Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol

AP

Recently, Brooklyn Nets fans have clamored to fill what seems like the team's #1 weakness: the need for a power forward/big man that can defend and score. As endearing as Reggie Evans' beard is, his lack of an offensive game has begun to wear on some folks, and it's clear he's best suited coming off the bench to provide energy in the second unit. Mirza Teletovic & Kris Humphries both have had hot & cold stretches all season.

But it isn't that easy. Nets GM Billy King can't just pick a great power forward off the Great Power Forward Tree, and boom, all the problems are fixed and the Nets cruise their way to championship behind their big man tandem of Brook Lopez and Great Power Forward. But similarly, there's no question that there are big men out there that the Nets can at least make a phone call about.

So we're going roundtable-style at The Brooklyn Game: our writers & analysts look at five potentially available power forwards (and the one center that we have to look at, because, well, we have to), how they fit with Brooklyn, and how realistic an acquisition is.

Onward!

Start here: Paul Millsap

 

James Harden, Deron Williams

Williams reacts to his ejection. (AP)

For the second straight away game, the Brooklyn Nets faced a Western Conference opponent in said Western Conference opponent's house, and for the second straight away game, the Brooklyn Nets left the court an embarrassed loser, this time the recipient of a 119-106 blowout at the hands of the Houston Rockets in Houston. The Rockets kept a respectable distance between themselves and Brooklyn throughout, building a 13-point lead at the half and not allowing the Nets within eight for the remainder of the game. The Nets were beat soundly -- Chandler Parsons flirted with a triple-double, James Harden led all scorers with 29 points, and Omer Asik lazed up a 20-16. Deron Williams led the Brooklyn Nets with 27 points (20 in the first quarter) and 11 assists, but his frustration boiled over in the final minute, leading to an ejection.

For the second straight game, their opponent exploited Brooklyn's major weaknesses on the way to victory... MORE →

 

Grade the Game at any time!

Tonight: The 25-16 Brooklyn Nets take on the 17-21 Minnesota Timberwolves at 8:00 P.M. EST, at Target Center in Minnesota. The Nets are 11-2 since pseudointerim coach P.J. Carlesimo replaced Avery Johnson. The Timberwolves have lost six of their last seven games, with those six losses coming at an average of 12.5 points per game.

Watch & Listen: The game is broadcast on YES Network. Ian Eagle & Mike Fratello are on the call. The game is radio simulcast on WFAN, and in Spanish on WADO.

Out: The Timberwolves' injury report resembles the New Jersey Nets of the past two years: they're down six players, three of them full-time starters. Most notably they're without starting frontcourt Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic, but are also down Brandon Roy, Malcolm Lee, Alexey Shved, and Chase Budinger. That's 86 combined starts between the six players.

The Nets? Clean bill.

More on tonight's matchup after the jump... MORE →

 

Deron Williams & Brooklyn will try to even up the cross-borough series today. (AP)

The Brooklyn Game goes roundtable-style to break down today's final Nets-Knicks matchup... MORE →

 

Keith Bogans is usually in the background -- and he's okay with that. (AP/Sue Ogrocki)

In a superstar-driven league, players like Brooklyn Nets backup shooting guard Keith Bogans often come and go with nary a second look. On one of the highest-profile, media-frenzied franchises in all of professional sports, Bogans doesn't put up flashy numbers, doesn't have a notable contract or a famous entourage, and as the classic journeyman, Bogans normally slips out without so much as one recorder shoved in his face for a post-game quote or discussion at practice.

(In fact, when I approached Bogans to speak with him, he looked quizzically at me. "What's this about?")... MORE →

 

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- #Undefeatedin2013 is the new mantra here in Brooklyn, as the Brooklyn Nets win their seventh straight game and open the new year 6-0 with a 113-106 victory over the Toronto Raptors, in Brooklyn at Barclays Center AKA The Black House.

The Nets unleashed a somewhat new brand of offense tonight, eschewing their usual half-court style for more deliberate possessions, more looks earlier in the shot clock, and more of a desire to push the ball down Toronto's defense. Though the exact pace number won't show it -- the Nets played an estimated 91 possessions tonight, barely above their season average -- the team played well above their season average in the first half before slowing it down a bit in the second.

The team, which currently ranks 29th out of 30 NBA teams in pace (only the New Orleans Hornets play a slower game), gave a universal response: faster, though not rushed, works for them.... MORE →

 

In the midst of their best stretch this season, the Brooklyn Nets found themselves trailing the Indiana Pacers -- boasters of the league's best defense -- heading into the fourth quarter.

As Devin noted last night, however, the Nets managed to flip the script on the Pacers and kill them with hard drives to the rim, followed by kick outs to shooters – an effective strategy for a team with such capable shot-blockers as the Pacers.

One possession in particular stuck out to me for its rareness in appearance, and for the potential it presents to the Nets offense.

At the height of the Nets’ game-clinching run in the fourth quarter... MORE →

 

The Brooklyn Nets shocked the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thunder fans, and Nets fans alike last night by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 16-2 at home and 24-6 on the season before last night, 110-93. One of the Nets' biggest strengths last night came from their long-distance marksmanship, as the team finished 9-17 from beyond the arc.

The Nets were able to get a variety of open shots by initiating offense on or going towards the right side of the floor, then quickly -- added emphasis on quickly -- swinging the ball left into space once the defense committed.

Check out the Nets' first-half shot distribution chart below:

That's just three shots from the right side of the floor, and forty from the left and center.

Most notably, the Nets had big success when they were able to get the ball in the left corner, hitting five of six left corner 3's in the first half. Let's take a look.... MORE →

 

Avery Johnson Brooklyn Nets

(AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

I've approached criticism of Brooklyn Nets coach Avery Johnson -- bountiful, if you've read this blog's comments or my Twitter mentions -- with a long-term vision approach. I'm perfectly willing to throw out the past two seasons because of the horrendous team; I don't care much if he can turn a bad team below average, moreso how he can lead a very good team into greatness. Johnson found success turning an offensive-minded Dallas team into a top-10 defense; with a similarly skilled roster, I was excited to see how he could maintain an excellent offensive presence while improving the defensive efficiency in Brooklyn.

To his credit, the defense is there. In bits and pieces, but it's there. Opponents aren't getting in the lane as much this year, the Nets are defending the three-point shot more effectively, and once-sieve Brook Lopez has begun to look like a capable (if not dominating) defensive threat. The offense is still more effective than the defense, but the Nets have made defensive, systemic strides this season. Johnson won Coach of the Month in November after leading the Nets to their best start in franchise history, and I agree with the decision.

But lately, it's not the defense that's worried me... MORE →

 

With 3:02 left in the fourth quarter, Joe Johnson missed a floater at the rim. As it was falling out, Andray Blatche, in perfect position to grab an offensive rebound, tipped in an easy put-back that would have put the Nets up 93-91. After about four seconds of the Knicks bench yelling, referee Bill Kennedy called the shot offensive interference.

I, in perfectly emotional form, went ballistic about it:... MORE →

Nets-Knicks: Pregame Primer

Posted on: December 11th, 2012 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Grade the players at any time!

Game Info: The New York Knicks (15-5) take on the Brooklyn Nets (11-8) tonight at 7:00 P.M. at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The game will be televised on YES Network and nationally on ESPN. Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel have the call on YES. WFAN has the radio call, WADO has the Spanish radio call.

OUT: Brook Lopez for the Nets. Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, Marcus Camby for the Knicks.

Last time: The Nets beat the Knicks 96-89 in overtime at Barclays Center on November 26th. The Knicks were without Jason Kidd, the Nets were with Brook Lopez, who led the Nets with 22 points in their last meeting.

Starters: ... MORE →

 

Did you know that the Brooklyn Nets play a game tonight? Against the New York Knicks? At 7:00 P.M. at Barclays Center?

I know, I know. Who would've thunk?

Seriously, tonight will hopefully be another interesting matchup between these two teams -- the Brooklyn Nets took the last contest 96-89 in overtime, but they'll be without starting center Brook Lopez this time. The Knicks are as full-strength as they've been all season, missing Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, and Marcus Camby.

Joining me to look at this game from the Knicks' perspective is Jim Cavan of ESPN TrueHoop Knicks affiliate Knickerblogger.

Onward!

Jim Cavan on the New York Knicks:

 
Devin: On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you in the Knicks winning tonight's game now that we know Brook Lopez will sit?... MORE →