Sufficient Nets now strive for proficiency

The Brooklyn Nets have been on an almost imperceptible upswing since 3 games before the all star break.
Their road trip of 3 wins and 5 losses was sufficient, however they must continue to be proficient tonight against the Charlotte Hornets who are one of six (6) teams vying for the 7 & 8 spots in the playoff standings.

The other teams are Indiana, Boston, Detroit & Miami.

The play of guard Deron Williams and newly acquired forward Thaddeus Young have highlighted the overall good play of other team contributors such as Jarrad Jack, Brook Lopez, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee and emerging rookies Markel Brown, Bojan Bogdanovic and Cory Jefferson.

Joe Johnson remains the heart, soul and guts of the team and should be well rested for a potential surprise run in the post season.

In their exciting 2 point win over an obviously fatigued Golden State Warriors (second game of back to back) the Nets team as a whole showed determination and perseverance with contributions from all team members capped off with a down to the wire basket by guard Jarrad Jack with under 2 seconds on the game clock. All star guard Steph Curry with a last quarter push of 18 points almost single highhandedly won the game for Golden State and gave his many fans in the crowd a thrill.

Head coach Lionel Hollins has proven to be insightful in his use of all the players. In benching his two veteran star players Deron Williams and Brook Lopez as well as sophomore Mason Plumlee he has lived up to his reputation as a tough old school coach. Hollins also has been adept at bringing along rookies like Markel Brown, Bogdanovic and Cory Jefferson all of whom could play important roles in the playoffs.

Everyone on the team seems to finally have their heads in the game and be on the same page going into the final season stretch of 29 games.

Determined Nets defeat deflated Nuggets

The body language of Denver Nugget players was not good even though they stayed in the game at half time down only 9 points.

The Nets seemed to have blinders on and the younger less experienced Nets in particular. Brown(first NBA start) and Jefferson(improving) were standouts and Morris is showing improvement as well.

The newest Net Thaddeus Young continues to impress in all facets of the game. A revived D Will has found himself for the umpteenth time in his career. And Brook Lopez has rounded up to good playing form.

Joe Johnson has his peaks and a few valleys but usually peaks.

It is too soon to tell if the last two games represent new found determination that will propel the Nets to a playoff berth or if they will relapse against stiffer competition.

As a close observer I sense that Young will allow Johnson to pace himself and that by playing more and better minutes Williams will allow Jack to remain at the top of his game.

Plumlee remains a steady constant source of energy in the mix with every free throw he makes and rebound he grabs. His points are a bonus that are becoming routine.

A healthy Nets team with their heads in the right place could go deep in the playoffs.

Nets last 30 games off to good start in LA

A young, energetic and at times impressive LA Lakers team battled the Brooklyn Nets to a high scoring one point lead in the first half of the Friday night game in LA.

However led by Johnson, Lopez and Williams the second half saw the Nets enter the fourth quarter with a commanding lead which was enough to stave off a late game Lakers rally.

Williams lifted his spirits and those of his teammates with a season high number of assists. Johnson (four of six 3 pointers) & Lopez each contributed 20+ points while Lopez had a double double continuing a noticeable improvement in his rebounding stats of late.

As under achievers Brooklyn seems poised for the remaining 29 games to capture a playoff berth. Thaddeus Young looked impressive in his brief appearance as the newest Net. Young brings a balanced mix of scoring, rebounding and defense coupled with youth which should give the Nets many more quality minutes than veteran Kevin Garnett for whom he was traded.

Nets lose to Kidd’s Bucks

Nets lose to Kidd’s Bucks

Jason Kidd has molded his Milwaukee Bucks team using his template for personal success as an NBA player.

When the Nets parted ways with Kidd was the problem the management of the Nets? the players? or both?

In either event Kidd has proven his coaching skills work with a team of young players.

Kidd has inspired trust, motivated and instilled confidence in the young Milwaukee Bucks team who play hard for him.

He seems to be well on his way to 2014/2015 coach of the year honors in just two years of coaching.

All of this was displayed in his teams play on court in the game played February 9 in Milwaukee.

Notable for the Nets was Deron Williams obvious lack of energy and dispassionate style of play which extended his poor playing record since returning from his rib injury. Williams and the Nets seem to have parted ways and I suspect during the all star break Williams will be traded. Williams injuries coupled with his fragile ego seem to have followed him from Utah, which may explain why Utah gave up on him. There’s no doubt that Williams can play very well … when he chooses too. Right now Deron is effectively boycotting the Nets and his teammates.

In contrast to Williams Jarrad Jack has shown himself to be a professional hard playing and talented starting point guard.

The Nets weak spots are inconsistency and an overall lack of talent. Still the Nets can play well enough to make the playoffs although they are not deep enough to get past the first round.

The Nets have some broken parts to replace and some upgrades to make. Young talented players are the solution for 2016 but it appears 2015 will be an adjustment year.

Listless Nets get wake up call

Listless Nets get wake up call

Obviously tired from their hard fought victory in the first of back to back games the Nets traveled backwards a step in their followup Saturday night loss to the Washington Wizards.
Notable was Jarrad Jack’s performance which was definitely fatigue related. In particular I stopped counting when Jack turned the ball over for the sixth time. Plumlee has looked tired the last two games and may be feeling the pressure from his all sttar commitments and a rejuvenated resurgent Brook Lopez who is making a case to be returned to the starting line up every game.

Fans hope the Nets recover in time to beat Milwaukee and their former coach Jason Kidd. Of late Hollins seems to have bonded with the players on the team who are starting to realize he knows something about coaching and winning basketball.

Deron Williams seems almost petulant and his usual lackadaisical inconsistent self on the court and it has manifested itself in his poor free throw shooting as well as his drop off in enthusiasm for wanting the ball.

In contrast to Deron Williams, Jarrad Jack is as steady as a rock and has proven himself to be a team leader in all aspects of the game.

Odds are that Williams is gone by the end of the all star break. Hollins has no patience for pouters or slackers and has proven that several times this season.

Brooklyn needs to win the next two games before the break to build momentum for the remainder of the month which is entirely on the road.

Brooklyn Nets: healthy and determined

In a rare display of fourth quarter resolve the Nets dismissed the Toronto Raptors early quarter attempts to rally.

Their last four games are establishing a post season oriented playing level on both ends of the court.

Tonight’s game (Friday, Feb 6th) against the New York Knicks will be a further test of the Nets will to win.

Notable in the recent turn around has been the play of the latest new starter Alan Anderson as well as Williams and Lopez off the bench.

Anderson is making three’s with greater regularity while Lopez and Williams are flourishing against their opponents bench players.

Despite the Knicks recent mini turnaround they are a team playing for the first round pick in the draft.

One might even think that Phil Jackson mandated the Knicks to last place using calculated neglect.

A healthy and determined Nets team would be in a force in the playoffs that few other teams would want to reckon with at the level they are currently playing.

Hollins tough love lights fire under Nets players

Nets coach Lionel Hollins has recently showed Deron Williams and Brook Lopez some hard love.
It was known that Nets Lionel Hollins was a tough no nonsense man.

However benching TWO highly paid star front line players is something that it is likely no other NBA coach has ever done before; at least not for an extended duration.

Lopez and Williams are two very talented players who have been frequently injured and occasionally go missing in action when playing.
In a replay of what happened to newly rising Nets star Mason Plumlee, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams were relegated to the bench and taken out of the starting lineup upon returning from injuries.

The results have been eye opening as both players are currently outplaying themselves as starters.

Plumlee learned early on the pouting was not going to get him more playing time. Lopez and Williams apparently got the message.

In the teams recent nail biter against the formidable LA Clippers both Brook and Deron played pivotal roles.

Strategically the new juiced up match-ups against opponents off the bench has played s pivotal role for the Nets.

Although losing 2 of their last 3 games to elite teams, Brooklyn has been extremely competitive.

However disclaiming any moral victories after their tough loss to Toronto in overtime, the Nets were determined to even the score against the Clippers who had routed them earlier in the season by 36 points.

Fans are starting to like what they’re seeing. Perhaps the Nets bench will be the first in NBA history to not only propel them into the playoffs but win them a Championship.

It’s still early and the Brooklyn team is suddenly on an uptick.

SPORTS ALERT: Nets, Lopez turning point vs Washington

In Friday nights (1/16) 22 point win over Washington Mason Plumlee (double double) in fowl trouble, played a minor role in the fourth quarter as Brook Lopez literally took off like a rocket (hopefully not a Houston Rocket) scoring 26 points in just 23 minutes.

What was encouraging was the overall intensity showed by all the Nets players both offensively and defensively. There was no “let up” in the fourth quarter as the Nets surgically disposed of the Wizards.

NBA pro Jarrett Jack played a significant role with a 67% field goal percentage, 26 points and 7 assists.

Tonight the Nets will try to start a second half trend that will cement their eligibility for a playoff spot.

Nets win ugly at Thunder

Seeing that this was almost a must have win for the Nets they just missed another devastating loss to the most undermanned team in the NBA at the moment.

Joe Johnson knows more than we fans do about what’s wrong ….

My take is that Hollins is misusing the players  …. Plumley(loss of confidence) & Kirilenko(rusting on bench) too little and Mirza & Bogdonavich too much.

One can only wonder how much Eastern European influence there is on court brought down from the powers that be aka the owner from above. Too much IMO.

Telenovic is a defensive liability due to his physical limitations (speed & size).

Bogdonavich seems to want to do too much and excel as an individual rather than as a team member .. likewise for Williams who has gotten carried away with his new healthy ankles and often plays with five thumbs on both hands.

I’m starting to sour on Hollins who must be breaking some kind of record for mixed line-ups. You would think he would have gotten that out of his system in pre-season and by watching tape.

Apparently he doesn’t watch must tape from last season …. I think he’s just lazy and his substitutions and time-outs are noticeably horrible.

His grimacing face is getting on my nerves and calling singling out seasoned players for in-game critiques .. in comparison to Kidd’s smiling face, enthusiasm and overall upbeat support of his players. It seems both younger and older players respond well to Jason.

Hollins “old school” simply smells and looks old … period!

Bottom line seems to be that Kidd is a far better manager than King (& apparently Prokolov) gives him credit for … and King is a far worse General Manager than the YES media makes him out to be!

Unhappy nets fan here … I sense the season is already doomed.

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The Nets: a tale of two coaches

Long time Nets fan here …. was a seasons ticket holder during the Jason Kidd feel good times …..

These are fast becoming the bad times.

The Nets loss against the Bucks last night was the worst ever that I’ve ever seen for a number of reasons.

First and foremost Jason Kidd was able to symbolically give the Nets fans who booed him and the Nets management who shunned him the finger.

Second the Milwaukee Bucks on on there way to making Kidd the coach of the month for the third time in barely over a year as a rookie NBA coach.

There’s a lot to say about Kidd bad and good … his ego, his hubris and his gall.

Yet he backs it up.

At the end of the game a number of Nets players came over to embrace him. I found that painfully embarrassing for the team as a whole and for Lionel Hollins and Billy King in particular.

It is still early, however there are a number of serious problems I see now having watched enough games to form an opinion of some merit.

After 11 games I already have enough to discuss to create a season long series of articles!

Some of the headlines are as follows.

  • Deflection? Hollins confronts individual players during games.
  • Nets locker room: a quiet uproar.
  • Nets veteran team unresponsive to old time coaching tactics.
  • Nets line ups: a game of pick up jacks.
  • A kaleidoscope of substitutions plagues Brooklyn Nets.
  • Nets visit the well too often … Johnson runs dry.

Anyways .. you get the picture .. it’s a feast of headlines for sports writers.

Where do we begin??!!