Nets’ youngsters look to ruin Bulls’ plans for the postseason

(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Opponent: Chicago Bulls Time: 8:00 PM EST Location: United Center, Chicago, IL Watch: YES Network Listen: WCBS 880 AM Well, here we are, folks. Game 82. We did it. We made it through another season of Brooklyn Nets basketball. But before we stick a fork in this strangely-fun-but-also-major-bummer of a season, we’ve got one more […]

Nets look to match last year’s win total against Boston

(AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)


by Ben Nadeau


Resolution: Keep improving, keep doin' you


After the aforementioned injuries to Jeremy Lin and Greivis Vasquez,  Isaiah Whitehead was hurled into the fire against the likes of Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and Damian Lillard -- and, hey, for a second round rookie, he's covered ground pretty quickly. 


At the beginning of the season, Whitehead was prone to silly turnovers -- most often by jumping without an endgame in mind -- and struggled to tap into his range. With almost half a season under his belt now, Whitehead has proven to be a capable game manager and, if he starts hitting the three-pointer more consistently, can be a regular contributor to the crippled side. Of course, his assist numbers aren't particularly great, although that's fair given Atkinson's rapid-ball movement offense, but he's saved the Nets from having a historically poor season in all likelihood.


In 2017, Whitehead should look to continue working that #BrooklynGrit moxie, get to the free throw line more, and find that three-point shooting range that made him a collegiate star at Seton Hall.


It's an incredibly early diagnosis on Whitehead, but Atkinson must be pleased with the rookie's play and his quickly matured confidence way ahead of schedule.

Opponent: Boston Celtics Time: 7:30 PM EST Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts Watch: YES Network Listen: WCBS 880 AM With two games remaining on the schedule, the Brooklyn Nets have a chance to match, or even surpass, last year’s modest win total of 21. While last year’s team yielded the third-worst record, and subsequently the third […]

Nets Look to Beat the Bulls in Home Finale

Wade

Nets Look to Beat the Bulls in Home Finale Opponent: Chicago Bulls Time: 5:00 PM EST  Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Watch: YES Network, CSN Philly, Fox Sports GO  Listen: WCBS 880 AM The Brooklyn Nets’ three-game winning streak went to a halt on Thursday night. They lost to the Orlando Magic on the road, […]

Nets look to win two straight at home

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


by Justis Doucet


Resolution: Keep firing three-pointers, but use your length on the defensive boards to limit second-chance points


The NBA has turned into a shooter's league and that’s no exception for traditional NBA big men. This year, Brook Lopez has extended his range outside the arc, connecting on 37% of his three-pointers this season -- but it's a completely new unearthed skill for the center. Looking back on his career numbers, this adaptation to his game has come out of the blue entirely. Prior to this season, Lopez had shot 31 deep bombs as a career-total; but through 28 games this season alone, he’s hit 57 of 153. 


So, yeah, that's a game-changer for the once-nearly-extinct big man.


To this point, Lopez has often been the difference between a five point loss and a twenty point loss this season for the Nets, which is kind of what we expected. Lopez’s shooting has drastically improved his game too, as he’s able to drag opposing centers out of the paint, which opens it up for either Trevor Booker's insane offensive rebounds or for guards driving to the basket as the opposing shot rim protector must guard Lopez in the corner.


Although Atkinson and Lopez have made the decision for the big man not to really play in back-to-backs, this has obviously hurt the Nets in the win column, but with an eye of long-term health, it's tough to get too upset about that.


Lopez is nearing career-highs in most categories, and his scoring average of 20.5 a game is two-tenths off his career-best. In addition, he has quadrupled his assist numbers over the last two years (0.7 per game to just a hair under 3), a remarkable improvement for a veteran at the center position. With Lopez now scoring from outside, his inside numbers have improved as defenders must cover more space on the floor, seeing as, on top of the 37% three-point percentage, he’s shooting 53% from two-point range -- the third highest mark of his nine-year career.


One thing that Lopez could hope to improve on for the 2017 calendar year is rebounding. You've likely read two trillion (guesstimate) articles about Lopez's poor rebounding numbers and while he's always surrounded by strong players in that category (Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries, Trevor Booker, etc), he could stand to help out a bit more there. Of course, as he finds himself out by the three-point line more and more, those numbers aren't likely to rise -- but, hey, Lopez can't do it all by himself, so he mostly gets a pass there.

Opponent: Atlanta Hawks Time: 06:00 PM EST Location: Barclays Center Watch: YES Network, Fox Sports GO Listen: 660 AM, 101.9 FM The Brooklyn Nets had their most successful month of the season in March, going 7-10 and kicked off April with a win over the Orlando Magic, 121-111. The Nets will play the Atlanta Hawks […]

Nets wrap up March against the Pistons

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Opponent: Detroit Pistons Time: 7:30 PM EST Location: The Palace of Auburn Hills Watch: YES Network Listen: WCBS 880AM The Brooklyn Nets have played their best basketball in the month of March posting a 7-9 record. The Nets will try to add to its own version of March Madness with their eighth win of the […]

Nets Try to Stun the 76ers on Tuesday Night

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Opponent: Philadelphia 76ers Time: 7:30 PM EST  Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY Watch: YES Network, CSN Philly, Fox Sports GO  Listen: WCBS 880 AM The Brooklyn Nets have had a solid March. They hold a 7-8 record for the month – it may not be a Miami Heat-level change, but the Nets have improved. That […]

Nets try to make it a trifecta against the Wizards

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Opponent: Washington Wizards Time: 7:00 PM EST Location: Verizon Center, Washington D.C. Watch: YES Network, Fox Sports GO Listen: WCBS 880 AM Whew. For the first time this season, the Nets won consecutive games. They beat the Phoenix Suns handily last night, 126-98. On Friday night, Brooklyn will try to make it three in a […]

Nets Look For Season Sweep Against The Suns

(AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Opponent: Phoenix Suns Time: 7:30 PM EST Location: Barclays Center Watch: YES Network, Fox Sports GO Listen: WCBS 880 AM The month of March has sparked a fire in the Brooklyn Nets. Not only did Brook Lopez hit a game-winning, fade-away jumper Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons, but the Nets are 5-7 since the calendar […]

Nets try to dash Detroit’s Playoff hopes

Drummond

Nets try to dash Detroit’s playoff hopes Opponent: Detroit Pistons Time: 7:30 PM EST Location: Barclays Center Watch: YES Network, Fox Sports GO Listen: 660 AM, 101.9 FM It was a tough weekend. The Brooklyn Nets lost two close games over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. On Friday, they lost to the Boston Celtics in […]

Nets look to get a win against Dallas

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


by Ryan Carbain


Resolution: Pray for health


When Kenny Atkinson took the Brooklyn Nets' head coach vacancy, he knew it'd be a tough task -- but it's not clear if he signed up for the league's worst record. 


While the Nets have improved their once plodding pace (they currently run at the fastest pace in the league), and transitioned to an offense with a much more modern shot distribution, they rank near the bottom in the league in offensive rating (26th). 


The defense has been even worse, as they rank 27th in efficiency at a miserable 101.3 clip -- so what gives?


Of course, most of this is due to injury, particularly so to that of Jeremy Lin. No one could have predicted that Isaiah Whitehead would play the most minutes at point guard this season come 2017 and, unfortunately, there's no end in sight. And in other instances, players have been unable to convert the open looks or handle their defensive assignments at all. 


While Atkinson's squad has a reputation of a team that plays hard, I doubt that's good enough for the rookie head coach. 


There are positives to the coach's' tenure thus far, that is certain. The Nets' offense has emerged from the dark ages and he's been especially successful in procuring solid minutes from players like Joe Harris, Anthony Bennett, and the aforementioned Whitehead -- all of whom would be at the end of another franchise's bench. 


For a resolution, Atkinson should pray for a healthy team (or at least a healthy point guard), consider tinkering with a leaky defensive scheme that asks too much of the team's slow-footed big men, and stick with the general program. The goal of this season is developing players and schemes for the future and, on that front, the team has at least seen a little bit of success.

Opponent: Dallas Mavericks Time: 12:00 PM EST Location: Barclays Center Watch: YES Network, Fox Sports GO Listen: 660 AM, 101.9 FM   The luck of the Irish prevailed on St. Patrick’s Day as the Brooklyn Nets couldn’t close out in the final moments of Friday’s contest against the Boston Celtics and fell, 98-95. Despite a […]

The Nets Look To Spoil St. Patrick’s Day For Isaiah-less Celtics

Brook Lopez blocks a shot by Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller during the third quarter. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Opponent: Boston Celtics Time: 7:30 PM EST Location: Barclays Center Watch: YES Network, CSNE Listen: 660 AM, 101.9 FM The Brooklyn Nets will take another crack at winning consecutive games for the first time this season as they take on their Atlantic Division rivals, the Boston Celtics. Coming off of their 121-110 victory at Madison […]

Nets look to beat rival Knicks for second time in one week

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Opponent: New York Knicks Time: 7:30 PM Location: Madison Square Garden Watch: YES Network, Fox Sports GO Listen: 660 AM, 101.9 FM The Brooklyn Nets will look to even the season series as they travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks. Brooklyn, once again, this season was unable to win […]