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Zellea worked within the Nets pubic relations department during the Nets back to back NBA finals run with Jason Kidd leading the charge, while Laughland covered the team during it's transition to Brooklyn including the shortlived KG, Paul Pierce era.

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 Join Nets Insider's Rick Laughland and Randy Zellea of Back Sports Page as they recap the Brooklyn Nets 2020-2021 season and playoff run that fell short of title aspirations. 

If the Dallas Mavericks do indeed hire Jason Kidd to succeed Rick Carlisle as the team's head coach, the former Nets legend and head coach will be taking over the franchise that originally drafted him. Kidd coached Brooklyn during it's failed Big three era of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry during the 2013-2014 campaign that ironically also ended in a second round exit. 

Following the Nets' playoff ousting, Kidd met with the team's front office to essentially demand more personnel control with general manager Billy King making some questionable roster moves. 

Brooklyn did not allow Kidd to expand his role to include roster decisions, but allowed him to interview with other clubs, including Milwaukee. Kidd had an outstanding relationship with Marc Lasry, the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and formerly with the Nets. 

Brooklyn ultimately traded Kidd that off-season with the franchise legend abruptly concluding his brief one year stint as Brooklyn's head coach. Kidd spent four years in Milwaukee, qualifying for the playoffs twice but failing to get out of the first round. 

After his firing with the Bucks, Kidd spent the last two years as a Lakers assistant coach, but his name emerged both this offseason and last year as a top coaching candidate for various openings across the league. While Kidd's perceived attempt to undermine King rubbed some people the wrong way, in retrospect, Nets fans can't help but think how much different things would have turned out had the team given Kidd more control and demoted King as he was eventually reassigned within the organization anyway.

 Brooklyn can play the what if game regarding this year's playoffs impacted by injuries to the team, or Kidd's ultimate decision to leave the organization, but now with his third stop as a head coach, perhaps inheriting a team led by Luka Doncic will be just what he needs to enjoy playoff success.
Spencer Dinwiddie deserves the lucrative deal coming his way this off-season, but the long-term contract and salary level he'll command during free agency probably won't come from Brooklyn's front office.
Nets' GM Sean Marks understands this reality and as crafty and shrewd as there is across the league, Brooklyn's front office executive will aim to get something in return for the G-league standout turned borderline NBA All-Star. Brooklyn will carefully evaluate its bench rotation and supporting cast around Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden and will look to the buyout market prior to next year's trade deadline and veteran ring chasers willing to accept minimum deals to win the NBA finals. It will be prudent for Marks to at least assure Dinwiddie earns the contract he deserves, while Brooklyn can take his wish list and find the best deal for the future of the franchise and player alike.
Nine regular season games and five playoff games, that's the sample size Nets fans and the NBA world got with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden fully healthy and together. The idea that Sean Marks would entertain offers for one or any of his star players is simply outrageous. Each star is arguably the best at their given position and were not the reason why Brooklyn went home early during the playoffs. Untimely injuries, Steve Nash's unwillingness to expand his bench rotation, and the scoring struggles of Joe Harris were all contributing factors to the team's second round ousting. The fact remains, the Nets newly former superteam has win-it-all or bust expectations, and rightly so, but trading any of the three stars who want to be in Brooklyn a long-time is not a route that Marks should even explore.
Now is the time for the Nets' general manager to throw out the one word all three players want to hear, untouchable. Unequivocally, Irving and Durant teamed up to be together in Brooklyn and recruited HArden, whose exit from Houston was anything but smooth, to join forces with them. By even fielding offers for any of the three, Marks is playing a dangerous game and can alienate or cause a rift with any or all of his three stars that could result in irreparable damage. Durant, Irving and Harden, all listen to critiques of them by fans and the media, but if they know their general manager and coach have their backs, the loyalty Brooklyn can build will their stars will prove invaluable. It's always the job of a team's executives to find the right pieces to mesh on his roster and build a championship contending squad, but the Nets were knocking on the door despite a rash of unlucky injuries to their premier players. Now is the time to run it back, not tinker with a nucleus that will not only have championship potential, but championship expectations next season. Outside of the Big three, the Nets' should absolutely look at any or all avenues to improve the club, but exploring any trade scenarios that involve Irving, Durant or Harden is something the Marks needs to avoid at all costs.
On Tuesday, the Boston Celtics hired Brooklyn Nets assistant, Ime Udoka, to be their head coach as he was appointed by coach-turned general manager, Brad Stevens.
Mike Dantoni is interviewing for a second time with the Portland Trailblazers and is a finalist for the head coaching gig in the Pacific Northwest. Both men are talented coaches and brought a lot to the table, but sometimes change is good for an organization that fell short of its goals, even though injuries played a major part. Steve Nash leaned heavily on his former coach, Dantoni, to guide him in his first head coaching job with the Nets, and his inexperience and risk adverse lineup decisions were part of Brooklyn's issues that saw the team fall in seven games to the Bucks in the playoffs. While Nash's job is safe, some fresh perspective in the huddle and in meeting rooms may be the best thing that happened to a Nets squad that unraveled due to injury and fought valiantly in defeat.
You can finally exhale Nets fans. Just days after committing to play with Team USA in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics this summer, Nets guard James Harden will use the summer to rest and rehab the grade 2 hamstring strain he suffered during the playoff run. The injury landed HArden on the injured list twice during the regular season and he reaggravated the injury in the opening seconds of the Nets-Bucks Game 1 semifinal round.
The Nets initially announced that Harden's hamstring injury was simply tightness, but following an epic Game 7 loss to the Bucks, the shooting guard revealed to reporters that the injury was indeed much more severe than he or the team let on. Harden tried to gut it out in Game 5 scoring zero points and with no practice time, while scoring 16 points in Game 6 and 22 points in Game 7. While Harden looked to be progressing with each passing game, he ran a sizeable risk of reinjuring and worsening the injury, which would have effectively ended his season or cause additional damage. Civic pride is one thing, but preserving his body and getting back to full strength in time for training camp is paramount for Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to make another title run.
Sometimes the answer is right under your nose. When Steve Nash had the opportunity to go into his bag and try to find a spark in Games 6 and 7 with Kevin Durant and a hobbled James Harden shouldering the scoring load and massive amounts of minutes, the head coach decided to ride or die with his starting five. Despite Joe Harris' shooting woes, Harden's lack of health and Blake Griffin expending a world of energy and fouls trying to hold down Giants Antentokounmpo, the bench was largely neglected in the final three games of the series.
Durant was nothing short of brilliant and Harden needs to be commended gutting out a Grade 2 hamstring strain, but how quickly Nash forgot that the team's Big three played in only nine regular season games together and it was the role players that helped Brooklyn climb to a 48-24 mark, good enough for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Bruce Brown, Jeff Green, Nicolas Claxton, Landrey Shamet, DeAndre Jordan, Mike James and others provided steady contributions to help mitigate the damage from losing Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving for prolonged stretches during the regular season. It's true that NBA playoff basketball is an entirely different animal, but a team's bench players traditionally elevate their level of play with a boost from the home crowd and could have made an impact in Game 7, especially with both Durant and Harden showing clear signs of fatigue and tired legs late in the game.
The 2020-2021 campaign ended in bitter disappointment for the Nets and their fans, but the undermanned squad gave everything it could to try and push deep into the playoffs and survive until reinforcements in the form of Irving and potentially Spencer Dinwiddie arrived. Unfortunately, the clock struck midnight on the Nets' seaosn in the second round, but perhaps if Nash exhibited a bit more trust in his bench to provide a jolt, but if nothing less some much needed rest for his star players, Brooklyn might still be alive in the playoff chase.
Kevin Durant will be turning 33 in September and nearly two and a half years removed from an Achilles injury that many thought might diminish his athleticism and star power significantly. Durant sat out 2019 and returned this past season, despite missing time due to contact tracing and hamstring issues, the Nets star proved to be better than ever during the team's playoff run that was cut short due to injuries.
His main running mate, James Harden battled through a lingering hamstring issue that when reaggravated in Game 1 of the Milwaukee series, caused him to miss three games and it was later revealed that his injury was not merely tightness, but a Grade 2 strain.
So why instead of rehabbing with the training staff in the case of Harden, but also Durant with the mileage on his body following his first full season back from surgery, participating in the Tokyo Olympics? The simple answer in the love for the game and the pride in representing their country on the world stage. In reality, Nets fans will have a great deal of agita watching their two-star players lay it on the line this summer. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving is not expected to play for Team USA coming off a serious ankle sprain. The Nets championship dreams fell short of expectations, and the health of the big three will be a major contributing factor into whether the team can fulfill its goals next season.
James Harden was essentially playing on one leg in Games 5,6, and 7, but he gave it his al nonetheless. Following the Game 7 loss, Harden told reporters that he had a Grade 2 hamstring strain with a normal recovery time of 4-6 weeks. Harden took barely a fraction of that time to heal the injury before charging back to provide a lift in Game 5 despite not scoring a single point.
With each subsequent game, Harden looked to be moving more freely and scored 16 points in Game 6 and 22 in Game 7. Even so, Brooklyn's hobbled star faced an uphill battle to get anywhere back to full strength even if the Nets advanced past the Bucks. Kyrie Irving was seen limping along the sidelines during Game 7 and the prospect of him playing in the next round was doubtful at best. A second round exit was a bitter pill to swallow for all Nets'fans, but the reality is, health was not on their side and the Nets big 1.5 faced an uphill climb to advance deeper into the playoffs with their star players suffering from significant injuries.
The Nets faced their fair share of adversity this season, but injuries and a championship worthy Buck team proved to be too much to overcome in the end.
It's easy to question Steve Nash's strange rotations or how he leaned too heavily on Kevin Durant's 1-on-1 prowess on the offensive side, but injuries didn't allow the Nets to advance beyond the semifinal round. Brooklyn had its big three together for merely nine regular season games and five playoff games with a combination of hamstring injuries, ankle ailments and contact tracing keeping the team's top stars from staying on the court. Winning an NBA championship you nehealt mainingredients: talen and luck. Brooklyn was undoubtedly the most talented team in the league throughout the year, but luck was not on its side. The Nets are forced to regroup, surround Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving with complimentary pieces and have another go at it with the hopes of staying healthy and whole throughout next year's campaign.
Steve Nash is a rookie coach and he looked every bit the part in the Brooklyn's gut wrenching 115-111 overtime defeat to Milwaukee in Game 7.
The Nets snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with an otherworldly jumper from Durant to send the game to the extra session. The Nets star's foot just touched the line on the attempt and came within millimeters of becoming the go ahead basket with one second left.
Alas, it wasn't meant to be as Steve Nash tightened his rotations unfathomably to dole out just 20 minutes to his bench of Jeff Green and Landry Shamet who scored no points. Durant scored 48 in 53 minutes, while James Harden had 22 in the same amount of runtime. Nash wanted to ride or die with his big guns, but both were gassed and had nothing left in the tank in overtime. Joe Harris struggled again from the outside missing two wide open 3-pointers down the stretch and managed just ten points. The Nets turn their attention to next year as they consider extensions for the big three, hope Nash continues to grow as a neophyte coach, and rebuild a bench that came up short in the series.
It's all in the line on Thursday night with the Brooklyn Nets needing a win in the friendly confines of Barclays Center to advance to the conference final round. The undermanned, banged up, and at times disjointed Nets wouldn't even be in this position if not for the otherworldly play of Kevin Durant and the gutsy nature of James Harden to push through his injury.
The Nets were 28-8 in the regular season in Brooklyn and 6-0 during this playoff run, illustrating the positive impact the crowd has made on the team's play. Despite winning Game 5 in Brooklyn, the Nets fell in an early hole and have been prone to slow starts throughout the series. Brooklyn will need to get the home crowd involved early and often if it hopes to survive against the Bucks and face the winner of the Sixers, Atlanta series.
Kyrie Irving will not play
in Game 7 against the Bucks according to, head coach Steve Nash confirmed on Friday. The Nets weren't planning to have their point guard back in the lineup, but the coach didn't rule out that he could be back in his team survives a do or die Game 7. Irving was undercut by Giannis Antetokounmpo in the second quarter of Game 2 after fully turning his ankle following a layup attempt. The injury caused Irving immense pain and he was helped to his feet by the training staff before limping to the locker room on his own power. That day, Irving left the arena in a walking boot and with crutches. Clearly, Irving's injury is significant, but at least the nets have added motivation to win Game 7 with the prospect of their point guard possibly returning at some point during the postseason.
Joe Harris hasn't reached double digits in scoring since Game 2 of the Nets-Bucks series. Brooklyn's deadeye shooter has gone ice cold from the perimeter and is dire need of a vintage performance if he hopes to keep his team alive.
The Nets need to shift away from isolation ball and scheme their way to score over the century mark, but Steve Nash is reluctant to put the ball in anyone's hands but James Harden or Kevin Durant. One of Brooklyn's Glue Guys, Harris has been victimized on the defensive side of the ball with Khris Middleton going on a scoring barrage. Brooklyn has its work cut out for it in Game 7, but if Harris can play close to the caliber he did in Games 1 and 2 and not how he's played the last four games, some of the pressure will be off Harden and Durant to carry the scoring load.
Five times during the NBA's shortened 72 game season, the Brooklyn Nets failed to score 100 points. So far though six games in the series with the Bucks, Brooklyn was held under 100 points three times, losing all three times that happened. The Nets are down Kyrie Irving and with James Harden at half speed, but the offense has become too Kevin Durant reliant without much of the supporting cast contributing at the level they did during the regular season. Brooklyn earned home court in this serie for a reason and Game 7 at Barclays will be nothing short of a phenomenal atmosphere.
The Nets' bench has struggled on the road, but in the friendly confines of their home arena, expect the role players to play a much bigger role. In a win or go home scenario, Steve Nash and company want to put the ball in their best players' hands, but the offense has been isolation heavy without the dribble handoff, pick and roll and cutting action that allowed the team to flourish even without their Big three for major chunks of the season. The Nets need a complete team effort to rid of Milwaukee once and for all and advance to their first Eastern Conference finals since 2003.
The Nets path to victory on Thursday night won't be an easy one, but here are three things they must do in order to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. 1. Start Fast! In Games 3 and 5 the Nets were buried by Milwaukee early only to stage two historic comebacks with only Game 5's outcome going in favor of Brooklyn. The Nets are down Kyrie Irving, James Harden is hobbled, and Kevin Durant is coming off arguably the best playoff performance of his career playing all 48 minutes on Tuesday night. Brooklyn can ill-afford to climb in an early hole and expect an undermanned squat to make yet a third double digit second half come back in this series.
2. Force Giannis to score from the perimeter. Giannis Antetokounmpo is having historically bad playoff performance from the free-throw line, so Brooklyn cannot allow any uncontested layups and if the Greek Freak has a free path to the basket they need to send him to the charity stripe. Blake Griffin will likely draw the assignment to try to hold down the Bsuck star, but expect them that's to use as many fouls as possible and force Antetokounmpo to make shots from the perimeter and from the place he's the least comfortable the free throw line. 3. Limit careless turnovers. If the Nets are going to be forced to play a Game 7, Milwaukee has to beat them and Brooklyn can't beat itself. Understandably, Harden was rusty and made a few mistakes passing the ball in Game 5, but Steve Nash's crew has to pay extra close attention to making smart decisions with the basketball because turnovers lead to run outs on the Milwaukee side, which will send the crowd into a frenzy.
Joe Harris is the type of player every team wants in its locker room. A selfless player, model citizen, and great teammate, but even one of the Nets most popular players and lethal outside shooters has some down periods. Unfortunately, that time is now when he's needed the most. Can Joe-E-Buckets reclaim his outside shooting touch?
The time is now for the NBA's most a accurate 3-point sharpshooter to provide Kevin Durant and a hobbled James Harden with some much needed scoring punch. In Game 5, Jeff Green poured in 27 to complinent Durant's epic 49 point outing and on Thursday night, Harris has to be that xfactor to push Brooklyn over the top in Game 6.
Kevin Durant put on an all world performance in Game 5 against Milwaukee, but Steve Nash and company can't exactly bank on that type of legendary performance again from the team's only healthy star.
James Harden was not himse lf in Game 5, but his presence on the court in the form of vocal leadership and making the right pass despite a woeful shooting night.
The Bucks on the otherhand let a golden opportunity slip through their grasp as Brooklyn rose from the dead and snatched the series lead with a monumental comeback at Barclays. Yes, the Bucks will have the home crowd behind them, but Milwaukee hasn't always played the smartest basketball and could start to feel the pressure of another playoff elimination for a championship hopeful squad. Expect the Nets to help Durant score by committee as the Mike Budenholzer will send two and three defenders at Brooklyn's primary score to take the ball out of his hands and force somebody else to beat them. If are able to start fast, take the home crowd out of it early, and play smart basketball, they are very well primed to knock Milwaukee out once and for all.
This much is clear, James Harden was not close to fully healthy when he took the court for Game 5 on Tuesday night, but his presence alone made all the difference.
Harden's 1-for-10, five point, eight assist, six rebound performance was easily the worst shooting night of his playoff career, but the Nets jack of all trades made plays for others in critical spots. Brooklyn's big three down to 1.5 was just enough to rally past the Bucks in the second half with Durant putting on a 49-point outburst for the ages to bring his team back from a 17-point hole. Harden's sheer will and determination saw him upgraded from out to doubtful to questionable to actually playing within a matter of hours. The Nets needed the hobbled star to take the court in the worst way without a true point guard running the show the offense looked left for dead. Now attention turns to Game 6 on Thursday as a hobbled Harden logged 46 minutes and Durant all 48, and they'll need to empty the tank once again if they hope to send the Bucks home for good.
Add to the legend that is Kevin Durant as the Nets star notched a mega triple-double with 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, while Jeff Green dropped 27 points in the 114-108 Game 5 win.
James Harden was clearly not fully healthy as his balky hamstring limited him to just five points, but he gutted out 46 minutes on just one leg. Even as just a decoy, Harden kept Milwaukee on its heels, while Durant's brilliant touch from the outside torched the Bucks in the second half. Brooklyn erased a 17-point second half deficit to wrestle control of the series away from Milwaukee with Game 6 set for Thursday night The Nets task isn't done yet, but Durant's performance coupled will go down in franchise history as one of the best all-time.
James Harden has been upgraded to questionable for Game 5 against the Bucks. The Nets playmaker will test his injured hamstring with the Nets season potentially on the line. Kevin Durant can't do it alone as Brooklyn's supporting cast will need to come alive in front of the home crowd and help in the absence of Kyrie Irving and a less than 100 percent James Harden. A loss in Game 5 would put the Nets on the brink without Irving being available for the remainder of the series. Steve Nash's inexperience as head coach has reared its ugly head as the team still hasn't found an answer for Milwaukee's physical play on the perimeter. If the Nets hope to regain the series advantage, they'll need a total team effort with Blake Griffin, Bruce Brown, Landry Shamet and Joe Harris pulling their weight in the friendly confines of Barclays Center.
James Harden has drawn criticism for just about everything under the sun: defense, shot selection, theatrics trying to sell a foul call, an ugly exit from Houston, but you can never question the man's heart and toughness.
Harden will test his hamstring during pregame warmups in Game 5 and the team has upgraded him from out to doubtful. Even if the Nets top playmaker can give 15-20 minutes of quality play and create easier shots for his teammates, he could provide the much needed boost his team so desperately needs. While clearly the team doesn't want to risk long term damage to his hamstring, if he's able to loosen it up enough to be effective, the message he's sending to Nets fans is he's willing to gut it out to keep his team from possible facing elimination. Now, his availability for the rest of the series looks a little more promising than it did 24 hours ago. Brooklyn certainly watched what happened to Anthony Davis when he tried to return early from a groin injury in Game 6 of the first round versus the Suns, but just Harden's resolve and toughness to be there when the team needs him most will go a long way in helping rally his team and the crowd at Barclays Center on Tuesday night.
The season is on the line. Plain and simple, Brooklyn needs to protect with home court against a Bucks squad bubbling with confidence and it will need to do so without Kyrie Irving and James Harden in Game 5. Durant has received heavy criticism in recent years for joining a super team in Golden and then starting one of his own in Brooklyn, but with his supporting stars now o, KD will have no other choice but to shoulder the scoring, playmaking and leadership load for his team. Even in Oklahoma City, Durant had Russell Westbrook alongside him to provide all-star punch. Durant is hardly the facilitator that Irving is certainly Harden is, but can he rally his group in the face of real adversity to stave off the prospect of facing elimination? Clearly, Durant won't be able to do it all on his own as the bench and supporting players will need to ride the energy of the home crowd to try and push Brooklyn over the top. Durant's legacy has been somewhat in question due to him adopting if you can't beat them, then join them mentality, but a win in Game 5 would go a long way in earning the respect of even the most critical NBA fan.
The Brooklyn Nets title hopes took another significant blow as Kyrie Irving suffered a right ankle sprain in the second quarter of Game 4.
The Nets medical staff evaluated Irving and with X-rays negative for any fractures, they've diagnosed him with a sprained ankle. Brooklyn's point guard will undergo further testing and likely an MRI. Nets owner Joseph Tsai took to Twitter to assure fans that Irving will be in the best care.
Kyrie Irving left the second quarter of Game 4 of the Brooklyn Nets Milwaukee Bucks with a gruesome ankle injury.
Giannis Antetokounmpo slid under Irving as he was attempting a layup and the Nets point guard came down with what looked to be a serious ankle injury. Brooklyn ruled Irving out for the remainder of the game and classified the injury as a right ankle sprain. Regardless of irvings, long-term prognosis, the NBA needs to step in and take action. The Nets and Bucks series has taken physicality to a new level, but the safety of the players has to be paramount. Atentokuompo should be suspended for game 5 for his actions, and the officials need to take a closer look at how they're calling this series as more players will get injured if things continue getting out of hand.
The season is far from on the line for the Brooklyn Nets and Sean Marks, Steve Nash, along with the rest of the team's medical staff made the right call by continuing to rest James Harden with his injured hamstring.
It's very unlikely the Nets will follow up a miserable shooting night they had on Thursday with another poor performance on Sunday in Game 4. The Nets brought in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to chase a championship and now they'll be asked to win a critical game on the road to take a stranglehold on the series. It's true that a series has not started until a team has won a game on the opponent's home court and thus far each team has protected home court. If the Nets are able to break that trend in Game 4, then in all likelihood Harden will be able to rest his hamstring until the Eastern Conference finals, assuming the Nets advance past Milwaukee.
It's a little more than 24 hours from tipoff in Game 4 and it's unclear if James Harden will take the court for the Nets.
Brooklyn's playmaker extraordinaire has been suffering hamstring tightness and the team is ultra cautious with his injury. In Games 2 and 3, Harden was already ruled out prior to gameday. It's not to say that Harden will definitely play in Game 4, but if the team's track record tells us anything, it's that he would have been already ruled out at this point. Perhaps he's closer to returning than many realize, or the Nets are employing a little gamesmanship.
The 86 points the Bucks scored to edge the Nets by three on Tuesday was the fewest points scored in a win in the NBA all season long.
The officials let the players play and two of the league's most prolific offenses couldn't buy a basket in Game 3. Milwaukee made Brooklyn feel its physicality as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving looked bothered on the perimeter and didn't have the normally efficient shooting nights Nets fans are accustomed to seeing. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton provided just enough offense for the Bucks to escape with a win and avoid a 3-0 deficit. Fans shouldn't expect a repeat performance from Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon and look for the normally high flying, high octane offenses to be in full effect.
Stay calm people! That's the message the Nets should be sending to their fan base after a defeat in Game 3 to Milwaukee. Brooklyn had the worst shooting performance of the season, yet led by three points with 1:23 remaining.
Now is not the time to make rash decisions and try to rush James Harden back from his hamstring tightness that forced him to leave Game 1 within the first minute. Any armchair analyst can see that the Nets missed Harden dearly on Thursday night, but Sean Marks and Steve Nash have been steadfast in playing the long game by resting and maintaining the health of their star players. Now is not the time to deviate from that plan even with the stakes getting higher and higher as the Nets push deeper into the playoffs.
The Brooklyn Nets looked like they were going to get the doors blown off them in the first quarter as they trailed 30-11 with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton appearing to be unstoppable during that stretch. The Nets defense would lock down for the remaining three quarters surrendering just 56 points, while Antetokounmpo and Middleton combined for 68 of the team's 86 eventual points.
Brooklyn held a 83-80 advantage with just over 1 minute to play after Kevin Durant drained a 3-pointer, but the Bucks would go on a 6-0 run to end the game as Durant missed the potential game tying three at the final whistle. Durant went 11 for 28 from the field for 30 points, Kyrie Irving dropped 22, while Bruce Brown added 16. https://twitter.com/BrooklynNets/status/1403171787446304776?s=19 The Nets looked lost offensively as Durant had an off shooting night, but the most disappointing aspect was the lack of adjustments from Steve Nash and the coaching staff as the offense looked bogged down and relied heavily on Brown to carry the scoring load early. Why Nash allowed round to be the team's primary score and option on two of the last three offensive possession remains a mystery. The loss was a bitter one and a not-friendly reminder of Nash's lack of coaching experience, particularly in the playoffs, as Milwaukee executed and make key plays down the stretch while the Nets looked disjointed and unorganized in their offensive schemes.
The Milwaukee Bucks long range shooting has been historically bad in their conference semifinal series with the Nets as they've made 14 of 57 attempts from beyond the arc for a paltry 24.5 percent through the first two games.
Part of their struggles have been nerves, a hostile road environment, the Nets newly found commitment to defense and flat out poor shot attempts. Brooklyn has maintained home court advantage and can't bank on Milwaukee misfiring at the rate they have so far. The Nets need to remain committed on the defensive side of the ball, but with home cooking heading the Bucks way on Thursday, Brooklyn will need to rachet up the intensity if it hopes to gain a 3-0 series advantage.
The Brooklyn Nets hold a 2-0 series advantage after dismantling Milwaukee by 49 points on Monday night. Steve Nash and crew haven't ruled out James Harden returning in Game 3, but why even chance it with the Nets in control of the series?
The only way Harden should play in the series is if Milwaukee ties up the series and sends the Nets back to Barclays Center needing a win to recapture the advantage. If the Nets can manage a road victory it would send the Bucks to the brink of elimination with Brooklyn needing one win with either three or four games remaining to end the series. Brooklyn can deal a knockout blow with a Game 3 upset in Milwaukee and virtually be able to rest Harden for the remainder of the series, barring a historic comeback by the Bucks. Game 3 is set for Thursday night and the Nets are showing they have enough firepower to knock off Milwaukee even without Harden.
Entering the Nets-Bucks playoff series, many fans thought MVP frontrunner, Giannis Antetokounmpo, would set several NBA records during his team's playoff run.
What they didn't predict, is his 2-for 10 from the charity stripe in the Eastern Conference semifinals would force his free throw percentage to plummet to 53.5, just ahead of Ben Simmons' 34.5 worst overall conversion rate. Most NBA fans expect the bucks to show some fight back at home, but don't be surprised if Steve Nash and the Nets employ a "Beat a Greek" type strategy and force him to earn points at the line where he's struggled so far in the playoffs.
The Brooklyn Nets took care of home court once gain in Game 2 trouncing the Milwaukee Bucks 125 to 86.
The 39-point victory marked the largest in Nets franchise playoff history. Brooklyn will be riding high heading to Milwaukee, but understands that they've simply taken care of home court and will need to steal at least one on the road to take a stranglehold on the series. Game 3 is set for Thursday at 7:30pm.
LeBron James will be watching the playoffs from the comfort of his home and the four-time NBA champion took to Twitter to send prayers up to James Harden following his hamstring injury. Harden left Game 1 within the first minute of play grabbing the right hamstring that caused him to miss 18 regular season games. If anyone knows about injuries, it's James as he looked somewhat hobbled during the Lakers first round playoff losses to Phoenix and Anthony Davis left Game 6 in the first quarter with a groin injury. The Nets take on the Bucks in Game 2 Monday night at Barclays Center.
Join Rick Laughland of NetsInsider, Randy Zellea of Backsportspage and Greg Logan of Newsday as they recap Game 1 between the Nets and Bucks and take a look ahead in the series as Brooklyn faces the prospect of playing without James Harden. The link below connects you to the live show and an archived version will be available. Be sure to subscribe to the Nets Podcast on Spotify, iHeart Radio, iTunes and more!
Trading for James Harden was icing on the cake for Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets and transformed title contenders into the favorites to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were at the heart of Brooklyn's original championship blueprint, so the duo will likely do everything in their power to keep the Nets a atop the playoff pecking order. Now that Harden reaggravated his right hamstring injury in the opening minute of Game 1 against the Bucks, Brooklyn may need to prepare to play without him in Game 2 and potentially the rest of the series. The Nets bench responded in a big way, as Irving dumped in 25 and Durant 29, while Blake Griffin's double-double of 18 and 14 pushed the Nets to a 115-107 opening game victory. Game 2 is set for Monday and on short rest, it's extremely unlikely that Harden will be ready to play as he missed 30-plus games in the regular season after tweaking the same hamstring.
The NBA's officially announced the dates that the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks will do battle in the second round. Game 1 is set for Saturday June 5th with tip-off at 7:30 p.m. Game 2 is set for Monday June 7th with tip-off TBD. Game 3 Is set for Thursday, June 10th with tip-off TBD.
Game 4 is set for Sunday, June 13th with tip-off TBD. Game 5 Is set for Tuesday, June 15th with tip-off TBD. Game 6 is set for Thursday, June 17th with tip-off TBD. Game 7 is set for Saturday, June 19th with tip-off TBD. Games 5,6 and 7 are if necessary, but as many anticipate the bucks will give the Nets their stiffest challenge yet so far in the playoffs.
Let's be clear, rumors are rumors. The Celtics just promoted Brad Stevens to President of Basketball Operations and Danny Ainge retired as GM, leaving a canyon sized hole left at head coach.
The job is pretty desirable with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as building blocks, but hiring one of the top names on the free agent coaching market, Jason Kidd, would be an unmitigated disaster for Boston. Coming from someone who easily considers Kidd in the pantheon of the franchise's legendary players, his off the court track record and power struggles he had with the front offices that he had during his last two stops in Brooklyn and Milwaukee doesn't exactly invoke a sense of optimism that the third time is a charm. Kidd wanted to take personnel control from former Nets GM, Billy King, but was denied his request and permitted to seek another organization to serve, ultimately landing with the Bucks. Kidd was an all world performer as a player and a guy that players would rally around in the locker room, but not all players are cut out to be coache. Not to say that the current Lakers assistant won't get another opportunity in the league, but it likely won't come in a town that has never wrapped its arms around him during his playing or coaching career. Stevens understands that the NBA is a player's league and wants his fingerprints all over this team, but Kidd has never been the type of person to sit idly by and let a GM do his job. If Stevens is hiring wise, he'll go in another direction as it is a recipe for both sides.
Even if the Brooklyn Nets get swept out of the second round by the Milwaukee Bucks, head coach Steve Nash will still have a higher playoff winning percentage than former Celtics head coach and current head of basketball operations, Brad Stevens.
At 38-40 for a career playoff record, Stevens' teams were always knocking on the door of a finals berth, but were never able to knock it down and fulfill The lofty expectation set by the fan base. Clearly, Nash has been bestowed with a trio of superstars that have helped him win four out of his first five playoff contests, but it's clear that the NBA is a player's league and perhaps Brad Stevens decision to move into the front office and away from coaching has to do with the fact that he couldn't win with the current roster that Danny Ainge built for him. Nash is still a neophyte head coach and will face a steep challenge in Milwaukee in the semi-final round, but for the time being, it looks like the Nets will get the last laugh over the Celtics.
Danny Ainge's highway robbery of the Brooklyn Nets back in 2013 is why Billy King is no longer employed as the team's general manager. The infamous trade brought an embarrassment of riches to Beantown in the form of draft picks to build Ainge's team of the future into a championship contender. Despite making the Eastern Conference Finals three of the past four years, excluding this season, the Celtics have fallen belly up on playoff runs time and time again without an NBA finals appearance or trophy to show for it. During the better part of the last eight years, the Nets were deemed to be a team destined for the lottery for the foreseeable future, and with no hope of potentially becoming a championship contending team. Flash forward seven years and the Nets have emerged as a free agent destination and Sean Marks has built an incredible roster by creative maneuvering to purchase draft picks, redefine the team's culture, and attract viable free agents in the form of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. After Brooklyn's gentlemen's sweep of Boston,Ainge has announced his retirement with Brad Stevens inexplicably getting promoted to President of basketball operations and leaving his head coaching position with the team. The immediate aftermath of the infamous Boston - Brooklyn trade saw the Celtics as the winners, but it appears with the Nets closing in on a deep playoff run that they could get the last laugh.
Brooklyn's gentlemen's sweep of Boston went exactly as many anticipated with a shorthanded Celtics squad being overwhelmed by a star-studded Nets lineup. James Harden, like the rest of the team, has already turned his attention to the Bucks, who took two out of three regular season meetings against the Nets without their Big Three healthy. Brooklyn is undefeated in three games at Barclays Center during this year's playoffs and will hold home court advantage over Milwaukee. The Nets will have their hands full with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who's in the running yet again for another league MVP award. Brooklyn's trio of superstars isn't chasing any personal accolades, but rather the first title in franchise history. Milwaukee and Brooklyn on me Saturday night for Game 1.
For the first time since Brooklyn's original Big 3 era, with a trio of former Celtics in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry, the Nets are advancing to the second round of the NBA playoffs. The three aforementioned former stars will always be linked to the infamous trade between Boston and Brooklyn that sent a truckload of first-round draft choices to Beantown in exchange for the aging stars. Flash forward seven years and it's the Nets making a deep playoff run and the Celtics with another exit and no NBA Finals berths to show for all the draft picks and maneuverings of Danny Ainge. Brooklyn has a long way to go if it hopes to climb to the top of the Eastern Conference mountain, but the 4-1 series win over Boston has to have fans of the Nets smiling and getting the last laugh in this Atlantic division rivalry.
There will be no return trip to Boston for Kyrie Irving and company as they officially eliminated the Celtics in Game 5 at Barclays Center on Tuesday night to win the series 4-1. James Harden had 34, Kevin Durant 25, and Irving 24, while Bruce Brown and Joe Harris added 10 apiece. Just two days after Irving irked Bostonians by stomping on the team's midcourt logo, Brooklyn stuf stomped on the hearts of all Celtics fans. Without Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker, the Celtics fought valiantly but it wasn't enough against the high-powered, high octane offense of the Nets. Brooklyn has won its first playoff series since 2014 and will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the playoffs.
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