Get to the end. I promise it's worth it.
In honor of Brooklyn's inaugural season, we're rolling out analysis, highlights, and more on each Brooklyn Nets player, one per day. Welcome to Tornike Shengelia Day, AKA #TokoLoco.
Nets forward Tornike Shengelia played 93 minutes in 19 games this season. To put that in context, Chicago guard Jimmy Butler played 96 minutes in Games 6 and 7 of the Nets/Bulls series. Toko didn't even dress for either of those games, or any playoff games for that matter.... MORE →
Brooklyn Nets rookie Tornike Shengelia hasn't gotten much playing time this season -- prior to Monday night's game, the 54th overall pick from Georgia only played 67 minutes the entire season, doing little of consequence in his time on the floor. But with four starters and two bench players resting, Shengelia got his biggest minutes of his career, and he delivered with his first career double-double: 14 points, 11 rebounds, 5-13 shooting from the field, and a team-high +19 in 25 minutes.
Shengelia also recorded two blocks and forced a five-second violation with his on-inbounds defense.
In game 81, with four of five starters, Role Star Hip Hop Keith Bogans, and immortal skeleton Jerry Stackhouse all sitting out with various "ailments," The Brooklyn Nets still pulled out a 106-101 victory over the Washington Wizards, thanks to the greatest, most absurd bench mob performance ever. Between a 20-10 game from Andray Blatche that barely begins to describe his night, a 20-9 game from Kris Humphries, Tornike Shengelia's first career double-double, Tyshawn Taylor's 3-for-3 night from deep, and Mirza Teletovic's two threes, the Nets barely missed their starters.
Watch the bench mob in its most glorious performance of the season:
wheels up ✈✈..
— tyshawn taylor (@tyshawntaylor) March 27, 2013
Once again, the Brooklyn Nets announced today that they have recalled rookies Tyshawn Taylor and Toko Shengelia from the Springfield Armor, the Nets D-League affiliate. This will the the fifth and fourth times that the Nets have recalled both players, respectively. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, NBA teams are allowed to send and recall players in their first two years to the D-League as many times as they wish.
In 10 games with the Armor this season, the seldom-used forward Shengelia has posted some fantastic numbers; 24.3 PPG, 8.2 REB, 4.0 AST, and 2.3 STLS. His career high came on January 24th vs. the Maine Red Claws when he dropped 39 points to go along with 18 boards.
As for Taylor, his numbers are not too shabby either; 24.6 PPG, 7.5 AST, and 4.1 REB. He has played eight games in the Developmental League this season and his career high came in his D-League debut on December 21st against the Erie Bayhwaks. Taylor scored 32 points in that game.
Both players will re-join the team Thursday in time for Friday night's game against the Denver Nuggets.
Shengelia finished with 27 points on 11-21 shooting (2-3 from deep), adding six rebounds. Taylor finished with 25 points on 10-16 shooting (also 2-3 from deep), adding seven assists, but also seven turnovers. Former first-round pick Dominique Jones led the Armor with 28 points and nine assists.
The game story, per the Armor:
The Armor (17-26) held a 66-54 halftime lead and led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter, but the Toros (24-18) made their move in the fourth quarter. Trailing by 17 points (99-82) heading into the fourth, Austin began the quarter on a 19-2 run to erase the entire Armor advantage. Springfield battled back to earn a seven-point lead (121-114) with 40.9 seconds to go, but the Toros ended regulation on a 7-0 run, punctuated by a JaMychal Green layup, to send the game into overtime.
The Toros’ Lester Hudson buried back-to-back threes to start the three-minute overtime period and Austin never looked back. Kris Joseph got the Armor within four points with a driving layup, but another Green layup pushed the Toros’ lead back to six points, 129-123, as Austin held on for the road victory.
D-League player of the week Willie Reed of #CallWillieUp fame did not dress due to bursitis in his right elbow.
Shengelia finished last night's Armor game with 15 points, five rebounds, and two assists; Taylor finished with 21 points, eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. The Armor lost to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 121-106.
Our friends at Brooklyn Based (a great source for stuff to do and things to eat in Brooklyn) interviewed Toko Shenegalia, who, as they note, is the closest thing the Brooklyn Nets have to someone actual living in Brooklyn. His cousins live in Bensonhurst.
When Steven Weinberg asked Toko where in Brooklyn he would take his girlfriend for dinner he says Nobu -- which, yes, is in Manhattan. He describes the spectacularly good and expensive and acclaimed restaurant as "a pretty good place."
If the Brooklyn Nets are going to insist on not living in Brooklyn, could they at least eat here?
Other interesting bit in the brief interview:
How are home games in Brooklyn different from games you’ve played in other places?
In Europe it’s big difference I would say. For instance some of the team fans just stand the whole game and sing and dance, and it doesn’t stop. They would be throwing coins and everything on the court. So, pretty much crazy, crazier fans than we have here.
Brooklyn fans are less crazy than Europeans? Are we going to take that?
This is just the third time this season that the Nets have assigned Taylor to the Armor. He has played a total of four games, putting up special numbers; 26.5 PPG, 7.5 AST, 4.3 REB, shooting 45.7% FG, 38.5% from three, and 73.9% from the free throw line. He has averaged 41 minutes in those four games. In Brooklyn, Taylor has averaged just over five minutes per game while only playing in 32 of the Nets' 65 games this season.
This is Shengelia's fourth stint with the Armor. In six Springfield games, Shengelia too has put up gaudy numbers; 26.8 PPG, 9.2 REB, 5.0 AST, shooting 57.7% FG, 41.4% from three and 69.8% FT. He has averaged 37.8 MPG with the Armor. With the Nets, Shengelia has yet to crack the rotation this season. The 21-year old Georgian rookie has averaged just under four minutes per contest with the Nets with his season high in minutes coming in a blowout loss to the Miami Heat in just the Nets' third game of the season, back on November 7th.
The Armor play tonight vs. Fort Wayne at 7:00pm while the Nets play their next game Sunday at home vs. the Atlanta Hawks. It is unknown how long the two neophytes will stay in the Developmental League.
In six games for the Armor this season, Shengelia averaged of 26.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.7 steals per game on 57.7% shooting from the field. It would not be shocking in the least to see the Nets send him down again to get more playing time if he can't crack the rotation in Brooklyn.
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|