Saturday, March 31, 2012

Game 54 Preview: Nets (18-35) at Sacramento Kings (18-33)

The Nets amnestied Outlaw after he played one season of the much ballyhooed 5-yr, $35 million contract that he signed with the team. He hasn't been much better with the Kings than during his disastrous stint in New Jersey but I guess we will see for sure tonight.
Looking for their first 3-game winning streak of this shortened season, the Nets will try to build of the momentum from their last two wonderful triumphs--wins against the Pacers and Warriors--to take down the young Sacramento Kings. The Kings have tons of talent and are really young but just haven't been able to put all it together so far and that can be blamed on something as simple as immaturity. Immaturity, especially from sophomore power forward DeMarcus Cousins, is what got previous coach Paul Westphal fired and the promotion of assistant Keith Smart to the interim helm of the team. Sure, the Kings' record is pretty bad but that doesn't they aren't a good team; they just don't have the experience to be a successful team right now.

Background on Sacramento
Sacramento actually is a good match-up for this injury-depleted Nets squad because of how undersized the Kings line-up is projected to be tonight, especially in the backcourt. Natural point guard Tyreke Evans is probably going to suit up at small forward opposing Gerald Wallace which leaves the 5-9 Isiah Thomas on 6-3 Deron Williams in a battle between point guards. This match-up could be heavenly for D-Will as having a 6-inch height advantage over your opponent in the NBA means a lot of space on jump-shots and easier post-up situations. Wonderfully, those two aspects of the game are D-Will's strongest. On the other hand, the Nets have a smaller match-up issue at power forward as the Kings trot out massive 6-11, 270-pound college-star Cousins whereas the Nets have smaller, but equally tenacious, Kris Humphries who happens to be two inches and 35 pounds less than the Kentucky grad. 

Game 53 Recap: Nets 102, Warriors 100

Crash was unbelievable, who needs a lottery pick?
Well, that was weird. After the first three quarters of the game in which they played their worst basketball of the season, the Nets roared back from a 19-point deficit to steal a road win from the Golden State Warriors. Golden State raced out to a quick 11-4 run to start the game off and built up that lead over the next few quarters and eventually went into full-on blow-out mode by the 4:35 mark of the 3rd quarter. At that point, the Nets had simply given up on playing defense, were taking terribly contested shots, and were committing turnovers left and right constantly.

Then, something unbelievable happened. The Nets started to actually defend some Warriors players and even made the occasional drive to the hoop. They cut the deficit to 14 points by the end of the 3rd and cut it to one point on a Deron Williams 3-pointer with 2:27 left in the game. Then, on the strength of a Kris Humphries free-throw and a few Gerald Green baskets, the Nets took their first lead of the game since holding a 4-3 early in the 1st quarter. Heck, it wasn't easy but it's result that truly matters, not how you got there.

For most of the night, offense was a real struggle for the Nets as they just couldn't knock down the same open looks that Golden State was. Deron Williams and Anthony Morrow, two of the guys that the Nets rely on the most for their offense, just couldn't get it going from the field and combined for 2-19 shooting. However, D-Will's ball-distribution skills were still present evidenced by his 20 assists. Last night's game showed just why Deron is in the top-three point guard conversation of the whole NBA; even when he doesn't have his A-game, he still makes his teammates better with his great ball movement capabilities.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Game 53 Preview: Nets (17-35) at Golden State Warriors (20-29)

Former Nets fan favorite Richard Jefferson was traded to Golden State from the Spurs on trade deadline day; one of my favorite Nets of all time
Finally, the Nets head out on the road as they look to beat a team in the Warriors who are facing tons of injury and personnel issues like the Nets are. Stephen Curry is most likely done for the season, former franchise guard Monta Ellis is gone, and recently-acquired Andrew Bogut is definitely done for the year with a sever ankle injury. The Nets aren't much better off as they only have 10 healthy players for tonight's game; Shelden and Jordan Williams along with Jordan Farmar are out while D-League call-up Dennis Horner and Anthony Morrow will be suiting up. Even with all these injuries, the Nets still have the superior talent to Golden State and should win this one easily. However, because this is the Nets we're talking about, that probably won't happen. 

Background on Golden State
As mentioned above, the Warriors don't have much healthy offensive explosiveness right now and truthfully aren;t a scary team. David Lee, who spurned the Nets in free agency a few offseasons ago in order to go to Golden State, is still a load to guard in the paint and is a double-double machine. Averaging nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds a game this season, Lee can grab boards with the best of them in the NBA and is a great interior finisher. This could be a major problem for the undermanned and rebounding-challenged Nets who will have Johan Petro (ouch) in the starting lineup for the game.

Nets Sign Dennis Horner to 10-Day Contract

In order to fill up the available roster spot left on the team after not renewing Jerry Smith's 10-day deal, the Nets have called up forward Dennis Horner, who started the season in New Jersey, to another 10-day contract. Horner didn't show much in the five games he played for the Nets towards the beginning of the season but without many other options left for healthy bodies, Horner got the call.

The signing comes on the news that Shelden Williams will probably be out until April 5th because of the eye injury he suffered on Wednesday against Indiana. Jordan Williams' concussion symptoms leave him day-to-day while Anthony Morrow is listed as probable. Jordan Farmar is also out until at least April 6th and might even miss the rest of the season with his groin injury. The Nets keep dropping like flies but they keep trying to patch up the holes of their roster with replacement-level guys. Who knows, maybe Horner, a rookie from NC State, turns into a stud like Gerald Green. The Nets could use the healthy bodies and talent.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Game 52 Recap: Nets 100, Pacers 84

A quick recap tonight of the Nets' best win since trading for Gerald Wallace two weeks ago. Against a playoff-bound Indiana team that had previously beaten the Nets 10 straight times, a beaten-up New Jersey squad (without Anthony Morrow and Jordan Farmar, along with the rest of the injury crew) came out with a passion and intensity that hasn't been seen often at home this season. Sure, Paul George had his customary 22 points on 8-13 shooting but other than him, the Nets played swarming defense that held Danny Granger to five points, Roy Hibbert to five points, and even Darren Collison to nine points.

Normally, the Nets would give up around 105 points to an offensively-sound team like the Pacers but tonight was much different. After coach Avery Johnson chewed out his team after an ugly blow-out loss to Utah at home on Monday, his crew responded for an even 100 points on nearly 50 percent shooting. Deron Williams was on fire for 30 points and 11-19 shooting while Marshon Brooks broke out of his slump for 17 points, with most of those points coming on drives to the paint.

Well, as you would expect, not everything was perfect for New Jersey last night as, you guessed it, there were more injuries. Shelden Williams was sent to the hospital with an apparent eye injury he suffered on a hit from Tyler Hansbrough in the 2nd quarter. The outlook isn't great for Shelden according to some of the Nets beat-writers in Twitter but nothing is known right now. Jordan Williams suffered from concussion-like symptoms and, like She-Will, wasn't able to finish off the game. It wasn't clear when J-Will got hurt but his condition isn't known right now. The Nets need these guys to stay relatively healthy because without them, Kris Humphries and Johan Petro would be the only healthy power forwards and centers left on the roster.

Looking Ahead
The Nets head out to the West Coast to take on the new-look Golden State Warriors and former YES Network broadcaster Mark Jackson at the helm. Let's keep this momentum going.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Injury Update: Jordan Farmar Might Be Done For Season

Farmar is crucial to the Nets' success so they will undoubtedly struggle with his absence
According to the New York Post's Tim Bontemps, Jordan Farmar will miss the Nets' next six games and might be out even more than that with his right groin injury. Before playing in Friday's and Saturday's games vs the Hawks and Bobcats respectively, Farmar had missed the previous four games with the same groin injury so it appears that he reaggravated it in his short return to the court. Obviously, this is bad news as it means more Sundiata Gaines, like a lot more because of the non-renewal of Jerry Smith's 10-day contract. Uh oh.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Game 51 Preview: Utah Jazz (26-23) at Nets (16-34)

Will D-Will step up against his old team? Well, if he doesn't, the Nets probably won win their  2nd-straight home game.
In an attempt to win consecutive home games for the first time this season, the Nets will try to defeat the upstart Utah Jazz, a team that is surprisingly stuck right in the middle of the Western Conference playoff race. Of course, there is added intrigue for tonight's contest as it will be the first time that former Nets Derrick Favors and Devin Harris, who were traded to Utah from the Nets last February (a year ago) for Deron Williams, are going to play at the Prudential Center since the trade. More importantly, D-Will will be playing the team that drafted him in 2005 and the team that he played on for six seasons prior to coming to the Nets. It's always big news when stars play their former teams.

Background on Utah
The Jazz are a very different team from the Nets as they focus very much on interior scoring and defense while the Nets score most of their points from outside of the paint and don't play very much defense. Utah also doesn't turn the ball over much, as they are tied for 6th in the NBA in that category. On the other hand, the Nets are 20th in turnovers per game in the league. I guess it's fair to say that the Jazz as a fundamental-based team which can definitely not be used to describe New Jersey. The Jazz might not have a ton of flash or starpower but playing the game the right way and not making any stupid mistakes can take teams very far and help them win games, especially against a poor team like the Nets.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Game 50 Recap: Nets 102, Bobcats 89

When he's on, like he was tonight, Hump can do incredible things
The losing streak is over as the Nets beat up on cure-of-all-NBA-ails Charlotte Bobcats in a game that wasn't really in question in the 2nd half. The Nets ran out to a quick 10-3 lead to start off the game and never looked back, as Charlotte was never able to hold a lead for the duration of the game. Heck, even Shelden Williams had a double-double and grabbed eight rebounds in the 1st quarter alone. An easy and non-stressful win over the worst team in the NBA was exactly what the Nets needed to buck the trend of a bad stretch of games since the trade deadline.

There isn't many specific details one can go over in a blow-out like this one but, to sum it up, the Nets just came out with more energy than their foes did and wanted the win more. It also helped to have a five-rebound advantage on the glass and have three players end up with double-doubles (Shelden, D-Will, Hump). The only real bright-spot for the Bobcats in this one was Byron (formerly known as B.J.) Mullens, the Ohio State product who scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes.

Regarding the Nets, there were a lot of positives to take from this game along with the usual negatives. First off, the play of Shelden Williams and Kris Humphries got the lead for the Nets from tip-off and was a huge part of the team maintaining it over the course of the game. Shelden had 10 and 11 in just 25 minutes while Hump went berserk for 20 points and 16 boards which, admittedly, came against the simply dreadful front-court of the Bobcats.

Also, Gerald Wallace, in his first Nets win, didn't shoot the ball great (5-13) but was incredibly active on the defensive and offensive ends. Through six games with Wallace, I have observed that he is a physical freak that isn't crazily gifted on offense but is able to get a lot of points off of put-backs, dunks, and simply being faster than everyone else. However, he is a really good defensive player who blocks some shots that frankly seem to be unblockable. Wallace is also a really good rebounder and upgrades the Nets in that aspect of the game significantly.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Game 50 Preview: Charlotte Bobcats (7-38) at Nets (15-34)

The Nets are currently in the midst of a 5-game losing streak. The Bobcats lost 16 games in a row earlier this season. Do you see where I'm going with this? Both of these teams absolutely stink but the Nets just stink less at this point. Looking to sweep the 4-game series series between them and Charlotte, the Nets will be looking to reverse their horrendous play at their Prudential Center this season with a win tonight.

Background on Charlotte
The Bobcats are 3-21 on the road on the year and there is simply no reason why they should get their 4th road win against the Nets. Charlotte doesn't do anything on the floor well at all. The Bobcats can't score (30th in the NBA), can't rebound (29th), and don't even play any defense (27th). The Nets aren't much better (25th, 26th, 24th respectively) but they have the one thing that Charlotte doesn't have, starpower. Gerald Henderson and D.J. Augustin are solid players but they just don't have the explosiveness that Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace give the Nets. And as we all know, the NBA is a league of stars.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Game 48 Recap: Wizards 108, Nets 89

Against all other teams, Roger Mason is a bad basketball player. Against the Nets, he's a star.
Normal game coverage will resume on Friday when the Nets head to Atlanta to take on the Hawks. As for the debacle that was tonight's game, a few lines fairly summarizes what happened. Washington got hot early and stayed hot the entire game and yet again, the Nets let the opposing teams score a ton of points (33) in the 1st quarter and get out to a big lead (8 but with the Nets, 8 points is a big deficit). With a few exceptions throughout the game when the Nets had spurts of competence, the Wizards kept this lead till the end.

Perennial cast-off Roger Mason scored 16 points in 23 minutes, while original Nets draft pick Jordan Crawford dropped in 23. Even new Wizard, Nene, made 9 of his 13 shots for 22 points and 10 boards. To give credit where credit is due, the young-gun and new-look Wizards played extremely well and hit some contested shots but many of them were wide-open jumpers and lay-ups that took one of two dribbles to get to the rim. Like usual, another poor, poor defensive effort by the Nets.

New Jersey's shooting was dismal (37 percent), couldn't defend (Washington shot 48 percent), and really didn't do much else right. I guess the tanking has officially started. However, for the first time in what seems like a lifetime, Avery Johnson showed some emotion and even got ejected midway through the 3rd quarter for arguing calls with the refs. D-Will joined in on the technical party and good for him, he didn't have to deal with the stink of the Nets anymore as he got ejected as well. Then, as one would expect, Washington was able to stretch out its 8-10 point lead to the high double-digits against the scrubbiest of Nets reserves, putting this game out of contention.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Game 47 Recap: Cavaliers 105, Nets 100

Sorry about the lack of preview for the game but I'll make up for it with this slightly different recap format (don't worry, it's not permanent). The lowly and young Cleveland Cavaliers marched into the Prudential Center and, like many bad teams have done this season, beat the Nets who just didn't seem to want to win this game. Cleveland simply obliterated the Nets on the boards by an advantage of 55-37 and just made shots when they needed to in order to win the game, which the Nets didn't do in the slightest. Cleveland's two significant rookies, 1st-overall Kyrie Irving and 4th-overall Tristan Thompson, combined for 53 points on 20-36 shooting, taking advantage of the usual porous Nets defense that seemed extra uninspired tonight.

Kris Humphries and Shelden Williams both got into foul trouble early on (with some questionable calls by the refs) which limited their playing time and production on the court. This led to the Nets being forced to use smaller lineups throughout the game which contributed to the Cavs' rebounding explosion. The Nets also missed a ton of shots, makeable shots, which D-Will could be blamed for.

Deron had 28 points and eight assists but only shot 8-23 from the field and committed five turnovers. At some points, his shot selection was awful, expressed by the contested lay-up he missed at the tail-end of the 4th quarter, a shot that if it went in, could keep the Nets within two points of the Cavs lead. Of course, he missed, Cleveland rebounded, the Nets fouled, and then the game was put away at the foul line.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nets Sign Gerald Green For the Rest of the Season

Green, a crazy high-flyer, won the NBA Dunk Contest in 2007
The Nets have officially signed small forward Gerald Green for the rest of the 2011-12 season. This was basically a foregone conclusion as Green has been a revelation for the Nets at small forward since the team called him up from the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League a few weeks ago. There was some talk that Gerald would be signed for next season as well but I guess the Nets are going to delay on that decision to keep as much cap space for the offseason as possible.

Game 46 Recap: Hornets 102, Nets 94

Yeah, I'm not really that confident about that whole "Deron Williams wanting to stay on the Nets in free agency this year because he thinks they can be a playoff contender" thing anymore. I say that because of the gut-wrenching and simply devastating loss D-Will's (current) team had against the lowly Hornets at the Prudential Center last night. Gerald Wallace's Nets debut was ruined by the brutal effort which was soured in the 4th quarter after the Nets held a 12-point lead after the first 36 minutes of the game.

Through the first three quarters of this game, the Nets looked like the superior team that was healthy and had solid team chemistry. The ball was moving around the court great; emphasized by an awesome layup alley-oop from D-Will to Gerald Wallace, who had a solid debut, sprinkled in with a few open Anthony Morrow and Gerald Green 3-pointers. D-Will took on more of a distributor role as his shot just wasn't falling (9-24 shooting) but the Nets could have used more scoring from him to put away the pesky Hornets who hung around in the game riding on the trio of Chris Kaman, Marco Belinelli, and Jarrett Jack.

The Nets headed into the 4th-quarter with a 82-70 lead on the power of a late 3rd-quarter 7-0 run capped off by a Wallace buzzer-beating corner 3-pointer with no time left in the period. Then, disaster and catastrophe ensued. The Hornets outscored the Nets 32-12 in the period and won the game powered by eight points from D-League call-up Lance Thomas, the longest jump-shot of Kaman's career, a 3-point bomb from Jack, and the dagger 3 from Belinelli. Utterly horrifying, the end of this game was so bad that I couldn't look away. (Cue the whole "like a car accident, too terrible you can't walk away" thing).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Game 46 Preview: New Orleans Hornets (10-34) at Nets (15-30)

I'm excited for Gerald Wallace's Nets debut; I've always admired his tenacious play from afar  
The new-look Nets will nearly be whole tonight for the first time as recent trade acquisition Gerald Wallace will make his debut with the team at the Prudential Center against the hapless New Orleans Hornets. Deron Williams (calf) and Jordan Farmar (groin) are expected to return from injuries as well but center Brook Lopez is still out. I'm excited to see what Wallace can do with an elite point guard giving him the ball and hopefully the two can mesh together fast and well. 

Background on New Orleans
Like the Nets have for most of this season, the Hornets are being bitten by the injur bug as many of their best players won't play tonight and haven't played for awhile; guys like Eric Gordon, Emeka Okafor, Carl Landry among others. Just because New Orleans is extremely short-handed and only has 10 wins on this season doesn't mean that this is a cakewalk win for the Nets, rather its the opposite. The Hornets have proven that they can beat good teams (Dallas, Minnesota, Utah, Orlando, Denver just to name a few) so the Nets better not let their guard down, cause doing so would lead to a loss.

Previous Game
The Hornets had no answer for the Wizards' John Wall on Thursday night as they lost to Washington by the score of 99-89, extending the Hornets' losing streak to three games. Chris Kaman, acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in the preseason trade sending Chris Paul from New Orleans to LA, showed flashes of his former self with 20 points and seven rebounds on 9-15 shooting. Kaman was the subject of multiple trade rumors but obviously didn't let those affect him in the game. Gustavo Ayon, a rookie from Mexico. added 16 points and nine boards for New Orleans in the losing effort.

Game 45 Recap: Magic 86, Nets 70

Abbreviated and late recap tonight because I wasn't able to catch most of this game. The result was what most would expect, a blow-out win for a Magic team energized by the (temporary) commitment of their star center, Dwight Howard, to their Orlando franchise. Without their three best players (D-Will, Brook, Wallace), the Nets just couldn't get much going on offense and couldn't hit anything from the field, finishing the game with a team shooting percentage of 34%. 

Sundy Gaines, Marshon Brooks, and Anthony Morrow couldn't hit the broad side of a barn (14 combined points, 6-36 from field) but Gerald Green continued his streak of solid play on both sides of the ball (14 points on 6-9 shooting). Jerry Smith played 20 minutes in his NBA debut, Hump had 4 points and 3 boards, DeShawn Stevenson hit three 3-pointers, and Jordan Williams scored 10 points. Heck, even Johan Petro had a near double-double. Boy do the Nets need D-Will and Gerald Wallace's all-around talents could really help this team. We'll see both of them later tonight at the Prudential Center against the lowly Hornets.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Game 45 Preview: Nets (15-29) at Orlando Magic (28-16)

Orlando's skyline is nothing like that of New York City, where the Nets will be next season. But he chose Central Florida and that's what he's going to have to deal with. No Waffling!
UPDATE: Sundiata Gaines will be starting tonight as D-Will (calf), Jordan Farmar (groin), and new addition Gerald Wallace (taking team physical in NJ) all won't be playing this evening. Farmar is day-to-day while D-Will and Wallace will play tomorrow in Newark as the Nets take on the New Orleans Hornets.

All I can say is wow. The day after Dwight Howard decides that he won't become a free agent this offseason (and possibly join the Nets) and will remain with the Magic through next season, his Magic team plays the Orlando. I'm sure there will be some mixed emotions for Dwight at the Amway Arena, with cheers winning out. The Nets probably won't have their trade deadline acquisition, Gerald Wallace, or point guard Deron Williams for the game so they will most likely be trotting out a less-than-intimidating line-up of Hump, Marshon Brooks, and a few reserves. Regardless, this game will be an interesting one.

Background on Orlando
Since Dwight Howard is still on the Magic (for the relative meantime), he will be the Nets' main focus in this game for both offensive and defensive purposes. Howard is a force-to-be-reckoned-with in the paint and really makes it hard for opposing players to score near the hoop. He also commands multiple defenders when he's on offense and even then can he have his way at the rim with dunks, lay-ups, and even hook shots. His supporting cast isn't great but since most of them are sharpshooters from behind-the-arc, the Nets will have a lot of trouble with this team because, as we know too well, the Nets aren't so good at perimeter defense.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nets Call Up Jerry Smith From D-League

To fill up the empty roster spot that they have from today's earlier trade, the Nets have called up Springfield Armor and former Louisville Cardinal shooting guard Jerry Smith, according to Smith's Twitter account. Smith is the Nets' 5th D-league call-up of the season and is leading the Armors in points (19.1) and steals (1.91) per game this season.

Dwight Howard Stays in Orlando Until End of 2012-13; Nets Rebound by Trading For Gerald Wallace

Nope, he won't be with the Nets this season
That's right. Dwight Howard did the seemingly unthinkable and waived the ETO (early termination option) on his current contract, meaning he has essentially opted-in to the final year of his deal with Orlando. Like everyone else, I was shocked to hear this news and was simply disappointed with the terrible way that Howard dealt with the whole situation. Last night, it was reported by a few writers that Dwight would be waiving his ETO but just hours later, the opposite was circulating around the internet and TV. Then, earlier this morning, the Magic center announced he would in fact sign the ETO and stay with the team that drafted him for at last another season.

Contrary to what most people believe, this is not the end of the Dwightmare and it isn't the end of the Nets' chances of going into the Barclays Center next year with a good team. The news with Howard simply means that this whole debacle of a "will he stay or go" situation is just pushed back to the trade deadline of next season until all the speculation starts again. On the other hand, Nets' GM Billy King wasted absolutely no time in making this team better right now by trading for the Portland Trailblazers' SF Gerald Wallace. In the deal, the Nets gave up the expiring contract of Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and a 1st-round pick.

Of course Wallace is no even close to the talent level of Dwight Howard but he is a very suitable Plan B to appease Deron Williams, at least in the meantime. For those of you that aren't familiar with Wallace, he is a great defender and will really help the Nets' dreadful perimeter defense. His arrival also probably means that DeShawn Stevenson won't be starting anymore for this team and may be relegated to a reserve role. Wallace, a 12-year NBA vet who is only 30 years old, is averaging 13 points and six rebounds a game this season, numbers which are much down from earlier in his career, especially when he was with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Game 43 Recap: Bucks 105, Nets 99

The Nets had no answer for this guy's jump-shot tonight
The Nets' losing streak to the Milwaukee Bucks was extended to 10 games tonight in a heart-breaking and simply dreadful 105-99 loss. New Jersey, without D-Will, finally got off to a quick start in the 1st half and even held a 12-point lead a few times in the 2nd quarter. However, when it got to the 2nd half of the game, the wheels on the Nets' already-damaged bus fell right off and they couldn't find a mechanic to put them back on.

The Bucks jumped out to a quick 5-0 run to start the 3rd quarter and cut the Nets' halftime lead to 55-51. Even a career-high 31-point performance by Kris Humphries could slow Milwaukee who just started shooting the lights out in the last two quarters of the game. After the Bucks took their first lead of the game, 78-76, at the 10:47 mark of the 4th, they would never turn back and cruised for the win. Drew Gooden (23 PTS, 8 REBS, 7 ASTS) started draining deep jump-shots, Brandon Jennings' (34, 7, 7) rainbow 3-point shot kept finding the bottom of the basket, and even Beno Udrih (15 PTS, 7 ASTS) somehow was wide open at the hoop for multiple lay-ups. The list keeps going on as the Bucks completely took advantage of the extreme lack of Nets' 2nd-half defense en route to the hard-fought win.

Going back to the Nets, Kris Humphries was the star of the show but he and Anthony Morrow, who had 17 points on 8-11 shooting, just couldn't pull out the win themselves and they didnt get much help from their teammates. No other Net's rebounding total was within 12 of Hump's ridiculous 18 board amount which meant that Milwaukee feasted on the glass when Kris wasn't in the game. Filling in for D-Will, Jordan Farmar did score 17 points but it was on inefficient 6-17 shooting while Marshon Brooks crashed right back down to Earth from his great performance on Saturday. Brooks only scored 11 on 4-10 shooting but also committed five bad turnovers which really hurt the Nets' chances of making a comeback late in the game.

Game 43 Preview: Milwaukee Bucks (17-24) at Nets (14-28)

Uh oh, how on Earth are the Nets going to be able to score points without D-Will in the line-up? Hey, I know, let's call someone up from the D-League
UPDATE: D-Will will not play tonight due to his sore calf. He is day-to-day.

The Nets look to bounce back from a winning streak-breaking loss on Saturday night at the hands of the Houston Rockets at the Prudential Center. Each team was without their starting point guard due to injury--Kyle Lowry (bacterial infection) for Houston and D-Will (calf) for the Nets--but that didn't stop the Rockets from shooting 56 percent from the field and scoring 112 points. New Jersey will have to overcome their season-long home struggles and snap their 9-game losing streak to the Bucks in order to get their 15th win of the season.

Background on Milwaukee
Milwaukee, like the Nets, has suffered a bunch of tough injuries this season but the most notable one is with their franchise center and former #1 overall pick Andrew Bogut. Bogut hasn't played since January 27th with an ankle fracture and has had to fight through constant injuries in his relatively short career. The Bucks have lost their fair share of games since their center's injury but have been on an uptick of late, winning their last two games--against the Raptors and Knicks--and three of their last four. One of the main reasons for Milwaukee's improved play of late is Ersan Ilyasova, the Turkish power forward who has been on a scoring, and rebounding, rampage since his team's Feb. 19th win in Newark over the Nets. Since his 29-point and 25-rebound performance in that game, Ilyasova is averaging 19.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per contest and doesn't seem to be looking back.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Has Gerald Green Become Another Viable Trade Asset for the Nets in their Push for Dwight?

Green was drafted 18th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2005 NBA Draft
In a breakout performance in Saturday's Nets loss to the Houston Rockets, recent D-League call-up Gerald Green, who is on his 2nd 10-day contract with New Jersey, went absolutely bonkers for 26 points on 10-15 shooting with four 3-pointers. He also had one of the craziest in-game dunks in recent memory (sorry Blake Griffin, you haven't matched this yet).

Other than showing that he can be the starting small forward for this team (and an effective one at that), Green showed with his performance that he could even be included in a potential trade package that could bring Dwight Howard up to New Jersey by the NBA trade deadline, which happens to be on Thursday of this week.

A lot of talk around the NBA has revealed that New Jersey is Dwight's #1 choice of teams but there has also been some questions as to if the Magic, specifically GM Otis Smith, would be intrigued by a potential trade with the Nets who would probably build a package around center Brook Lopez, guard Marshon Brooks, and a few 1st-round draft picks. The problem is that that doesn't seem to be enough for the Magic to pull the trigger on sending away their franchise center who is basically the only reason that Orlando is any good right now.

The Blog Returns from an Extended Lay-Off

Yes, that is correct. I haven't been able to post at all over the last two weeks which can be attributed to a multitude of factors, namely that I've had a ridiculous amount of homework lately for school, a few important family functions, and even a few bouts of fatigue. However, the break ends tomorrow as I will have a feature story up in the morning later tonight and the preview for tomorrow's game against the Bucks at night. By the way, it's great to be back.