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 Nets held on for a gritty win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night at Barclays Center, winning 110-105 to break a three-game losing streak.
Mason Plumlee had another big night, continuing to deliver as the starting center in place of Brook Lopez. He had 21 points on 9-for-10 shooting, with 12 rebounds and 2 assists. This was Plumlee’s fourth double-double of the season.
Plumlee said of how big this win was, “It’s big. I mean, missing guys, you got two stars down, and we’ve been in the last three games. We’ve been in until the fourth, and we’ve let them get away from us. Even Miami, we came back, and for the most part, they’ve gotten away from us. It was a big win for us. We made plays down the stretch, and to come out on the other side, it feels really good.”
Plumlee said of his posting up, “I think just getting a better understanding for Coach’s (Lionel Hollins) system. There are still some post-up opportunities, but our guards are playing really well. They’re finding me and anytime you can get in a position to get an easy one, you’re taking it, and that’s really what I did last year, we’re just adding to it with the posting.”
Jarrett Jack started at point guard for the injured Deron Williams, and had a nice game with 15 points (7-14 FG, 0-1 on 3s) and 10 assists in 37 minutes.
Joe Johnson also had a big game, with 16 points on 5-for-9 from the field, including 2-for-4 on threes, with 7 assists and 3 rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic had 14 points on 4-for-7 from the field and was 3-4 on threes. Mirza Teletovic had 13 points on 5-for-9 from the field and 1-for-4 on threes, with 7 rebounds and an assist. Kevin Garnett had 10 points (4-7 FG), 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.
The Nets led this one 53-51 at halftime and tried to take this game over in the third quarter. From when the game was tied at 72 midway through the third, the Nets went on a 10-2 run, with Teletovic and Bogdanovic getting five points each, to take an 82-74 lead with 1:36 left. They took an 83-78 lead into the fourth.
In the fourth, the Nets took a commanding 13-point lead, at 96-83, on a reverse lay-up by Darius Morris with 6:43 left. Very quietly, the Pistons got back into it, and a Brandon Jennings three with 1:19 left cut the Nets’ lead to four, at 102-98. They pulled to within two, 104-102, on an Andre Drummond lay-up with 41.2 seconds left.
After a Plumlee turnover on a sloppy pass, Detroit had the ball with 18.9 seconds left, and Jodie Meeks missed a three on a catch-and-shoot off the inbounds. Johnson was fouled on the rebound off the miss, and he made two free throws to make it 106-102 Nets with 12.5 seconds left. Detroit did a catch-and-shoot once again, but this time Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made an open three to make it 106-105 Nets with 9.8 seconds left. Once again, Johnson was fouled, and he made a couple of free throws to make it 108-105 Nets. Detroit still had 8.7 seconds to tie the game, and for the third time, they tried a catch-and-shoot and Caldwell-Pope missed this attempt, as it was tipped by Alan Anderson.
Garnett went to the line with 6.1 seconds left and he missed both free throws, but Sergey Karasev had the peace of mind to foul Josh Smith on the rebound off the second miss, preventing them from setting up for a tying three-pointer. Smith missed both free throws badly, and Garnett got the rebound off Smith’s second miss and hit both free throws this time to seal the 110-105 win.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said of the win, “The 29 assists jump out at me, first. That is the first thing that jumps out at me when I looked at the score sheet. We did a lot of good things. We shared the ball, we played decent defense. Every time we got a lead, though, we would make some mistakes both offensively and defensively. And then down the stretch they made a bunch of shots, we turned the ball over and didn’t get shots, and they just ran out and got the basket or made threes. And then in the end we didn’t switch a few times and those last few free throws, I told them if they get a rebound, we miss a free throw and they get a rebound, we’re fouling. I wasn’t going to sit there and watch them make another three and send us into overtime. I take all the criticism you want to give me if we had fouled and he made one or missed one and got the rebound and scored, but I wasn’t giving up three, simple as that.”
Detroit, who fell to 5-23, which is a tad better than the 5-25 Knicks, got some big performances. Caldwell-Pope had 20 points on 6-15 from the field and 5-10 on threes, with 6 rebounds. Andre Drummond had 18 points (7-15 FG) and an astounding 20 rebounds. Josh Smith had 13 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. Greg Monroe had 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds beat the Florida International Golden Panthera 69-58 on Thursday night at Barclays Center.
This was LIU Brooklyn’s third straight win, a nice rebound after starting the year 0-6. LIU Brooklyn’s next gamme at Barclays Center is on Sunday, December 28th against Hofstra as part of the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival, and they will also play here on Saturday, January 17th against Mount st. Mary’s.
The Blackbirds were led by their duo of guards from Iceland, Elvar Fridriksson and Martin Hermannsson. Fridriksson had 17 points on 6-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-6 from behind the arc, with 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Hermannsson had 10 points on 3-8 overall and 1-5 on threes, with an assist and a rebound.
LIU Brooklyn forward Gerrell Martin had a nice game, with 15 points on 4-for-9 overall and 3-7 on threes, with 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Blackbirds came out on fire in this one, jumping out to a 24-9 lead on a Fridriksson three with 10:10 left in the first half. FIU with responded with a prolonged 13-5 run capped by a Jimenez Porcher three with 1:10 left. Trevin Woods responded with a three of his own, and Porcher closed the first half with another three to cut LIU Brooklyn’s lead to 30-25 heading into halftime.
In the second half, FIU got the lead rather quickly and held a 45-44 lead on a Tashawn Desir layup with 11:04 remaining. LIU Brooklyn responded with 14-1 run, started by two Fridriksson threes, part of a run in which he scored 10 straight points. FIU never got closer than seven points down the stretch, and Hermannsson free throws with 2:59 left gave LIU a commanding 65-53 lead.
LIU Brooklyn Head Coach Jack Perri said of the win, “Feels pretty good to get a win on the road, been a long time since we’ve had that happen. (note: this technically was an LIU Brooklyn home game) Our guys earned it, played on offense really well, had a good game plan, especially in the first half, we talked about not letting them steal the ball because they have the ability to do that. They got to our bench, and the lead comes down, they took a lead in the second half, but I think that our guys kept their poise.”
Perri said of Fridriksson’s 10 straight points in the second half, “It was huge. He’s shooting confidently, really good, talented basketball player, very important that he got those back-to-back threes (that gave them the lead in the second half).”
By BrooklynFans.com Photographer Lolita B. – @LolitaLens
Legendary R&B singer Smokey Robinson performed at the Cushman and Wakefield Theater at Barclays Center on Thursday, December 11th.
Robinson’s career spans over four decade and he was called America’s “greatest living poet” by Bob Dylan. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Robinson founded The Miracles while still in high school. It was Berry Gordy’s first vocal group, and it was at Robinson’s suggestion that Gordy started the Motown Record dynasty. The Miracles’ single of Robinson’s “Shop Around” became Motown’s first Number 1 hit on the R&B singles chart. Some other hits that Robinson wrote for the Miracles were classics like “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “More Love,” “Tears of a Clown,” which was co-written with Stevie Wonder, and “I Second That Emotion.”
Enjoy this selection of photos from this historic concert:
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19 Showcase photo: Sergey Karasev during the warmup in the tribute shirt
The Nets lost to the Miami Heat 95-91 on Tuesday night at Barclays Center, an evening that saw the team honor a beloved fan that passed on way too soon and a delay due to a leak in the roof.
The team honored Jeffrey Gamblero, their superfan known for his dancing near courside and neon shirt under his Nets jersey, who died on Sunday at 38 years old. In his honor, the players wore “Gamblero 44″ t-shirts with the lettering in neon on a black background during the warmups and throughout the game. There was a tribute video and a moment of silence before tip-off as well.
The game started off like any other, with the Nets and Heat trading baskets and feeling each other out. Luol Deng hit a three-pointer at the 1:47 mark of the first quarter to give Miami a 24-21 lead.
The game was stopped at that point because there was a leak from the roof onto the floor across from the Nets basket. Barclays Center management said the cause was from a “green roof” they are constructing.
After a while, the teams were sent back to their locker rooms, and the delay lasted 31 minutes before play resumed. Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said of the delay, “We just stood out there and waited until they told us to go into the locker room. And we did – nothing special. I don’t think that they did anything special either. They just came out with more energy afterwards. I was saying to myself that I hope it didn’t get postponed. I hate when games get postponed, and you got to make them up. It just makes the schedule even tighter down the road so that’s what I was thinking.”
On if he had been through this before, Hollins said, “Multiple times – it happens all the time. It’s part of the NBA. I was in a game, not playing but coaching, when Shaquille (O’Neal) broke the basket in Phoenix. I was in Portland when David Thompson broke the backboard on a dunk. It always happens. It’s not often, but it’s not so unusual that you would be shocked if it happened.”
When play resumed, Miami looked recharged, as they closed the first quarter on a 9-4 run and basically did whatever they wanted on offense. Deng closed the first with a three as time expired to make it 33-25 Miami. They led by as many as 13 in the second quarter and took a 55-45 lead into halftime.
The Nets started the third quarter with their starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, and Sergey Karasev, and they came out with a bang. Garnett started the quarter with a couple of long jumpers, Plumlee and Karasev each had fancy reverse lay-ups, and Johnson had a layup that completed a 12-3 run that cut Miami’s lead to one at 58-57.
Deng and Udonis Haslem got a couple of baskets to give Miami a five-point lead, and Hollins decided to pull Garnett for Mirza Teletovic and Karasev for Jarrett Jack. That broke the Nets’ momentum completely, as Miami dominated the rest of the quarter. The Nets were within three, at 66-63, with 3:37 left, and the Heat went on a 10-2 run capped by a Shawne Williams jumper. Jerome Jordan made a free throw in the final seconds to cut Miami’s lead to ten, at 76-66, entering the fourth.
With the game slipping away, Hollins started the fourth quarter with Jack, Jordan, Alan Anderson, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Cory Jefferson. Miami took advantage of this lineup and opened up a 13-point lead, at 84-71, on a Dwyane Wade jumper with 8:46 left. At this point, Hollins brought Garnett in for Jordan, Williams in for Anderson (Anderon would come right back in for Jefferson a minute later), and Johnson for Jack. However, he did not bring back Mason Plumlee for Jordan despite Plumlee having 17 points at that juncture.
A Joe Johnson three with 6:25 left cut Miami’s lead to eight, at 85-77, with 6:25 left. Soon after, Plumlee finally came back in, replacing Garnett at the 5:49 mark. Plumlee missed a couple of tip-ins on second chances after a Johnson miss at the 5:42 mark, but redeemed himself nearly a minute later by getting an alley-oop off a pass from D-Will to make it 85-79 Miami.
Hollins made another questionable move, bringing Jack back in for Bogdanovic with 4:54 left in the game. Along with Jack were Anderson, Plumlee, Williams, and Johnson. Why he stuck with Jack, who had five points, and Anderson, who had two points, was mystifying. Karasev was reported to have a sore side, but should have found his way back into the game.
As a result, Miami took a nine-point lead, at 92-83, on a Wade turnaround jumper with 2:16 left. Wade hit one of two free throws with 1:25 left, and the Nets, with Bogdanovic in for Anderson, responded with an 8-0 run capped by a Bogdanovic three with 35 seconds left that made it 93-91 Heat.
Luol Deng got to the line with 11.8 seconds left and drained a couple of free throws to make it 95-91 Heat. On the Nets’ next possession, Jack missed a lay-up down the lane, and it was a fitting end in some ways, as it was questionable why he got so many minutes down the stretch.
In the fourth quarter, Anderson played 10 minutes and 20 seconds, shot 0-for-2, had 2 rebounds, and took 3 fouls; Jack played 8:48, shot 0-2 and had 3 assists; Bogdanovic played 8:30 and shot 1-3, all from behind the arc; Johnson and Williams eached played 8:06, Plumlee played just 5:49 despite leading the team in scoring, and Garnett played just 3:11.
The game could be summed up by the play of the benches, as Miami got big performances from Shabazz Napier with 11 points and 3 assists; Mario Chalmers had 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists; and Shawne Williams had 10 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists. The Nets’ bench combined to shoot 6-for-24, and got 5 points each from Mirza Teletovic, Bogdanovic, and Jack, Jefferson had 4 points, Jordan had 3 points, and Anderson had 2 points and 3 rebounds, but took 5 fouls.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
Dwyane Wade picked up the slack for the Miami Heat with Chris Bosh out, and he scored 28 points to lead the Heat to a 95-91 win over the Nets.
Wade shot 12-for-24, including 1-for-4 on threes, with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. He had 11 points in the second half.
Wade said of the game, “That was a big focal point at halftime. Coach was saying, let’s just try and turn it around in the third quarter. I thought we did a few things differently. We made some mistakes, but we stuck with it and every time they were making a comeback. We made the right plays, we made the right defensive rotations and we were able to keep the lead.”
Wade played through an illness, and he said of what he ate during the day, “I had three pieces of toast and two bananas. They told me I had to eat something bland. I didn’t have any rice in the hotel so that is all I ate, and it got me through.”
On how he felt on the court, “Certain times you feel alright, certain times you don’t. My coaches did a great job. I told them when I look over there I need one. Because when you are sick and you get tired, you are tired. You don’t have anything left in the tank.”
On the delay in the game due to the leak in the roof, Wade said, “I’m sure for both teams it was (annoying)- you don’t want that. You are finally in the game, you get loose, you get into it and then you have to stop for a while. But they had to do what they had to do for the safety of the players, so I understand it. I thought that we came out of it very well, our second unit came out of it, and played very well, so it gave us an extra boost.”
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said of Wade, “Dwyane Wade made a special statement that he is still a special player and you need to give him his due. He kind of came out at the beginning and he tried to carry them and he did. He was carrying them down the stretch, and eventually we had the run and just couldn’t make a bucket.”
Miami Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said of the game and Wade, “The mentality was to come into this game and try to win tough possessions. For the most part, it carried throughout the course of the game. Guys were really competing. Our best offense really came off of either our defense or throwing the ball to Dwyane Wade in the post. We did have some relief opportunities off of our stops. It didn’t feel as if we had so much pressure on our offense because we were able to get those stops. So the mentality is something we can hopefully build on as we move forward. I don’t wish anything bad on Dwyane Wade; I just hope he’s sick again tomorrow. He played with tremendous energy and he was our best bail out when in doubt with our offense. There were times when we were able to execute, guys were contributing however they can and by any way necessary. It also helps when you have a talent at the end of the clock or when you need to throw the ball somewhere. Somebody who will get up a good shot for your team with poise and that’s what Dwyane did tonight.”
Wade said of how bad he felt versus how well he played, “I shot the ball enough tonight. I missed some, I hit some. I was just trying to be aggressive offensively tonight. We are missing Chris (Andersen), a very big part of our team, our offensive package, so I wanted to take it on my shoulder tonight to be aggressive. If I am out here tonight I might as well do something. If not, I could have stayed in the hotel and got some rest, so when you show up at the jump, you have to be positive in some sort of what, so I tried to be that.”
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, the first winner from the University of Oregon and the first born in Hawaii.
Mariota received 90.92 percent of the total possible points, which is the second highest all-time to Troy Smith, who received 91.63 percent in 2006. Mariota received 2,534 points to win the award over Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin, who had 1,250 points and Amari Cooper of Alabama, who garnered 1,023 points.
The point total is reached by a system of three points for a first place vote, two for a second, and one for a third. Mariota received 788 first-place votes, 74 second-place, and 22 third-place votes. Gordon had 37 first-place votes, 432 second-place votes, and 275 third-place votes. Cooper had 49 first-place votes (more than Gordon), 280 second-place votes, and 316 third-place votes.
Mariota is the 35th quarterback and the 17th Junior to receive the award. He led the nation in passing efficiency at 186.3 by completing 254 of his 372 passes for 3,783 yards and 38 touchdowns, and threw just 2 interceptions. Mariota also rushed for 669 yards and 14 scores, and notched a touchdown reception. His total of 53 touchdowns tied Sam Bradford, who won it in 2008, with the Heisman record for most touchdowns.
Mariota won the PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Year Award, the 2014 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top quarterback, and the Maxwell Award as the nation’s most outstanding player.
When Mariota, adorned in many leis that people gave him, returned back to the Marriott Marquis to address the media after winning the Heisman at the Best Buy Theater, he said this of how he felt, “It’s hard to explain, I’m at a loss for words because it’s truly amazing and…yeah, I’m at a loss for words.”
On his emotions during his speech, Mariota said, “I mean, I had to give thanks because where I’m at today is because of all of them and it’s hard not to get emotional. It means the world to me, my emotions got the best of me.”
Mariota said of his relationship with Hawaii, which is known for being the home state of President Barack Obama, “In Hawaii, if one person is successful, the entire state is successful. To be a part of that is so special, it’s hard to explain, just grateful to be a part of it, just thankful.”
On if any of the awards he won during the week prepared him for winning the Heisman, “I mean, it’s tough, again this is something that is very hard to do, to stand up on a podium and give a speech after winning with all the emotions going through you is definitely something because you’re feeling so excited, but at the same time, you have to give thanks to everybody that got you here and that’s why I got emotional because all the hard work of other people led me to where I am today.”
Oregon won the PAC-12 Conference Championship and Mariota will lead them against last year’s Heisman winner, Jameis Winston, and Florida State in the Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day in the first-ever College Football Playoff semifinals.
On preparing for the national semifinal while going through awards week, Mariota said, “Right now, this time I think for many college football players is kind of a break. To be a part of this awards circuit has been a blessing and it’s been a lot of fun. Once I get back to the gym, we’ll start our preparation for it.”
Mariota said of New York, “A lot of people, for me, it’s been an experience, I haven’t been able to really get outside of the hotel and experience New York itself, seems like a nice place, really busy.”
IVY LEAGUE AWARDS:
On Monday at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, the National Football Foundation awarded the Asa A. Bushnell Ivy League Awards. Yale senior tailback Tyler Varga won the Offensive Player of the Year award, and Harvard senior defensive lineman Zack Hodges and Princeton senior linebacker Mike Zeuli were the Co-Defensive Players of the Year. It was the second straight year Hodges won Defensive Player of the Year.
Varga brings Yale its ninth Bushnell Cup recognition and is the eighth different Bulldog to receive this accolade, following Dick Jauron in 1972, John Pagliaro in 1976 and 1977, Tim Tumpane in 1979, Kevin Czinger in 1980, Rich Diana in 1981, Kelly Ryan in 1987, and Mike McLeod in 2007. He is the 19th running back in Ivy League history to receive the award and the fifth Yale offensive back to do so, joining Jauron, Pagliaro. Diana and McLeod.
Hodges becomes the first player to be twice-named Defensive Player of the Year and just the fourth player in League history to earn the Bushnell Cup twice in his career, joining Pagliaro, Cornell’s Ed Marinaro in 1970 and 1971 and Harvard’s Carl Morris in 2001 and 2002. He is the eighth different Harvard player to be honored as a Bushnell Cup recipient, following Morris, Jim Stoeckel in 1973, Ryan Fitzpatrick (current Houston Texans quarterback) in 2004, Chris Pizzotti in 2008, Gino Gordon in 2010, Josue Ortiz in 2011 (first Defensive Player of the Year recipient), and Colton Chapple in 2012. This marks the ninth time in 14 years that a Crimson player has been selected as a Bushnell Cup recipient, but just the third time for a Harvard player from the defensive side of the ball.
Zeuli is the ninth Princeton player to be bestowed with the Bushnell Cup, following Walt Snickenberger in 1974, Jason Garrett (current Dallas Cowboys Head Coach) in 1988, Judd Garrett in 1989, Keith Elias in 1993, Dave Patterson in 1995, Jeff Terrell in 2006, Mike Catapano in 2012, and Quinn Epperly in 2013. He is just the fifth linebacker in Ivy League history to receive the award and just the second Tiger playing that position to do so, with Patterson being the first.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
Nets General Manager spoke with the media before Friday’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers after a busy Thursday. He addressed the moves and trade rumors involving their “Big 3,” Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez.
On Thursday afternoon, King acquired forward Brandon Davies from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward Andrei Kirilenko, guard Jorge Gutierrez, the Nets’ second round draft pick in 2020 and the right to swap second round picks in 2018, General Manager Billy King announced today. In addition, the Nets created a $3.4 million trade exception and a $916,000 trade exception with the transaction.King later signed free agent Darius Morris.
On why he did the moves, King said, “I mean the trade was one, AK (Kirilenko) was dealing with his personal situation, so we had a chance to reduce the payroll a little bit and create a trade exception that gives me the ability to use that, we actually created two of them, so it gives me a year to do that. Darius (Morris) is someone we had talked about bringing in and give us another young point guard we can look at, and then Brandon Davies is a big guy, played well, so try to get some younger guys.”
On if there’s a role Davies and Morris can fill right now or if it’s a wait-and-see thing: “I mean, they’ve gotta get acclimated as quick as possible, but I think that we’ll see how they fit in, and Darius gives us another point guard that has played in NBA games that has played in NBA games, played with Kobe (Bryant), played with (Steve) Nash, played in LA (with the Lakers), so take a look at him.”
On if he has more flexibility, as some contracts are non-guaranteed, to make some trades this year: “Not really looking at it from that standpoint, Jerome (Jordan) has come in and earned his spot, has played well, so to me, I think it’s giving guys opportunity, sometimes you give guys opportunity and they produce well, and I think Jerome is one of those.”
On the fact that this is the most flexibility he has had: “Yeah, but I think a little bit of it was by design going in to give us the flexibility, to have the trade exceptions, because a couple years we’ve been 15-man rosters with full ‘guarantees,’ so now it does allow us to have some flexibility, but I’m not going in to it looking to just move some guys, I’m looking to give guys opportunities.”
On the reports of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez being on the trade block: “I didn’t say they were, some media people said it. My job is to talk on the phones, people call us, they make offers, we say no, and so when you do that, it gets out and somebody says, ‘well, they’re shopping guys,’ you know, that’s my job. My job is to listen when people make calls and make calls back. Does that mean we are having a fire sale? Absolutely not! I’m doing my job, and players and coaches do their jobs, and my job is to work the phone to see what’s available, things makes sense, you make trades. We’re not shopping or having a fire sale.”
On how these rumors have affected the roster, King said, “I’ve talked to the guys and they’re veterans. Brook’s name has been mentioned all the time in seven years. I’ve talked to the guys and they understand it’s a business, you know, it’s not the good part of the business, but it’s part of the business.”
On the effort to move away from signing veterans to having a better mix of older and younger players: “I don’t know if orders came down (from ownership), everything we do we do as a group, we talk and map it out, I think we looked at it and I made a decision to go in a different direction, so it wasn’t the message came down, we talked and discussed it.”
The goal before the season was to be one of the best four teams in the Eastern Conference, and King said of the expectations now with a 9-12 start: “We haven’t played like we expected to play, but I don’t think it’s over. I think last year at this time we were having the same conversation and turned it around, but I don’t want to wait until we get to that point. I think we have to start playing better together as a group.”
On if the turnarounds in the second half of the past two seasons gives him confidence they can do it again, King said, “No, not really because of the…I think we have the players to do that, but we just have to play better basketball together as a group collectively and I think this group is capable of it, we put it together against San Antonio, some games we just have to be more consistent, and also we have to get healthy. Brook (Lopez) was starting to play pretty well, gotta get him back playing well, Joe’s (Johnson) back tonight, Mirza’s (Teletovic) out, so when you take those key components out of the lineup, it makes it tough to have some consistency.”
On why there hasn’t been that consistency: “Well, I think, one, Brook was playing himself back into shape from being out for so long and I think once he started doing that, and I think a lot of guys are trying to adjust to a new system, and I think a little bit of that, but also some guys haven’t played up to the level they can.”
On how King feels about this team right now: “I don’t know if there’s a word, I will leave that to you guys (the media), I don’t know, right now we just have to play well, I guess that probably sums it up. We’re not playing at the level we thought we’d be playing at right now, but it’s the early part of the season, so it’s not something that, I don’t think we’re ready to throw the towel in and be discouraged. We’ve had some losses, like the Chicago loss was tough, when you take out Brook, Mirza, and Joe out of the lineup, I knew we would have trouble scoring against a good defense, but we’ve had some games, we’ve played well in the first half, third quarters have been a challenge. It’s a situation where we have to find consistency – consistency in rebounding the basketball, sharing the basketball, good defense.”