Archive for the ‘ Brooklyn Nets Blog ’ Category

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on Nets forward Paul Pierce. Brooklyn was eliminated yesterday by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs.

No retirement plans for Paul Pierce just yet

Paul Pierce’s first season with the Brooklyn Nets is over.

And the veteran forward isn’t sure if it will be his last, either.

Pierce said after the Miami Heat’s series-clinching 96-94 Game 5 win over the Nets that he believes he still has a year or two left in his tank. Where the unrestricted free agent-to-be will play next is uncertain.

“I haven’t really put much thought into it,” Pierce said of what his future holds and if he wants to remain a Net. “I put my whole focus into this season, it’s my last year of the contract. I will sit back and talk to the family and see where my options are from there and go from there.”

Pierce, 36, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and the Nets own his Bird Rights, which allows them to offer him more money than any other team.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Heat vs Nets series, which Miami now leads 3-1:

Joe Johnson wasn’t impressed with LeBron James’ defense against him in the final minutes of the Nets’ 102-96 loss to the Heat in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Monday night.

“I wasn’t necessarily trying to draw the foul on him,” said Johnson, although James had five fouls while defending him, “but I thought he was aggressive, so I was just trying to use his aggressiveness against him.

“[But] he flopped that last one.”

Johnson, who had 18 points but went just 5-for-15 from the floor — including 0-for-4 in the fourth quarter — twice found himself matched up against James inside the final two minutes. But after James successfully defended Johnson’s fallaway jumper with the score tied at 94 with 1:16 remaining, Johnson tried to make a step-back jumper as James banged into him and fell to the floor. Johnson missed the shot with 40.7 seconds remaining and the Nets trailing 97-94.

Paul Pierce says Nets not scared of Heat

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Heat and Nets, who are facing each other in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. The Heat currently lead the series 2-1, but the Nets stepped up yesterday to win Game 3 in Brooklyn yesterday.

The Nets made their stand last night against LeBron James, and Brooklyn showed up to stand with them.

When you are The King of your sport, you live for these occasions, when the opponent is reeling and desperate and you have the chance to go for the throat and choke the last vestiges of life out of it.

Once you become The King, every game becomes a Game of Thrones, every series a Series of Thrones.

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, remember, came to Brooklyn to threaten The Kingdom, and with a lot of luck and Mikhail Prokhorov maybe installing a Fountain of Youth somewhere inside Barclays Center, to dream the improbable dream of shocking the world and somehow wresting the crown from The King.

That dream stayed alive Saturday night when Brooklyn, a 104-90 winner, played with a toughness and an edge and a pride that reflects Mike Tyson’s borough and refused to let King James grab a 3-0 series lead and bury it.

“We’re not scared of them,” Pierce said.

The Nets are battling the Heat in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. Miami is a loaded team, and one of the key advantages the Nets should have is at the point guard position, where Deron Williams is supposed to be a better player than Mario Chalmers. But D-Will shot 0-of-9 in Game 2, finishing with zero points in the Nets loss. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Deron Williams shoots 0-for-9 in Nets Game 2 loss to Heat

History tells us this series is over. The Nets might still win a game. But they don’t have what it takes to win a playoff series against the Miami Heat.

Their problems start, guess where? With the guy who is their most important player.

What a bad night for this to happen, but Deron Williams had his first scoreless playoff game of his career and it was the main story coming out of his team’s 94-82 loss to the two-time defending champs.

Williams’ line on Thursday night was awful: Thirty-six minutes. Nine shots. No makes. And no trips to the foul line. Yes, he had six assists and seven boards. But that was merely silver lining stuff.

If he had been a factor with his shooting and was able to give the Nets his usual 17 points he averaged in their eight previous playoff games, this series could perhaps be tied at 1-1.

At this point in his career, Kevin Garnett is mostly focused on rebounding, defending, working hard and doing the zillion little things that help a team win. But he still has to score at least a little, especially against a championship-level team like the Heat. Not happening so far early in the Heat-Nets series. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Kevin Garnett barely scoring so far in Nets-Heat playoff series

Two days after he went scoreless for the first time in his playoff career, Kevin Garnett was somehow worse in Game 2 – scoring just four points while missing five of his six shots in the paint.

The culmination of the 37-year-old’s frustration was an open five-footer with 5:28 remaining, which turned into a Ray Allen 3-pointer at the other end, and an eight-point Brooklyn deficit.

It also left Garnett grabbing his head as he walked to the bench following a timeout.

“I’m not happy with my play right now. I’m trying to get in a flow and a rhythm,” said Garnett, who is shooting 20% and averaging two points in the two games against Miami. “Try to bring something. It’s just frustrating. But I’ll grind through it.

“(I’ll) continue to work. Continue to find ways to be aggressive offensively. Continue to look for opportunities. Rebound the ball. And continue to talk and inspire.”

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Heat and Nets, who are facing each other in the Eastern conference semifinals:

lebron james

This is what it’s supposed to look like when the two-time defending champ plays the sixth seed.

It’s supposed to be lopsided, with the favorites imposing their will and their athletic advantage, scoring easily and often under the basket.

Only it wasn’t supposed to happen to the Nets, not after they beat the Heat in all four regular-season meetings.

“Regular seasons don’t even matter,” Miami’s Dwyane Wade said.

Like the Heat was preaching all along, the playoffs are a different animal. It became painfully apparent for the Nets on Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena, where they were stomped by a balanced Miami attack and fell in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

It was just too easy for LeBron James and Co. in their 107-86 domination. They outscored the Nets in the paint, 52-28. They shot 57%, breaking open the game in the third quarter before Jason Kidd waved the white flag.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Nets and Heat:

The droning chant will have to wait until the series moves to Barclays Center for Saturday’s Game 3.

But an argument could be made it has been ringing in the Miami Heat’s ears for months.

“Brooookl-lyn! Brooook-lyn! Brooook-lyn!”

An early-round matchup the Heat thought they had avoided with their No. 2 East playoff seed, until some late manipulation by the Brooklyn Nets, is at hand, the best-of-seven conference semifinal series starting Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

No team this season, at least when it came to wins and losses, had the Heat’s number like Brooklyn, sweeping the four-game season series, as well as winning both preseason matchups.

And, yes, it means Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are back as playoff rivals, this time in Brooklyn black instead of Boston green, complete with the enduring playoff respect and contempt that long has heightened these postseason matchups against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

“It will always be there,” Wade said after Sunday’s practice, a session completed before the Nets defeated the Raptors 104-103 at Air Canada Centre in Game 7 of that series. “I don’t think there will be a moment where it won’t, just the competitive nature of those guys.”

Sunday in Toronto, the Nets edged the Raptors 104-103 to win Game 7 of their first round NBA playoff series. Joe Johnson shot just 11-of-25, but his 26 points were a big part of the win for Brooklyn. Here are some video highlights of Johnson’s efforts:

paul pierce

Paul Pierce blocked Kyle Lowry’s shot from the lane on the final play of the game, and the Brooklyn Nets held off the Toronto Raptors 104-103 in Game 7 on Sunday to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

The Nets will begin the conference semifinals at Miami on Tuesday night to play the two-time defending NBA champion Heat.

Leading by one point, Brooklyn used its final timeout after failing to inbound the ball. On the second opportunity, Shaun Livingston tried a lob pass to Pierce, but Terrence Ross got a hand on the ball and then knocked it off Pierce and out of bounds for a turnover.

Toronto used a timeout and gave the ball to Lowry, whose driving shot was blocked by Pierce as time expired. Lowry lay prone in the key as the Nets surged onto the court in celebration.

Joe Johnson scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Nets.

– Associated Press

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Miami Heat, who swept the Charlotte Bobcats 4-0 in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs and await the winner of the Nets-Raptors series:

With the Miami Heat given Saturday off by coach Erik Spoelstra, there was no need to answer the question that never results in an honest answer, or any answer, anyway:

Who would you rather face in the next round?

The question will answer itself in Sunday’s Game 7 between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre, the winner to arrive at AmericanAirlines Arena for Tuesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

But let’s be real, there is a reason the Heat executive suite has been stocked with Canadian Club for the weekend, a reason Canadian bacon and Tim Hortons will be featured at the player brunch Sunday, a reason Spoelstra will flip a loonie to decide which team defends which basket during Sunday practice.

The Heat not only swept the four-game season series from the Raptors, but have won the past 15 meetings, never losing to Toronto during the Big Three era.

By contrast, the Heat went 0-4 against the Nets this season, losing both preseason games to Brooklyn, as well.

You do the math.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Brooklyn Nets, who on Sunday will play Gmae 7 against the Toronto Raptors to see which team advances to the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs:

You could see it in DeMar DeRozan’s eyes, hear it in his voice: the Raptors were cooked in the layup lines. They had no idea what they were getting into. All that talk of experience that seemed so trite the past few games? Finally, we saw why it really can be a big deal.

“We didn’t realize we had Brooklyn against the wall,” DeRozan said quietly shaking his head, the Raptors’ gifted guard copping to a team-wide malaise, setting up the throttling they had just endured. “They came out and started throwing haymakers.”

This is what the Nets wanted to believe about themselves all along, going back to Durham, N.C., back to the first hours of training camp. This is how they viewed themselves before the slings and arrows of the regular season started chipping away at that veneer, before the rigors of a rugged playoff series nudged their toes to the brink of the abyss.

Maybe greatness on demand was too much to ask across the season’s first 87 games. But Friday night at Barclays Center, they were able to summon their inner Superteam when they needed it most desperately. They were able to buy themselves at least two more days of basketball. The final score was 97-83, 14 points that felt like 40.

One game left to decide the series.

NBA fines Jason Kidd for public criticism of the officiating

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Kidd made his comments during a conference call with the media on Thursday, May 1.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Nets, who are now in trouble against the Toronto Raptors and must win Game 6 in Brooklyn tomorrow or they’ll be eliminated from the first round of the NBA playoffs:

The Nets traded their future for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to rise in these moments. They held press conferences and dedicated thousands of words to reiterate that these guys bring leadership, they bring the moxie that’s required during crunch time of pivotal playoff games.

The price for that luxury? Three first-round draft choices. As the team slogan indicates, the Nets were going “All In” on two aging future Hall of Famers.

But for an entire fourth quarter in the biggest game of the season Wednesday night, with the Nets staging a miraculous comeback behind Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Mirza Teletovic, Pierce and Garnett were just cheerleaders, bystanders.

When the Nets needed a big stop in the final minute, Jason Kidd never summoned Garnett. When they needed a big shot, Pierce never took off his warmup shirt. The result was a 115-113 loss in Game 5 for the Nets, in a roller-coaster of a game that ended when Andray Blatche threw a pass way off target for a turnover with one second remaining.

The Nets, the most expensive team in NBA history, plunged to the brink of elimination with that pass and with most of their playoff experience on the bench, falling into a 3-2 deficit in the first-round series heading into Friday’s Game 6 in Brooklyn.

On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets visited the Toronto Raptors for Game 5 of their first round playoff series. Although the Nets went wild in the fourth quarter, scoring 44 points, it wasn’t enough, and Toronto won 115-113 to take a 3-2 series lead.

Raptors fans have been loud, wild and engaged during the series, and even gathering in massive crowds outside Toronto’s arena to enjoy the action. While Nets fans back in Brooklyn tend to be on the… quieter side. The Nets are still new in Brooklyn, and while attendance is great, and tons of fans are terrific, some others are on the casual side of things. It’s a great situation — all that’s missing is a bit more loudness from some in the crowd.

Anyway, during last night’s game, Nets team website reporter Lenn Robbins was running the official Nets Twitter account as a guest of sorts, and one of his tweets called out Nets fans. Check it out:

Bold move, calling out the fans. But if it works, that’s all that matters.

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on Nets forward Paul Pierce, who spent the bulk of his NBA career with the Boston Celtics before becoming a Net:

Jason Kidd feels Paul Pierce gained closure in Boston return

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd believes that Paul Pierce’s emotional return to Boston on Jan. 26 allowed the future Hall of Fame forward to get some closure, move on and begin really thriving in Brooklyn.

“To go back to Boston, the place you were drafted, I think that probably closed the door on his career there in Boston,” Kidd told reporters Sunday.

Pierce played the first 15 seasons of his career with the Celtics. The 36-year-old veteran was initially stunned when he was traded by the only franchise he’d ever known.

It took Pierce awhile to get over that.

Ed Manetta has been named Director of Sports Programming for Barclays Center. He will spearhead the programming of the BROOKLYN HOOPS college basketball and BROOKLYN BOXING franchises, along with college hockey, high school sports and new sports properties.

Manetta has more than 25 years of experience in the sports industry, including serving as Director of Athletics for St. John’s University and DePaul University. Most recently, Manetta served as Managing Director at Fastlane Communications where he created the first ever digital channel for high school sports and led the programming efforts for a minor league baseball complex. Prior to Fastlane, Manetta worked for MSL Sports and Entertainment and Edelman Worldwide.

Manetta is also currently an adjunct professor at both Iona College and St John’s University.

“Ed’s extensive experience in major college athletics and professional sports will help us expand our great programming for Barclays Center,” said Sean Saadeh, SVP of Programming for Barclays Center. “Our college basketball and major boxing franchises have been successful during our first 19 months, and we are excited to continue to bring the best to Brooklyn.”

“I am honored to be part of such a thriving sports and entertainment venue,” Manetta said. “Barclays Center has captured Brooklyn, the City of New York and the nation as one of the most popular and exciting sports destinations in the industry today. I am proud to be joining the team and I am looking forward to contributing to the growth of the arena’s programming.”

Raised in East Northport, Long Island, Manetta received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s University and his graduate degree from Fordham University. Manetta and his wife, Debra, reside in Larchmont, NY and have children Lindsey, Nicole and James.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on on Nets forward Paul Pierce:

Paul Pierce plays well in Nets-Raptors Game 1

Dubbed a “Dinosaur” on the front page of the local Toronto paper because of his age, the 36-year-old Pierce buried the Raptors in Game 1 of the opening round, scoring nine of his 15 points in the final three minutes of a wild 94-87 victory that started with a profane insult from Toronto’s GM and ended with a broken shot clock.

“Truth-asaurus Rex 1, Raptors 0,” Pierce retweeted from his account not long after the game.

An acrimonious tone was set when Raptors GM Masai Ujiri shouted “F— Brooklyn!” at a fan rally outside the arena before the game, drawing cheers from the assembled thousands. But by the time Pierce walked off the floor, the Nets, seeded sixth, had snatched home-court advantage from the inexperienced and combustible No. 3 Raptors, flexing their experience and $102 million payroll.

“You see, as a home-court team should do, (the Raptors) relied on their crowd, relied on their home-court advantage,” said Shaun Livingston. “So to come in and take that away from them in Game 1, it’s big for us.”

Raptors GM sounds off against Brooklyn

Here’s the Toronto Sun with a fun update on the general manage of the Raptors:

The Raptors-Brooklyn Nets series was never going to be a quiet one.

Between the Maple Leafs missing the playoffs eight of nine seasons and the Raptors done by late April for five straight seasons, Toronto fans have been impatiently waiting years for another taste of post-season action.

The Air Canada Centre was bananas from the start Saturday, getting on the visiting Brooklyn Nets, the referees and even Nets coach Jason Kidd. And if that wasn’t enough, scores of people gathered outside at Maple Leaf Square were even more amped up after team president/general manager Masai Ujiri, throwing political correctness out the window, ended an address to the gathered fans in emphatic fashion.

“F— Brookyn,” yelled Ujiri, handing off the mic as he left the stage with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke, who dropped his head, perhaps thinking, ‘It’s on now.’

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Brooklyn Nets, who begin their first-round NBA playoff series against the Toronto Raptors tomorrow:

Nets guard Shaun Livingston tries to heal up for playoffs

As the Nets rotated players in and out of the lineup over the final five games of the season in order to be rested and healthy for the playoffs, only one player sat out all five games.

That player was Shaun Livingston, who sprained his right big toe on a dunk attempt in the Nets’ win over the Heat on April 8 in Miami and needed the week off to be back in the starting lineup for Saturday’s matinee Game 1 against the Raptors.

“I definitely needed the time,” Livingston said after Friday’s practice. “But circumstances, I think I would have been able to play through it. I would have just pushed through it.

“I feel better. I got a chance to get on the court for the first time [Thursday], so I feel better. I’m shaking off the rust, trying to get my wind back. There’s going to be a lot of adrenaline … [so I’ll] just try to stay composed and stay in the moment.”

Watch video of Nets rookie Mason Plumlee blocking Heat star LeBron James with around four seconds left. The Nets won the game, 88-87. This was huge. LeBron felt he got fouled on the play. Notice Joe Johnson swiping at LeBron before Plumlee’s block.

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