Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Danny Ainge

Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace (not pictured) have a fresh start in Boston. (AP)

After their morning shootaround at Barclays Center, Gerald Wallace and MarShon Brooks were involved in a shooting contest, the final shot from about 35 feet out. As they were playing, Kris Humphries and Keith Bogans iced down various parts of their body, as is commonplace for veterans after practices.

The weird part: unlike last season, the four wore green uniforms, visitors in the Brooklyn arena for the first time in their careers. ... MORE →

 

Former Nets guard Keith Bogans. (AP)

The one financial unknown in this blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics is Keith Bogans's: while all other contracts are set, the Nets have to sign-and-trade Bogans to make this deal work. So how much will he earn? It's more than you think.... MORE →

 

Previous: C.J. Watson Next: Kris Humphries

 
A BRIEF FORAY INTO KEITH BOGANS BEING WITHHOLDING:

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

Picture 1 of 8

"hey keith let me shoot" "nope sorry luc"

By The Numbers: 74 G, 23 GS, 19.0 MPG, 4.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.1 BPG, .380 FG%, .343 3P%, .647 FT%, .533 TS%, .528 eFG%

Advanced: 6.69 PER, 105 ORtg, 110 DRtg, 11.2 USG%, 1.3 ORB%, 8.8 DRB%, 5.0 TRB%, 8.1 AST%, 1.1 STL%, 0.2 BLK%, -2.7 estimated wins added

WATCH: Keith Bogans's 2012-13 Brooklyn Nets Highlights

Look at that video above. That's everything Keith Bogans did this season, wrapped up in one two-minute video. He hit open three-pointers, gave hard fouls to opponents to prevent easy baskets, and didn't back down from anyone. That's it. That was the Keith Bogans story.

He finished the season with the third-worst PER of all qualifying small forwards. So why did I spend most of the season clamoring for Bogans to play more minutes? Why did I go nuts convincing the Nets to play more smallball, starting Bogans & Joe Johnson on the wings, with Gerald Wallace at power forward? Why did I coin Bogans's new nickname "Role Star Hip Hop?"
... MORE →

 

Joe Johnson, Evan Turner

Joe Johnson (AP)

Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson is listed as a game-time decision for tonight's game against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Brooklyn Nets announced today. After missing five games with a quad contusion and to rest his sore heel, Johnson returned to the lineup and scored 27 points on 9-27 shooting in two games. According to Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York, Johnson feels there's a good chance he'll play, but he's not sure.

Backup guard Keith Bogans is officially out with a tight lower back, meaning that if Johnson is unavailable, there's a good chance second-year guard MarShon Brooks would start. Brooks scored a career-high 27 points (VIDEO) on 12-16 shooting and dished out seven assists (tying a career high) in his only start this season, a 113-95 Nets victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 3rd.

Tonight is the first game of the second-to-last back-to-back the Nets will play this season. They play the 76ers in Brooklyn tonight before traveling to Boston to face the Boston Celtics tomorrow.

 

I'm probably one of the only ones that gets on his ass about everything. So I think he appreciates that. I think we all need it, but I give it to him a little more than everybody else. ... When I first got here, I took a liking to Deron. We're cool. We never even argued on the court before. -- Keith Bogans

How does my seat cushion taste? -- Deron Williams

 

Check out the advanced box score from last night's 111-93 Brooklyn Nets slaughterhouse here.

Some final thoughts:

  • I've already expounded on how unreal Reggie Evans was last night, but just a cursory look at the numbers: 37.8% total rebound percentage (40.6% on NBA.com -- they're slightly different because of how the two sites calculate possessions), about four times the league average. Over 35% both on offensive AND defensive rebounds. He had more rebounds than the entire Trail Blazers team in the first half (14-13) and nearly led them after three quarters (21 to the Blazers' 22). It was his seventh 20-rebound game this season but also his season-high in assists and the seventh time he recorded more assists than turnovers.

    So add it all up: A career high in rebounds, a season high in assists, a season high in points that tied his career high, and his highest field goal percentage with more than 7 attempts in a game? Yup, I'm comfortable saying that this was the best game of Reggie Evans's career. The only shame is that he wasn't around to do it in front of the fans in Brooklyn. Guess he'll have to do it again.

  • Deron Williams had his quietest post-All Star Game performance yet, Joe Johnson didn't play, and the Nets blew out their opponent by the first quarter. So that happened.

  • Though the road trip is only a minor indication, it appears that Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo has settled on a rotation, and Mirza Teletovic -- who only entered the game in the fourth quarter, long after garbage time had kicked in -- is not in it. Although the numbers will change when Joe Johnson returns and Reggie Evans doesn't have the night of his life, you can figure how the Nets will use their minutes going forward: 35ish for Johnson & Williams, 30 for Lopez, 25-29 for Wallace & Evans, 15-20 for Blatche/Watson/Bogans, closer to 10-15 for Humphries/Brooks, and filling in the blanks with Stackhouse/Teletovic.

  • Another day, another 11 points on 7 field goal attempts and three corner threes for Keith Bogans. I'm not saying but I'm just saying.

  • It looks like Gerald Wallace finally threw some trash in the trash can. Since he called himself out for his complete inability to make a layup, Wallace has shot 70.6% in the restricted area and half of his attempts from within five feet. He's still maddeningly unable to hit three-pointers above the corners, but baby steps, right?

  • Bears repeating: the Nets got 74 points in the paint last night, all from within five feet, and attempted more than double their season average from that area. 37 field goals on 58 attempts when your season average is 25.9 attempts per game? Solid way to win a game.

  • I'll close on a pace note: the Nets average the second-slowest pace in the NBA, humming around 90 possessions per game, but last night's game was closer to 95, according to NBA.com's estimate, and that's even considering the ridiculous amount of second chances they had to extend possessions. It's a pace that would rank them 13th in the NBA. Maybe they are good when they run a bit more.
  •  

    With just twelve games left in their inaugural season in New York City, the Brooklyn Nets have clinched a playoff spot and are on their way to somewhere between the third and sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. They've got a talented enough roster to beat most teams in the East (the Miami Heat excluded -- sorry), but have struggled with inconsistency this season: an 11-4 start followed by a 3-10 collapse followed by a coach firing followed by a 12-3 start to the interim coach's career... you get the idea. It's been a roller coaster.

    But: there is the potential for a smooth ride into the playoffs. Here are five things the Brooklyn Nets can improve on heading into their first postseason in Brooklyn.

    Start Here: 1 of 5

     

    After suffering a quad contusion Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson will sit out against tonight his former team, the Phoenix Suns. Nets guard Keith Bogans will start in his place.

    Though I've touted Bogans here many times as the preeminent fourth-fifth option on this team, I'm concerned about playing him with two other offensive liabilities in Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace. Bogans is best when he's able to hide away from the team's most effective scorers and get open threes; with Wallace struggling to score and Evans struggling to dribble, Bogans might be forced to create more of his own offense than usual.

    That said: the Nets playing the 23-47 Phoenix Suns.

    Johnson is unsure of his status beyond tonight, telling Stefan Bondy when asked about the possibility of playing Wednesday "I couldn't even tell you right now."

     

    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 →

     

    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