage time, Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries made his return to the rotation Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, logging first-quarter minutes over Mirza Teletovic as the first power forward off the bench. Humphries responded positively, swatting a shot off the backboard that led to center Andray Blatche leading the break and setting up guard C.J. Watson for an open 3.

Watch, of only to hear Chris Carrino compare Blatche to Magic Johnson:

 

Check out the advanced box score from last night's 113-96 Nets victory over the Mavericks here.

A few takeaways from last night's game:

  • First and foremost: Check out these two shot charts.

    Pretty similar, right? The first is Lopez's shot chart in his game last season in Dallas, when he put up 38 points in a 93-92 victory. The second is Lopez's short chart from last night's game in Dallas. Lopez took care of offensive business in nearly the exact same fashion: hanging around the rim, shooting just one or two jumpers, and dismantling Dallas's interior defense with cuts to the basket and post-ups that Chris Kaman didn't know how to defend. Too bad they won't face off in the playoffs.

  • Similarly encouraging: Lopez's 11 rebounds, 18% rebound rate, and seven big offensive rebounds. The Nets and Mavericks shot nearly identically from the field -- 50.6% from Brooklyn, 50% from Dallas -- but the Nets picked up nine more field goal attempts, many thanks to those second chances created by Lopez.

  • I've said it in this space before, but it bears repeating: Deron Williams being great is starting to get mundane and I love it. He got a bit lucky hitting consecutive midrange jumpers in the fourth quarter, but Branch Rickey once said that luck is the residue of design. So, solid design, Deron Williams. A 31-point game in his hometown, a continued trend upward of shots at or near the rim, and another solid game from beyond the arc? Good start to this road trip.

  • Mark Cuban's struggle face is now my new favorite face:
    Mark Cuban Struggle Face

    I do not have the ability to make GIFs. I'm counting on you, internet.

  • Another exciting thing: the Nets were down 10 after the first quarter and won by 17. That type of comeback never happened in previous years. You could often tell the direction of a Nets game after the first 12 minutes, and if they went down 10 last season after one they'd basically pack it up. Not anymore.

  • Worth noting that the Mavericks attacked Lopez and Blatche inside -- as most teams do -- but shot a below-average mark from within five feet (14/26). Usually I think that Lopez is a good man defender in the post but struggles on help; last night I thought the opposite was true.

  • Andray Blatche scored 14 points, all in the second quarter on perfect 6-6 shooting, because Andray Blatche is an indescribable maniac. He hit a fadeaway over Dirk Nowitzki and the space-time continuum began to rip.

  • Mirza Teletovic and MarShon Brooks were the first two players off the bench (with Keith Bogans), played about a two-minute stretch in the first quarter... and then sat until garbage time. Neither player did anything of consequence in either stretch.

  • The Big 3 of Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Brook Lopez was a +13 in seven minutes when they shared the floor with Role Star Hip Hop and three-point/defensive wing specialist Keith Bogans. I'M JUST SAYING.

  • Reggie Evans rebounded 42% of all live rebounds and 66% of all defensive rebounds available when he was on the floor. The league average is 10%. Yawn.

 

Andray Blatche (AP)

Brooklyn Nets center and semi-revelation Andray Blatche will be a free agent this offseason, but according to various reports from this week, his determining factor for his next (or remaining with his current) destination won't be money: he's making that from Washington, and is even willing to accept less to make them pay more.... MORE →

 

Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez

Who fits best next to these guys? The answer may surprise you. (AP)

While you may disagree on the order of importance, any reasonable fan, analyst, or writer would agree that Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez are the three most important players to the Brooklyn Nets. Each player serves as an important fulcrum to the lineup, which is why the Nets play sparse minutes without at least one of them on the floor.

Because of that, I decided to take a look deeper into the numbers, to see how the Nets play when the "Big 3" share minutes with the team's role players. Specifically, I wanted to answer this question: how is the starting lineup best handled with the team's best players?

Because of that, I took a look at five Nets players who have the best chance of shaking up (or getting shaken out of) the rotation as the season winds down. Using the team's plus-minus when the Nets "Big 3" shared the floor with those players as a baseline, here's a list of what I think are the best role players to have in the lineup with those three guys.

Before we look at those five players, here's a list of (dis)honorable mentions... MORE →

 

Brooklyn Nets backup center Andray Blatche is one of the more unconventional scorers in the NBA: rather than a straight back-down or spot-up game, Blatche relies on numerous fakes and creative moves to find small slivers that he can shoot into. Watch him grab an offensive rebound and sneak his way to the opposite side of the basket for a one-handed scoop layup.

My Dinner With Andray

Posted on: February 18th, 2013 by Mark Ginocchio Comments

 

Andray Blatche

Andray Blatche (AP)

MY DINNER WITH ANDRAY

Copyright 2013

ANDRAY BLATCHE
MARK GINOCCHIO

in a film presented by
THE BROOKLYN GAME

[Mark Ginocchio is walking along Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. On the right is the Atlantic Terminal mall and across the street is the Barclays Arena. We hear his voice commenting the action, as a narrator would. This narrating voice will be labeled MARK’S NARRATION to distinguish it from Mark’s actual words within the story]

... MORE →

 

Kris Humphries, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace

Seems like a lifetime ago. (AP)

Though it hasn't always been good, the first half of the first season in Brooklyn Nets history has been nothing if not interesting. A franchise-record start led by Jerry Stackhouse and Reggie Evans, a Coach of the Month fired less than a month later, a sudden resurgence led by an interim coach nobody expected to last long, an inevitable slide, a first-time All-Star voted in only after being snubbed... It's been a roller-coaster ride worthy of Coney Island.

As we slide into the All-Star Break with the Nets all but assured a playoff spot and still very much in the hunt for first place in the Atlantic Division, it only makes sense that we take our game-by-game feature -- grading the game -- and stretch it across the season. In honor of the first half, what follows are midseason grades for each Brooklyn Nets player, plus interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Enjoy. (Or don't. Don't let me tell you what to do.)

  Start: Andray Blatche

Your Josh Smith Trade Ideas

Posted on: February 13th, 2013 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Or; Giving You An Idea Of How Ridiculous The Josh Smith Nets Trade Ideas Are

Josh Smith, reading some of these ideas. (AP)


I'm notoriously bad with ESPN's Trade Machine. Or maybe I'm really good. I honestly don't know because I have a tendency to think that every potential rumored trade is ridiculous, lopsided, or just never going to happen. I second-guess everything constantly because I never believe it's actually going down. That's why when I heard the rumor that the Brooklyn Nets were making a hard push" for Josh Smith, I poo-poo'd it; how in the hell are they going to make that happen? They don't have nearly the assets necessary, I argued. It's just not possible.

But, this is the NBA. Weird trades and stupid signings happen all the time for reasons that remain unclear. I thought that Joe Johnson's contract was untradable. I thought Rashard Lewis was untradable. I thought the Knicks would match up to a billion dollars for Jeremy Lin. I thought the Nets would never end up getting Dwight Howard... Okay, so I was right once. Point being, I always err on the side of trade caution, and so rarely come up with deals I'm comfortable with.

So in lieu of sitting at the Trade Machine for four hours trying to concoct a perfectly balanced three-team trade where everyone can go home ecstatic (I've done this before far more times than I care to admit), I decided to call on you, the amateur Mozarts, to put together your best Josh Smith trade proposals that end with Smith on the Brooklyn Nets. And you guys delivered: about fifty trade proposals in my twitter mentions in 15 minutes. I've highlighted a few that I think deserve comment in the following sections.

Now, I'd like to preface this by saying I personally think all of these are mildly ridiculous -- especially the Wall of Shame, which I saved for last. But given my track record, that's probably a good sign that Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry considers at least one of them mildly plausible. This is where amazing happens, right?

Start Here: The Obvious

 

Andray Blatche, in the midst of a career season, filled out some Valentine's Day cards with the help of BCTV's Alyonka Larionov. She was grateful enough to share Blatche's message to Joe Johnson for us through her Twitter account: ... MORE →

 

Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, in a trade rumors roundup, cited multiple sources stating that the Brooklyn Nets have an interest in trading backup center Andray Blatche, seeking a draft pick in return. According to Amico, Portland is looking to shore up its league-worst bench and could be interested in the deal.

Blatche has undergone a sharp turnaround since his years in Washington, shooting a career-high 49.6% from the field and posting a 22.7 player efficiency rating, tied for 12th-best in the NBA. He had struggled in recent weeks until helping carry the Nets past the shorthanded Chicago Bulls Friday night, and was allegedly involved in a sexual assault case in Philadelphia at the beginning of the month.

A league source at NetsDaily dismissed the rumor.

Read More:

Fox Sports Ohio -- NBA Report: Ferry all the potential trade rage

NetsDaily -- Andray Blatche on the trading block?

 

MarShon Brooks, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler

Brooks finds Lopez for a dunk in the 1st. (AP)

With MarShon Brooks (9 points) and Andray Blatche (11) leading the charge in the fourth quarter, with Deron Williams rendered ineffective in the second half, with Joe Johnson battling a flu, with Brook Lopez sitting the entire(!) fourth quarter, the shorthanded Chicago Bulls had no answer for the might-as-well-have-been-shorthanded Brooklyn Nets, and Brooklyn escaped with a 93-89 victory over Chicago at Barclays Center AKA The Black House in Brooklyn. The bench mob returned in full force, particularly in the fourth quarter; the Nets outscored the Bulls 30-22 in the final twelve minutes, 25 of those points coming from the bench.

“I wouldn’t say I went with Blatche over Lopez, that group was going so good," Brooklyn Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said after the game, later adding that "Andray had it going and he was making good decisions.”

He was... MORE →