G18 Portland Trailblazers (10-8) vs Brooklyn Nets (6-11)

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In winning six of their first 10 games, the Blazers averaged 107.2 points while shooting 39.4 percent from 3-point range and getting to the line 26.4 times. In the last eight, those numbers are 94.6 points, 36.7 from 3 (42.9 percent overall) and 19.4 free throws per game, which was a point of contention for Lillard on Wednesday.

“I go to the rim a lot,” he said after matching a season low with three free-throw attempts. “I’m getting smacked in my head, smacked on my shooting hand when I’m going to the basket. Guys knocking me to the ground every other play — like hard. … It’s frustrating.”

Among the other reasons is lack of transition offense for Portland, which is last with 4.5 fast-break points per game in a category led by Golden State’s 23.7. The fast break is not a new issue for Portland since it was 22nd last season at 11.7 and 26th two years ago at 10.7.

“This year, it’s been much more of a topic,” Lillard told the Oregonian earlier this week. “I feel like we’ll take it kind of as a challenge and … when we have those opportunities, try to take advantage of them. We’ve got to put pressure on people in transition, so I think we’ll improve as the season goes on.”

It’s just more noticeable this season and especially in recent games.

One of Portland’s spotty offensive showings occurred two weeks ago in a 101-97 home loss to the Nets. The Blazers shot 42.1 percent as Lillard and backcourt mate C.J. McCollum combined for 36 points on 13-of-32 shooting.

It is one of three wins in the last 11 games for the Nets since their 112-107 home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 25. It also represents one of two times the Nets gave up less than 100 points this season.

Brooklyn (6-11) ranks 29th in points allowed at 114.2 and 25th in defensive rating (109.6) after Wednesday’s 119-109 loss in Cleveland. James scored 18 straight points and 23 overall in the fourth quarter when the Nets allowed the Cavaliers to make 13 of 17 shots.

“We tried different things,” Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson said. “We tried switching, and he kind of picks out the guy he wants to go at. I’m disappointed. I thought we had some open looks on the offensive end that might have made it a little tighter.”

The Nets lost despite shooting a season-high 51.9 percent, mostly because they couldn’t finish down the stretch. The Nets made at least 14 3-pointers in a third straight game for the first time in team history but also gave up 15 fast-break points after allowing 16 against Golden State Sunday.

“There ain’t too much you can do. It’s just one of those nights,” Brooklyn forward DeMarre Carroll said. “We competed. We’ve just got to figure out how to close out games.”

The Nets will play their fifth game since losing D’Angelo Russell indefinitely to left knee surgery. Russell scored 21 points in Portland but was injured the next night in Utah.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who scored eight points Wednesday, will be the starting point guard. Dinwiddie is averaging 16.5 points since the Nets lost Russell while former Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe is averaging 18.3 points in his last four games.

Portland is 7-4 against the Nets since Lillard entered the league in the 2012 draft with a pick previously owned by Brooklyn. In last season’s visit to Brooklyn on Nov. 20, 2016, McCollum scored 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting in Portland’s 129-109 win.

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  1. Very early game. Most teams don’t play well when they play this early. Maybe, advantage Nets since Portland is on a later time zone and it’ll seem even earlier for Portland’s players.

  2. ‘Not all the players sounded overjoyed about the early tipoff.

    “I don’t know why we got a noon tipoff,” DeMarre Carroll said. “Hey, this is what we get paid to do. Just show up and be ready.” ‘


  3. The New York Post article titled “Nets have plenty to be thankful for with unexpected star” praised Dinwiddie:

    “The Nets plucked Dinwiddie out of the G League and developed him, and the 24-year-old point guard has repaid them with a breakthrough season at the position they need most. He has stepped in for injured Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell with the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the NBA among qualified players.”

  4. All five starting Nets with double figures, nice.

  5. Yes. They’re executing Kenny’s idea of sharing the ball and scoring responsibilities well.

  6. The Nets are playing exciting basketball. I like this team’s play. I miss Lin, but I feel like they are playing in a way that he prefers and next season when he rejoins the team and runs the offense, they’ll play the same way. What’s missing now though is Lin pushing the fast-break and throwing outlet passes. And his penetration and intensity on defense.

    Harris is HOT!!

  7. So glad to see more midrange shots being taken. LeVert just hit one. I think the midrange shot is a thing of beauty and there she be more, not less, midrange shots taken.

  8. Great effort by the Nets. The losses are very close.

  9. Tough loss. 125-127. 🙁

  10. BrooklynNets: From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving ?


  11. BrooklynNets: “Disappointed. Games come down to the end like that and can go either way.”
    Recap » http://bknets.at/jkb


  12. What a nail biter…
    It was a disappointing loss but the Nets played valiantly against a good team. With Lin the Nets win this one easily.

    Dinwiddie is really developing into a solid PG. Zero TOs and 45% shooting. He can hold the fort until Lin returns

    Still the difference was a more experienced (and skilled) Lillard.

  13. NBA refs‘ bias and injustice is beyond ridiculous in this game: It’s a nets home court game, yet the blazers got 35 FTs, the nets only got 21 FTs. For the 4Q alone, FTs are 14:3 to blazers’ favor. It’s been the same pattern for the last few games: starting from the 3rd quarter when the game was very close and the nets had high morale, the refs would start to give away generous FTs to the opponent team but blind to fouls committed against the nets. For example, take a look at the back-court violation from Lillard with 11.4 second left on the clock for the game: When McCollum received the pass from Lillard who’s lying on the floor, McCollum’s whole body was still on the back court with his right foot still stepped on the back-court floor. I just used a free video software to play back in slow motion and do a screen shot. The screenshot clearly demonstrates that McCollum was still in the back court when he got the pass (with both hands holding the ball solidly) from Lillard, and that is VERY CLEARLY A BACK-COURT VIOLATION. Yet the refs did not record this violation, instead, they blew the whistle on a nets foul against McCollum immediatley after he passed the center line to the front court, and that could have costed the nets 4 points with 11 seconds to go.



  14. Team is better without Russell. Hope KA and Marks knows that. They will need to pay Dinwiddie after this season.

  15. whats goin ahn? (to quote alex chilton).

    the good news: the “dark side” lin site is back up and all the veteran lin trolls (for the most part generic trolls simply specializing in lin) that gravitated over here are back in the swamp there.

    the bad news: this site (where the lin-cyclopedia once informed me i was the first non-mod to post) seems inabsentia now.

    is this the repeal of net neutrality early?

    or is everyone just home for the hollandaise?

    or something more sinister? (enquiring minds want to know).

    ill check back n see if there’s a new game thread today (probably with only 14 posts on the previous thread, why bother).

    anyway would hate to see this place simply disappear, vanish, evaporate, be gone.

    in other news: on the stats chart i follow king james has for the first time this year passed “the greek” as #1.

    nets fans in general seem fine with dinny-wid as pg. and the nets after starting 3-2 are 3-10 since then.

    rhj somehow has found a shot after not having one, ever.

    and timofey mozgov is living up to his billing as the worst contract in the nba.

    (if yer a fan of marks need to hope d-lo turns out 2 have been worth it).

    my fantasy: nets dont trade for russel to have their own draft pick until they have a draft pick; nets are as smart as lakers and use their pick as lakers did on kuzma (the best this years dp’s in summer league, pre-season and now regular season) and lin is not injured and you have a teams of lopez/carroll/kuzma/harris/lin with allen/booker/rhj/levert/dinny-wid. sounds pretty good 2 me.

  16. Most likely Lin being out for the season just sapped most Lin fans’ spirit and enthusiasm. Only some who are long time NBA fans can appreciate the slow but sure progress that the Nets are making.

    I personally am encouraged watching how hard he’s working out in his recovery and how upbeat he is even after the latest setback. That’s really admirable mental attitude towards life that we can emulate.

    We probably just need 1 thread for 10 games at this point

  17. maybe we can have one thread for each week

  18. The overall caliber of play in the NBA has dropped this season for these reasons:

    1) Contenders like the Warriors and Spurs are banged up and not playing their best

    2) Many bad moves in the offseason were made, not just by the Nets but by pretty much every team

    3) The shortened training camp had coaches overworking their best players into injury

    It’s not been a good year for the NBA thus far.

  19. Count me OUT when it comes to appreciating what the Nets are doing.

    I completely disagree with the atrocious play of their high dollar newcomers and the utter lack of defense that Atkinson keeps making pathetic excuses for.

    As a generalized NBA and not just a Lin only fan, I am deeply disappointed in the Nets and their soft pansy style of play. I wrote this summer that I didn’t like this Nets team even with Lin at full health, and I feel that way more than ever.

  20. My fantasy: Tsai bought Nets in the summer of 2012——-

  21. I think there are less than 40 posts in the last game thread. Perhaps have a game thread, and when it reaches over a certain amount of posts, start a new one? I have a feeling that depending on the opponent, the activity will change. And I think when Russell comes back the activity may increase.

  22. I watch basketball, but am not into it as much due to the absence of Lin. Per the Nets, these are most of the guys Lin will play with next season, so we get to see how they play together. Now, with Dinwiddie at point, they play similar to how they play with Lin. With Russell, things change a lot.

    I see that they are fairly competitive without him. But not winning as much. But to me, if you look at Boston for instance, who are doing great without Hayward, they are still a far better team with Hayward. And I expect the “don’t need Lin” comments from media and Net team sites and I’m reading them. People have opinions. I disagree. To get to the highest level possible, the Nets need Lin for his winning play and leadership. But it’s good to see they are still a competitive team in place for when Lin gets back.

    I feel like you about Lin. He seems upbeat, he’s making good progress, he has a supportive family and fanbase, and hopefully he’ll recover close to form when he plays again. I’m glad he’s posting in social media to give us an idea of how he’s progressing. He seems in good humor, as best he can be.

    Finally psalm, I like posting here but dealing with some posters that have something against me gets tiring. I’m just another person with a POV posting about our favorite basketball players. Debates happen, but we shouldn’t be personal when we post. Debating topics is fun, not personality.

  23. I agree and hope that Lin fans here can recognize that we are all Lin fans first and foremost. Even when we have differing opinions, we shouldn’t let it get personal. We should be able to disagree respectfully on the opinions.

    As you said there are many non-Lin fans already make comments that Lin is no longer needed. If Lin fans bicker among themselves, it would be disheartening.

  24. perhaps I’ll create a short one for the 3-game road trip for now

  25. Lin last season, March of this year against the Grizzlies.

  26. Since it’s fantasy. Even better: Tsai bought KNICKS, BEFORE free agency started…..

  27. I have no idea how much time and work is involved in creating new threads. So this is just my preference.

    For now, Mak’s idea of one thread each week sounds good. Maybe easier to organize and easier to follow?

  28. Just home for the “hollandaise”!!

    Can’t speak for others, but for me, 2 reasons:
    Busy with family and friends and the Thanksgiving festivities. Probably will be same around Christmas time.

    The Warriors game and Trailblazers games were on at odd times. Tough to catch. Tonight’s game is also earlier than usual. Probably won’t catch most of it either. If JLin is playing, would have made more of an effort to clear the schedule around the games. Alas, less motivation to watch Lin-less games. But, still going to try, when possible.

    Only started posting recently. So, “spirit and enthusiasm” for supporting JLin is still there (see Psalm’s thoughts). In fact, it’s the main reason I decided to join in the conversation now, after many years of lurking. To contribute to helping keep this site going. To help keep it from “evaporating”!

  29. NBA officiating is a complete sham. The inconsistencies, double-standards, superstar calls, hypocrisy, even criminality (exposed about gambling on games called). Total joke.

    Since basketball is a fast paced game, I understand that they don’t see everything, and can’t call everything. There was an idea to add a fourth ref on the court. But that contradicts the fact that the NBA wants to shorten game times.

    IMO, given the constraints, at the end of the day, who cares about touch fouls or traveling. The primary goal should be to protect the players’ health. The pulling, pushing, tripping, hacking, whacking, should be stopped!

    Actually, it’s not just JLin that suffers. The manhandling, pushing off, and hard physical screens on Steph Curry during playoffs were really ridiculous. And nothing called, nothing done. This is basketball! Not boxing, not football. There are no protective gear on the players.

    Another reason why I wouldn’t follow the NBA, if and when JLin retires.

  30. Really nicely done! Too bad they couldn’t fit everyone on the roster. No Booker, no Harris, no Kilpatrick.

  31. That was such a great win – and on the road! JLin is so competitive, loves to win, and hates to lose.
    Certain people can’t seem to remember that, claiming he’s not “alpha” enough. Ugh.
    Hope the Nets can replicate again.

  32. MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. Hope LeVert and Dinwiddie, and the whole team, learn and make better decisions at end of games. Starting tonight!

    “We made like three, four boneheaded plays down the stretch that you can’t make when you’re trying to beat a good team,” DeMarre Carroll said.

    “It’s just the little things,” Caris LeVert said.

    “It’s not like we’re getting blown out,” Allen Crabbe said. “We’re having chances to win. We’re just not closing it out.”


  33. Team is better with Lin and his effort in defense which distinguishes himself from Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell.

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