Category Archives: New Jersey Nets

Cavs’ Brown: New-look Nets know game well

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – The Brooklyn Nets enter the season as perhaps the NBA’s most intriguing story, with the biggest names this side of the Miami Heat. That will happen when you trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, as the Nets did on draft night this past June.

Add Garnett and Pierce to Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson (with Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko off the bench) … and you may have the makings of something special. You could also have a major disappointment, but that’s why you play the games.

Anyway, these new Nets open the season at Cleveland on Wednesday, and Cavs coach Mike Brown shared his thoughts. Here they are:

“I’ve watched a little bit of film on them, I know a little bit about what they do. Obviously, they’re a veteran team and they’ve been around a long time. They’ve got multiple All-Stars and future Hall of Famers on the team, so you’ve got to respect the talent with that group.”

“They’re a team that is big, so they have multiple post-up guys. Their point guard can try to post you up, their two-guard can post you up, their threes can post you, their fours can post you. Obviously when you talk about their five, Brook Lopez, he can post up. We have to make sure we’re prepared for any position 1 through 5 trying to take advantage of us in the post.

“We also have to be ready to play defense against a lot of random offense because these guys are so good they don’t necessarily have to execute plays the right way. They can just play off each other.

“It’s like when you or your buddies go to the park and play against younger guys. Younger guys are out there doing stuff that we can’t do, but you just run a simple pick and roll and you space the floor the right way, and move the ball the right way — and you can do things because of the feeling that you have, that a younger team may not be able to do. We have to be able to defend a lot of random action with our base defense, and survive from there.”

NBA placing stronger emphasis on violations

CLEVELAND – NBA referees will whistle if you walk.

That’s the message being sent by the league entering the 2013-14 season, which begins in less than two weeks.

Along with traveling, the league is emphasizing quick whistles on infractions such as carrying, delay of game and contact on jump shots.

The NBA has also instituted a new rule that will result in a foul on offensive players who step out of bounds and stay there longer than they should — which teams have occasionally done in the past for the purpose of spacing.

It’s pretty clear the league is taking these points of emphasis fairly seriously, too. The Cavaliers were whistled for two traveling violations in the first 10 minutes of their preseason game Saturday vs. the Pacers.

Key dates for 2013-14 NBA season

NBA teams playing preseason games overseas will conduct their media days Friday, kicking off the 2013-14 season. Among those teams: the Wizards, Bulls, Warriors and two-time defending champion Heat.

Those teams will start training camp Saturday, with everyone else to hold media day Monday and start camp Tuesday.

Here’s a full list of key dates for the 2013-14 NBA season:

* Sept: 27: Media Day for teams competing in international preseason contests
* Sept. 28:  Training camps open for practice for teams competing in international preseason contests
* Sept. 30: Remaining Media Days held
* Oct. 1: Remaining training camps open
* Oct. 5: NBA Global Games Istanbul (Oklahoma City Thunder @ Fenerbahce Ulker in Istanbul, Turkey at Ulker Sports Arena)
* Oct. 6: NBA Global Games Bilbao (Philadelphia 76ers @ Bilbao Basket in Bilbao, Spain at Bizkaia Arena at the BEC)
* Oct. 8: NBA Global Games Manchester (Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Philadelphia 76ers in Manchester, England at Phones 4u Arena)
* Oct. 10: NBA Global Games Manila (Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers in Manila, Philippines at Mall of Asia Arena)
* Oct. 12: NBA Global Games Rio de Janeiro (Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at HSBC Arena)
* Oct. 13: NBA Global Games Taipei (Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers in Taipei, Taiwan at Taipei Arena)
* Oct. 15: NBA Global Games Beijing (Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers in Beijing, China at MasterCard Arena)
* Oct. 18: NBA Global Games Shanghai (Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai, China at Mercedes-Benz Arena)
* Oct. 28: Rosters set for Opening Day (5 p.m. ET)
* Oct. 29: 2013-14 Season Tips Off
* Dec. 4: NBA Global Games Mexico City (Minnesota Timberwolves vs. San Antonio Spurs at Mexico City Arena)
* Jan. 6: 10-day Contracts can now be signed
* Jan. 10: All Contracts are guaranteed for remainder of the season
* Jan. 16: NBA Global Games London 2014 (Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets at The 02)
* Feb. 14-16: 2014 NBA All-Star (New Orleans, LA)
* Feb. 20: 2014 NBA Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET)
* April 16: Last Day of 2013-14 Regular Season
* April 19: 2014 NBA Playoffs begin
* April 27: NBA Draft Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 p.m. ET)
* May 5: Conference Semifinals begin (possible move-up to May 3 or 4)
* May 20: Conference Finals begin (possibly move-up to May 18 or 19)
* May 20: 2014 NBA Draft Lottery
* June 5: NBA Finals begin
* June 16: NBA Draft Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline (5 p.m. ET)
June 26: 2014 NBA Draft

NBA team-by-team remaining free agents

A look at which NBA players remain unsigned through July 29:

ATLANTA HAWKS — Unrestricted: Ivan Johnson, Devin Harris, Dahntay Jones, Johan Petro, Anthony Tolliver

BOSTON CELTICS — Unrestricted: Chris Wilcox

BROOKLYN NETS — Unrestricted: Jerry Stackhouse

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS — Unrestricted: DeSagana Diop, Jannero Pargo

CHICAGO BULLS — Unrestricted: Daequan Cook, Vladimir Radmanovic

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS — Unrestricted: Daniel Gibson, Luke Walton

DALLAS MAVERICKS — Unrestricted: Rodrigue Beaubois, Mike James


DETROIT PISTONS — Unrestricted: Corey Maggette



INDIANA PACERS — Unrestricted: Ben Hansbrough, Sam Young

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS — Unrestricted: Lamar Odom

LOS ANGELES LAKERS — Unrestricted: Devin Ebanks, Andrew Goudelock, Darius Morris, Antawn Jamison

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES — Unrestricted: Austin Daye, Keyon Dooling

MIAMI HEAT — Unrestricted: Juwan Howard.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS — Restricted: Brandon Jennings. Unrestricted: Marquis Daniels, Joel Przybilla

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES — Restricted: Nikola Pekovic

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS — Unrestricted: Lou Amundson, Xavier Henry, Roger Mason Jr.

NEW YORK KNICKS — Unrestricted: Earl Barron

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER — Unrestricted: Ronnie Brewer

ORLANDO MAGIC — Unrestricted: DaQuan Jones, Beno Udrih

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS — Unrestricted: Charles Jenkins, Royal Ivey, Damien Wilkins

PHOENIX SUNS — Unrestricted: Diante Garrett

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS —Unrestricted: Luke Babbitt, Nolan Smith, Elliot Williams

SACRAMENTO KINGS — Unrestricted: Cole Aldrich, James Johnson

SAN ANTONIO SPURS — Unrestricted: DeJuan Blair, Tracy McGrady

TORONTO RAPTORS — Unrestricted: Mickael Pietrus, Sebastian Telfair

UTAH JAZZ — Unrestricted: Jamaal Tinsley, Mo Williams

WASHINGTON WIZARDS — Unrestricted: Leandro Barbosa, Jason Collins, Cartier Martin, A.J. Price


Podcast: Talkin’ NBA Finals and Cavs’ draft prospects

I guaranteed the Spurs would win beat the Heat in Game 7. Well, we all know how that turned out. I talked about that — as well as offers updates on the Cavaliers’ draft prospects and a breakdown of Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum (Canton GlenOak) — with Jeff Phelps and Andy Baskin of 92.3 The Fan.

You can listen to the entire podcast by clicking this link.

I’ll have plenty more on the draft, and NBA free agency, in the coming days.

Three Cavs invited to participate in Team USA camp

Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters and center Tyler Zeller are among the 27 players who have been invited to participate in the 2013 USA national team mini-camp, USA Basketball officials announced Wednesday.

Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, Irving’s coach at Duke University, will direct the camp. It is scheduled for July 22-25 in Las Vegas.

Krzyzewski will be assisted by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Pelicans coach Monty Williams and Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim.

Team USA’s next competition is at the World Championships in Spain in 2014.

The list of invitees:

Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans)
Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors)
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies)
DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
Derrick Favors (Utah Jazz)
Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls)
Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)
Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers)
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
Ty Lawson(Denver Nuggets)
Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons)
Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets)
Larry Sanders(Milwaukee Bucks)
Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats)
John Wall (Washington Wizards)
Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Tickets for the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase on July 25 go on sale June 13.  Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased by calling 702-739-FANS or at

EuroCamp tipping off with all 30 NBA teams represented

The 2013 adidas EuroCamp tips off Saturday in Italy, and when it comes to the NBA Draft, this event is almost as significant as last month’s combine.

It is at EuroCamp that scouts aim to locate the next Danilo Gallinari, Serge Iabaka, Nicolas Batum or Omer Asik — all past participants.

This year, top names at the camp include potential first-round picks Rudy Gobert (France), Lucas Nogueira (Brazil) and Livio Jean-Charles (France).

All 30 NBA teams will be represented, with assistants Kenny Atkinson (Hawks), Armond Hill (Celtics), Melvin Hunt (Nuggets) and Kelvin Sampson (Rockets) among those handling coaching duties.

Timberwolves assistant Bill Bayno is this year’s coaching director.

Also, Ibaka of the Thunder, Omri Casspi of the Cavaliers and Kenneth Faried of the Nuggets will be present to share their NBA experiences with the campers.

Click here to visit the official EuroCamp website.

NBA Notes: Cavs hire another assistant, report says

A few notes from around the NBA:

• Cavaliers coach Mike Brown is adding a one-time Cavs big man to his staff. According to a report by Yahoo! Sports, the Cavs are in the process of hiring Vitaly Potapenko as an assistant coach. Potapenko was drafted by the Cavs and played for them from 1996-99.

• Potapenko hails from the Ukraine and also spent time as a center with the Celtics, SuperSonics and Kings. He has been an assistant coach with the Celtics and in the D-League.

• The Cavs have now added Phil Handy from the Lakers, Igor Kokoskov from the Suns and now Potapenko to Brown’s staff. Brown is expected to retain Jamahl Mosley from Byron Scott’s staff, as Brown and Mosley share an agent and Mosely has been credited with a role in the development of Cavs forward Tristan Thompson.

• Kent State forward Chris Evans is among the NBA Draft prospects working out for the Kings, who own the Nos. 7 and 36 picks. Others working out for the Kings include: French center Rudy Gobert, Montana guard Will Cherry and Syracuse guard Brandon Triche.

• Ohio guard D.J. Cooper has worked out for the Trail Blazers.

• Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. has worked out for the Bucks and Timberwolves.

• Akron center Zeke Marshall worked out for the Bulls and Pacers.

• The Jazz worked out Indiana power forward/center Cody Zeller on Monday. They own the Nos. 14, 21 and 46 picks in the draft.

NBA lottery stacks odds against worst of worst

The Orlando Magic possess the best chance of winning the NBA Draft lottery, which of course means they probably won’t.

That’s just the way the lottery typically works. You lose all season long — then you lose again.

It’s actually a good system, as the league doesn’t reward a team for stinking. You can be awful, the NBA seems to say, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get the first overall pick in the draft. You just can’t do worse than third.

Sounds fair.

Unless you’re the Magic, who could really use the No. 1 pick. But history shows that the inception of the lottery in 1985, the team with the worst record has won just four times.

That’s four times … in 27 years.

On the bright side, the Magic were one of those teams, in 2004, when they drafted Dwight Howard.

Coming in with the second-worst record are the Charlotte Bobcats, followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

What makes this particularly lottery so interesting is, even if you win it, there’s no clear-cut top prospect. A lot of folks are saying it will come down to Kentucky center Nerlens Noel or Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore.

But Noel tore his ACL in February and McLeMore bombed late in the season and at the draft combine. Still, the draft is all about upside these days, and those two are viewed as the two guys with the most.

If the Magic win the lottery, they’re seem more likely to take McLemore. Same with the Bobcats. If the Cavs or Phoenix Suns (fourth-worst record), they’re more likely to go with Noel.

But that’s just a theory, and most of what happens between now and the June 27 draft will be determined by how well prospects perform when teams bring them in for individual workouts.

If those don’t go well, teams will consider trading their pick. If there ever were a year to do it, league executives have hinted, this is it.

Either way, by the end of the night, the NBA Draft will become very interesting. It just might be as interesting as the team with the league’s worst record may like.

NBA scouting director calls draft ‘deepest in years’

On the day before the NBA Draft Lottery, the NBA’s senior director of scouting operations says it’s officially time to get excited.

“We’ve got one of the deepest drafts in years,” Ryan Blake said in an interview with Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps on 92.3 The Fan on Monday.

Now, before we go any further, know that Blake is saying pretty much the opposite of what we’ve heard. Most people have said this draft stinks — featuring no clear-cut choice at No. 1 and almost zero star power anywhere.

That may be true, Blake admitted. But that doesn’t mean this draft will be a total waste.

“What you have are a lot of different talented players and a lot of different positions,” he said. “A lot of teams will try to hit a home run, and find that franchise player.”

According to Blake, those players are out there — but it won’t happen overnight.

“You usually don’t know for sure about a guy until after three years,” Blake said. “Even Kobe (Byrant) and (Kevin) Garnett took some time. In this draft, there are so many good players who could develop into that first- or second-option guy.”

One way for rookies to get playing time is via defense, Blake said. In fact, without defense, it’ll be hard to stay on the floor as a first-year player.

And when it comes to defense, this draft has it.

“There are a lot of really good defenders, deep into the second round,” Blake said. “In fact, we’re gonna have a lot (undrafted rookie) free agents that, as soon as the draft is over, teams will be fighting over to get them on their summer team.”

Blake mentioned Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore, Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo and Georgetown small forward Otto Porter as the best of the best.

Porter is one name that’s been linked to the Cavaliers should they hold their current spot and draft No. 3.

“I really like Otto,” Blake said. “He played well within the system. At 6-foot-8, he can shoot the ball from the perimeter, and if you’re at Georgetown, you have to show that you can pass. When you have that size from the perimeter, that’s hard to guard.”