Tag:New Jersey Nets
Posted on: March 30, 2011 10:31 pm
 

Knicks slide past future neighbor Nets

Posted by Royce Young



Before everyone gets ahead of themselves, let's understand things for what they are. The Knicks beat a bad New Jersey team at Madison Square Garden, and still gave up 116 points to do it.

But things are a better right now than they were a week ago and that at least deserves some recognition. The Knicks are within a game of .500 after winning their second straight and with the schedule softening up to close the season, maybe they can re-position for the six-seed. Maybe.

Two things of note that are were mentioning from the Knicks win over the Nets:

1) Carmelo Anthony really appears to be trying to shoulder the load. "Trying" is a key word. Melo was terrific in the third going for 20 points. The fourth, he went just 1-5 for two points, but it was enough. His third quarter effort was what brought the Knicks back from 10 down to trail by just a point heading to the fourth.

He finished with 39 on 15-26 shooting. This is Melo's third consecutive game with at least 35. But even more than that, his effort defensively was for once, noticeable. He battled through screens, contested shots and crashed the defensive glass. Melo is giving a major effort right now to try and get things straightened out for New York. It's commendable.

2) The Knicks role players did something. If you check the box score, you'll see it was 39 for Melo, 23 for Amar'e Stoudemire and 33 for Chauncey Billups. They definitely did most of the work. Almost 80 percent of it. But in a big stretch in the fourth, Anthony Carter dished out three big assists and knocked down a jumper. Shelden Williams turned in three big buckets and it was his work on the glass tipping a rebound to Toney Douglas that essentially sealed the game. Shawne Williams only scored four but made a large jumper late.

The Knicks really are just a less polished, less talented version of the Heat in a way, even down to the bench. They lose this game without even the slightest contributions from their role guys. Melo, Billups and Amar'e will carry the team in most every way, but they aren't winning games, even against bad teams like New Jersey, without their benc doing something.

This Knick team is kind of fascinating and it's why so many people are writing so much about them. They just seem too good to be losing all these games. But they're now 9-12 since the trade and though it's only two wins, it's at least the right direction. Melo called the Orlando game a pretty much must-win and it was, because it relieved some stress off them.

But this team isn't built for the now. They aren't doing anything other than maybe pushing a first round opponent to six or seven games. They're too talented to be losing this much though and that's why even just back-to-back wins feels big for them.
Posted on: March 30, 2011 9:16 am
Edited on: March 30, 2011 9:18 am
 

Should the Utah Jazz draft Jimmer Fredette?

The Utah Jazz have reportedly scouted BYU star Jimmer Fredette at least 10 times in person. Will they draft him? Posted by Ben Golliver. jimmer-fredette

Should the Utah Jazz draft BYU star Jimmer Fredette? Of course they should. 

He's a regional icon, he has a defined NBA skill in a draft without many players who fit that bill, he has accumulated a certain starpower that the new-look Jazz are badly lacking and he fits the Jazz culture to a T. With two lottery picks in this year's draft -- thanks to a midseason shake-up that sent franchise point guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets -- the Jazz are positioned better than anyone else to absorb any risk factor that might accompany a player like Fredette, who plays questionable defense and is a shoot-first, shoot-second type of college guard that can struggle adapting to the pro game.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Jazz are apparently interested in Fredette and have extensively scouted him.
Twenty-eight of the 30 league clubs requested credentials at the Marriott Center this year, and the Jazz were foremost among them. Their personnel, including Kevin O’Connor, have watched Fredette play in person between 10 and 20 times. At least 25 scouts were on hand when BYU played at San Diego State.
One team executive who requested anonymity because he’s not permitted to comment on prospects says Jimmer’s offense is a go, but his defense is a real concern.
The Jazz organization is in a place that it hasn't been for decades: searching for an identity. With long-time coach Jerry Sloan gone, with Williams gone, with new coach Tyrone Corbin still getting his sea legs and with a roster that suddenly looks mish-mashed, the Jazz are staring at a future filled with fourth place finishes in the Northwest Division. 

That reality means the Jazz either need to do something to win fans' hearts or win games. Jimmer can certainly handle the hearts in the short-term. Drafting a guy to buy rebuilding time isn't always the wisest decision, but here it makes a lot of sense.  
Posted on: March 28, 2011 8:22 am
Edited on: March 28, 2011 8:24 am
 

Shootaround 3.28.11: Miami's Big 3 makes history

The Miami Heat's Big 3 make history, the Los Angeles Lakers could take a big financial hit, Russell Westbrook went big, the Portland Trail Blazers contemplate change and the New York Knicks make changes to their schedule. Posted by Ben Golliver. shootaround
  • The New York Times reports that the struggling Knicks are trying everything -- including making changes to their schedule's standard operating procedures -- to try to turn things around. 
  • The L.A. Times reports that Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom sounds kind of excited about potentially winning the NBA's Sixth Man Award. "It would be a great accomplishment," he said. "I never would have seen myself four or five years ago coming off the bench."
  • Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook was huge -- absolutely huge -- in a Sunday night win over the Portland Trail Blazers, sticking a three-pointer to ice it in the game's closing minutes. His coach Scott Brooks' take, according to The Oklahoman: “They were big shots. I'm not going to sit up here and say they were great shots, but they were big shots.”
  • ESPNLA.com says the Lakers could lose roughly 10% of their reported $3 billion cable TV deal if the Sacramento Kings move to Anaheim.
  • NetsDaily.com interviews Dmitry Razumov, "indispensable man" to New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. "I’ve closed many deals during my career," Razumov tells NetsDaily. "My proudest moments with the Nets so far have been when we closed the deal and the Deron trade." 
Posted on: March 27, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 1:05 am
 

Nets owner Jay-Z celebrates Final Four with UK

New Jersey Nets owner Jay-Z spent Sunday night celebrating with the University of Kentucky after the team secured a trip to the Final 4. Posted by Ben Golliver. jay-z-kentucky

As the University of Kentucky Wildcats were celebrating a 76-69 victory over North Carolina that sent them through to the Final 4 on Sunday, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports that the team was greeted by an unexpected visitor: rapper and New Jersey Nets co-owner Jay-Z.
Jay-Z, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, is a partial owner of the NBA's New Jersey Nets. UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said his visit to the UK locker room wasn't planned in advance.
Peevy wasn't certain if the rapper had been in the stands for the game. He was waiting in the hallway as UK players returned to the locker room after the game, and players were caught by surprise.

“I said, ‘Oh that's Jay-Z!' ” forward Terrence Jones said. “We all gave him a handshake and he came in the locker room, and we just kept screaming ‘Jay-Z in the locker room!' He congratulated us, just said he was proud of us.”
When your team is headed for its fifth straight trip to the NBA Draft Lottery, you might as well get an early start on getting to know your future players, right? Kentucky has two potential lottery picks -- guard Brandon Knight and forward Terrence Jones -- this season after becoming the first program to ever produce five first round picks in 2010. That locker room would be a pretty awesome place to be if you're a fan of basketball, especially if you're a fan of basketball and happen to co-own an NBA team.

I can understand Jay-Z's desire to hang out with winners for a change, but this seems like it should be against some NBA protocol or another. While it's not that big of a deal -- certainly nothing compared to the New York Knicks illegally working out recruits --intentional contact between an NBA owner and future NBA players while they're still in college just months before the draft screams competitive advantage and slippery slope. What's next? Kentucky wins the title and Jay-Z greets them with an Ace of Spades shower and a rainstorm of 100 dollar bills?

In 2007, Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge was fined $30,000 by the NBA for "excessive contact with the family" after sitting with Kevin Durant's mother during the Big 12 tournament. What does that make Jay-Z guilty of here? Excessive dapping? 

Photo of Jay-Z in the Kentucky locker room via YFrog .
Posted on: March 27, 2011 6:32 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2011 6:39 pm
 

Deron Williams: No one wanted to play in Utah

New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams says that he tried and failed to recruit players to play for the Utah Jazz. Posted by Ben Golliver.

deron-williams-utah


One of the NBA's great marketing successes of the last decade has been the degree to which it has encouraged its teams to engage with and give back to their local communities. But behind all of the NBA Cares commercials is a bleak reality: not every NBA market is created equal in the eyes of its players, a fact that is getting more evident by the year as the league's stars continue to flex their considerable influence in determining where they play.

The case of New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams is particularly telling. Williams was said to be frustrated in Utah and seeking a move to the New York Knicks in the future. However, once the Jazz came to terms with his long-term lack of commitment to their organization, they quickly moved Williams to the New Jersey Nets prior to the trade deadline. 

One byproduct of that trade? Williams is now free to speak honestly about the situation in Utah. He doesn't paint a pretty picture, admitting to the New York Daily News that he couldn't convince anyone to join him in Salt Lake City.
"That was the hardest thing for me," he says of playing recruiter for the Jazz. "I tried every summer. I played with the best guys year after year and guys that were becoming free agents and asked if they wanted to come play with me and they're like, 'In Utah?'"
"I tried to tell people it's a great city. If you want to go out and party every night, it's not where you want to be. It's a clean city. There's a lot to do for families. The fans are great. Great foods. Great restaurants. The only thing it didn't have is partying."
While that statement doesn't paint the average NBA free agent in the best light, it's an even harsher (yet accurate) assessment of the reality facing many small-market teams who compete for the same free agents year after year. Any player worth a damn who reaches free agency will have the same offer available to him from multiple teams. Williams' point is that the Jazz, who have been a model franchise for decades, simply lagged behind in a crucial tie-breaker that they will never be able to remedy: desireability of location. Given recent trends, it's virtually impossible to argue with what he's saying, as desireable cities -- New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago -- have stockpiled the best talent.

The Sacramento Kings' proposed relocation to Anaheim will make for an interesting test case of Williams' analysis. The analysis regarding Sacramento's expected move to Southern California has largely focused around the team's desire to play in a slightly better building and to reach a much larger television audience, but isn't it possible that the Kings would instantly become bigger players in the free agency game simply by virtue of a new zip code? The Kings will have plenty of cap space this summer, a young core in place to build around and will no longer be in an NBA backwater, instead playing within spitting distance of one of the world's most idealized cities. That should seriously help them land someone big this summer or next summer, right?

In any case, Williams' talk is indicative a fundamental imbalance, and it's a part of the league's push in its recent labor negotiation rhetoric towards leveling the playing field for all 30 teams. While the NBA can't make Salt Lake City's nightlife more enticing, it can certainly do a better job of helping small-market teams retain their best players and compete for free agents.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:16 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2011 2:22 pm
 

Nets G Sundiata Gaines (hip) done for season

New Jersey Nets guard Sundiata Gaines has a fractured hip that will sideline him 6-8 weeks. Posted by Ben Golliver. sundiata-gaines

Well-traveled guard Sundiata Gaines, forever a folk hero in Utah, has had a tough season this year, bouncing around the league, serving short stints for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Toronto Raptors before landing with the New Jersey Nets in March. Unfortunately, Gaines' rollercoaster ride just hit another dip.

NorthJersey.com reports that the Nets have announced Gaines has suffered a "fractured right hip and will be on crutches 6-8 weeks and then will begin his rehab." Obviously, that makes the injury season-ending.

Gaines suffered his hip injury during a Wednesday game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. On the season, Gaines averaged 4.6 points and 1.8 assists in 12.5 minutes per game over 24 appearances. 

If there's a sliver of good news to this story, it's that Gaines, who is 24 and has bounced around the D-League as well, just signed a multi-year contract with the Nets last Sunday, although it's not clear what portion, if any, of his future salary is guaranteed. Still, the worst case scenario for an NBA player would be for something like this to happen while signed to a 10-day contract. Gaines avoided that eventuality.

With Deron Williams locked in as New Jersey's starter next season, the Nets represent an ideal spot for Gaines should he be able to make a speedy recovery. He can continue to learn from one of the league's best and he won't be asked to do more than he's capable of.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 19, 2011 2:01 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Deron Williams (wrist) to miss at least 3 games

Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver.

Update (Sunday):

The New Jersey Nets decided not to totally throw in the towel and shut down point guard Deron Williams for the season, opting instead to sit him for three games before re-evaluating his ailing wrist. 

Nets coach Avery Johnson told the Associated Press: "It's something that we know: rest -- not surgery -- is required. We'll treat him. We'll rest him."

Original Post:

The season could be over for Deron Williams. There's not a lot left, but after he tweaked his injured right wrist in the third quarter Friday night, there's talk he may just shut it down.

He was in a clear amount of pain and by the way he talked post game, he might be done.

"I love playing basketball," Williams told The Record. "I hate sitting out. I hate missing games. It's tough for me because I don't just want to sit out. It might be the best thing, but we'll see how it goes."

Of course the Nets aren't playing for anything at this point and while they actually flirted momentarily with a late push for the eight-seed (seriously), they've dropped their last two basically ending hopes of a miracle run. The five straight wins though that put them in that position was encouraging though.

But with nothing to play for and the fact that more losses equals maybe a better pick, coach Avery Johnson didn't souind optimistic. He said after the game that he was "very, very concerned" about Williams' situation.

Williams strained a tendon in his wrist in January and missed a handful of games for the Jazz. It has been bothering him since that time.

"I can't shoot," Williams said. "I think about it every time I take a shot. It affects me mentally and it's weighing on me."

This season isn't the big one for the Nets and Williams anyway. This summer is huge in showing their new star they're committed to winning as he can become a free agent in 2012. But if a lockout kills 2011-12, maybe Williams played his last game with the Nets. It's possible I guess.

Posted on: March 8, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Deron Williams to miss 2 games for child's birth

Deron Williams to miss two games for the birth of his fourth child. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Deron Williams will miss two games to be with his wife in Dallas for the birth of his fourth child, the Bergen Record reports.  Williams flew to his home in Dallas from London where the Nets swept the Raptors in two games. Williams is still looking for his first win with the Nets on U.S. soil. 

It's interesting that Williams has been dealing with all that he's gone through with a pregnant wife. Going through the process currently, I can only say that Williams has basically been dealing with a career rollercoaster while it's hailing buckets of hammers on him. So that's fun. It's been a tumultous year for him, but hopefully he'll have a healthy kid to add to his family which kind of, sort of overshadows accusations of being a coach killer and a malcontent. 

With Williams still keeping his family in his hometown of Dallas, here's a question. Why is Dallas never mentioned as a legitimate landing spot for Williams in 2012? It's always bizarre that players like Bosh and Williams aren't pulled back to what is a considerable market with an aggressive owner who will spend to win in their hometown. Seems kind of cournterintuitive, no? Maybe they just really hate fried food. 
 
 
 
 
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