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
The Texas Longhorns, the 10th-ranked team in the country, beat California handily in the Championship Game of the 2K Classic, 71-55, on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Texas dominated this game from the start, and they jumped out to a 14-4 lead on a Jonathan Holmes layup a few minutes in. They expanded the lead to 14, at 26-12, on a Connor Lammert layup with 5:33 left in the first half. They took a 31-21 lead into halftime.
California came out strong in the second half, and cut it to 6, at 33-27, on a Tyrone Wallace jumper with 17:02 left. Texas responded with an 8-2 run, capped by a Demarcus Holland three-point play to make it 41-29 at the 15:39 mark. The closest Cal got after that was 43-36 on a Tyrone Wallace jumper with 13:36 left. From then on, Texas was in full control, and blew it open when Cameron Ridley hit a jumper to give them a 17-point lead, at 60-43, with 5:12 remaining.
Texas senior forward Jonathan Holmes won 2K Classic MVP honors with 21 points on 6-for-11 from the field (1-3 on 3-pointers) and 13 rebounds in 32 minutes. Junior guard Demarcus Holland had 11 points and 5 rebounds. Junior forward Connor Lammert had 6 points and 9 rebounds. Junior point guard Javan Felix had 9 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Freshman forward Myles Turner had 5 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
CONSOLATION GAME: SYRACUSE 66, IOWA 63
Syracuse lost to California in the opening game on Thursday night, while Iowa lost to Texas, setting up the consolation game to start Friday night’s doubleheader.
Syracuse led Iowa 34-29 at halftime and opened up a 50-35 lead eight minutes into the second half on a layup by Chris McCullough. Syracuse maintained that lead for the next few minutes, going up 14, at 57-43, on a Michael Gbinije dunk with 8:36 left.
Iowa responded, and went on a 15-2 run over the next five minutes, led by forward Jarrod Uthoff, who had 8 points in the stretch, Aaron White, and Adam Woodbury. Syracuse responded, as McCullough got a dunk to make it 61-58 with 2:21 left, and White responded with a dunk of his own to cut it back to a point.
Syracuse got a big layup from Trevor Cooney with 1:25 left, and Iowa got a layup from Adam Woodbury to make it 63-62 with 55 seconds left. Syracuse’s Kaleb Joseph missed a jumper with 40 seconds left, leaving Iowa with plenty of time to get a go-ahead basket. The Syracuse defense tightened up, and Iowa was forced to call a timeout with 14 seconds left, and when they came out of that, Syracuse’s McCullough got a steal. That was essentially it, as they traded free throws in the final 10 seconds leading to Syracuse’s 66-63 win.
Syracuse was led by Bronx native, freshman forward Chris McCullough, who had 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting and 9 rebounds in 38 minutes. Senior center Rakeem Christmas was able to do whatever he wanted on offense, and he finished with 18 points on 7-for-11 from the field, and 6 rebounds. Junior guard Trevor Cooney finished with 14 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds.
Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim said of the win, “In the first part of the second half, I thought we finally got our offense going. We were able to get different guys to get into position to score and we played really the best offense that we’ve played and then with the lead they came with a three-quarter-court trap and we threw it away fur times. That allows people to get open shots and now they’re back in the game. Kaleb (Joseph) made a good play when we had the and-one and then he tried to win the game with a jump shot when he should have really been thinking about trying to get the ball inside to Chris (McCullough) or Rak(eem Christmas), but freshmen are going to do that.
“I thought at the end of the game Chris (McCullough) made a great steal, came across our trap and just made a great play and that was the game. If he doesn’t come across and get that one, we don’t win. It was a great play. You know, we obviously have a lot of work to do on offense. I thought Trevor (Cooney) and Kaleb (Joseph) were more aggressive today and that’s good and Chris (McCullough) and Rak(eem Christmas) were good, we just got to do a better job of getting them the ball down low, but we did a fairly good job, but we’ve certainly got a lot of work to do on the offensive end,” said Boeheim.
Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffrey said, “In the first half I thought we attacked the zone pretty well, early. We were getting the ball to to the rim, we fumbled it out of bounds, we fumbled a lob that looked like it was going to be a dunk. You shouldn’t turn the ball over 11 times against the zone. That really put us in a tough spot, down five at the half…First part of the second half I thought we were really good, which is an important step because last night coming out of the half we weren’t very good. we played better, then they go on a run and give them credit for how they played and how they executed at that point of the game. They stretched it a little bit but we didn’t panic, we didn’t collapse, we kept executing, we pressed them, we got positive play from our press, created some offense, Jarrod (Uthoff) hit a couple of big shots, we played with a lot of energy and managed the game well, I thought. We put ourselves in position to win and that’s a good step for us.”
Jason Schott and Lloyd Carroll debate their thoughts on “Horrible Bosses 2″
Lloyd Carroll – The 2011 comedy “Horrible Bosses” was not a great film by any stretch of the imagination but it found an audience because of a simple, yet rather underutilized, story line; namely that a lot of workers have bosses who are either unappreciative or are bullies. The only film that I can recall where that was a central theme was the 1980 Dolly Parton vehicle, “9 To 5.”
Whereas “9 To 5″ was a smart comedy, “Horrible Bosses” was pure slapstick where three buddies who are being humiliated at work plot to kill their respective bosses. It was more “Three Stooges” than it was “The Sopranos.”
Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) are back with another caper in “Horrible Bosses 2.” The guys have developed a product called “Shower Buddy” and they are looking to be entrepreneurs instead of employees. An appearance on a local LA morning TV show draws the attention of a major appliance distributor who offers them a deal that sounds too good to be true.
As is generally the case, it was indeed to good to be true and the distribution company executives, the father and son team of Bert (Christoph Waltz) and Rex Hanson (Chris Pine), snooker the guys by using a bridge loan to steal their product out from them legally. The idea of bringing in lawyers and CPAs to look over any contract is apparently an alien one to our heroes.
Be it as it may, Nick, Kurt, and Dale are down but not out. They come up with the idea of kidnaping the odiously spoiled Rex, who flaunts his wealth in the faces of everyone he meets, in exchange for a princely ransom from his father. Predictably Murphy’s Law kicks in and everything that can go wrong, does. One unforeseen complication is that Rex has his own reasons to extract money from his dad and winds up commandeering things from the guys.
“Horrible Bosses 2″ is not horrible but the film makers are lazy as is frequently the case with a comedy sequel. Jokes run on far too long such as one about gay oral sex in the first scene as well as the obligatory finale chase scenes through the streets of downtown Los Angeles . Director Sean Anders, who also doubles as a screenwriter, lets his cast have fun by allowing them to ad-lib to their heart’s content.
The best thing about the film is its talented and game cast. Jason Bateman once again plays the straight-arrow in a comedy who has to do numerous slow-burns being the voice of reason. Jason Sudeikis, as was often the case when he was a key cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” plays a clueless but confident and upbeat character. The only weak lead is Charlie Day who is a poor man’s Bobcat Goldthwait playing the “Nervous Nellie” here.
The supporting cast is even better than the leads. Kevin Spacey returns in a cameo as the ultimate emasculating boss who makes Alec Baldwin’s tough-guy character from “Glengarry Glen Ross” look like a wimp in comparison. Chris Pine delivers as a handsome sociopath. Jennifer Aniston once again steals the film as a sex-obsessed dentist whose salty language about her proclivities would make a longshoreman blush. Say what you will about Aniston’s box office failures as an actress; she certainly has courage playing a role that is the antithesis of her iconic Rachel Green character from the old “Friends” TV series.
“Horrible Bosses 2″ is a harmless under two-hour film but I would wait until it comes out on DVD or when it makes it to premium cable. It’s not worth today’s high movie theater ticket prices.
Jason Schott – “Horrible Bosses 2″ had its moments, and the highlights were Chris Pine, who stole the show, and Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Aniston were at their best in cameo roles that provided the most entertaining moments.
There was nothing that special about the three leads. Jason Bateman plays the same character he always does, the smartest one in the room who knows all the right decisions, no different than his character on “Arrested Development.” Jason Sudeikis did much the same thing, playing the same, sly character he does in every movie and most of his characters on “Saturday Night Live,” including his send-ups of Mitt Romney and Joe Biden. Charlie Day was not very good and was highly annoying at times. Seeing all the big stars in this movie and what they commanded, it’s obvious that they saved money on the goofy member of the trio.
The movie brought its expected lowbrow humor from practically the first scene, where in a convoluted way, while demonstrating their shower product on a morning show, they simulate a sex act. It did not get much better from there, as the cursing and graphic language were uncomfortable at times. A common theme too was their making fun of gays, which is par for the course in these kind of frat house comedies.
Some of the funniest scenes are with Kevin Spacey, whose character is shown talking to Nick, Kurt, and Dale in prison to hilarious effect.
Overall, it’s a good watch, but I agree with Lloyd, save your money and wait for it to come to cable.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19 @BrooklynFans
Jason Kidd’s Milwaukee Bucks came in to Barclays Center and outlasted the Nets in a marathon, triple-overtime thriller, 122-118. This was the fifth loss in a row for the Nets and they fall to 4-7.
Kidd said of the win, “I’m going to use my depth no matter how many overtimes we go to. It was a big character game for our young guys to fight all the way to the end, come up with a steal and have a chance to win the game at the buzzer. We missed it but no one hung their heads. Guys kept being engaged. Basketball is funny, you get another opportunity for a big shot and he knocks it down to tie it. We got some stops.”
The buildup for Kidd’s return did not live up to the hype. Kidd did not receive an overwhelming amount of boos when he was introduced and the crowd was tepid throughout the game. The Barclays Center could not use the “Make Noise” graphics enough to get the crowd going.
Kidd said of the crowd reaction to his return, “I have bad hearing anyways. I thought whatever the greeting was, it was about the players. People don’t pay to come see the coach. They come to see the guys play, whether it is the visiting team or the home team. Brooklyn has a great opportunity with the Nets here and the Nets have a great opportunity being in Brooklyn. I think it’s a great fit. Cheer or boo, they have that right.”
The current Nets Head Coach, Lionel Hollins, said of the loss, “We had our ups and downs. We were ahead, we were behind, it looked like we were going to win, it looked like we were going to lose. It was a hard-fought contest. Our guys battled, we had our share of opportunities to win, we made our share of plays that said we should have won, but then we also made our share of plays that said we shouldn’t have won, and ultimately we didn’t. We had a lot of turnovers at crucial times. We had one turnover I thought we were going to lose the game, and the guys missed the layup at the buzzer. It was a gritty game that we didn’t win. It looked like at the end we just didn’t have enough juice.”
The Nets led this one 49-41 at halftime and then 72-69 entering the fourth quarter. The fourth was a seesaw affair which saw six lead changes and the game was tied five times. O.J. Mayo tied it at 95 with a driving lay-up with 30.4 seconds left.
The Nets had 30 seconds, plenty of time to get a shot off and win the game. Deron Williams held the ball until there was’5′ on the shot clock, then passed it to Joe Johnson, who was practically at the halfcourt line, and he then got it to Kevin Garnett, who tossed up a three-point attempt that barely grazed the rim. Mayo missed a shot at the buzzer for Milwaukee.
In the first overtime, Johnson got a three-point play to give the Nets a 103-101 lead with 2:30 left. Jabari Parker responded with an easy layup to tie it up, and Johnson responded with a turnaround jumper to make it 105-103 Nets with 42.2 seconds left. Mayo got fouled on a jumper, and he made a couple of free throws with 21.2 seconds left to tie it at 105.
The Nets had plenty of time once again to win it, but this time it was Johnson who took way too long with the ball and then threw a bad pass that was picked off by Brandon Knight, who raced past Bojan Bogdanovic for a layup and he missed it. Knight was in a race against the clock, and barely got it off before it struck 0.0, and it had nothing on it, so it rolled out.
Hollins said of his thoughts as Knight went up for the layup, “I thought the game was over, that’s the only thing. I was like, ‘Okay, ball game is over,’ and then he misses. We had another chance, another overtime to get out there and win the game, in five minutes and we couldn’t do it.”
Knight got his redemption in the second overtime by burying a three with 19.6 seconds left to tie it at 112. Kidd said of Knight, “We had a layup, understand we didn’t make it and we didn’t hang our heads. The guys got to Brandon Knight and kept his head up. That’s what teammates do., when you care and trust one another, when someone is down you pick them up.”
For the third straight quarter, the Nets had plenty of time to get off a shot to win it, and once again, they completely botched it. Johnson got the ball again on the inbounds, which made zero sense considering there were two point guards, Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack, also on the court. Johnson stood with the ball until there were eight seconds left, then dribbled to the free throw line, where he missed a jumper. Johnson is the type that he waits for the pass or gets a shot off of a screen, not a take-it-yourself kind of shooter.
In the third overtime, Khris Middleton hit back-to-back jumpers to give Milwaukee a 120-115 lead with 1:32 left. Deron Williams hit a three with 56.8 seconds left to cut the Bucks’ lead to 120-118. It stayed that way until the end, when the Nets had 15.5 seconds left to tie or win it. Williams got the inbounds pass this time, and found Johnson, who missed a long jumper. Knight hit a couple of free throws with 5.5 seconds left to seal the win for Milwaukee.
Hollins said of the Nets’ futility with these end-of-quarter possessions, “There are a couple of times that we didn’t attack and just settled for the shot instead of attacking, putting it on the floor and just making a play and seeing if we could cause somebody to call. I was saying whenever we do it in the post, we got a cutter for a foul, made two free throws, and then we put it on the floor in traffic and it got stolen. There were a couple of times where we thought we had shots at the basket, and they came out of nowhere and caused us to change the shot, and then we can’t get the ball. The offensive rebounds just continued to hurt us.”
Johnson, who had 18 points on 7-for-15 from the field (1-2 on threes), 8 assists, and 5 rebounds, said of the Bucks’ defense, “It was tough. I thought we had moments where we could have gotten great looks. We were moving the ball and getting what we wanted, especially in pick-and-rolls. They started doubling the pick-and-rolls, and that made it a little tough. It was really challenging at the end because we had to play one-on-one basketball since we were faking the screens. They played great defense, and I give them credit. Defensively, we couldn’t get the big rebounds, come up with the big stops and they seemed to be making bucket after bucket.”
Brook Lopez stepped up after a disappointing outing Monday night, with 26 points on 11-for-19 from the field, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in 44 minutes. Lopez also committed 7 of the Nets’ 22 turnovers, part of a sloppy offensive night overall. Hollins said of Lopez afterwards, “He scored a lot of points. I don’t like to talk about one individual. Did we do enough? Did he do enough for us to win? Did anybody do enough for us to win? Our team didn’t do enough for us to win, so one guy’s having a good game is okay, but we lost. I wouldn’t be celebrating. I wouldn’t go out and have a glass of champagne that he played well, because the ultimate goal is to win.”
By Jaden Daly of Daly Dose of Hoops – BrooklynFans.com Contributor
Sir’Dominic Pointer has seen his first three seasons at St. John’s marked by flashes of brilliance, but mostly, through no fault of his own, maddening inconsistency. Throughout his tenure in a Red Storm uniform, however, his teammates and coaches have remained steadfast in their support and belief in a breakthrough.
Therefore, when the Detroit native motored his way to a near-triple-double in St. John’s 66-53 victory over LIU Brooklyn Wednesday night, it came as no surprise to those closest to him.
“When Dom’s playing like this,” his teammate and fellow senior classmate D’Angelo Harrison said of Pointer’s 18-point, 8-rebound, 6-blocked shot effort that allowed the Red Storm to improve to 3-0 on the young season, “we’re going to be an unbelievable team. His numbers showed that tonight.”
Pointer, whose near-perfect 8-for-10 shooting from the field only enhanced his spectacular stat line, made all the right plays at all the right times before a crowd of 3,733 at Carnesecca Arena against an LIU Brooklyn team that was the last of the 351 teams in Division I to contest their season opener, a fact the Blackbirds proved irrelevant in the opening minutes when they jumped out to a 17-12 lead with 11:30remaining in the first half.
Yet, there was Pointer, starting the rally with a mid-range jumper to cut the deficit to three 38 seconds later, then captivating the crowd with his first of three dunks in the opening stanza to pull the Red Storm even with LIU at 21 apiece with 6:12 to play before the intermission. The two teams traded baskets for the next several minutes before the Motor City’s native son fed walk-on Myles Stewart for an uncontested three in the left corner to put St. John’s ahead 26-23. On the ensuing possession, Pointer stripped freshman point guard Elvar Fridriksson and tomahawked the ball through the net, extending the lead to five. Pointer would repeat this two minutes later when he forced a steal on Martin Hermannsson in the open court before his third dunk gave St. John’s a 30-25 lead with 1:35 to go in the opening half.
Trailing 32-26 going into the locker room, the Blackbirds would fight back with seven unanswered points to retake a one-point lead, but once again, Pointer responded, this time scooping up an offensive rebound from a Felix Balamou miss and stuffing it home with 17:40 left in regulation to put the Red Storm ahead 34-33, whipping the former Alumni Hall into a frenzy.
St. John’s would never relinquish that lead, but putting the game away proved to be difficult, as LIU remained within six points after Landon Atterberry, who posted 12 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort, made it a two-possession game with4:02 to play. The Red Storm went back to their hot hand on the next turn down the court, and Pointer calmly buried a jumper to extend St. John’s lead to 58-50 before the home team effectively sealed the outcome when the Blackbirds missed all but one of their last twelve shots over the final 3:41.
Harrison supported the winning cause with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Rysheed Jordan added 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, but fittingly, it was Pointer who provided the exclamation point in the last minute of play, with his fifth dunk of the night securing the final margin of victory.
“He strikes like a cobra,” head coach Steve Lavin gushed of Pointer. “He’s so gifted in those respects. I call him ‘extraterrestrial.’ He’s just such a unique player, like a unicorn or a mermaid. Dom’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever been associated with in 27 years, for a number of reasons.”
For all the praise showered upon him, though, the star of the night admitted there was one flaw in his virtuoso performance.
“I feel like I have to rebound more,” Pointer matter-of-factly stated. “At the end of the day, I’m the second-biggest guy on the floor.”
He may have been the second-biggest in stature, but Pointer left by far the biggest impression as St. John’s limited LIU Brooklyn to 30 percent shooting in their final tuneup before their Madison Square Garden debut next Wednesday against Richard Pitino and reigning NIT champion Minnesota.
“We had a couple of bright spots,” Lavin cautioned, “but there’s a long laundry list of problems we have to improve on. It took us four years to get to this place, and it feels good to just have a nucleus. I think we’ll improve with each week.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd makes his return to Brooklyn tonight, and he spoke before the game on “moving on” from the Nets, how there was “no relationship” with Billy King, and Mikhail Prokhorov’s infamous comment on his departure.
On his leaving the Nets and the aftermath, Kidd said, “I think sometimes things don’t end the right way, one side talks, the other side goes about its business, so I think, again, you’ve heard from their side, it’s business. It happens, coaches have gotten traded. I mean, Doc (Rivers) got traded from Boston (to the LA Clippers in the 2013 offseason), so was there a big deal made of Doc being traded? No, it’s just a part of the business. As a player, you get traded, and as a coach, if you have the opportunity, you get traded. That’s what happens, we move on. Unfortunately, one side hasn’t so…eventually, both sides will move on.”
On if he tried to promote himself above Nets General Manager Billy King in the Nets power structure, Kidd said, “I didn’t promote myself to do anything but learn how to be a coach…Billy is the GM, he put the Brooklyn Nets together, it is what it is. I didn’t try to promote myself. I’m still learning to be a coach, it’s my second season. I had a very interesting first year as a coach. I think it’s kind of funny because you guys (media) were counting how many times I was holding a clipboard, are you doing that with Hollins?”
Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov said of Kidd a couple of weeks ago ‘Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.’ Kidd said of that line from his former boss, “That’s his opinion. I’m sorry I’ve wasted your time, but there’s nothing, nothing…He got it right, yeah, it was good, thought it was a great quote, have heard it before.”
Kidd recently mentioned twice in the media about him possibly being fired last December and how that might have affected his departure, and he said of those on Wednesday night, “I think it really helped me to see the kind of people I was dealing with, you know, give me a fair chance to coach a team that had injuries, we made a big trade, but I think, understand that they did want to fire me in December so I think it just shows what type of people I was dealing with.”
On his relationship (or lack thereof) with Billy King, Kidd said, “He’s management, so my relationship with Billy was to figure out how to make things right when he was around, so there really was no relationship.”
On if his job with Milwaukee is better than the one he had in Brooklyn, Kidd said, “I don’t know if anyone said it was better…I’m learning how to be a coach. I have a great group of young guys in that locker room that are learning how to play the NBA game the right way. The veteran guys that I coached last year, I had a great time. We came short of fulfilling our expectations of winning a championship, but we did come a long way, we won a Game 7 on the road (in Toronto in Round One), we did a lot of good things, and it was a fun journey, and I respect everyone in that locker room.”
On what he misses about Brooklyn, Kidd said, “Brooklyn’s a great city. I think the Nets are very lucky to be here in Brooklyn. They have great fans, the spirit, the support is at an all-time high, I think it’s great, but besides that, I’m happy to be in Milwaukee.”
Jason Collins, who Kidd played with in New Jersey and coached last season in Brooklyn, announced his retirement on Wednesday afternoon. Collins is the first openly gay athlete to compete in American sports. Kidd said of him, “I think it’s great. ‘Twin’ is a role model for a lot of people in this country and throughout the world. To have him around last year, not just as a person, but also understand he knew how to play the game of basketball, again Twin wasn’t one that jumped and touched the top of the backboard, but he knew to be a true pro and I was very fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to play with him here as a Net, so I thought it was great for the guys to have that opportunity and experience what we went through last year.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The New York Mets have made alterations to Citi Field, changing the dimensions in right field just two years after they moved the fences closer in left field. They were unveiled to the media in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
The fence in front of the bullpen (pictured above) in right-center field has been moved in ten feet, from 390 feet from home plate to 380 feet. The fence at “The Mo’s Zone” has been evened out in relation to the rest of the wall, and as a result, it is five feet in, 370 feet from home plate instead of 375.
Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said of the changes, “These modifications are a refinement of previous changes made to Citi Field fences and continue to be fair to both pitchers and hitters. A lot of analysis went into this decision. We believe these modifications will increase the number of home runs without adversely affecting our pitchers.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19 @BrooklynFans Showcase photo by @LolitaLens – Chris Bosh and Chris “Birdman” Andersen of the Miami Heat
The Miami Heat beat the Nets 95-83 on Monday night at Barclays Center, in a game that was far more lopsided than the final score.
From the second quarter on, Miami was in full control of this game, even if the score did not reflect it. They made the Nets, particularly Mirza Teletovic and Bojan Bogdanovic, look silly on defense. Norris Cole and Shabazz Napier did a tremendous job at point guard and they ran the offense like a machine. The Heat did everything you could want except score the ball consistently.
The Nets had a 43-38 lead at halftime, but one constant in the parade of coaches in Brooklyn reared its ugly head once again, and that was a horrendous third quarter. The Heat outscored the Nets 32-21 in the third, led by Norris Cole’s 8 points. The Heat led 82-78 in the final minutes, and a Chris Bosh jumper with 3:15 left started a 9-2 run that was capped by a Bosh three that made it 91-80 with 1:23 left that sealed the win.
The Heat bottled up the Nets’ two biggest scorers, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. Johnson had just 6 points on a miserable 2-for-9 from the field and 1-for-5 on threes, wit 4 rebounds and 1 assist.
Lopez had 5 points on 2-for-8 from the field with 1 rebound and 2 assists in 21 minutes. He sat for nearly the entire fourth quarter, entering with 1:58 left for Garnett. It is now becoming common for Lopez to sit for the fourth, and this started a week ago Sunday against the Magic.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins was very agitated when he was asked about Lopez after the game, sternly replying, “I don’t want to talk about Brook right now. I don’t want to talk about any individuals. I want to talk about the game and our effort. I hear what you’re asking, I just don’t want to go there right now. It’s not a good time for me.”
That was the start of Hollins’ postgame rant, as he questioned the Nets’ identity, saying they have one, but that he doesn’t like it. The implication is that he wants a tough team and that the identity of the Nets, as it has been for their time in Brooklyn, is that they’re soft, epitomized by Lopez.
Lopez said of being benched in the fourth quarter, “You have to stay positive. I am all for the team, I always have been, so if that’s the way it is going to go, and that is the best look, so be it. I am going to be out there cheering on my guys and supporting them.”
The Nets have lost four in a row and are 4-6 on the season, and Lopez said of that, “Yes. It has been rough but we just have to stick together. Get a good day of work in tomorrow. We can finally practice and get a lot of good work in and just keep going at it. We have been doing a lot of good things, we haven’t been sustaining the entire game, but we are going in the right direction. We will be good; we have a lot of good workers. We have to get in the gym and work until we figure it out.”
Hollins spoke along the same lines as Lopez about playing an ‘entire game,’ saying, “It’s disappointing when you’re at home and you don’t play with good energy for 48 minutes. You know, you don’t scrap for 48 minutes. It’s disappointing no matter where you do it. It’s disappointing on the road when we don’t do it for 48 minutes, but there’s no reason when we come home.”
Hollins said to the question of if he sees any improvements on the court, “No. We have to rebound better. We were weak there. We needed to out-rebound this team. They out-rebounded us 41-35. We gave up 10 offensive rebounds. They’re guarding our men off the dribble. All of those things have to get better.”
On his message to the team after four straight losses, Hollins said, “Keep fighting. That’s life. Stuff goes bad in life, and you have to come out and you have to keep scratching and clawing. The one other thing to do is lay down and die, or you can stand up and fight. I’d rather fight.”
On if he is concerned about how his team has been playing, Hollins said, “It’s been a concern since the beginning. It’s always been a concern. I have to be patient myself, and we got to keep growing and growing and growing. You know, for me, I want it to be done right and right away, but I’m also smart enough to understand – been around long enough to understand – that it takes time.”
Miami won this game without Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng. In their place, Miami got big performances from Mario Chalmers, who had 22 points on 5-for-12 from the field, 1-5 on threes, 11-13 on free throws, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds; rookie James Ennis, who had 10 points (4-7 FG. 0-2 on threes) and 8 rebounds in 36 minutes; rookie Shabazz Napier with 11 points (4-8 FG, 3-6 on threes), 3 assists, and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes; and Udonis Haslem with 6 points and 6 rebounds in 15 minutes.
Hollins said of that, “As I tell you guys (media) all the time, NBA players get paid to play. There’s a lot of guys sitting on benches waiting for an opportunity. That kid (James) Ennis is waiting for an opportunity to play. (Mario) Chalmers is waiting for an opportunity to play. With Dwyane Wade being out, he stepped up and he played well. (Udonis) Haslem hasn’t played that much, and all of a sudden he gets a chance to play. It’s the NBA, I don’t even look at that. You guys make a big thing out of it. You still have to go out there and play. It’s not like there are people who shouldn’t be in the NBA that are stepping in and playing that you can just walk all over them.”
Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said of the win, “We wanted to come out with more passion, and we wanted to be connected. And through that connection, you’d see it in the communication on the court. Good or bad, we wanted to be connected, and that was encouraging to see. It was our loudest game in terms of on the court, in the huddles, pre-game, halftime. That’s a good step, but we want to keep on building. We showed some resolve to bounce back, just compartmentalize and try to get better. From the film session and the walk-through today, it was good to see the results tonight. It looked like a handful of times Brooklyn was open for the three, but we ran them off of those looks, got them into another possession, another situation and finished it off with some better rebounding than we did in the first half. I tried to get guys in and out of the lineup to keep them fresh and try to keep some of our starters out there throughout most of the time during the game.”