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  Articles > NBA > Nets
 This Rivalry Ain’t Kidd-ing

On the eve of 12/12/12, the Knicks and Nets officially began a special rivalry in New York.

After the Nets took the first game between the two just 15 days ago in Brooklyn, the Knicks got revenge in another thrilling game at the Barclays Center. Jason Kidd did what he did in New Jersey for the Nets…make a clutch shot to win the game for his team. This time he did it in orange and blue. Kidd’s three pointer with 24 seconds to go would prove to be the game winner as the Knicks topped the Nets, 100-97.

You couldn’t ask for a better game at the Barclays Center. For the second time this season, the two teams played a game that felt like one played in May, not December. Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 45 points, a season high, and an NBA season high. Melo carried the Knicks in a game they clearly wanted to win against their new crosstown rival. In a game where the Knicks trailed 26-9 in the first quarter, Anthony’s ability to take over the game and Kidd’s ability to knock down clutch three pointers is what propelled Mike Woodson’s team back in the game.  The Knicks made big shot after big shot in the 4th quarter outscoring the Nets 26-18 to get the comeback victory.

The Nets were led by Andray Blatche, who scored 23 points, but they clearly missed their star center Brook Lopez. The Nets are 1-5 without their injured center, including five straight losses. The team has struggled mightily since their statement win against the Knicks two weeks ago. Deron Williams has been off shooting this season and had a poor night from the field once again Monday going 6 for 16, including 1 for 6 from three point range. Joe Johnson scored 16, but has been very inconsistent so far this season and hasn’t played at the level he did in Atlanta.  Brooklyn needs their leading scorer to come back healthy to get back to their winning ways.

The Knicks not only got revenge after their first loss to the Nets, but they also hold bragging rights. The Knicks have won 7 of 8 games since that loss in Brooklyn and hold the best record in the Eastern Conference at 16-5. Monday night officially turned this into a rivalry and something truly special for New York.  Knicks fans could be heard in an arena that seemed to be a 50-50 split of Knicks and Nets fans.  That is the last time the two teams will meet in Brooklyn until next season…unless the two match up in the playoffs, which would be a dream for many. After seeing the first two games between these two teams, a playoff series between Manhattan and Brooklyn would be history in the making.

The battle of the boroughs has not disappointed fans so far this season. If those two games weren’t enough excitement, they will meet up again next Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. The atmosphere at the Barclays Center was extraordinary, but expect it to be on another level when the rivals meet at MSG. The winner of next week’s game takes the season series lead. Their fourth and final meeting comes on January 21st at MSG, when the Knicks should have Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert back in the lineup.

Buckle up for the ride because we got ourselves a big rivalry in the big apple.

 Dwightmare is Over
  Nets End Dwight Howard Talks, Sign Brook Lopez to Multiyear Deal

The Dwight Howard to the Nets saga has finally come to and end. The Magic and Nets ended trade talks earlier today as they could not get a deal done after several attempts.  There were rumors of a 4 team trade, a 3 team trade, and a trade between the Nets and Magic. All the drama finally ended allowing the Nets to move on with their offseason.

The Nets have moved on and resigned their center Brook Lopez to a 4 year $61 million deal.  Pieces now are being placed together for the Brooklyn Nets as General Manager Billy King has done a tremendous job this offseason to turn an irrelevant Nets team the last couple of years into a team that can instantly contend. They started off the offseason by resigning their small forward Gerald Wallace to a 4 year $40 million deal.  Shortly after, the Nets made a blockbuster trade to acquire All Star shooting guard Joe Johnson from the Hawks.  After the signing of Wallace and the trade for Johnson, point guard Deron Williams knew that it would be the right choice to stay with a Nets team who was putting together a team that can win now. Deron Williams chose the Nets over the Mavericks as he signed a 5 year $100 million deal to join Wallace and Johnson.  The Nets also added Bosnian 6′9 forward Mirza Teletovic who was a star overseas and can be a huge contributer for the Nets at power forward.  They also acquired forward/center Reggie Evans in a sign and trade with the Clippers and signed Jerry Stackhouse to a 1 year deal. Brooklyn is also working on a sign and trade to bring in Antwan Jamison at power forward.  Not trading for Dwight Howard also meant the Nets got to keep their young guard MarShon Brooks who had a very impressive rookie season last year.

The Nets have definitely made a splash this offseason. They have one of the best starting backcourts in Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Johnson provides them with a guy who can make shots as he is one of the best shooters in the NBA. Gerald Wallace has been a consistent rebounder and defender at small forward who will contribute double figures in points as well. Brook Lopez is coming off a season where he only played in 5 games after breaking his foot. Lopez had not missed any games in his first three seasons prior to breaking his foot. He averaged 20 points a game in the 2010-2011 season. He is arguably a top 5 center in the NBA and a very solid offensive center. Mirza Teletovic will be a huge addition being a big man who can shoot from downtown.  He was a star overseas and will be another shooter to come in and make big shots for the Nets.  Rookie Tyshawn Taylor out of Kansas will also be a big contributor coming off the bench backing up Deron Williams.  This Nets team is very deep and its only July 11th, the first day free agents can be signed.  Even after losing Howard, this looks to be a playoff team who can surprise a lot of people this year.  Brooklyn will see a very exciting and winning team to open the Barclays Center in 2012-2013.

 The New Brooklyn Nets

The New Jersey Nets began the 2nd half season on the right track yesterday by defeating the Dallas Mavericks. The Nets were not expected to beat the Mavs especially since the Nets have lost the last 11 meetings against the Mavericks. Brook Lopez dominated the game with a 38 point outing.

The Nets are trying to make one final push to try to be an 8 seed in the playoffs. This comes amongst a number of distractions that are plaguing the Nets. The Nets are trying to attempt a trade that would involve Brook Lopez to Orlando for Dwight Howard. If Dwight Howard comes to New Jersey, there is a good chance that the Nets All Star soon to be free agent point guard Deron Williams will stay with the team this offseason.

The Nets are moving to Brooklyn this summer and a Deron Williams-Dwight Howard duo would be quite the combo. The problem that the Nets are facing is what if Dwight Howard is not traded to New Jersey. This means that Deron Williams will most likely explore his free agent possibilities this summer. Teams such as the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers will be chasing after him and who would want to play for New Jersey when you have the possibility of playing with future hall of famers like Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant? Rumors have swirled across the NBA saying that Dwight Howard will go wherever Deron Williams goes, so Deron may possibly be playing on a Miami Heat style trio with Deron, Kobe, and Dwight or maybe even Deron, Dirk, or Dwight. Either way, it would be a no-win situation for the Nets.

All and all, Nets fans are truly hoping that the Orlando Magic front office saw what Brook Lopez did last night to the Dallas Mavericks. Nets fans want Dwight Howard badly so they can move to Brooklyn along with Deron Williams and they can drift off into being a competitive team again. Nets fans would love to have a rivalry with the New York Knicks especially since Jeremy Lin has pretty much saved the Knicks franchise.

The trade deadline is March 15th and it will be an interesting outlook on what will happen on deadline day.

 Is Billy King Ready for Brooklyn?

When Mikhail Prokhorov bought the New Jersey Nets he immediately envisioned a five-year plan to make this team a title contender. To make Prokhorov’s vision a reality general manager Billy King has acted swiftly.

During his 10-year tenure (1997-2007) in Philadelphia, King built a team that went to five consecutive playoff appearances (1999-2003) and won an Eastern Conference Championship in 2001. King made two important trades that netted starting power forward Tyrone Hill and starting center Dikembe Mutombo to pair with MVP Allen Iverson during the team’s 2001 NBA Finals appearance.

On February 23, 2011 King capitalized on the diminishing relationship between the Utah Jazz, and superstar point guard Deron Williams. King made the boldest trade of his career trading former All-Star point guard Devin Harris, former 2010 third overall draft pick Derrick Favors, two first-round picks, and cash to the Jazz for Williams. Harris has struggled mightily in Utah, Favors is a backup power forward behind Paul Millsap, and Williams is an unrestricted free agent after the season with no guarantee he’ll make the move to Brooklyn with the Nets.

After acquiring Williams, King has put role players around Williams, as he once did with Iverson, in the hopes of building another contender. King traded the draft rights to JaJuan Johnson and a 2014 second-round pick to the Boston Celtics for the draft rights to starting shooting guard MarShon Brooks, who was selected to the Rising Stars Challenge for All-Star Weekend. King then re-signed power forward Kris Humphries to a one-year deal that provides nightly double-doubles for this season and cap space flexibility for the future. Finally, King traded for Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur after Brook Lopez was injured as a quick fix replacement in the final year of his deal.

Now King is working on another bold move that could change the landscape of the Eastern Conference and give the Nets a “superhero” for years to come in Brooklyn. King is in discussions with the Orlando Magic and other teams to put Dwight Howard in a Nets uniform. If King can trade some of the role players he’s assembled around Williams he’ll form a dynamic duo that would be this generation’s newest Stockton-to-Malone combination.

The Timberwolves have improved thanks to the pairing of international sensation Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. The Clippers have become a legitimate title contender thanks to the arrival of Chris Paul to pair with human highlight reel Blake Griffin in “lob city.” The Knicks have been rejuvenated by the revelation of Jeremy Lin to work the pick-and-roll with Amare Stoudemire, who thrived in Phoenix thanks to MVP point guard Steve Nash.

King is trying to continue the trend of dynamic pick-and-roll duos with the Nets and form possibly the best of the tandems in Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. King’s career, the future of Brooklyn, and the futures of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard all rest on potentially the most important trade discussions of the season.

If King can land Dwight Howard Prokhorov’s proclamation will have added validity and Brooklyn will eagerly anticipate the arrival of their first “superheroes” since the beloved Dodgers left town.

Follow me on Twitter: @MikeAScotto

 DeMarcus Cousins to the Nets?

Once again the Nets are at the center of trade rumors. This time DeMarcus Cousins is the target, but what are the chances he joins the team? The answer is slim to none.

Nets GM Billy King knows he must do everything in his power to keep superstar guard Deron Williams happy and lock him up for the trip to Brooklyn and beyond. To keep the current face of the franchise the Nets must win now and surround Williams with more talent.

Cousins is a talented rebounder and good inside post scorer, but his immaturity and public disputes with the Sacramento Kings have proven that he’s a head case. This is the second incident involving Cousins’ lack of discipline after he was kicked out of practice by the team last season.

King and the Nets are better served putting all their eggs into the Dwight Howard basket. The Nets can offer young talent, expiring contracts, draft picks, and are willing to absorb players like Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Duhon to facilitate a deal.

This is a developing story that will surround the team until the trade dealine.

Follow me on Twitter: @MikeAScotto

 Deron Williams: Visionary Point Guard

A successful NBA point guard must be a leader, have good court vision, and make quick decisions. Nets guard Deron Williams fits this description both on and off the court. On the court, Williams has averaged twenty points and ten assists per game in his six seasons in the league. Off the court, Williams pioneered playing overseas for players during the lockout.

On July 15, Williams cemented his pioneer status by becoming the first high profile player to take his talents overseas amidst an uncertain NBA labor situation. A move that was first deemed hasty now appears to be a stroke of genius. Williams was a visionary who made a quick decision to jump ship once he saw the labor negotiations starting to sink.

Williams signed a one-year contract with Besiktas for $5 million that allows him to return to the NBA if the work stoppage ends. The move protected Williams from some financial losses, but not against injury to his surgically repaired wrist. Now however, as the NBA is entering a “nuclear winter,” according to commissioner David Stern, Williams is blowing up the scoreboard in Turkey with a healthy wrist and getting paid to play the game he loves.

 

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