Michael Scotto, SNYNets.com

Avery Johnson used the phrase “Hello Brooklyn” as much as any member of the Brooklyn Nets organization, but unfortunately for him, he was the first member to say goodbye.

On Dec. 27, general manager Billy King announced that the Nets relieved Johnson of his coaching duties and named P.J. Carlesimo interim head coach. Johnson finished with a 60-116 record (.341 winning percentage) in two plus seasons with the Nets, a far cry from the 194-70 record (.735 winning percentage) he amassed as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks.

Johnson's firing made NBA history, as the Nets became the first franchise to fire a coach one month after winning a Coach of the Month Award. After leading the Nets to an 11-4 start, Johnson was named the NBA's Coach of the Month for November.

Johnson leaves the Nets with a poor record, but he was hired to coach a Nets organization that was in a transitional phase. When he took over in 2010, he was sold on the vision of moving to Brooklyn and building a championship caliber roster. Until then, he had to bide time for two years. During those two years, Johnson was coaching borderline NBA Developmental League rosters. The Nets landed high lottery picks and dangled them as trade assets and cleared cap space with the hope of landing marquee free agents upon moving to Brooklyn. Whereas in Dallas, Johnson coached a proven core of veterans including Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, and Jerry Stackhouse during his three plus seasons.

After two years of waiting for serviceable talent to mold, Johnson got an improved roster this past summer. The Nets brought in nine new players, re-signed their major free agents and, as a result, had heightened expectations.

With a healthy starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez, Brooklyn began their new era with an 11-4 record. Brooklyn beat the Boston Celtics twice and defeated their inner-city rivals, the New York Knicks. The Nets also beat the team that currently has the best record in the NBA, the 24-6 Los Angeles Clippers.

Unfortunately for the franchise, Johnson’s Nets began to unravel in December and got away from the type of winning basketball they played in November.

In December, the Nets lost 10 of 13 games, including five of the six games they played without injured center Brook Lopez. Without Lopez, the Nets offense became stagnant and managed to score just 93.1 points per game. Making matters worse, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson continued to struggle shooting the ball and concerns about their ability to play together grew.

In Atlanta, Johnson dominated the ball as the primary playmaker, but in Brooklyn he’s been used off the ball or in post ups isolated on either wing.

Williams, on the other hand, is in the worst shooting slump of his career, shooting 40 percent on the season and 30 percent from beyond the arc.

A frustrated Williams spoke with the media about his struggles within the Nets offense this season in comparison to his peak years with the Utah Jazz under coach Jerry Sloan.

“That system (in Utah) was a great system for my style of play. I’m a system player, and I loved coach (Jerry) Sloan’s system. I loved the offense there,” he famously said.

Once Williams took an indirect jab at coach Johnson’s offensive system, the hot seat began to get warmer in Brooklyn.

After falling to third place in the Atlantic Division with a 14-14 record, Avery Johnson was fired.

During a press conference, King stressed “a pattern that kept happening” under the watch of Johnson. Part of that pattern included blowing a number of double-digit leads throughout the season, which I outlined in my previous column.

Ironically, both King and Johnson had their own “pattern” during the press conference. Both made sure the blame was not placed on Williams for the firing of Johnson.

“To pinpoint all of this on Deron (Williams) is not fair,” King said. Johnson later echoed that sentiment. “I don't think it's fair for anybody to hang this on Deron,” Johnson echoed.

Williams told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith he had no conversations with King about any unhappiness with Johnson, but assumed he would be blamed for Johnson’s firing due to the similarities between the firing of coach Sloan in Utah.

"The last thing I would want to do is get Coach Johnson fired,” said Williams. “Any coach, for that matter.”

In fact, Williams called Johnson “a big reason” why he re-signed with the Nets as they moved to Brooklyn.

Williams also excluded Johnson from any blame for his poor play thus far.

“I also said that I had to figure out how to play with Joe Johnson, because in my heart I know that I'm the one playing like crap,” said Williams. “Is it Coach Johnson's fault that I'm playing bad? Hell, no! I'm the first one to accept accountability for the way I'm playing. And my family, people who know me, know I would be the first to admit that."

While Williams was at the center of controversy, he’s only one player on a 15-man roster.

With that in mind, Johnson had a significant affect on the growth and decline of several players this season, which must be taken into account.

Johnson revitalized the careers of Andray Blatche, Jerry Stackhouse, and Keith Bogans.

Johnson got the most out of Blatche by playing him at center. In doing so, Blatche showed his promising talent from Washington prior to the team amnestying him for being a locker room malcontent.

Blatche has turned into one of the steals of the offseason for Brooklyn.

Jerry Stackhouse was pigeonholed around the league as washed up and over-the-hill, but after coaching Stackhouse for four seasons in Dallas, Johnson knew the veteran in his 18th year had some pep in his step.

Stackhouse has been a lethal corner pocket three-point shooter for Brooklyn and a veteran leader in the locker room.

Johnson also values defense and was a big fan of Keith Bogans for his perimeter defense and ability to spread the floor with his three-point shooting, starting him in 10 of 24 games after the veteran appeared in only five games all of last season.

The rise of Blatche, Stackhouse, and Bogans has led to a decline and underwhelming start from MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, and Mirza Teletovic.

Brooks entered the season aiming for the Sixth Man of the Year Award, but has gotten more splinters than shot attempts under Johnson in his second year. Brooks has averaged only 11.2 minutes per game after starting 47 games last season and averaging 29.4 minutes per game.

Humphries has struggled alongside Brook Lopez since re-signing with Brooklyn. Humphries was demoted to the bench and recorded a DNP-CD before Johnson’s firing after averaging a double-double the past two seasons.

Teletovic came over heralded as the best European player on the market and a knockdown stretch power forward. A poor defender at best, Teletovic failed to grasp Johnson’s in-depth defensive schemes and saw limited action for most of the season.

As a result, Brooklyn made a calculated risk in firing Johnson 28 games into the season and replacing him with interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo.

In his last 122 games as a head coach, Carlesimo has had pitiful results. Carlesimo has a 27-95 record (.221 winning percentage) during that span.

Although he was an assistant under Gregg Popovich for three of the San Antonio Spurs title runs, Carlesimo is most notably known for being choked by Latrell Sprewell during their time together in Golden State.

Brooklyn sees Carlesimo as a temporary fill-in. With an inexperienced coaching staff in Doug Overton, Popeye Jones, and Mario Elie, Carlesimo got the job based on his experience.

King hopes he can persuade a high profile coach along the lines of Phil Jackson, Stan or Jeff Van Gundy, or Jerry Sloan to right the swerving Nets ship.

However, this remains to be seen and King is working against the odds of luring these high profile figures out of retirement.

Coincidence, or not, the fact that Deron Williams has been at the center of controversy for two coaches being fired will give any possible candidate pause for the job going forward.

Lastly, as Avery Johnson said, “This is not about the ‘fair’ game. A lot of times it’s about the blame game.”

With Johnson gone, the onus falls squarely on the players and general manager Billy King to make Prokhorov’s goal at the beginning of the year to contend for the Eastern Conference title a reality.

Michael Scotto is an Analyst for SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter for the latest news from Brooklyn and the NBA: @MikeAScotto

Tags: avery johnson, Billy King, Brooklyn Nets, Columns, deron williams, Michael Scotto, SNY, snynets

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez dribbles the ball while being defended by Washington Wizards forward Andrew Nicholson during the first half at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez dribbles the ball while being defended by Washington Wizards forward Andrew Nicholson during the first half at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

John Wall scored 25 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and the Washington Wizards beat the Brooklyn Nets 118-113 on Monday night.

Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. had 18 points apiece and Markieff Morris added 16 for Washington.

Brook Lopez scored 25 and Sean Kilpatrick had 21 for the Nets.

Tags: Brook Lopez, Washington Wizards
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Apr 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas (20) claps after a play during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Apr 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas (20) claps after a play during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Latest Update (Dec. 5)

5:25PM: The Houston Rockets have matched Brooklyn's offer sheet and retained PF Donatas Motiejunasaccording to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

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Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. (Nicole Sweet)
Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. (Nicole Sweet)

Nets rookie SG Caris LeVert is available to play tonight, the team announced on Twitter.

LeVert has been practicing for a few weeks, but has not appeared in a game since he injured his foot last December 30 while playing for Michigan.

LeVert was the 20th overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. The Nets traded Thaddeus Young to the Pacers for the rights to LeVert and a second round pick. 

 


Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) controls the ball against Los Angeles Clippers center Marreese Speights (5) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) controls the ball against Los Angeles Clippers center Marreese Speights (5) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Washington has had two days to digest its last-second loss to the Spurs and is hoping to get it done Monday night when it visits the Brooklyn Nets.

The Wizards are 6-12 with three losses in their last four games. It is the last two defeats that are especially frustrating.

Last Wednesday against Oklahoma City, the Wizards came back from a 16-point deficit and held a seven-point lead with 5:35 left on a 3-pointer by Bradley Beal. They wound up with a 126-115 overtime loss by going 6-of-19 the rest of the way.

Tags: Washington Wizards
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Milwaukee's Jabari Parker drives against Brooklyn's Randy Foye in the second quarter. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Milwaukee's Jabari Parker drives against Brooklyn's Randy Foye in the second quarter. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

Milwaukee and coach Jason Kidd extended their dominance over the Nets Saturday, beating Brooklyn 112-103 in Wisconsin.

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Milwaukee's Jabari Parker goes up for a dunk while the Nets' Brook Lopez can only watch. (Anthony Gruppuso)
Milwaukee's Jabari Parker goes up for a dunk while the Nets' Brook Lopez can only watch. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, Jabari Parker scored 22 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets 111-93 on Thursday night.

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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson coaches against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson coaches against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

The Nets (5-12) take on the Milwaukee Bucks (8-8) at Barclays Center on Thursday night.

According to STATS:

  • The Bucks have won seven of the last eight matchups against the Nets, including a 110-108 home win on October 29 earlier this season.
  • Milwaukee defeated Cleveland 118-101 on Tuesday, snapping its three-game losing streak versus the Cavs. The Bucks scored 68 points in the paint, which is tied for the third-most paint points scored in an NBA game this year.
Tags: Milwaukee Bucks
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Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets capitalized on opponents not giving proper effort and emerged with wins over elite competition.

Both teams will attempt to follow up those impressive victories when the Bucks visit the Nets on Thursday.

Milwaukee has won three of four games since a three-point home loss to the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 19. The third victory in that stretch was Tuesday's 118-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks
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Apr 8, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses media during a press conference before the Brooklyn Nets play the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
Apr 8, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses media during a press conference before the Brooklyn Nets play the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov will sell a minority share in the franchise but plans to remain the majority owner of the team, he said in a release. 

The team will now be on the search for an outside partner. 

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Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick shoots over Los Angeles Clippers power forward Luc Mbah a Moute during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick shoots over Los Angeles Clippers power forward Luc Mbah a Moute during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Guard Sean Kilpatrick scored 31 of his career-high 38 points after the third quarter to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 16-point fourth-quarter comeback and 127-122 double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday at Barclays Center.

The Nets trailed 89-73 when Kilpatrick scored 20 points during a 26-10 run that tied the game at 99. 

"I ended getting into a zone,'' Kilpatrick said, according to the New York Post's Brian Lewis. "At that point there was no turning back for me."

He scored six points in the first overtime and five more in the second overtime, including a three-point play with 13 seconds left that turned a 124-122 lead into a two-possession game.

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers
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Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick drives against Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick during the first overtime quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick drives against Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick during the first overtime quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Sean Kilpatrick scored 31 of his career-high 38 points after the third quarter and the Brooklyn Nets stopped a seven-game losing streak with a 127-122 double-overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

The Clippers started the game without Blake Griffin, ended it without the ejected coach Doc Rivers and dropped their third straight game by blowing an 18-point lead.

Chris Paul had 26 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, but the best guard on the floor in crunch time was Kilpatrick, who also had a career-best 14 rebounds.

Tags: Brook Lopez, Los Angeles Clippers
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Brooklyn Nets forward Anthony Bennett (13) shoots over Miami Heat forward Derrick Williams (22) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell)
Brooklyn Nets forward Anthony Bennett (13) shoots over Miami Heat forward Derrick Williams (22) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell)

Latest Update (Nov. 29)

6:00PM: The Nets have recalled F Anthony Bennett and F Chris McCulloughthe team announced Tuesday evening.

Both players will be available for tonight's game against the Clippers.

Tags: Chris McCullough
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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts after being called for a technical foul during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts after being called for a technical foul during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Clippers are halfway through a six-game road trip covering approximately 6,133 miles.

The first stop went well but the last two stops turned into nightmares for the Clippers.

The Brooklyn Nets can only hope two straight losses constitute a nightmare these days.

The Clippers continue their road trip Tuesday night and look to rebound from two double-digit losses when they face the Nets, who are dealing with an unsightly seven-game losing streak.

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

Nets PG Jeremy Lin is making progress as he recovers from a strained left hamstring, head coach Kenny Atkinson said, according to Laura Albanese of Newsday.

There is no timetable on Lin's return, but the hope is that he'll practice soon.

Lin has missed the Nets' last 11 games due to the injury.

He is averaging 16.3 points and 6.5 assists this season.

Tags: Jeremy Lin
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Sacramento Kings center center DeMarcus Cousins dribbles the ball as Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez defends during the first half at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
Sacramento Kings center center DeMarcus Cousins dribbles the ball as Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez defends during the first half at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

The Brooklyn Nets' losing streak reached seven games as the Sacramento Kings outscored them 34-18 in the third quarter of a 122-105 loss on Sunday at Barclays Center.

Tags: Bojan Bogdanovic, Brook Lopez, Sacramento Kings
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Brooklyn's Brook Lopez drivesagainst Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins (15) in last year's game at the Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn's Brook Lopez drivesagainst Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins (15) in last year's game at the Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

The last time the Sacramento Kings won a road game over the Brooklyn Nets, the arena was located across the Hudson River and adjacent to a major highway. The Kings will attempt to get their first road win over the Nets in nearly nine years when the teams meet Sunday night at Barclays Center.

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Nov 25, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Monta Ellis (11) shoots the ball while Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) and guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) defend in the first half of the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 25, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Monta Ellis (11) shoots the ball while Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) and guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) defend in the first half of the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Glenn Robinson III scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat the Brooklyn Nets 118-97 on Friday night.

The Pacers opened the second half with a 20-5 run and led by as many 31 points.

Tags: Indiana Pacers
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Nov 18, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. (Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 18, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. (Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets take on the Pacers on Friday night in Indianapolis at 8 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • The Nets defeated the Pacers 103-94 in Brooklyn on October 28. But Indiana has won four of its last five home games in this series.
  • Brooklyn has lost its last five games and allowed 100 or more points in eight consecutive games (2-6); the latter is the fourth-longest active streak in the league.
Tags: Indiana Pacers
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Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick shoots against Boston Celtics small forward Jae Crowder during the second quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick shoots against Boston Celtics small forward Jae Crowder during the second quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Despite Sean Kilpatrick's 23 points, the Brooklyn Nets couldn't stop Avery Bradley or Isaiah Thomas in a 111-92 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday at Barclays Center.

Tags: Bojan Bogdanovic, Boston Celtics
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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson coaches against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson coaches against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

When a defense slips significantly coaches frequently refer to it as "slippage".

Lately, the Brooklyn Nets have used the term frequently when discussing their many defensive ailments.

Practice time has been limited but the Nets will have had two days to see if drills carry over into a game setting Wednesday night when they host the Boston Celtics and attempt to end an ugly four-game losing streak.

Tags: Boston Celtics
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Portland's Damian Lillard goes up for a shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)
Portland's Damian Lillard goes up for a shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)

C.J. McCollum scored 33 points on 6-for-10 shooting from three and Meyers Leonard had 12 points and rebounds as Portland defeated the Nets 129-109 Sunday at the Barclays Center.

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Nov 4, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) drives to the basket against Charlotte Hornets guard Marco Belinelli (21) in the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Hornets win 99-95. (Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 4, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) drives to the basket against Charlotte Hornets guard Marco Belinelli (21) in the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Hornets win 99-95. (Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK -- In the last week, the Brooklyn Nets have faced two elite point guards in the Western Conference.

Their meetings with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City and Chris Paul in Los Angeles did not go well.

On Sunday, the Nets return home and face another top point guard when they host Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers
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Nov 18, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) knocks the ball into the face of Brooklyn Nets forward Trevor Booker (35) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) knocks the ball into the face of Brooklyn Nets forward Trevor Booker (35) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in his fourth triple-double of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Brooklyn Nets 124-105 on Friday night.

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

The Nets play the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Friday night. According to STATS...

  • The Nets have won five of their last seven games versus the Thunder after Oklahoma City took the previous seven meetings.
  • Brooklyn has had at least 40 points in the paint in 10 of its first 11 games this season. Those 10 games are tied for the third most by any team. The Nets had a season-high 66 points in the paint against the Lakers on Tuesday.
Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The past three days have been pretty hectic for Russell Westbrook. The Oklahoma City guard handed out thanksgiving dinners at the Boys & Girls Club Tuesday, beat Houston with a viral-worth dunk Wednesday and then was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame by Michael Jordan Thursday.

"It's an unbelievable honor, man," Westbrook said before the ceremonies. "It's something you don't take for granted. So definitely a blessing and something you won't forget. MJ took the time out of his day to come all the way to Oklahoma City to do this for me. it's an honor. I'm happy to have him here."

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 (Mark J. Terrill)
(Mark J. Terrill)

One night after being dominated by the Clippers, the Nets fared a little better against the other Los Angeles basketball team. They were competiitive until the end but ultimately fell, 125-118. Brook Lopez scored a team-high 30 points and 10 rebounds, while Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 29 points. Lopez also became the franchise leader in blocked shots, passing George Johnson in the process. D'Angelo Russell had a triple-double, scoring a game-high 32 points and having 14 rebounds and 10 assists. He also knocked down five three-pointers in the first 10 minutes of the game. Timofey Mozgov added 20 points and six rebounds in the win. 

Tags: Bojan Bogdanovic, Brook Lopez
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Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) dunks the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell)
Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) dunks the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell)

The Nets (4-6) are in Los Angeles to take on the Lakers (6-5) on Tuesday night.

According to STATS:

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers
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Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts after scoring against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts after scoring against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

LOS ANGELES -- After getting blown out by the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Los Angeles Lakers will try to regroup at home.

The Lakers open a four-game homestand Tuesday night beginning with the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center.

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers
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 (Mark J. Terrill)
(Mark J. Terrill)

Chris Paul scored 21 points and had nine assists, while Blake Girffin added 20 points as the Clippers beat the Brooklyn Nets, 127-95. The Clippers opened the game against the Nets on a 35-7 run and never looked back. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 18 points for Brooklyn, while contributing two rebounds. Sean Kilpatrick chipped in 14 points as he continues to start without the injured Jeremy Lin. Brooklyn turned the ball over a seaon-high 22 times. The Nets were without Lin and Brook Lopez, who was on the bench to rest.

Tags: Bojan Bogdanovic, Brook Lopez, Jeremy Lin
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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson coaches against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson coaches against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

LOS ANGELES -- The NBA's top-rated defense and an unblemished road record have the Los Angeles Clippers sitting pretty and fashioning the league's best record.

The Clippers (9-1) will go for their seventh win in a row Monday night when they host the Brooklyn Nets.

Over the weekend, Los Angeles capped a two-game trip with back-to-back wins at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday and at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. By beating the Thunder, the Clippers avenged their lone loss, an 85-83 decision at home on Nov. 2.

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers
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Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Shabazz Muhammad (15) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Shabazz Muhammad (15) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

PG Isaiah Whitehead (concussion) is probable for the Nets matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, while Caris LeVert (left foot rehab) and Jeremy Lin (strained left hamstring) remain out, the team announced Monday afternoon

Whitehead suffered the concussion during Brooklyn's win against the Timberwolves last week, and has missed the last two games. The Coney Island native is averaging 4.7 points, 3.0 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 17.0 minutes per game during his rookie season. The Nets selected Whitehead with the 42nd overall pick in this year's draft.

Tags: Isaiah Whitehead, Jeremy Lin
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Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) shoots the ball over Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender (35) during the first half. (Joe Camporeale)
Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) shoots the ball over Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender (35) during the first half. (Joe Camporeale)

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Sean Kilpatrick had 19 points and nine rebounds and Trevor Booker had 19 points and eight rebounds as the Nets defeated the Suns 122-104 Saturday in Phoenix.

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Nov 8, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts after scoring against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts after scoring against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets (3-5) take on the Suns in Phoenix (3-6) on Saturday night at 9 p.m. 

According to STATS...

  • Brooklyn and Phoenix have split their last four meetings after the Nets took the previous five meetings.
  • The Nets have turned the ball over at least 15 times in all eight of their games in 2016-17. That is their longest such streak to start a season since they turned the ball over 15+ times in their first eight games of the 1996-97 season.
Tags: Phoenix Suns
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Nov 9, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) shoots against New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) and New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) shoots against New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) and New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Pace is playing a key role in how the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns are performing on offense.

Heading into Saturday game in Phoenix, the Nets and Suns own among the quickest paces in the league.

The Nets are averaging 103.50 possessions per game through their first eight games in new coach Kenny Atkinson's motion offense. The Suns have averaged 104.37 possessions through their first nine games.

Tags: Phoenix Suns
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Apr 1, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks defeated the Nets 105-91. Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks defeated the Nets 105-91. Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets (3-4) take on the Knicks (2-4) at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. 

According to STATS...

  • Brooklyn is 6-2 in its last eight games against the Knicks, sweeping four games in 2014-15 before a 2-2 split last season. The home team won all four matchups last season. 
  • The Nets set season highs in points (119) and field-goal percentage (.553) in last night's 119-110 home win over Minnesota. All three Brooklyn wins this season have come at home; the Nets are 0-2 on the road and have lost 14 consecutive road contests going back to early March.
  • The Knicks have allowed at least 100 points in each of their first six games of a season for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign (seven straight). They rank 26th in the NBA with 109.8 points allowed per game.
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Oct 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) defends New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) defends New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Two defensively challenged teams square off Wednesday in the first installment this season for basketball supremacy in New York.

The Brooklyn Nets (3-4) make a quick jaunt across the East River to face the New York Knicks (2-4) in the first of four meetings between the Atlantic Division rivals.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

The Nets have waived guard Greivis Vasquez, signed Yogi Ferrell from their D-League affiliate to replace him and have placed Isaiah Whitehead in the concussion protocol, the team announced Wednesday. 

Ferrell was waived by the Nets in late October and has since played for the Long Island Nets.

Whitehead, who slammed his face into the floor during Tuesday's game against the Timberwolves, experienced concussion sypmtoms on Wednesday. He will remain in the protocol until he stops experiencing symptoms. 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Brook Lopez scored 26 points, and the Brooklyn Nets kept the Minnesota Timberwolves winless on the road with a 119-110 victory Tuesday night.

The Nets shot 55.3 percent from the field and had eight players with at least nine points, a surprisingly easy offensive performance against a young Wolves team that clearly hasn't yet grasped Tom Thibodeau's defensive schemes.

Trevor Booker added 15 points and Sean Kilpatrick had 14 for the Nets.

Tags: Brook Lopez
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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center. Brooklyn Nets won 109-101. (Anthony Gruppuso)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center. Brooklyn Nets won 109-101. (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Brooklyn Nets (2-4) will face off with the Minnesota Timberwolves (1-4) in Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

According to STATS:

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves
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Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) gestures after scoring a three point basket during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) gestures after scoring a three point basket during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

While a 2-4 start to a season may not sound impressive, the Brooklyn Nets have performed a lot better than many people believed they would. Besides for a blowout loss against the Bulls, the Nets lost their other three games by a combined 11 points. Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach Andy Greer has watched tape and seen that Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson is getting maximum effort from his team, a roster consisting of five players that are 23 years old or younger. 

"They're playing younger guys than they did in the past," Greer told SNY.tv. "But you know, they still have Brook Lopez, who's really good. They're playing really hard. Kenny [Atkinson] is doing a good job with them."

It is no surprise that Lopez is the leader and star of this young Brooklyn Nets team. In his ninth season with the Nets, Lopez is the team's longest tenured member. But this season has seen a new addition to Lopez's arsenal of moves.

Tags: Brook Lopez, Minnesota Timberwolves
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GEICO SportsNite: Nets on Lin 00:01:04
The Nets discuss replacing Jeremy Lin who is sidelined for at least two weeks with a hamstring injury.

Brooklyn Nets power forward Chris McCullough (1) shoots against the Memphis Grizzlies during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Brooklyn Nets power forward Chris McCullough (1) shoots against the Memphis Grizzlies during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

The Brooklyn Nets recalled forward Chris McCullough from the D-League on Monday night after they assigned him to the Long Island Nets earlier Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-9 forward has appeared in only two games this season, finishing with two points and two rebounds in four minutes during Brooklyn's season opener against Boston, and zero points and three rebounds in the Nets' blowout loss to Chicago.

Tags: Chris McCullough
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Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. (Nicole Sweet)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. (Nicole Sweet)

When one thinks of an NBA journeyman, what comes to mind is a veteran player that has found his way around the league, playing for several teams throughout his career. Joe Smith is the perfect example. Smith played in the NBA for 16 seasons, and yet never played more than three consecutive years for the same team. That led to Smith moving around between 11 different organizations in his 16-year career (which doesn't even include his second time around with the Timberwolves or the 76ers).

The biggest move Brook Lopez has dealt with since entering the NBA has been the Nets' transition from New Jersey to Brooklyn. Although Lopez has stayed with the same team his entire career, the rollercoaster of an experience he has dealt with while with the Nets makes him a journeyman of his own kind.

The New Jersey Nets drafted Lopez with the 10th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. In his first NBA game, the rookie center came off the bench and finished with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 25 minutes. Lopez would go on to win Rookie of the Month in both January and February, and finished the season averaging 13.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in only 30.5 minutes per game. He placed third in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting, trailing only Derrick Rose and OJ Mayo. Although they finished 34 - 48 and failed to make the postseason for the second straight season since the departure of the franchise's all-time great Jason Kidd, the Nets finally had a reason for hope, and it came in the shape of their 7-foot tall rookie center.

Tags: Brook Lopez
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Nov 4, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Ramon Sessions (7) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) in the second quarter at Barclays Center. Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 4, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Ramon Sessions (7) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) in the second quarter at Barclays Center. Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kemba Walker scored a season-high 30 points and the Charlotte Hornets improved their best start in 16 years to 4-1 by beating the Brooklyn Nets 99-95 on Friday night.

Nicolas Batum added 18 points and nine rebounds, while Marvin Williams, who missed his first 10 shots, made a 3-pointer with 1:05 left after the Nets had cut the lead to one point.

Tags: Charlotte Hornets
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Oct 31, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) drives to the basket as Chicago Bulls guard Denzel Valentine (45) defends during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. The Bulls won 118-88. Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) drives to the basket as Chicago Bulls guard Denzel Valentine (45) defends during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. The Bulls won 118-88. Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Isaiah Whitehead will make his first career start in the NBA on Friday night against the Hornets, head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters.

Tags: Isaiah Whitehead
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Nov 2, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) battles at the net with Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Brooklyn Nets won 109-101. Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) battles at the net with Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Brooklyn Nets won 109-101. Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets have gotten calls from other teams looking to make a trade for Brook Lopezreports ESPN's Marc Stein

According to Stein, teams believe the Nets could trade Lopez in a deal between now and the trade deadline in February. However, Stein indicates the Nets have not actively sought out trade partners and are just taking calls from other clubs. 

Tags: Brook Lopez
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

The Charlotte Hornets were hopeful in their chances at re-signing Jeremy Lin.

Their desire to retain Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams also was significant, and it left leaving little salary-cap space for Lin, whom Charlotte could not go above the cap to retain.

Before signing as a free agent with the Brooklyn Nets, Lin said on social media last season was the most enjoyable year he spent in the NBA.

Tags: Jeremy Lin
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

NEW YORK (AP) Brook Lopez had 34 points and 11 rebounds, Sean Kilpatrick added 24 points, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Detroit Pistons 109-101 on Wednesday night.

Brooklyn hit 16 of its 20 shots in the first quarter to take a 38-30 advantage. The Nets had more turnovers (5) than misses. Brooklyn's first miss came at the 6:03 mark in the first when Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was off on a 3-pointer. Lopez had 14 in the first quarter and 24 by the end of the first half to lead the Nets as Brooklyn took a 71-55 lead to the locker room.

Detroit cut the lead to 11 heading into the fourth quarter and then as close as five with 1:34 remaining. >> Read more

Copyright 2016 by the Associated Press

Tags: Brook Lopez, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

The Nets host the Pistons on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. According to STATS...

  • Detroit has won each of its last three games against Brooklyn by an average margin of 10.4 points.
  • Brooklyn's scoring has been balanced so far this year as they currently have nine players averaging at least 7.5 points per game in Bojan Bogdanovic (16.5), Jeremy Lin (16.3), Brook Lopez (15.0), Sean Kilpatrick (14.8), Trevor Booker (9.3), Joe Harris (9.0), Justin Hamilton (8.3), Anthony Bennett (8.0), and Luis Scola (7.5). No other team has more than eight such players.
Tags: Bojan Bogdanovic, Brook Lopez
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