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 Showcase pic – St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin addressing his team.
The St. John’s Red Storm got their 20th win of the season with a dominant 81-70 win over Georgetown on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
This was the last regular season home game for stalwarts D’Angelo Harrison, Sir’Dominic Pointer, and Phil Greene IV, as well as Jamal Branch and Khadim Ndiaye.
St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin said of the senior class, “I feel very fortunate and blessed to have coached this group of players. They committed to St. John’s at a low point in our program’s history. It’s been a special experience to watch them progress over the years and to go out with a win over Georgetown in their last true home game at The Garden was very special.”
With the win, St. John’s improved to 20-9 and 9-7 in Big East play. This might very well have been the win to get them into the NCAA Tournament. They can continue to improve that resume in their last two regular season games, at Marquette on Wednesday the 4th at 9:00 pm, and at Villanova on Saturday the 7th at 2:00 pm.
Sir’Dominic Pointer said of making the NCAA Tournament, “We still need to get a couple more wins. If we come out and play our game down the stretch, we have a chance to win out and get an automatic bid to the tournament. It will take a lot of hard work. We have improved steadily since our freshman year, and if we have the opportunity to play in the tournament, it will be a great feeling.”
St. John’s was dealt a tough blow early in this one, as D’Angelo Harrison took two quick fouls in the first 25 seconds, and he did not play at all the rest of the first half. Harrison averaged 18.4 points per game, and having him out could have been very damaging. Phil Greene said of playing without Harrison, “Everyone on our team is a threat to score. D’Angelo got in early foul trouble so we all had to pick up the slack. Everyone was aggressive and played great defense. When everyone attacks, we know that we will be fine.”
St. John’s jumped out to a 25-13 lead on a Jordan three with 10:51 left in the first half. They opened up a 15-point lead, 34-19, on a Pointer jumper with 6:48 left. The Red Storm maintained a 10-point lead throughout the rest of the first half, and led 43-32 at halftime. Pointer had 13 points, Greene had 11, and Rysheed Jordan had 10 in the first half.
The second half was more of the same, as St. John’s opened up a 16-point edge, 52-36, on a Greene three at the 15:18 mark. St. John’s kept the lead between 12 and 15 points the rest of the way, and the closest, and I use that term loosely, that Georgetown got was 11, at 73-62, on an Aaron Bowen three with 1:55 remaining. Jordan responded with a couple of free throws, and Pointer made four of his own, including two with 57 seconds left to seal the win and make it 79-65.
St. John’s was led by Greene, who had a career-high 26 points on 9-for-15 from the field, including a superb 6-7 on three-pointers, with 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Pointer had 24 points on 8-for-13 from the field, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks, and heard “MVP!” chants late in this one. Jordan had 15 points (3-9 FG, 2-6 on 3-pt), 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Harrison played nearly the entire second half, so in 20 minutes overall, he had just 1 points on 0-for-4 shooting, 0-2 on threes, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.
Jamal Branch stepped up in place of Harrison, as he had 10 points (5-11 FG, 0-1 on 3-pt) and 5 rebounds in 28 minutes. Lavin said of Branch’s performance, “Jamal Branch had one of the better games in his career today. He’s had a number of good games this season such as at Creighton and at Xavier. Jamal was very sharp in his decision making.”
Lavin said of the team’s overall performance, “Our team showed balance today. They have more confidence now because different guys such as Phil [Greene IV] and Sir’Dominic [Pointer] have demonstrated the ability to step up and carry us. This group still hasn’t played their best basketball.”
Lavin said of this game against Georgetown compared to their loss in Washington, D.C. to them on February 17th, “In our matchup at Georgetown, they were the aggressor. Today, we were the aggressor from start to finish for a full 40 minutes. It was a complete role reversal from the first matchup. When we have a full complement of healthy players we are a good team. We played zone the entire game today, and it was very effective. “
Greene IV said of that, “Coach gave us a few days off to get focused and rested. I used those days to get in the gym and prepare for today’s game. Everyone on our team was aggressive including Jamal [Branch], Chris [Obekpa], Sir’Dominic [Pointer] and Rysheed [Jordan]. It was a great team win.”
On stepping up against rivals like Georgetown and Syracuse, Greene IV said, “I’m always ready to step up when my team needs me. Whenever the other team went on a run, I came up with the big shot. I just wanted to do everything I could to make sure that we won the game.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19 Showcase photo by @LolitaLens – Danny Garcia punches Zab Judah at Barclays on April 27, 2013
World Champion Danny Garcia will take the ring at Barclays Center for the fourth time on Saturday, April 11th, as he takes on Lamont Peterson. Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin will also be fighting at Barclays for the third time, and he will take on “Irish” Andy Lee in the other showcase fight of the card.
NBC will broadcast the fight to a national audience as part of their Premier Boxing Champions Series. Marv Albert will call the fights, along with analyst Sugar Ray Leonard, who is a six-time World Champion and 1976 Olympic Gold Medalist. and Al Michaels will host the evening.
This is a revolutionary night for boxing, as this fight card, which normally would be on premium cable channels HBO or Showtime, is on broadcast TV. NBC is hoping that this will be as big as when boxing used to predominate ABC’s schedule with Howard Cosell 40 years ago. With the prevalence of premium cable and a lot of pay-per-view fights, boxing became more of a niche sport than it probably ever should have. Returning to a network like NBC will expand the reach and could bring in major ratings.
Garcia, the unified junior welterweight champion, is undefeated, with a record of 29-0, with 17 knockouts. He fought on the first-ever night of boxing at Barclays, on October 20, 2012, and he knocked out Erik Morales. He then beat Zab Judah by unanimous decision on April 27, 2013. This past summer, on August 9, 2014, he knocked out the incredibly overmatched Rod Salka.
Peterson is 33-2-1, with 17 knockouts. He defeated Amir Khan in 2011, and his only losses came to Timothy Bradley and Lucas Matthysse. His last fight was on August 9, 2014 at Barclays Center, which was part of the Garcia-Salka card, and he beat Edgar Santana by TKO. Prior to that, he beat Dierry Jean by unanimous decision on January 25, 2014 at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C.
Garcia said in a statement, “It’s an honor to be fighting back in Brooklyn where I’ve experienced some of the best moments of my career. Fans have been asking for this fight for so long and on April 11th I’m planning on giving them the show they’ve been waiting for. Doing it live on NBC will make it even sweeter.”
Peterson said in a statement, “This is an amazing opportunity for me fighting in Brooklyn and on national TV in front of millions of people. I’m going to go out there and give the performance of a lifetime. Danny Garcia better not underestimate me, because my time is now.”
Middleweight World Champion “Irish” Andy Lee is 34-2, with 24 knockouts. Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin is undefeated at 31-0, with 22 knockouts. Quillin’s fights at Barclays Center were on October 20, 2012, when he beat Hassan N’Dam by unanimous decision; and on April 27, 2013, when he beat Fernando Guerrero. They will battle in a 12-round world title fight.
Lee said, “I’m looking forward to returning to New York and defending my title against Quillin. I’m at the peak of my powers now. I cannot see myself losing to anyone. I want to be recognized as the best middleweight in the world and beating Quillin will go some way to proving that.”
Quillin said, “To be able to fight at home in Brooklyn and win a title on such a stage is a dream come true. I’m honored and excited to be a part of something that is great for my career, but also for the sport of boxing as a whole. I know that I’m going to win on April 11th, become champion once again, and then I’m going after anyone and everyone at 160 pounds.
Brooklyn’s own Danny Jacobs, Marcus Browne, and Heather Hardy are also on the card.
Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment, said on Monday, “I am thrilled to be promoting this PBC mega event at Barclays Center in my hometown of Brooklyn. Danny Garcia vs. Lamont Peterson and Andy Lee defending his middleweight title against Peter Quillin are two of the very best bouts that can be made in boxing. On April 11th, the fans are going to be the biggest winners and DBE is proud to be a part of it.”
Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets, said. “Quality championship fights are only in Brooklyn in April. Danny Garcia always brings excitement to our ring and we are delighted once again to have Brooklyn’s own Peter Quillin fighting in Barclays Center. Fans want drama and unpredictable fights, and we are confident our card will deliver that on primetime television.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
This Saturday at high noon at Madison Square Garden, there will be a revival of a classic Big East rivalry, as St. John’s takes on Georgetown. St. John’s enters the game having won five of their last six games and keeps burnishing their NCAA Tournament resume, and it will be an emotional one as it is Senior Day.
St. John’s began the season 11-1, then things went the other way when Big East Conference play started. They went 2-5 against Big East teams, with a non-conference loss to Duke thrown in.
St. John’s got a season-turning home victory against Providence on January 31st, and they have won six of eight games since then to improve their Big East record to 8-7 and their overall record to 19-9. St. John’s is in fifth place in the Big East standings, while Georgetown is in second with an overall record of 18-8 and conference record of 10-5.
Georgetown won the first meeting between these two teams, 79-57. Six players scored in double figures for Georgetown, as L.J. Peak, Isaac Copeland, Joshua Smith, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, and Mikael Hopkins all had 12 points each, and Jabril Trawick had 11. Georgetown led 33-23 at halftime, and St. John’s never got closer than 10 in the second half.
St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin and players spoke on Thursday afternoon ahead of this big game. Here is what they had to say:
Head Coach Steve Lavin
On the senior class:
“I couldn’t be more proud of these five seniors. They are the last of the Mohicans. This 2011 recruiting class will always hold a special place in my heart. To this point, the class has already produced two NBA players in JaKarr [Sampson] and Maurice Harkless, a Major League Baseball prospect in Amir Garrett (Cincinnati Reds) and the rarity in Gods’Gift [Achiuwa] having earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees with honors, two 1,000 point scorers in Phil [Greene IV] and Sir’Dominic [Pointer], a 2,000-point scorer in D’Angelo [Harrison] and most importantly six college graduates.”
On what the seniors have accomplished:
“This group came in and has made undeniable progress from year-to-year and as a result has put St. John’s in a position where we are once again a competitive program. Our team still has plenty of work to do because we want the seniors to go out on a high note with a NCAA Tournament appearance. The opportunity to participate in this group’s growth and development as young men and as basketball players has been a privilege and a honor that I will forever be grateful for.”
On Sir’Dominic Pointer:
“Sir’Dominic Pointer has consistently put up remarkable numbers. He is the unicorn of college basketball, so unique as few have his ability to influence the game at both ends of the court. Sir’Dominic certainly appears to be on the radar when it comes to potential Player of the Year candidates.”
On D’Angelo Harrison’s senior season:
“D’Angelo clearly has been hampered by injuries over the past month, otherwise he would be as strong a candidate as anyone for the BIG EAST Player of the Year award. Since D’Angelo suffered the injury on the eve of our game at DePaul, it has affected his performance. It speaks volumes that he has navigated through and played with pain, finding a way to lead us and help accumulate St. John’s wins. He has stepped up to hit big shot after big shot and always knocks down key free throws late in games to salt victories away.”
Senior Guard D’Angelo Harrison
On the anticipation of Senior Day:
“It’s a special moment. It’s going to be an emotional night on Saturday but we just want to come out and play a St. John’s brand of basketball and beat [Georgetown]. In the back of our minds we know that they just beat us so we don’t want to lose to Georgetown anymore.”
On closing out the regular season:
“We want to make sure that this group that came in together [four years ago] stays the course and finishes on the highest note possible, and that starts on Saturday.”
Senior Forward Sir’Dominic Pointer
On the anticipation of Senior Day and playing in front of family on Saturday:
“Even if [my family] didn’t come it would be an emotional night for me. It’s an emotional night for all of us. This is our last time playing at Madison Square Garden in the regular season. We all came to St. John’s together and we’re all leaving together. Lots of people don’t make it this far with each other and we made it all four years.”
On the bond shared by the senior class:
“We’re family. We’ve been here for four years and we’ve become brothers. We’ll be that for the rest of our lives.”
Senior Guard Phil Greene IV
On the importance of the Red Storm’s defensive effort on Saturday:
“We have to come out and play defense. If we lock up and rebound, our offense will take care of itself. We’ll get out in transition and get some easy buckets. Everything starts with our defense so we have to bring a lot of intensity to it.”
By Lloyd Carroll of the Queens Chronicle – BrooklynFans.com Contributor
Bob Dylan “Shadows In The Night” (Columbia)
With the exception of the Beatles, it’s hard to think of any other composer in the rock era whose songs have been covered by so many other artists as Bob Dylan has been. While he has been very happy to get his sizable royalty checks, Dylan was fairly harsh in his autobiography, “Chronicles,” that was published a few years ago, on many of those who have recorded his songs. Surprisingly, he said that his favorite cover of all of his songs was when Johnny Rivers recorded “Positively 4th Street” for his 1967 “Realization” album. Actually that was a good choice.
With his newest album, “Shadows In The Night,” Bob Dylan gets a rare chance to sing the compositions of other songwriters. This isn’t the first time that he has done that. In 1973 Columbia Records released “Dylan,” which consisted of unreleased tracks of his recording of such familiar tunes as “A Fool Such As I,” “Mr. Bojangles,” and “Big Yellow Taxi.” Supposedly the only reason Columbia released this album was as a way of punishing him for jumping to rival Elektra Records at the time. Three years earlier, Columbia released “Self-Portrait,” with Dylan’s blessing, in which he sang Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain,” Paul Simon’s “The Boxer,” and the old Everly Brothers classic, “Let It Be Me.”
What unites the ten songs on “Shadows In The Night,” is that they were all sung at one time or another by arguably the greatest vocalist of all time, Frank Sinatra. Bob Dylan, who is certainly not known for his mellifluous voice, must have realized that he was putting himself in a steep hole.
To his credit though, Dylan selected songs that were either obscure or were not recorded by too many others for the most part. The first three tunes, “”I’m A Fool To Want You” (one of the few songs in which Frank Sinatra received a writing credit), “The Night We Called It A Day,” and “Stay With Me” are probably known only to Sinatra scholars. His versions here do little to make us question why they weren’t ever hits.
Dylan’s plaintive slow delivery works best on the wistful “Autumn Leaves,” as he eloquently conveys the song’s lyrics of regret about lost love. Bob is completely lost and out of his league however on Rogers & Hammerstein’s big “South Pacific” tune, “Some Enchanted Evening.” This song requires someone with real vocal chops and even the biggest Dylan fan would admit that is not their hero’s forte. If you want to hear this tune sung exquisitely, be sure to check out the 1965 hit record by those boys from Belle Harbor, Jay & the Americans.
“Shadows In The Night” is an interesting effort for one of rock music’s most enigmatic personalities (the only interview that he gave to promote this album was in AARP Magazine) but it’s hard to imagine anyone playing this CD more than a couple of times.
Various Artists “Now That’s I Call Movies” (Sony Music)
It seemed as if no one was happy about this year’s Academy Awards, from the films that were nominated to Neil Patrick Harris’s disappointing stint as host. My biggest gripe was how awful most of the tunes were that were up for Best Song that was won by “Glory.”
“Now That’s What I Call Movies” brings us back to a time not so long ago when popular movies frequently generated hit songs that very much deserved to be. Among the gems on this 18-song compilation are Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets Of Philadelphia,” Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds,” Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” Survivor’s “”Eye Of The Tiger,” the Bee Gees’ “How Deep I s Your Love,” and Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose.”
To be fair, a number of songs here were very popular well before they were inserted into a given film so that the director could help set a mood for a particular scene. Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” was recorded in 1971 and it was used in Cameron Crowe’s 2000 coming-of-age film, “Almost Famous.” The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” and Blue Swede’s “Hooked On A Feeling” were used in “Love Actually,” “Born On The Fourth Of July,” and “Guardians Of The Galaxy.”
This a fun album to put on when you have company.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
Brooklyn Nets guard Markel Brown had his number 22 jersey retired at Peabody Magnet High School in Alexandria, Louisiana during the All-Star Break.
Brown said of the honor, “When I speak with these kids I try and tell them that with hard work you can make it through anything, I grew up on the same streets as these kids and I am a testament to the fact that hard work and determination can help you achieve your dreams.”
On Peabody Magnet, Brown said, “Peabody has a rich tradition and I am blessed to have the honor of winning two championships here. The highlight for me was in my senior year in 2010 going 41 and 0 and being ranked 15th in the nation.”
Charles Smith, Peabody Magnet High School Coach, said, “Markel is a great young man. Since his freshman year he just grew, both on the court and in the classroom. He has had a rough personal life and the fact that he has been able to keep his head above water really shows how’s strong of an individual he is. When I asked him about doing this event his first question was if we can involve as many local children as possible. He looks out for the local youth and wants to inspire them.
“This is my second time experiencing an NBA player coming out of Peabody High School. The first one was Paul Thompson. But Markel, I mean, it’s just phenomenal what this young man has done. He came to me as a freshman and I could see then that he was very talented. He came to Peabody. He grew every year. He was an honor roll student and he left here and went to Oklahoma State, where he excelled on the basketball court and received his degree from Oklahoma State. And this summer we were so happy when he was drafted by the Brooklyn Nets and so far he’s doing really good,” said Smith.
Brown said of Coach Smith, “Coach Smith is like a father to me, he has been the foundation in everything I have done.”
Coach Smith said of Brown’s impact, “This is a local kid and I’m encouraging all the community, the fans, especially the young people because he wants to talk with the young people and kinda give them some encouragement and let them know that they have the same possibilities that he had coming through Alexandria.”
Brown was selected by the Nets with the 44th pick in the 2014 Draft out of Oklahoma State. He played in just 17 of the Nets’ first 51 games, but he is finally getting his chance with the team having to cover for Jarrett Jack and Bogan Bogdanovic, who are out with injuries.
Brown got his first start on Monday night in Denver, and had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in 45 minutes. The Nets blew out the Nuggets 110-82 for their second straight win out of the All-Star Break.
Brown said ahead of Monday’s start about how he dealt with limited playing time, “It was very hard, because I’m used to competing, and as a ballplayer, you want to compete. It hurt to sit down and watch a whole game and not be able to get out there. It’s all mental though. When you’re sitting on the bench and time’s ticking, it’s all mental. So whenever your name is called, you’ve got to instantly be in game mode.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said of Brown, “I like Markel. He’s been playing extremely well in practice lately, and I wanted to give him a chance to go out there. Markel plays in the pick-and-roll and attacks and makes some plays and he finished. I like Markel, and I’m happy the opportunity is there for him. By moving Joe (Johnson) to four, there’s another spot that’s open on the perimeter.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The St. John’s Red Storm outlasted Xavier, 58-57, in a thriller on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, and they have won five out of their last six games.
St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin said of the game, “It was a donnybrook of a Big East game. I’m pleased that we were able to come away with a victory. It was a gut-check victory for our kids and another step in the right direction.
“I really like this team. I think we’ve played really good basketball this season – but clearly after the 11-2 start we labored through a stretch where we were banged up. It’s been the most injured team I’ve had in my coaching career. In recent weeks we are returning to being closer to full strength and having our full complement of players,” said Lavin.
The Red Storm have had a remarkable turnaround from late January, when they were 2-5 in Big East play. Starting with a win over Providence on January 31st, they have won six out of eight and are now 8-7 in Big East Conference play. With this win, they passed Xavier for fifth in the Big East standings.
Sir’Dominic Pointer said of this run, “I think that’s a tribute to Coach Lavin. He gets us ready for February. Most teams peak in December or January. I don’t think we have played our best basketball yet. Hopefully we’ll be rolling by the time the BIG EAST Tournament comes around.”
This game was one of many ups-and-downs. Xavier came out firing and lead 13-2 in the opening five minutes. St. John’s responded with a 13-0 run to take a 15-13 lead on a Sir’Dominic Pointer jumper with 7:50 left.
After James Farr tied it at 15 with a layup, St. John’s went on a 7-0 run capped by a D’Angelo Harrison jumper with 4:33 left in the first half. St. John’s kept it going, and closed the half on a dunk by Rysheed Jordan with 10 seconds left, giving them a 28-20 lead at halftime, a 26-7 run from when they trailed 13-2. Pointer led the way with 13 points (6-9 FG) in the first half.
D’Angelo Harrison got things going for St. John’s with a layup at the 19:02 mark to make it 30-20. Xavier held St. John’s scoreless for the next 6 minutes and 37 seconds and went on a 15-0 run to take a 35-30 lead. Harrison broke the scoreless streak with another layup that made it 35-32 Xavier with 12:25 left.
St. John’s got the lead back on a Harrison three with 6:32 remaining that made it 45-43. That would be short-lived as Trevon Bluiett hit a couple of free throws to tie it at 45 with 6:09 left. Blueitt got back to the line at the 5:24 mark and hit one of two free throws to make it 46-45 Xavier. After Harrison made a couple of free throws, Xavier got the lead back, 48-47, on a Myles Davis layup with 4:49 left.
Phil Greene IV stepped up and drained a three to give St. John’s a 50-48 lead with 4:40 left. Rysheed Jordan stepped up and got a layup followed by a jumper with 2:21 left to make it 56-53 St. John’s. Pointer followed that with a layup that gave them a five-point edge, 58-53, with 1:45 left. Pointer also did it on the defensive end with a big block on Dee Davis with 32 seconds left to preserve a 58-55 lead.
One of the mystifying things about Xavier is how their center Matt Stainbrook has no inside presence. With 23 seconds left, Stainbrook found himself out at the free throw line and he gave it up to Trevon Bluiett under the hoop for a layup, and he was met instantly, by two Red Storm defenders, one of which, Jordan, fouled him to send him to the line.
Bluiett hit both free throws to cut it to one, 58-57. With the 35-second shot clock turned off, Xavier needed to foul, but they let St. John’s inbound it and take it up court. Harrison dribbled it past the midcourt line, and Xavier’s Remy Abell stripped the ball from him with 16 seconds left.
Xavier had plenty of time to win it, but the final possession was a chaotic one, as Stainbrook got decked and wound up on the court, the ball came loose and Chris Obepka had it as time expired. Stainbrook, who was back off the deck by this point, tried to get the ball out of Obepka’s hands in the hopes of a steal or a jump-ball call, but he was too late, as time expired.
Harrison said of the last play, “I just wanted to get a stop and we did it. It is a good win; we fought it out and were able to get the win.”
St. John’s was led by Harrison, who had 20 points, including 15 in the second half. Harrison shot 7-for-14 from the field and 3-5 on threes, with a rebound and an assist.
Pointer had another amazing game, with 19 points on 8-for-15 from the field, and missed his lone three-point attempt, with 9 rebounds, 6 blocks, 4 steals, and 3 assists.
Lavin said of Pointer, “He’s as unique a talent as I’ve coached in my career. He’s unorthodox and extraterrestrial. It’s rare to coach someone that can guard five positions on defense and play five positions on offense. And there’s his wonderful personality as his temperament and demeanor are first rate. He’s what we call a happy warrior.
“There’s nothing Dom could do at this point that would surprise us, because he’s been exceptional in so many games over his career and in particular this year. He’s a force of nature. He imposes his will on the game and disrupts what opponents are trying to execute offensively.
“You can’t really prepare for him. How do you prepare for a tornado ripping up and down the basketball court? You can talk about it, show film, but it’s not as though an opponent can simulate what Dom does unless you have Dom on your team and we’re fortunate we have Dom. We’re thankful. He’s a special kid,” said Lavin.
On Pointer’s chances of garnering all-conference accolades, Lavin said, “I can’t imagine there’s anybody in our league, let alone the country, that influences the game at both ends of the floor in such dramatic fashion. I know in my career I’ve never had a player like him – he’s an original or singular in uniqueness. His ability to influence the game at both ends of the floor in such dramatic fashion is really unusual. So whether it’s this league or the country, it’s clear his skill set and motor are exceptional.”
Rysheed Jordan had a big night with 10 points (5-9 FG, 0-1 on 3s), 6 assists, and 3 rebounds. Jordan, per custom, did not speak after the game.
Harrison said of Jordan, “He’s just getting better every game. He continues to show leadership and maturity throughout every game. At [Xavier’s] place he hit the big three. Tonight, he was able to hit a big shot and get a big steal. He’s finding different ways to win games for us. He stepped up big tonight.”
Pointer said of Jordan, “He’s in a good place right now. He’s not turning the ball over, and he’s just playing his game. He’s taking open shots and he’s playing like a mature player.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The Brooklyn Nets’ Big Three of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez will be with the team for the rest of the season, after the endless trade rumors turned out to be a lot of hot air. One day after the trade deadline passed, they all had big games as the Nets beat the Lakers in Los Angeles 114-105 on Friday night in the first game of the second half of the season.
Williams got his first start in quite a while, in for the injured Jarret Jack, who hurt in his hamstring in the Nets’ last game before the All-Star break, on February 10th in Memphis. D-Will respoonded with a double-double, 12 points and 15 assists. Williams had a tough shooting night, making just 6 of 14 shots, and missed his two 3-point attempts. The encouraging thing was seeing him dishing the ball to teammates like the Deron Williams the Nets acquired four years ago.
Williams said of his strong start to the second half, “I just wanted to be aggressive. I stopped being aggressive somewhere along the line this season, and trying to get back to that. It doesn’t matter what happened in the first half of the season. This is a new half.”
Johnson had a good night shooting, looking fresh after the ten-day layoff. Johnson shot 6-for-11 from the field and a superb 5-for-7 on threes, for 23 points, to go along with 6 rebounds.
Lopez had another big night off the bench, with a double-double consisting of 22 points (8-19 FG) and 14 rebounds. It was surprising that Lopez did not finally re-join the starting lineup with the departure of Kevin Garnett.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Holins switched it up and went with Mason Plumlee at center, Johnson at power forward (KG’s old spot), Alan Anderson at small foward, Bogan Bogdanovic at shooting guard, and Williams at point guard.
There was little defense played in the first half, as the Nets led 34-32 at the end of the opening quarter and trailed 57-56 at halftime.
The Nets came out firing in the third on an 11-2 run, with Alan Anderson knocking down two threes followed by a Joe Johnson three. Those were the first of Johnson’s 13-point third quarter, and his three with 33 seconds left gave the Nets an 18-point lead, 95-77. The Nets outscored the Lakers 40-20 in the third and took a commanding 96-77 lead into the fourth.
Jeremy Lin had ten points early in the fourth, and pulled the Lakers within 12, at 105-93, on a layup with 5:39 left. That was the last basket he would score, but the Lakers still made it close as Ed Davis made a layup to cut it to seven, at 107-100, with 2:29 left. Deron Williams responded with a layup to make it 109-100 with 2:13 left, and it stayed that way for nearly a minute-and-a-half, when Davis made a jumper with 44 seconds left to cut it back to seven, at 109-102, but it was too little, too late for the Lakers.
Thaddeus Young, who came to the Nets in the Kevin Garnett trade from Minnesota on Thursday, made his debut with Brooklyn on Friday night. Young had 8 points (4-8 FG), 4 rebounds, an assist, and a steal in 12 minutes off the bench.
Young said of his Nets debut, “They kept it pretty simple for me — all simple, basic basketball stuff. So it was fairly easy for me to just go out there and play with those guys. It’s all about getting a feel for them and playing basketball. Over the course of time, being in this league, you become familiar with all the guys. We’re all brothers, anyway.”
Young averaged 14.3 points in 48 starts with the Timberwolves after spending his first seven seasons with Philadelphia. He was drafted by the Sixers with the 12th overall pick in the 2007 Draft and was involved in the three-team trade that sent Kevin Love from Minnesota to Cleveland this past August.
Deron Williams said of Young, “He didn’t play extended minutes. But for not knowing any of the plays and not having a shootaround or a meeting with us, I thought he played really well. He looked good, and he’s going to be great for us as he gets more acclimated to the team.”
Johnson said about Young, “I think he’s going to be great. He just has to get familiar with the system, but he’s definitely the kind of player that fits our mode. So he’s definitely going to help us.”