When the Philadelphia 76ers lost 101-100 to the streaking Denver Nuggets– winners of 14 straight–Brooklyn clinched a playoff berth for the first time in five years. The Nets (40-28) are vastly improved from last year’s team (then the New Jersey Nets) that won only 12 games. Two factors have been instrumental to the Nets success this season: the productivity of Brook Lopez and the firing of Avery Johnson. Lopez has been nothing short of spectacular when he’s been healthy (he missed some games earlier in the season because of an ankle injury). He’s averaging 19 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and was named to his first All-Star team. As for the firing of Coach Avery Johnson, it was a decision that I did not agree with. But it’s easier to dispose of a coach than it is with players for underperformance. Since the firing, Brooklyn’s record is 26-14. Unfortunately for Johnson, the Nets’ recent success speaks to how desperately they needed a new voice to salvage a promising season.
Brooklyn’s head coach Avery Johnson lost his job Thursday morning after his team suffered its tenth loss in December, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks, 108-93, Wednesday night. Continue reading
As NYC embarks on its recovery from Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg encouraged NBA officials to postpone Thursday’s regular season opener between the Nets and Knicks at the Barclays center. It would have been first official NBA game for the Nets in Brooklyn. Instead, the Nets will play their first game at home versus the Toronto Raptors Saturday night. While the excitement surrounding Nets/Raptors will not be the same as what it would have been if the Nets had played their crosstown rivals, there are times when sports should take a back seat to serious matters that affect one’s sense of well-being.
- Report: Knicks-Nets game to be postponed (tracking.si.com)
The majority of NBA Gm’s expect the Nets to be the most improved team this upcoming season according to a survey released by the NY post Tuesday. Their optimism is merited by Brooklyn’s offseason success in revamping a roster that won only 22 games in a 66-game schedule a year ago. Although they were favorable in their assessment of the Nets roster, the general managers were not willing to crown them Atlantic division champs nor were they willing to award that honor to the Knicks for their offseason additions of Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas. To no one’s surprise, NBA Gm’s believe the Celtics will repeat as Atlantic division champs and that the Heat would do the same as NBA champs. Way to state the obvious!
- GMs tab Brooklyn Nets as most improved (nypost.com)
Brook Lopez, once the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade that would’ve sent former Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, has acquitted himself nicely this preseason by leading the team in scoring in four of its first five games. Lopez’s scoring abilities are undeniable, but the 7-footer still leaves a lot to be desired as a defender and a rebounder. Continue reading