Bio: I cover the Brooklyn Nets, the St. John's Red Storm men's basketball team, and the Brooklyn Cyclones. I support the Fort Hamilton Tigers football team, a 3-time city champion. I am a graduate of Fort Hamilton High School (2003) and Brooklyn College (2008).
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By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
Michael Pineda was ejected from Wednesday night’s Yankees-Red Sox game for using pine tar to grip the ball, in clear violation of the rules, just two weeks after being caught doing the same thing. The Yankees went on to lose, 5-1, to the Red Sox.
Pineda had pine tar on his right hand during his first start against the Red Sox on April 10th at Yankee Stadium. He cleaned his hand before coming out for the fifth inning and the Red Sox didn’t complain about it after the game, respecting the safety factor of the matter, that it would help Pineda grip the ball better on a cold night. He was warned the next day by Major League Baseball.
In this one, Pineda started off shaky, with Boston scoring a couple of runs on him in the first inning on Dustin Pedroia and A.J. Pierzynski RBI singles.
When Pineda came out for the bottom of the second inning, cameras picked up that he had something on his neck that looked like pine tar. He retired the first two hitters for Boston, and had a 1-2 count on Grady Sizemore.
At this point, Boston Manager John Farrell came out of the dugout to ask home plate umpire Gerry Davis to look at Pineda. Farrell said, “I felt like it was a necessity to say something. I fully respect on a cold night trying to get a little bit of a grip, but when it’s that obvious, something has got to be said…Our awareness was heightened given what we’ve seen in the past and it was confirmed today.”
Davis checked Pineda’s hands and saw nothing, then reached for the right side of Pineda’s neck, where he felt the pine tar, and immediately ejected Pineda.
MLB rule 8.02 states, “The pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball.” It also stated that if a pitcher is found to be breaking the rule, he will be suspended immediately. Pineda now faces what is assumed to be an 8-to-10 game suspension based on past punishments for this. Rays pitcher Joel Peralta was the most recent pitcher suspended for this in 2012, and he got eight games.
Pineda was asked if he thought the Red Sox might look for pine tar considering he did it two weeks ago, and he said, “I don’t know…I don’t know.” When asked if he put it on himself, he said, “Yeah, I did it by myself…It was pine tar.” On if he’s scared of being suspended, he said, “I apologized to my teammates, you know, I will learn from this mistake, won’t happen again.”
On if the Yankees talked to him about this, Pineda said, “Nobody talked to me about that and I did it because I couldn’t feel the ball in the first inning. I did it by myself.” On if he was concerned that the cameras would pick up pine tar on him like on April 10th, “I don’t know…this is the past, I’m not talking about it. I know I made a mistake today, that’s it.”
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi was asked if he saw it, “I did not, no. He did not have it on when the game started and I guess from what I understand he had trouble gripping the ball and he put it on in the second inning. Obviously, that’s a problem, we’re going to have to deal with the consequences and Michael’s going to have to deal with it, but we’ll get through it.”
On if he saw it on Pineda, Girardi said, “No, I did not. I never saw it on Michael, so, um, I didn’t look at Michael. Gerry (Davis) told me he clearly had something on his neck, and I just said, ‘OK,’ and I got Phelpsie (David Phelps) ready and worried about trying to keep the score (Boston 2-0) the same.”
On if he spoke to Pineda about the pine tar issue before the game, Girardi said, “Well, obviously we always have discussions with all our pitchers on things that we’re dealing with, I mean, that’s what we do. We don’t ignore situations, we handle situations, and it’s something Michael chose to do after the first inning. He had a hard time gripping the baseball. Conditions are not conducive to gripping a baseball, and you know, unknown to us, he put it on and went out there.”
On Pineda’s judgment, Girardi said, “Well, I mean, it’s a young kid, I don’t think he’s trying to do anything to cheat. I think he’s trying to just go out there and compete. It’s unfortunate it happened, but as I said, we’ll deal with it, we’ll get through this. It’s a little bump in the road, and we’ll be all right.”
“I’m not gonna get mad at him. The kid’s doing the best he can, he’s trying to compete, and that’s what he’s trying to do. I don’t think he’s trying to get an edge on anyone. He’s a young man that’s been through a lot, with rehab, he’s worked his tail end to get out to this start he had and he made an error in judgment,” said Girardi.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The Toronto Raptors grew quite a lot in terms of playoff maturity, as they made all the big plays to outlast the Nets 100-95 in Game 2 on Tuesday night in Toronto. The series is now tied at 1-1 heading back to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Friday night.
The Raptors dominated in the first half, taking as much as an 11-point lead in the second quarter, at 35-24. The Nets battled back, led by Mirza Teletovic’s back-to-back three-pointers to cut Toronto’s lead to 45-39 at halftime.
The Nets came out strong in the third and make some big plays, such as Shaun Livingston blocking a DeMar DeRozan three, and running to the other end for a layup to cut Toronto’s lead to 47-45. He hit another driving layup to tie the game at 47 with 9:32 left in the third.
Joe Johnson lit it up, and scored seven straight points, including a three and a couple of baskets, to make it 60-56 Brooklyn with 4:15 left in the third. The Nets maintained the lead the rest of the way and outscored Toronto 27-19 in the third to take a 66-64 lead into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was just like it was in the first game, with the Nets and Raptors trading the lead back and forth. The Raptors led 81-78 with 5:43 left when four of the Nets’ starters, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, and Joe Johnson, joined Andrei Kirilenko, who had a great game, for the stretch run.
One difference was immediate soon after: the Raptors defense was a lot more aggressive than in the first game and was double-teaming the ballhandler. Despite this, Paul Pierce hit a clutch jumper, and he was fouled to make it a three-point play, to tie the game at 83 with 3:47 left.
Kyle Lowry made a jumper and Kevin Garnett responded with a dunk before DeMar DeRozan hit a couple of jumpers to make it 89-85 with just 2:10 left. Pierce got another three-point play to make it 92-90 Toronto with 59 seconds left. That was his last basket of the game, and Pierce shot just 2-for-6 down the stretch.
The Nets were down two, at 94-92, with 18 seconds remaining, when the Raptors had an inbounds pass in the front court. They drew the Nets towards halfcourt and Amir Johnson got by Deron Williams for a layup to make it 96-92. This play resembled one the Lakers ran last season, with Kobe Bryant going in alone from halfcourt for a game-winner in New Orleans.
Deron Williams hit a three to give the Nets a last gasp of hope as that made it 98-95 with seven seconds left. DeRozan hit a couple free throws after to seal the win.
Kevin Garnett said of the Raptors’ 36 points in the fourth quarter, “That’s too many points for anybody, preschool, little league, YMCA.”
The Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan, who had 30 points on 9-for-21 from the field and a stellar 12-for-14 from the free throw line, with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Amir Johnson had 16 points on 8-for-10 from the field. Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Kyle Lowry had 14 points, Patrick Patterson had 12, and Greivis Vasquez had 11 points and 8 assists.
Joe Johnson led the way for the Nets with 18 points on 7-for-13 from the field and 1-for-4 on three-pointers. Deron Williams had 15 points on a tough 5-for-15 from the field overall and 2-6 on three-pointers on his way to 15 points along with 5 assists. Mirza Teletovic provided a spark of offense, as he had 14 points (5-11 FG, 3-6 on 3-pt) off the bench in 23 minutes. Andrei Kirilenko, who did not play in Game 1, stepped up and played a strong 20 minutes off the bench, with 4 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist.
The Raptors did an amazing job shutting down Paul Pierce, who was held to 7 points on 2-for-11 shooting and 0-for-6 from behind the arc. Pierce also had 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Pierce said after Game 2 of being clutch, “It’s just in the DNA. Everybody don’t have it. Everybody’s not born with it. You can’t buy it at Costco or Walgreen’s. It’s in there. There’s nothing I can do to let it go. I can’t lose it, I can’t break. I mean, it’s in there.”
Mason Plumlee was also bottled up, as he only took two shot attempts, making one of them, and finished with 4 points and 6 rebounds. Also not a factor in this game were Andray Blatche, who played just 8 minutes and had 5 points, and Marcus Thornton, who was scoreless in 5 minutes.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19 Showcase Picture: Yankees legend Mariano Rivera with Yankees President Randy Levine (right) and Claudio Reyna, Director of Football Operations of New York City FC (left)
The New York City Football Club announced on Monday that they will kick off their inaugural season in March 2015 at Yankee Stadium. The team is jointly owned by the New York Yankees and Manchester City Football Club.
Mariano Rivera was a surprise guest at the Monday morning press conference at Yankee Stadium. Rivera has his season tickets and his seat number is one and account was numbered 42 in tribute to his Yankees uniform number.
Rivera said he is used to closing but, “I am the starter now, so happy to be number one and a big supporter of the team and you guys will definitely my support, and hopefully many fans will come. I notice that in New York City, we have a lot of people that love to talk soccer, that’s what I do too. That’s what I always say, that soccer was, and still is, my number one game. Baseball got in between, but thank you again for allowing me to have this honor and being here in New York, there’s no place better than that for the NYC team.”
I asked Rivera if he has been approached about an ownership stake, and if he would be interested in having one. Rivera said, “I have not been approached of that yet, and if it comes, I have to really consider it because, as I said before, I love the game of soccer and it would be nice to be a part of it, but that’s something that hasn’t been brought up yet.”
Yankees President Randy Levine said, “By hosting the New York City Football Club for its inaugural season, Yankee Stadium will be hosting a very special chapter in sports history. The Yankees are pleased to welcome New York City FC, all of its players and its fans, to our home, and believe the team’s dynamic presence in 2015 will make The Stadium the most vibrant venue in the world.”
Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost said, “One thing I certainly can reflect upon is that what you’ve heard so far is the thrill of bringing soccer to Yankee Stadium, and the repetitive use of the term ‘Yankee Stadium.’ That’s the venue, that’s the name, and that is why Yankee Stadium was, is, and always will be Yankee Stadium.
Trost said of the set-up for soccer, “Yankee Stadium’s current capacity is 49,642. That does include ADA (disabled access) seats, but not SROs (standing room). Except for select games, we intend to close off the grandstand and the terrace level, which would close about 16,198 seats, bringing the capacity for soccer down to 33,444, which is actually more in line with the stadiums that have been built in MLS for soccer facilities.” Levine said they would open more sections if they sell out the first year.
Trost said of making it ready for soccer, “The field conversion takes about three days. Could we do it in two and a half? Yeah, if we work around the clock. Taking the field and putting it back for baseball, same thing, three days, we could push it to two and a half. Three days is important based on weather, weather conditions, etc. So we’re analyzing that when it comes to the scheduling, and we will work out the schedule- we’ve done it before. The season will start in mid-March, and we will have 17 or so games here during the regular season, not mentioning postseason. You can work it in, we’ve analyzed it. We’ve tested it against existing schedules. The most difficult part will be awaiting the receipt of the schedule from Major League Baseball, which is sometime in late summer and final schedule in December. We will be working with the club and Major League Soccer to make sure that the games will not get in the way of our regular schedule.
The field will run from left field to the first base line, right in front of the Yankees dugout. Trost said of this, “We have no concern about the placement of the pitch (British term for field) onto our field, no corner issues. There’s a six foot rule when it comes to distance during obstruction. The closest corner will be in the upper right corner near the bleachers, and that’s eight feet, nine inches, so as you can see, it fits in perfectly.”
By Payal Doshi of Inside the Purple Room – Special to BrooklynFans.com
Payal Doshi has covered the Toronto Raptors since their inception in 1995, and works for NBA Canada in addition to analyzing the Raptors on the entertaining InsidethePurpleRoom.com.
Payal looks back at the Raptors’ Game 1 loss to the Nets and what they have to do to win Game 2:
Inside The Purple Room #NBAPlayoffs GM1: Fans came out by the dozens dawning their Raptors gear, ready to cheer on the young dinos. The Raptors took center stage as they kicked off the #NBAPlayoffs on Saturday afternoon with the jitterbugs flowing it took until the first timeout for the Raptors to settle things down. DeMar DeRozan had a Vince Carter-esque type first game experience. He had a hard time getting himself to the line compared to the regular season where he was 6th in free throw attempts. Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett live for the close games scenarios as they executed 6 straight points. That lead to the Raptors demise. Since game one the Toronto Raptors have been studying film, dissecting plays and will be confident coming into Game 2, Tuesday night.
The #NBAPlayoffs Touchdown in Toronto:
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The Nets won Game 1 over the Raptors in Toronto on Saturday afternoon, grinding out a 94-87 win in the final minutes led by Paul Pierce. This series has been billed as the experienced, older Nets against the young Raptors, and on this night, the veterans knew how to close it out.
The Nets led throughout the game, but the Raptors took a 76-75 lead with 5:13 remaining. By this point, the Nets had their starting five of Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Shaun Livinsgton, and Kevin Garnett in there after leaving the bench in a minute or so too long.
The Nets responded on their next possession, with Joe Johnson hitting an open jumper to give the Nets a 77-76 lead with 4:52 left. A few possessions later, Kevin Garnett hit an open jumper to make it 79-76 with 3:41 left.
The Nets’ defense tightened up, and basically were double teaming whoever had the ball. The Raptors, on the other hand, had their players lined up around the three-point line, and the Nets exploited it.
Pierce got open for a three with 2:58 left, followed by faking out three Raptors on his way to a layup to make it 84-78 with 2:21 left. That was the start of a run in which Pierce scored nine points in a row to give the Nets an 88-81 lead with 51 seconds left.
Pierce, who finished with 15 points (6-13 FG, 2-5 on 3-pt), said of the nine points down the stretch, “You know, just veteran experience, a lot of those moments late in the game, it was a swing moment, it could have gone either way. I thought I had the matchup, and I took advantage of it.”
On the feeling Pierce gets in a tight game down the stretch and what he loves about that moment, “I don’t remember if I’ve ever played since I’m a dinosaur, it’s been so long, I don’t remember,” Pierce said, referencing the Toronto Sun headline “Raptors vs. Dinosaurs,” with a picture of Pierce and Garnett.
Pierce continued, “You know, you just get that feeling in the game, been in those situations a number of times. I don’t get rattled in the fourth quarter down the stretch of playoff settings. I’ve been in pretty much every playoff setting that you can imagine, so I just try to stay calm, bring my calmness to the game and try to influence the rest of the guys. I thought we did a great job of that. Most important thing, I thought we did a great job defensively. It wasn’t about our offense, even though we executed, our defense was excellent in the fourth quarter.”
On the difference experience made down the stretch in a playoff atmosphere, Pierce said, “It plays a lot. We’re not gonna get rattled. Our timeouts, when they make a run, we’re gonna stay together. Sometimes, with young teams, they panic and get frustrated with one another, and we don’t. We stay calm throughout their runs and we plan and execute down the stretch.”
It is the first career playoff win as a head coach for Jason Kidd. He said of the win, “Well, I think we talked all season about what the six-minute mark means to our team and what we feel that with veteran guys making plays for one another, sharing the ball, a play might be called for someone, but a teammate may end up with a shot, and that was a perfect example of that tonight with Deron and Joe playing in the pick-and-roll, and Paul benefiting from that and taking advantage of that.”
Kidd was asked if this was the blueprint he hoped for in terms of pace and turnovers forced, and he said, “This is playoff basketball and it’s about getting stops at crucial times and it was a wonderful game to watch and probably for players to participate in. It’s about getting stops at the right time.”
Kidd referenced the Garnett basket that gave the Nets a 79-76 lead as a very key moment in the win. “I thought one of the biggest plays, and it probably will be unnoticed, is the trust we have with our players and, you know, the game is tied, Pierce has the ball and he passes it to KG (Kevin Garnett). KG had probably not his best offensive night in terms of how he makes a big shot to break a tie. That just symbolized how we are as a team, that we trust one another no matter what, how someone’s shooting from the floor, how someone’s playing, that we all trust someone’s going to step up and make a shot,” said Kidd.
On the focus being on the playoffs since Pierce arrived and the fact they are here and if he felt a boost of energy, he said, “Without a doubt. This is what they brought me in here for. These moments, the playoffs, use my experience for the rest of these guys.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
Jason Kidd led the New Jersey Nets to the playoffs six times, including two Eastern Conference Championships in 2002 and 2003. Here is a look at that history as he coaches his first playoff series for the Brooklyn Nets.
2002: Eastern Conference Champions, lost in The Finals
The Nets were the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and drew the Indiana Pacers in the first round. The series went the distance, and the deciding Game 5 was a classic, as Reggie Miller tied the game on a three-pointer at the end of regulation and a leaping dunk at the end of overtime. The Nets won in double overtime 120-111, but Miller’s heroics are the lasting memory of that night. Miller had 31 points on 10-for-13 from the field and 6-for-14 from behind the arc, while Kidd had 31 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds.
The Nets then beat the Charlotte Hornets in five games in the second round.
In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Nets played the Boston Celtics, who were led by Paul Pierce, Antoine Walker, and ex-Net Kenny Anderson. Game 3 was a classic, as the Celtics came from 21 points down to stun the Nets and take a 2-1 lead in the series. The Nets came back to win the next three games to take the series. They clinched it in Game 6 in Boston, as Kidd responded to some hecklers with a triple-double of 15 points, 13 assists, and 13 rebounds.
The Nets were swept in The Finals by the Los Angeles Lakers, who won their third straight championship with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
2003: Eastern Conference Champions, lost in The Finals
The Nets won the Atlantic Division for the second straight season, but were the second seed in the playoffs. They beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round in six games, and took care of the Celtics in the second round with a sweep. The series with Boston was a rematch of the prior year, but the Celtics were very overmatched this time, with the great J.R. Bremer (you have to be a fanatic to remember him) at point guard.
The Nets then swept the top-seeded Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Confernce Finals, clinching it at home this time with a 102-82 blowout. Kidd had 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists in Game Four.
The Nets faced the San Antonio Spurs in The Finals and the first four games went back-and-forth, with the Nets tying the series with a 77-76 win in Game 4 on June 11, 2003. An interesting piece of New York sports history overshadowed the win, as the Yankees were no-hit by six Houston Astros pitchers.
The Spurs came back to win Game 5 in New Jersey 93-83, as the Spurs were led by Tim Duncan with 29 points and 17 rebounds. San Antonio won it in Game 6 back at home, 88-77, and they were led by Duncan, who had a triple-double with 21 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists. The Admiral, David Robinson, had 13 points and 17 rebounds in his last career game.
2004: Lost in Second Round
The 2003-04 season was tumultuous, as the Nets fired Head Coach Byron Scott halfway through the season as they were 22-20. The rumor was Kidd forced management to fire Scott and have Lawrence Frank become the head coach (what a difference a decade makes as Kidd forced Frank out this season as his lead assistant.
With Frank at the helm, the Nets surged and went 25-15 down the stretch to win their third straight Atlantic Division title. As the 2nd seed in the playoffs, the Nets swept Stephon Marbury and the Knicks in the first round.
In the second round, they had a rematch with the Detroit Pistons, who were the three seed, but had home court advantage as they had a better record than the Nets at 54-28 to New Jersey’s 47-35. The Nets took a 3-2 lead in the series with a big 127-120 win in Detroit, as Kidd had 16 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Detroit took Game 6 in New Jersey, 81-75 to bring it back to Motown. In Game 7, they blew out the Nets 90-69, and the reason is because it might have been Kidd’s worst game as a Net. Kidd was held scoreless on 0-for-8 shooting and 0-for-3 from behind the arc, with 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Detroit went on to upset the Lakers who that season brought in Karl Malone and Gary Payton to join Shaq and Kobe.
2005: Lost in First Round
The Nets had a tough season, as they went 42-40 and got the eighth seed in the playoffs. They were swept in the first round by the Miami Heat, who were led by Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal. Wade, who was in his second season in the league, had 26.3 points, 8.8 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game in the series. Shaq had 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in the series. The Nets also could not keep up with the Joneses, as Eddie Jones averaged 16.5 PPG and Damon Jones averaged 16.3 PPG.
2006: Lost in Second Round
The Nets won the Atlantic Division title again with a record of 49-33. They were the third seed in the playoffs and beat Indiana in six games in round one. In the second round, they ran into the Heat for the second straight year, and the result was the same as in 2005. They lost in five games. Dwyane Wade averaged 27.6 points, 6.6 assists, and 6 rebounds per game. It shows how strong Miami was that year, which ended in their first championship, that they beat the Nets in five games despite Vince Carter averaging 30.2 points-per-game and Richard Jefferson averaging 20.6 ppg. Kidd also had a great series, as he averaged 16.8 points, 9.0 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game.
2007: Lost in Second Round
This playoff most resembles this year, as they were the sixth seed against the Atlantic Division Champion Toronto Raptors. The focus was all on Vince Carter, who left Toronto two years prior on not the best of terms. Carter responded to the heckling with a big performance in Game 1, as he got 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists to lead the Nets to a 96-91 win. Richard Jefferson had 28 points, while Kidd had 8 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds. That set the tone for the series and the Nets won it in six games.
In the second round, they faced LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, and the Nets kept the series alive with a Game 5 win in Cleveland. The Cavaliers shut down the Nets in Game 6, winning it 88-72. LeBron had 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Kidd had 19 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals in what would turn out to be his last playoff game as a Net. He was traded to Dallas the following season at the trade deadline. Kidd won the NBA title in 2011 as a big part of the Mavericks team that knocked off the Heat.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The Nets ended the regular season on Wednesday night the way it began, with a loss in Cleveland to the Cavaliers. 114-85. The Nets are the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and will take on the Atlantic Division champions and third seed Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.
Since this was the last regular season game of the season, Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd rested his starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Shaun Livingston. Alan Anderson and Mirza Teletovic, whose wife is having a baby, also did not play.
The Nets’ starting five for this one was Andray Blatche, Jason Collins, Marcus Thornton, Jorge Gutierrez, and Marquis Teague. Blatche and Thornton had nice outings, with each scoring 20 points.
The Cavaliers played their full lineup, and took a 33-21 after the first quarter. The Nets went on a run and pulled to within 37-36 on a Thornton three-pointer with 7:52 left in the second quarter, and took a 41-40 lead on another Thornton three with 5:05 left before halftime. Blatche had eight points in the final five minutes of the second, and he hit two free throws to make it 51-49 Cavs heading into halftime. Cleveland outscored the Nets 30-15 in the third quarter and 63-36 in the second half to walk away with the win.
The Nets finish the regular season at 44-38, and it was quite a wild ride to get there.
The Nets opened the season with a tough loss in Cleveland, 98-94, on Wednesday, October 30th. Two nights later, they won the home opener over the Miami Heat 101-100 in a game they led wire-to-wire. They had trouble beating young, fast teams throughout November, with losses to Orlando, Washington, Sacramento, Portland, Charlotte, and Minnesota.
An early low point came on November 27th when the Nets were playing the Lakers at Barclays Center. They fell behind by 27 points early on, but battled back and were within striking distance at the end. With no timeouts, Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd bumped into Tyshawn Taylor to spill a soda onto the court and steal a timeout. For this, he was fined $50,000 by the NBA the next day. The Nets went on to lose the game, 99-94. Two nights later, the Nets did not show up and were humiliated in Houston by the Rockets, 114-95. They beat Memphis the next night to close November at 5-12.
On December 3rd, something very surprising happened, as lead assistant coach Lawrence Frank was dismissed by Kidd. They had battled since early in the season, so Frank was officially reassigned to a form of a consultant that would write game reports. That night, the Nets lost to the Denver Nuggets 111-87. Two nights later, they were blown out by the Knicks 113-83.
The Nets muddled through the rest of December, and it looked bleak when Brook Lopez hurt his right foot in a bitter loss in Philadelphia on December 20th, and was ruled out for the rest of the season the next day. The low points came on Christmas Day, when the Bulls demolished them 95-78 at Barclays Center, followed by a New Year’s Eve blowout in San Antonio, 113-92 that left them at 10-21.
In the 2012-13 season, the Nets were also blown out on December 31st by San Antonio and followed it up with a win in Oklahoma City two nights later. History repeated itself, as a Joe Johnson buzzer beater sealed the upset win over Oklahoma City on January 2nd. This started a five-game winning streak, with home wins over Cleveland, Atlanta, Golden State, and Miami, which was a double-overtime win on January 10th.
They beat the Hawks in London on January 16th, and four days later blew out the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. They had a big win against the Dallas Mavericks on January 24th, followed by an emotional win in Boston two nights later in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett’s return. They went 10-3 in January, enough to earn Jason Kidd Coach of the Month honors. Kidd earned it as he shifted Garnett to center and moved Shaun Livingston into the starting lineup with fellow guards Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, and Paul Pierce moving into the power forward role.
The highlight of the month February was the signing of Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in the four major American sports. The Nets signed him on February 23rd ahead of a win over the Lakers in Los Angeles, 108-102. The win was part of the Nets’ annual Circus Road Trip, which they went 4-3 on. Also in February, General Manager Billy King made the trade of the year, when he sent Jason Terry and fan favorite Reggie Evans to the Sacramento Kings for Marcus Thornton.
The Nets finally reached the .500 mark with a big win over the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center on March 3rd that brought their record to 29-29. A week later, they had big wins over the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center on March 10th, and the Miami Heat on the road two nights later, 96-95. The Nets went 12-4 in March, earning Kidd a second Coach of the Month award. The most remarkable part about the month was that they did it with Mason Plumlee in the starting lineup at center in place of Kevin Garnett, who was out due to back spasms. They ended March with a record of 39-33.
The Nets opened April with a big win over the Houston Rockets, who were without Dwight Howard, on the 1st at Barclays Center that clinched a playoff spot. The next night, the then-surging New York Knicks blew out the Nets at The Garden, denting their hopes for a division title.
The Nets made a big statement on April 8th in Miami when they beat the Heat 88-87, their third one-point win over the defending champs, and completed a regular-season 4-0 sweep. The game ended with a Mason Plumlee block of LeBron James in the closing seconds. The Nets went 5-5 in April to finish with the 44-38 mark, as rest took precedent over winning games. Their record after January 1st was an amazing 34-17.