Tag:Brook Lopez
Posted on: February 26, 2011 12:12 am
 

Deron Williams debut with the Nets goes meh

Posted by Royce Young



Unlucky for Deron Williams and the Nets that their first game together had to come against the NBA's best team. That can tend to make things tougher.

Williams wasn't bad but wasn't his normal stellar self either in the Nets 106-96 loss the Spurs Friday night. Williams played 41 minutes scoring 14 points on just 5-13 shooting, but he did distribute the ball well to his new teammates dishing out 12 assists.

The Nets were clearly going to be in a state od disarray offensively as the team tried to fit in around Williams. Coach Avery Johnson said before the game they'd have to "wing it" in the first game with Williams. And for a half, it was working. The Nets were hanging tight, actually holding a 54-53 lead at the break.

Where it caught up to them finally was in the third quarter where the veteran Spurs made adjustments to the Nets "wing it" offense and locked down New Jersey. The Spurs took the third 35-18 and pretty much had the game in hand from there on out.

But Williams' impact was unmistakable. He gave the Nets a bit of a new life offensively with his ability to create for himself or dish to an open shooter. Anthony Morrow was on the receiving end of a number of Williams' gifts, going 7-11 from the field for 25 points. The team was obviously better because, you know, they had maybe the best point guard in the league making plays for them. That tends to help.

Williams has walked into a situation much different that the other stars that have moved around. He's gone from a playoff contending team to a team potentially contending for the worst record. It's quite a switch. But on top of that, he doesn't have the luxury of joining up with another All-Star on the roster. In Utah, he had some really good players around him. In New Jersey, he has Brook Lopez and 13 other role players.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Nets are better right now. We're all going to forget how good Deron Williams is over these final two months of the season as he toils away on a horrible Nets team. As Derrick Rose carries the Bulls into the postseason, as Chris Paul makes incredible plays for teammates, Rajon Rondo piles up assists and Russell Westbrook scintilates through the air, we're going to forget just how terrific Williams is. It happens when a player like him ends up on a team that's stuck in motion.

The Nets have a long way to go not just in improving the roster and getting into playoff contending status, but also in terms of convincing Williams the Nets franchise is a worthy place to be. Getting him was a huge coup. Keeping him will be an even bigger one.
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 3:08 pm
 

Deron Williams Trade: Grading the trade

Grading the trade of Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first-round picks. 
Posted by Matt Moore






Deron Williams has been traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first-round picks, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports.  The Nets are also trading bigman Troy Murphy's expiring contract to the Warriors in exchange for Dan Gadzuric and Brendan Wright. It's a stunning move that comes just days after the Nets failed to acquire Carmelo Anthony in last-minute talks at All-Star Weekend. Their efforts included a meeting with Mikhail Prokhorov that failed to convince the All-Star forward. But now, at long last, the Nets have their All-Star, the Jazz are rebuilding, and Deron Williams has the market he's obviously been longing for. 

So how did everyone do in this deal?

Deron Williams

Well, Deron, it's not New York, but it will be. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported last weekend that Williams began telling associates last summer that he would look to join Amar'e Stoudemire in New York should Stoudemire sign with New York in free agency.  Now it would appear that Williams gets his wish to play in the world's biggest market, he'll just have to wait a year when the Nets relocate to Brooklyn.  He's playing with a point-guard friendly coach in Avery Johnson and he gets to work with his first true center in Brook Lopez. The only problem? It would appear Williams is not happy with the trade

The frenzy is going to be phenomenally loud for Williams on his way out.  Despite his denials, Williams was linked to a confrontation with Jerry Sloan that was followed immediately by his resignation. Williams is associated with running the 22-year-tenured head coach of the Jazz out of town, and is now bolting. We said that leaving in free agency would be a PR disaster for him afterwards, but this affords him the easy excuse of it being out of his hands. And at the end of the day, he still controls his destiny, able to sign or not sign an extension with New Jersey on July  9th.

Williams gets all the media frenzy that comes with this move, without the hoopla of "The Decision" or the drawn out pressure and exhaustive media scrutiny of Melo's ordeal. He gets the big market with a young core moving to take over Brooklyn as the second New York team, playing for a billionaire willing to spend to win. But he left a contending team for a rebuilding one, in a situation he's apparently not happy about. He may wind up pretty happy in the end, though.

Grade: B-

New Jersey Nets

There's two ways to look at this, and either way, the Nets win.

The first is the conspiracy theory that's going to be massively popular for the next month, which is that Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the Nets, purposefully raised the price tag on Carmelo Anthony, forcing the Knicks to constantly buckle to higher and higher pricetags, eventually giving up foru starters and a pick for the All-Star forward. Then he turned around and acquried a better, younger All-Star for less. In Soviet Russia, Nets trick you! It's a far-fetched idea that requires a whole lot of dangerous maneuvering and a pretty petty rivalrly. Then again, the Nets put up a billboard outside MSG this summer.

The more reasonable theory is simply that word got passed to Prokhorov during the weekend that Williams was looking to get out and the Jazz were looking to move him for whatever reason.  The package they offered the Nuggets was gold. Absolute gold, and they had already come to terms with surrendering that much in exchange for an All-Star.  So when word got around that the Jazz would be amiable to it, the calls were made and it happened the same way you hear from a neighbor that his friend is looking to sell his car. His brand new, rocket-fueled gold car that he doesn't know how to drive. 

On the court, this isn't going to be perfect right away. Brook Lopez has struggled this season, and that's likely due to Avery Johnson, not Devin Harris. His rebounding is terrible, and his defense has regressed. But he's an effective scorer in the pick and roll, and he just got arguably the best pick and roll point guard in the league next to him. The Nets have shooters like Sasha Vujacic and Anthony Morrow. But they are very much still a work in progress. This isn't going to be seamless, and the Nets will have some growing pains. But this was still a huge upgrade for the Nets and a no-brainer. Because of a simple fact: Deron Williams is an All-Star.

"Get an All-Star." That's been the Nets' objective since this summer: obtain an All-Star, because they are what sells tickets and wins games. Now they have it. Harris was expendable, clashing with coach Avery Johnson. Derrick Favors is a high-upside rookie, but this team wasn't angling for the future. It wants to win now. It had the picks to throw in for this deal. This was a no brainer. They gave up a meager set of assets in the long run for an All-Star point guard to put them on the map. They're no longer a hard sell for free agents, they're no longer a joke to the media, they're a player in the market, with the ability to make themselves into a contender over the next two seasons. Just in time for Brooklyn.

Grade: A+

Utah Jazz

We're going to need to bring in the trauma counselors for the Jazz fans.  In two weeks, they've lost their franchise institution coach for 22 years, and their starting All-Star point guard.  They're now left with Devin Harris and three big forwards.  They've gone from a Western Conference title contender (in some circles), to a second-rate team that may struggle to make the postseason. And worst of all, they have no real star. But they do have a lot of potential. It's clear that this move signifies an admission from Jazz management that they were not going to be able to sign Williams to an extension, and rather than subject themselves to a year like the Nuggets have gone through or worse a year like Cleveland in 2012, they chose to simply get the most they could right now. 

And they got a lot. Harris isn't Williams, by any stretch, but he's a fine point guard, and could thrive on a team with more talent like the Jazz. Favors is high-upside and a little redundant next to Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, but that could also allow them to move one of the two of them before the deadline or in the summer. That kind of flexibility is important going forward, and the Jazz are no longer bound to try and compete for Williams. They can elect to rebuild or try and swing for the fences with what they have. The Jazz were high on Favors in the draft, hoping he'd fall to ten. Sometimes you get your guy, just later. 

But in the end, this spells the end of an era for the Jazz. Or at least, the death rattle after Jerry Sloan's resignation spelled the mortal wound to said chapter. Things will never be the same again for the Jazz. They had a Hall of Fame coach, an All-Star point guard many considered the best in the league, and the ability to build around him to try and win a title. Now they find themselves among Cleveland, Toronto, and Denver, albeit with a better set of assets. Just another small market torn asunder by the new exodus of stars to their big-market counterparts. 

Grade: B

More Winners and Losers:

Winners:
Brook Lopez: As mentioned above, Lopez is a huge winner here.  His numbers should go up with Williams next to him.

Avery Johnson: Johnson may have been under scrutiny after this season for underperforming but now with Williams his prospects raise considerably. Of course, if he doesn't get it done with Williams, that will pretty much be it for Johnson.

Brooklyn basketball fans: You had to be worried about what kind of team you were getting. Now you know. One with an All-Star point guard. 

The Western Conference: They've now lost two All-Star competitors in two days.

Loser:

James Dolan: Let's see. You gave up four starters and a pick when you're a pick short for a gunning small forward who plays mediocre defense.  Your rival gave up two picks they can afford to trade, a point guard they were looking to dump, and a rookie for one of the best point guards in the league. Oh, and you look like a moron for bringing in Isiah Thomas. Great week, Jimmy.

Tyrone Corbin: Good luck with that, chief. 

Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers were looking to get Harris for Andre Miller. They're likely to stand pat now
Posted on: February 18, 2011 12:49 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Report: If Melo agrees, Nets deal in place

Report says a tentative Nets-Melo deal is in place, but as always, Melo still has to agree to extension which he has resisted for six months. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Bergen Record is reporting a tentative deal is in place for Carmelo Anthony to become a Net, pending Anthony's agreement to an extension -- a piece of paper that has become the most ballyhooed document outside of Congress. 

The deal is the same Ken Berger reported on Thursday evening and we discussed Thursday afternoon , reported now by the Record , ESPN , and Yahoo!. It features the Nuggets getting Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and Ben Uzoh, with a third team taking on Troy Murphy. No one's figured out a third team to take Murphy, so either the deal isn't as tentatively "done" as the Record  is reporting or the teams are agreeing to a deal that assumes something they can't really count on. Again, no surprises there, considering how botched this process has been from the beginning. 

So again, the ball is in Melo's court.

Berger reported early Thursday that no talks have been scheduled between Melo and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov nor with Knicks owner James Dolan. That could change between now and Thursday's media availability, for which we'll have full coverage. 

For Prokhorov to take this meeting is in and of itself revealing of his attitudes as an owner. Apparently enough was not enough. Despite Masai Ujiri playing with the Nets for up to six weeks, agreeing to deals then backtracking and wanting more, the Russian mogul is about to get in bed with Denver again, only this time he's giving up the largest collection of assets yet. It may be the best thing for his business, but you have to wonder how he'd feel about it were he to step back and realize how badly he's been jerked around so far, assuming these reports are accurate. 

Anthony, however, isn't running into this arrangement with open arms. He's having to be convinced to meet with the owner of a National Basketball Association team in a major market that's looking to build a championship around him. If he's convinced, it won't be his whole self that is convinced -- it'll simply be an understanding that this is a compromise that features two of his goals: to play in a bigger market and to get the extension before the CBA is renegotiated. 

And what will be left to help him after the Nets trade away nearly a third of their team? Billups, Vujacic, Humphries and Lopez, with Morrow, Farmar, Outlaw and Stephen Graham off the bench. GET EXCITED, NEW JERSEY. For the remaining year you have before the team bolts to Brooklyn. 

This situation is as perplexing as ever, and should it fall through, Donnie Walsh may need oxygen because he'll be laughing so hard. 



Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:46 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 4:59 pm
 

Video: Brook Lopez, not happy with ... someone

Posted by Royce Young

It's been a tough season so far for Brook Lopez. He's averaging 18.2 points a game, which is good, but his rebounds have dipped way down to just 5.9 a game.

Also, he's kind of fallen in love with a jumpshot that doesn't best utilize his talents, which are to go inside and pound opponents on the block. And it looks like his love of the jumper has started catching up to him.

In the Nets' loss last night to the Suns, Lopez was subbed back into the game with a little over three minutes left, with his team down three. Lopez promptly missed a jumper and was immediately pulled for Derrick Favors. Lopez dragged himself to the bench, sat down and did this.



We can't be certain, but it would appear Lopez said, "I'm so tired of this guy. [F-word] him." Lopez was apparently directing those comments at coach Avery Johnson, who he's clashed with some this year. I don't think Lopez was referencing the ball boy that came and handed him towel or some fan behind him that kept yelling, "Hey Brook! More like Brook-lyn!"

(The best part is obviously Travis Outlaw's non-reaction.)

Lopez hasn't played that well this season and Johnson has let him know about it. Recently when speaking to the media, Johnson was asked if he dreamed about the possibility of having Carmelo Anthony. Johnson said, "No, I dream about our starting center getting 10 rebounds." Zing.

On the season, Lopez has only grabbed at least 10 boards twice, with the last such outing coming over a month ago, on Dec. 1, vs. the Thunder. And that was in overtime. Not exactly what most coaches have in mind for their seven-foot center that plays 35 minutes a game.

So Johnson has likely been in Lopez's ear about such matters. Avery has always been a demanding coach that will ride players and isn't afraid to sit someone down if he's not doing his job. A little different than the experience last season with Kiki Vandeweghe. The team might've completely sucked, but at least Kiki was chill -- right, Brook?

Via Deadspin

Posted on: December 29, 2010 5:32 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:53 pm
 

LeBron James offends Harris with contraction talk

Miami Heat forward LeBron James made comments concerning contraction and New Jersey Nets point guard Devin Harris, and Harris is reportedlydevin-harris"offended." Posted by Ben Golliver Last week, Miami Heat forward LeBron James really stepped in it, advocating for the contraction of NBA teams to achieve a league that more closely resembled the NBA of the 1980s. Clearly, he was misguided. Shortly after making his comments, James tried to back off, but the damage was done. As you might recall, James singled out the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Jersey Nets in his comments, saying, "I’m just looking at some of the teams that are not that great. You take Brook Lopez or you take Devin Harris off teams that are not that good right now and add them to a team that could be really good. I’m not saying let’s take New Jersey, let’s take Minnesota out of the league. But hey, you guys are not stupid. I’m not stupid, but I know what would be great for the league.” Harris, to no one's great surprise, wasn't particularly thrilled about the nature of the comments and the specific mention of the Nets and himself in James' argument for contracting the league. Indeed, NJ.com reports that Harris was "offended" by James' comments.
“For him to talk about us specifically was a little offensive,’’ Harris said after practice, and before the Nets left for Oklahoma City for tonight’s game against the Thunder. “I mean, from a business standpoint ... what’s best, we’re still trying to figure this out. But (James is) in the mind-set of, ‘Let’s just team everybody up with stars and kind of duke it out,’ which, it kind of was like that in previous ages, but who’s to say what’s best for the league.’’
Kudos to Harris for accomplishing a very rare feat in the NBA: standing up to LeBron James publicly. James' comments in general were ridiculous, and the fact that he included specific teams and players pushed them past the "reckless" threshold.  Not that he cares. For more reaction to the idea of contraction from small-market teams, check out Matt Moore's piece with Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 8:04 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:01 pm
 

Shootaround: 11.23.10: 99% likely to fail

Vince Carter comes up lame, the Miami Heat are struggling, a few New York Knicks analyzed, Steve Francis heads abroad, and a whole lot more. Posted by Ben Golliver

  • Orlando Magic wing Vince Carter went down during Monday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs and told reporters after the game that he he felt "sharp pain go through my knee, under the kneecap." That doesn't sound good. 
  • Here's the stat of the night for you from Miami's surprising double-digit home loss to the Indiana Pacers: "The Heat bench played a total of 74 minutes on Monday night and scored a whopping 4 points. The last time they did that? Nearly a decade ago, when the Heat bench mustered only two points in a January 2001 loss against -- guess who -- the Indiana Pacers." 
  • Kevin Pelton shows some love for New York Knicks rookie Landry Fields. "This year's standout has been New York Knicks guard Landry Fields, who has excelled as a starter from opening night. Fields' polished game was no secret among Pac-10 fans, but he got little national hype because he played for an undermanned Stanford team that finished tied for eighth in the conference. Fields has exceeded even his collegiate performance, especially on the glass. He's grabbing 20.6 percent of available defensive rebounds, which is phenomenal for a shooting guard (the average for the position is 11.0 percent) and nearly identical to his defensive rebound percentage as a senior in college."
  • Pacers blog IndyCornrows.com isn't nearly as excited about the win over the Miami Heat as you might expect. "Jim O’Brien urged that they caught Miami on an off night, saying it could be fool’s gold. While the possibility exists, O’Brien will always speak cautiously. O'Brien sips his glass half empty to not allow his team to gain complacency, it was more than fool’s gold: it was a stout defensive effort by the Pacers. Words have been expressed more often to give credence to the team’s defensive efforts, but tonight featured a culmination that resulted in not only a solid road victory, but a definitive win, led by a trio of much maligned Pacer members."
  • Isiah Thomas is at it again, talking about his sexual harassment case and overdose on sleeping medication.
  • These NBA labor negotiations sound like they are off to a great start. Not. Union chief Billy Hunter says a lockout next season is 99% likely to occur and goes on to say everything is working as it's supposed to, with the NBA generating profits at a solid clip. "Our contention is that the system that was put in place delivered everything it was supposed to deliver,” Hunter said, referring to the initial framework adopted in 1999. “The players never got a cent more than they were supposed to get. And ironically, if you review the press clippings from that era, you will see that the deals that were struck were lauded by the N.B.A. as having been major successes for the owners. So why now at this stage are we now saying that the system doesn’t work and it’s got to be overhauled?”
Posted on: October 31, 2010 9:51 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:20 pm
 

Shaq wins best NBA Halloween costume picture

Pictures of the best Halloween costumes from around the NBA this year. Posted by Ben Golliver When it's not enforcing a dress code, tightening up the technical foul rules or threatening contraction, the NBA can be a pretty fun place. This year, players, mascots, cheerleaders and fans all got into the Halloween spirit, dressing up before, during and after games.  NBA stars like Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Shaquille O'Neal got into the act, and Shaq easily takes home top honors for his bold attempt at cross-dressing as "Shaqueeta."  Let's have a look. dwyane-wade-justin-timberlake-halloween Miami Heat star guard Dwyane Wade dresses up as Justin Timberlake, white face and all. Via I Am Black Bobby's Tumblr . al-horford-kanye-west Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford dressed up as Kanye West. Via Al Horford's Twitter . zaza-pachulia-charlie-chaplin Horford's teammate, Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia, dresses up as Charlie Chaplin. Via Horford's Twitter . halloween-nba This couple is really enjoying the Los Angeles Clippers game. Via Getty. kardashians-halloween-nba Kim Kardashian and a friend dress up (I think they are dressing up?) while watching the Miami Heat take on the New Jersey Nets. Via Getty. nba-fan-halloween One Clipper fan decided to dress up as owner Donald Sterling. Rimshot! Via Getty. elizabeth-banks Actress Elizabeth Banks dresses up as a cat as she takes in Friday night's game between the Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks, along with Tracy Morgan and Russell Simmons. Via Getty. halloween-nba The Los Angeles Clippers cheerleaders went all out. Via Getty. toronto-raptors-mascot As did the Toronto Raptors cheerleaders, who are put through their paces by the Raptors mascot. Via Getty. brook-lopez-halloween-nba Brook Lopez, center for the New Jersey Nets, wore black and orange shoes during his Halloween day game against the Miami Heat. Via @Jose3030 on Twitter . rockets-mascot-halloween-nba The Houston Rockets mascot poses with fans dressed up in the Halloween spirit. Via Getty. boston-celtics-halloween-costumes The Boston Celtics goof it up, with wing Paul Pierce, guard Ray Allen and company all decked out. Via Paul Pierce's Twitter. boston-celtics-halloween Here's another Boston Celtics team shot. This one includes point guard Rajon Rondo as an injured Tiger Woods. Via Paul Pierce's Twitter. shaqueeta-shaq-halloween

Last but not least, here is cross-dressing Boston Celtics center Shaquille "Shaqueeta" O'Neal, who crosses every line of decency in the process. Via Shaq's Twitter.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 2:47 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:52 pm
 

Troy Murphy out until regular season

New Jersey Nets forward Troy Murphy will not play during the rest of the preseason due to injury. Posted by Ben Golliver

Back in August, the New Jersey Nets traded for Indiana Pacers power forward Troy Murphy in part of a massive four-team trade . Murphy is in the final year of a large contract so it made sense financially for the Nets, who also could use his offensive versatility and scoring ability to ease first-round draft pick Derrick Favors into their rotation. Unfortunately, Murphy has been dogged by a back injury during the preseason. The Nets report on Twitter today that Murphy "has made considerable progress, but will not play in either of the remaining preseason games. Murphy is expected to resume practice with the team this weekend."  In Murphy's absence, the Nets will likely continue a frontcourt by committee approach. Centers Brook Lopez and Joe Smith, along with Favors and fellow forwards Travis Outlaw, Johan Petro, Kris Humphries, have all seen double-digit minutes per game during the exhibition season.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com