41. Back from the Brink: The View from Newark

Snips and clips from the New Jersey camp, plus:


  • Name the Arena Name Game
  • Haiku Game Review
  • Fried Rice
  • Blazers/Nets Recap
  • Popcorn Machine
  • TBJ



Poor Execution Down the Stretch Hurts Nets in Portland

by NetsDaily, Nets Daily (SBN)

It was another solid performance against a Western Conference playoff team and another big night for Brook Lopez. But once again, the Nets couldn't close the deal, falling to the Blazers, 96-89, Saturday night at the Rose Garden.

The Nets controlled the first half, leading by as many as 13. They were up nine early in the third quarter when the Blazers went on a 17-0 run, but they got the lead back quickly and they led by one with two minutes to go in the game. That's when things fell apart. A missed rebound and three straight turnovers fueled a 6-0 Blazers run that ultimately decided the game.

The Nets shot 50 percent from the field, but just 2-for-12 from 3-point range. And they allowed the Blazers to grab 17 offensive rebounds, resulting in 21 second-chance points. * * *



Losers Be Losing

posted by NetsKing to NetsDaily postgame thread

All these losers know how to lose.

Harris was TERRIBLE tonight with his lazy, uninspired basketball.


Woo Hoo!   It's a Melo Sale!!!

posted by sour grapes to NetsDaily postgame thread

Carmelo jersey and gear marked down 50% at the [Nuggets] game tonight.

Don't know if its been posted.



Get Real

posted by J-Nasty to NetsDaily postgame thread

Let's get on Lopez for only 3 rebounds when he scored 32 on 63% shooting...

Really? How about our point guards who went a combined 5-20 from the field? We need a closer in the worst way.




posted by vincecarter4pres to RealGM Nets message board

And to think, we could have had Wes Matthews instead of Tragic Outlaw.



Nets Lose Third Straight on Road Trip, Falling to Blazers, 96-89

by Colin Stephenson, Newark Star-Ledger

Put this one in the bulging folder labeled, "Games the Nets probably should have found a way to hang on and win."

Playing the third game of their road trip and on the second night of a back-to-back, the Nets raced out to an early lead against the Blazers, but crumbled late in the fourth quarter and lost, 96-89, on Saturday night.

Brook Lopez had a second straight 30-plus point game for the Nets, netting 32 to lead all scorers, one night after he had 35 in a loss to the Lakers. But Lopez by himself was unable to counter 27 points from Lamarcus Aldridge, 23 by Nicolas Batum and 19 from Andre Miller. * * *



Aldridge and Roy's reaction after they learned Nets signed Outlaw to $7M a year


posted by Andres B to Nets Daily gameday open thread



Portland Trail Blazers 96, New Jersey Nets 89: That's a Shame

by Danny Savitzky, Nets Are Scorching (TrueHoop)

You know things are bad for your basketball team when your most significant takeaway from a game is that one of the opponent's players looks like a character from one of your favorite sitcoms [Patty Mills = Charlie from "It's Always Sunny..."].

It's true that this season's team has drained most of the emotion out of watching games. I used to embarrass myself with far too many fist pumps (Double fist pump? What does it mean? It's starting to look like a TRIPLE fist pump!) at the sight of the slightest good thing. I used to curse at the top of my lungs at every miscue. Now I just crack jokes on Twitter for the whole game. Surprisingly, this change didn't occur last season, when the Nets were even worse. Maybe that's because those teams didn't even have a shot at winning, so I could get emotionally invested in the smaller details. This year's team has failed me so many times, that it has become worthless to get too involved in the game. * * *

The Nets looked good in this contest. They shot 50 percent from the field. They had 50 points in the paint. Travis Outlaw shot 5-of-7! (No, not on free throws. On field goals! I know, right?) Brook Lopez was a beast again with 32 points, raising his total in the last two nights to 67. Yeah, he only had 3 rebounds. But aren't rebounds just novelty items for Lopez at this point?

Anyway, the Nets only scored 89 points in the game. Tonight's debacle is a good reminder that efficiency doesn't win games — scoring more points than the team you're playing does. * * *



Chapter 40: Nets Lose to Blazers 96-89

by Victor Nash, Whoop De Damn Do (Bloguin)

The Nets had perhaps the best first half of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers, but still couldn't avoid falling to 10-30. Late turnovers doomed the Nets in this one and an 87-86 lead with two and a half minutes to go quickly eroded into a loss.

Portland improved to 21-20 and were led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 27 points and 9 rebounds. The Nets got another monster game from Brook Lopez, who scored 32. * * *

Brook Lopez has been revived. He has stopped settling for jumpers and is getting the majority of his points from inside the paint area and 10-15 feet out. If these last two games are any indicator of how Brook will play the rest of the season, then at least we will have something to look forward to if/once Carmelo decides to go to the Knicks. But, you guessed it, he barely touched the ball in the fourth quarter. * * *



Nets Fall Again Despite Lopez's 32 Points

by Fred Kerber, New York Post

Avery Johnson is asking his Nets to live by the "E" words in this uncertain season of development.

"Effort and energy and efficiency. We use some 'E' words," the Nets coach said. "Really, just striving for excellence at everything we do."

Then there is another 'E' word that the Nets have played with all too often this season. Exasperation.

"We find a way to make mistakes when it counts the most," said Devin Harris last night.

And the mistakes this time came in bunches in the final four minutes. After the Nets went up by one with 4:19 left, they missed there straight shots, committed three straight turnovers and then just to be whacky, threw in another misfire. By the time they got around to scoring again, they were down six and on their way to a fifth straight defeat, this one a 96-89 loss to the Blazers. * * *


The Bottom Line:

1. Do you Blazer fans have the slightest idea how frustrating it is to watch the same idiotic close losses night after night after night after night after night???

2. We need a closer!

3. Come to Jersey, Melo, we beseech thee!

*   *   *


The McGoofs of Sacramento have made NBA news lately for their astute and thoughtful decision to sell naming rights to the arena in which their team plays to a new company, a maker of trendy silicone wrist bands with supernatural holograms, said to be "designed to work with your body's natural energy field" to optimize its "energy flow."

The Utah Jazz, similarly inclined to prioritize cash over class, have sold naming rights to their building to a nuclear waste disposal company.

In the NFL, the University of Phoenix, sometimes characterized as a "diploma mill," paid big coin to the Arizona Cardinals for the naming rights to their state-of-the-art facility. Voilá! Instant legitimacy... 

Are we noticing a pattern here?

Rest easy, comrades, I'm not here today to preach against the sordid underbelly of American capitalism, I'm here to entertain — however nominally. Today's fare is a quicky quiz... 

You'll need a pencil and paper to play this game properly — write down your responses and score yourself with the answer key at the bottom of this column. Be sure to record your score in the poll section so that others can see how they fared "on the curve." Each correct answer is worth one point. AND NO PEEKING AT THE ANSWERS!!!

To make things a little easier, I will break things down by conference. This makes things a bit TOO easy, however, so for each conference I will also add a couple fake corporations to the list of possible answers.


Ready for the question?

Which corporation is paying big bucks to which team for naming rights to the building in which they play?




Western Conference

Northwest Division


1. Denver Nuggets

2. Minnesota Timberwolves

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

4. Portland Trail Blazers

5. Utah Jazz


Possible Answers:

A. Capital One Bank

B. EnergySolutions

C. Microsoft

D. Pepsi

E. Target

F. Wells Fargo

G. No Naming Rights Sold



Southwest Division


6. Dallas Mavericks

7. Houston Rockets

8. Memphis Grizzlies

9. New Orleans Hornets

10. San Antonio Spurs


Possible Answers:

A. American Airlines


C. Exxon

D. FedEx

E. Proctor & Gamble

F. Toyota

G. No Naming Rights Sold



Pacific Division


11. Golden State Warriors

12. Phoenix Suns

13. Los Angeles Clippers

14. Los Angeles Lakers

15. Sacramento Kings


Possible Answers:


B. Office Max

C. Oracle

D. Staples

E. Transamerica

F. US Airways

G. No Naming Rights Sold


Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division


16. Boston Celtics

17. New Jersey Nets

18. New York Knicks

19. Philadelphia 76ers

20. Toronto Raptors


Possible Answers:

A. Air Canada

B. Bank of America

C. TD Bank

D. Pfizer

E. Prudential

F. Wells Fargo

G. No Naming Rights Sold


Southeast Division


21. Atlanta Hawks

22. Charlotte Bobcats

23. Miami Heat

24. Orlando Magic

25. Washington Wizards

 < /p>

Possible Answers:

A. American Airlines

B. Amway

C. General Electric

D. Philips

E. Time Warner

F. Verizon

G. No Naming Rights Sold


Central Division


26. Chicago Bulls

27. Cleveland Cavaliers

28. Detroit Pistons

29. Indiana Pacers

30. Milwaukee Bucks


Possible Answers:

A. Bradley Dynamics

B. Conseco

C. Quicken Loans

D. United Airlines

E. United Parcel Service

F. United Bancorp

G. No Naming Rights Sold


That's all of 'em. Answers are at the bottom of the column — go ahead and score yourself and don't forget to record your score in the poll!

*   *   *








Toaster in the tub?

A pill overdose, perhaps?

Wait a sec................. THEY WON!!!





Here's some more wackiness from the twisted tongue of goofy Uncle Mike...



Ricey means THE TENNIS, honest!

Rice: "Sharipova is over at the Australian Open..."

MB: "You would know."

Rice: "I'm gonna watch everrrrrrrrrry minute of it!"


The Blazer defense is lacking, says Rice...

"That might be the worst double-team I've ever seen. I mean when a guy like Lopez can dribble right through the middle of your double-team..."


Mike Rice, Master of the Obvious...

"As you can see, the Blazers will try to score on this team."


Rice hyping the Nike Hoops Summit coming out of the break...

"That one guy is really good, from Eastern Europe... Long name."




Game 41.

Nets 89 at Blazers 96.

January 15, 2011.

Blazers' record is now 21-20, the Nets are 10-30.

Too many words...

1. The first four Jersey points were scored by Travis Outlaw; first four Blazer points by LMA. The back-to-backing Nets jumped out to a 14-8 lead, powered by an 8-0 run featuring Brook Lopez. Portland looked like they had rainwater in their gas tanks and Nate needed a quick time out. The outstanding Portland defense held the lightning quick scoring sensations that populate the Net offense to a mere 78% shooting at the open. 

Favors with a big dunk for the Nets. Following a Portland turnover it was a phantom foul on a Marcus Camby block, sending Devin Harris to the line. An actual Portland stop lead to a Blazer runout and a thunderous LMA dunk, but the Blazers still were looking up from the bottom of a 6 point deficit. Sasha Vujacic clearly wishes he was a 1920s flapper, his new bobbed hairdo must have kept him three hours in the chair at the beauty parlor. I bet the next time the Nets play in Denver, J.R. Smith is gonna beat him up and take his lunch money.

The Blazers were unable to box out either Kris Humphries or Brook Lopez. Nate inserted Joel Przybilla around the 2 minute mark, apparently in an effort to offer some minimal resistance. It didn't work. The fabulous Blazer defense was fully equalled by the amazingly supersuperior Blazer offense, which racked up nearly 20 points against the mighty Nets in the opening quarter. END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: NJN 26, PDX 18. Portland's pathetic parade of stonemasons shot 33%, while their mighty defensive wall allowed the Nets (27th offense in the NBA) a mere 60% shooting.

2. First possession of the 2nd Quarter belonged to the Nets. The lead instantly went to double digits. To their credit, the Blazers really fought for rebounds — as in Dante and Nic, or Patty, or someone, battling each other, with the ball going out of bounds to the Nets on their offensive end. The botch ended in a long jumper by The Machine, punching the lead back to 10. Humphries capped Dante on one end, the absolutely terrific Blazer benchwarmer scrubs allowed a clear path to the rim for a Net layup. We went to commercial down 12 and me wondering what the hell I was gonna do the rest of this winter after I shut off the Blazers for the rest of the season. I suppose I can start getting serious about Laker games again, I suppose. It is difficult to describe how extraordinarily crappy and unenthusiastic each and every Blazer not named "LMA" was at the start of this game. Maybe Portland are the new Clippers, where we can watch visitors and be entertained by the steady stream of worthy opponents who stop by the Rose Garden to kick the piss out of the hapless Blazers...

Rudy made a nice pass to LMA in the paint. That scored exactly one less point for Portland than what the Blazers gave up on the other end about six seconds later to a wide open Sasha Vujacic. Rice: "You can't stand there and look at them like the Blazers just did." You also can't be getting beat by Sasha Fricking Vujacic if you want to be taken seriously as a NBA team with any postseason aspirations whatsoever, I add. Brook Lopez got his 10 with a nifty jump hook in the paint.

Out of commercial, the Blazers were shooting 39%, giving up 61% to the Nets. We got to see Mike Rice giggle at Ronald McDonald. The battle of Mike and Mike for free food coupons was rudely interrupted by another easy bucket for Lopez in the paint. Lopez also has a nice hookshot we learned on the next Nets possession, as he racked his tally to 14. Farmar got picked for a breakaway 2, but on the other end Lopez got doubled and made Portland pay as he dished to Favors for a wide open dunk. Let it be said: nobody is gonna dunk on this Blazer team, because they make sure that no defender is in the same camera frame as the dunking Net player. At the second mandatory time out, the Blazers were down 9. Brook Lopez was shooting 7-for-9, LMA — 3-for-7. 

LaMarcus drove the lane, drew contact, and lamarcused his shots. The Blazer defense ramped up its patheticness, allowing Sasha the Flapper to drill a wide open baseline jumper, upping the Nets' shooting percentage to 66% in the process. Do Blazer fans ever boo pathetic performances by the home team? One wonders. LMA was capped, no call, he stops to carp to the officials. On the other end, Farmar misses and Big Brook is wide open for the putback. Portland got lucky on a terrible lob pass by Jordan Farmar; Portland ran out on the miss with Andre going up-and-under. Rice: "There was more action in the last minute than there was in the whole first half." HALFTIME SCORE: NJN 53, PDX 46. The Nets shot 60% for the half. The Nets have exactly 3 road wins this season, by the way.

HALFTIME ENTERTAINMENT: Nirvana "Territorial Pissings" (live on SNL, 1992)

Paul Anka does Cobain...

3. Of course: something good happens, the phone instantly rings... It's my old man from Arizona, I can't properly tell him to piss off for an hour now, can I? So I half listen and half watch while trying to half type.. The Blazers came out a new team — energized. Batum and LMA both drove the ball for easy buckets, actual DEFENSE began to be played... At 9:20 the Blazers grabbed a 1 point lead on a LMA putback bucket and the game went to commercial. The run was 10-2. Rice: "That's why they lost the lead — they forgot about their big guy." 

Faced with defense, the Nets moved to jumpers, which they do not seem to be even slightly good at. The run went to 17-0 on a Wesley Matthews corner trey, the Blazers up by 8. The Nets finally hit a long J and a Travis trey to stop the bleeding. Nate needed time out. Quote from my old man: "Guns don't kill people, crazy people with guns kill people."

Out of timeout, the Nets returned to their previously-successful M.O. of getting the ball low, running their scoring string to 8-0 on a Brook Lopez drive AND ONE. At 5:00 LMA was fouled by Lopez in the paint, connecting on the pair to put Portland back on top by a pair. Portland ran out a missed dunk, but Wesley ran down Devin Harris. Travis hit a jumper for the Nets and we were tied again... Portland turnover, Lopez hits from 5 feet on the baseline, Nets lead. Portland misses  and Lopez gets Aldridge to foul him again AND ONE. Lopez hit the shot and the run was 15-2.

Rice on the turnaround: "There was a time out and they reintroduced the Net players to their big guy, Brook Lopez. They started to play inside-out again..."

LMA wins a tip with Devin Harris by tipping the ball to the Nets. Humphries jams. The Nets lead is back to 7. Patty hit a trey from a corner at 1:15 to put a band-aid on the severed limb. Nate went with the ever popular sub-in-Joel-for-LMA-for-the-last-minute lineup. Rice was eloquent on how putting Joel in the game essentially severed any possibility of an open shot for Portland. Dante managed a putback bucket on the first Blazer possession. Patty Mills got undercut by Sasha in the open court with 23 seconds remaining in the quarter, turning the ball over instead of running clock for a last shot for the second game in a row. Honestly, is this guy an NBA quality PG? Fortunately Wesly saved the day by picking Devin Harris for a coast-to-coast jam, swinging back-and-forth on the rim in satisfaction. Only 3.3 seconds remained and Harris's desperation chuck fell far short. The Blazers were back into this thing through a heady, hustling defensive play... THIRD QUARTER SCORE: NJN 76, PDX 74.

4. Portland's first possession came up empty; Farmar hit a floater over Pryzzy. With 1 minute elapsed, Pryz headed for the bench and LMA returned for the rest of the night. Farmar missed at the rim, Nic drained a baseline J, and the game was tied again just outside of the 10:00 mark. Rice on Kris Humphries: "He's the same type of player that Kevin Love is — he never stops. Boy, you can use one of those guys on your team." Low BBIQ Rudy passed with less than 3 seconds on the shot clock, turning the ball over. Ugh. At the TV time out, the Nets were up by 1, with Camby just having been whistled for his 4th foul on a block call.

Camby picked up his 5th foul at 8:09, sending Lopez to the line yet again. He was a 30 point scorer when the second shot dribbled home, Nets up by 3. Nate left Camby in the game, aware that it would be game over with 8 minutes of Lopez on Pryz... Wesley bricked a trey and Camby volleyballed the rebound back out to midcourt. The Nets committed their 4th foul at 7:15. Nic scored on a tip, but Lopez got it back on the other end. Then it was Camby-to-Aldridge on the lob for a 1 point Portland lead. An entertaining sequence...

LMA covered Lopez and switched off on a pick; NJ couldn't find the mismatched Lopez however and they missed the long jumper that they took instead. At the final mandatory time out, LMA was headed to the line to shoot two, having been fouled by Kris Humphries driving across the lane en route to a probable hook shot. With the Nets in penalty, everything was a shooting foul from here out — the question being whether the Blazers would be able to actually hit their charity shots during the crunch.

LMA was very, very short on the first FT, badly bricked the second, long and left, and answered my question. The Nets rebounded, Sasha hit a shot, and the Nets lead. Both teams came up empty on two straight possessions. Then LMA travelled — that made 4 consecutive 0s for the Blazers, counting his bricked clutch FTs... Ground Hog Day! Nets called time, looking to put the hapless Blazers in a vice.

Lopez missed a shot in the pain and Nic rebounded, keeping the Net lead to 1. Another Blazer miss ended in a tip rebound by Camby to LMA for the flush and a 1 point Portland lead. Miller picked the borderline incompetent Sasha Machine, and the Nets were forced to foul on the break. Nic went to the line and hit his shots like a big kid, for a 3 point Blazer lead with 90 seconds remaining. LMA stole from Lopez in the key with a quick poke of a carelessly held ball and Wesley gathered the loose ball and ran out, finishing nicely. "BOOOM!" said the Rice man. "That's nice!" said my wife, who was loitering in the kitchen making tea. New Jersey needed time, Portland 92, Nets 87.

ANOTHER steal, but this time Wesley could not finish — to be fair: Farmar fouled him, no call. Dante got rung up for a foul on the scrum for the rebound. At the other end, Sasha the Bricklaying Machine missed a trey; Dante grabbed the rebound and handed the ball off to Andre, who was instantly fouled with 47.7 seconds. His first foul shot of the night was a brick........ the second fell. 93-87.

Harris scored in the paint, cutting the Portland lead to 4. Andre handled the inbounds pass and was quickly fouled. 34.1 showing. This time Andre hit the first attempt and bouncy-bounce-bounced in the second. Andre had 19 points for the night with the make and the Blazers were up by 6 again, with the Nets using another of their precious remaining time outs to set up a play and advance the ball.

Harris was the inbounder, he passed to Sasha and collected the return pass. Harris drove the lane, but Wesley Matthews got there first, taking a huge charge. Nate called time to move the ball to the other end of the floor, with 30.8 remaining. The inbounds again came to Andre, near midcourt, who burned just 2 seconds before calling time out. 

This time the ball came in to Wesley Matthews, who stepped to the line with 28.2 remaining. "Klunk!" went the first brick, but the second shot was soft and true and DAGGER — Blazers up 3 possessions and the Nets burning their last time out.

Farmar got an open look at 3, but missed, ball out to the Nets. Another Nets miss, a Portland rebound, and it was game over. Our long national nightmare was at an end.


LMA had 27 points and 9 boards, Nic Batum scored a season high 23 points. Andre 19 points, 8 assists. Brook Lopez, superstar, had 32 points for the Nets.

The Nets shot 50% for the night, but were only 2-for-12 from the arc. Portland shot 45.6% for the evening.



Let's take at this thang graphically, shall we?


Well, let's have a look-see, shall we. Go ahead and CLICK THIS LINK for the Popcorn Machine pix...

A. Holy Piscoli! This looks exactly like a typical Blazer game, except with the Blazers as the team that usually beats the Blazers at the end. The Nets pretty much dominated this thing except for that 17-0 Blazer run during the first half of the 3rd Quarter and the run at the end.

B. The Blazer starters all played longish minutes, mostly in tandem, and finished out with nice positives in Plus/Minus.

C. Travis Outlaw didn't have as bad a night as I imagined, finished with an efficient 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting, while pulling down 7 rebounds. Outlaw had more than twice as many boards as Center Brook Lopez, in other words.

D. All three of the big Blazer scorers had very efficient shooting nights: LMA was 9-for-18 for 27, Nico was 9-for-15 for 23, and Andre was 8-for-14 for 19. Rudy was the disaster boy, hitting just 1 of his 7 attempts.



Finally, let's gather round for another installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, eh?


The next issue of TBJ will appear here a s soon as it's available.

The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. Assume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.


Name the Arena Name Answers:

1-D. 2-E. 3-G. 4-G. 5-B. 6-A. 7-F. 8-D. 9-G. 10-B. 11-C. 12-F. 13-D. 14-D. 15-A.

16-C. 17-E. 18-G. 19-F. 20-A. 21-D. 22-E. 23-A. 24-B. 25-F. 26-D. 27-C. 28-G. 29-B. 30-G.

BTW: There's no such company as "Bradley Dynamics," just like there's no "Rose Aircraft Industries" in Portland. It's just the name.


Name the Arena Name Credits:



2010-11 VIEW INDEX.

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