Deron Williams sung the praises of the San Antonio Spurs as the model NBA franchise.
Shortly after a 99-87 loss to the defending NBA champs, Williams gushed about the Spurs’ run of success that has resulted in four titles since 2003.
“It’s a team you envy because they’ve had a system, they’ve had a coach, they’ve pretty much had the same group of guys for a long time,” Williams told reporters on Saturday night. “And you can just tell they’re comfortable playing with each other. We haven’t had that luxury. We’re trying to get to that eventually.”
Here’s thing thing: the Nets can’t be the Spurs. Definitely not now, and if they’re insistent on sticking to a strategy that included building with mega stars and dealing away assets, they never will be.
Think about the pie-in-the-sky scenario for the Nets, which is Kevin Durant decided to sign here. Then what? You’d need stars around KD, and Williams and Lopez will each be two years older. So what will Billy King, or whoever is at the helm, do? We’ll be right back in the same spot, mortgaging the future, depleting future assets, and trying to find the right well-traveled coach to oversee it. The Spurs are a product of a system and stability, yes, but also a full-fledged rebuild. Until the Nets admit that it’s the only way to build a sustained contender, they’ll never match the success enjoyed down in San Antonio.
Andrei Kirilenko is not traveling with the Nets on their latest road trip.
“It’s just life,” head coach Lionel Hollins said regarding the Kirilenko sitation. “I go with what’s out there and who is getting the job done. There’s times where certain other guys have fallen back and earned their trust back, but it’s basketball.”
No negotiations for a buy out of Kirilenko’s contract have taken place, but sources say Kirilenko has played his last game in Brooklyn (Bontemps, Nov 21).
Who is interested in acquiring him?
The Sixers and Nets have discussed a swap where both Kirilenko and Sergey Karasev would head to Philadelphia, then Kirilenko would be cut.
Cavaliers are said to be monitoring the Kirilenko situation (Haynes, Nov 23).
If the Nets choose to hold on to Kirilenko past December 15 when the trade market expands, the Jazz have discussed swapping Jeremy Evans and/or Toure Murry (Stein, Nov 24).
I’m intrigued by the Utah scenario, primarily because the Jazz may be willing to surrender more talent than other teams. They’re already familiar with Kirilenko’s style of play, and Utah needs to make inroads in a seriously strong Western Conference. That same pressure to improve may not exist for a contender like the Cavs, who probably believe that they just need additional time to gel with LeBron, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving on the floor together.
Whatever materializes, the Nets need to get something of value. The relationship between AK47 and Brooklyn may be irreparable, but the fact remains that he’s a major piece that a contender will covet on a reasonable $3.3 million expiring contract. That’s quite an asset.
Result: The Spurs beat the Nets 99-87 on Saturday night in San Antonio.
Need to Know: Deron Williams’ 24 points and Mirza Teletovic’s 22 points weren’t enough to beat the Spurs.
Joe Johnson added 12 points, as the only other Nets player in double digits.
New York shot 37 percent from the field as a team.
Tony Parker had 22 and Kawhi Leonard had 21 for the Spurs.
Links: Recap | Box Score
What’s Next: The Nets play the Sixers in Philly on Tuesday.
The Nets are in San Antonio to take on the Spurs on Saturday night.
The game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on YES and WFAN.
Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Bojan Bogdanovic, Deron Williams and Mason Plumlee are expected to start.
Kevin Garnett (rest) is not expected to play.
Recap: The Thunder’s Reggie Jackson missed a clean look at a three at the buzzer and Nets ended their five-game losing streak.
Need to Know: Jarrett Jack came off the bench and had 23 points to lead the Nets. Brook Lopez had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Nets bench had 27 points on 12 of 17 shooting with five assists and two turnovers in the first half.
The Nets have won three in a row in Oklahoma City, which was without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Thunder have lost five in a row.
Before Friday, the Nets’ Bojan Bogdanovic led all rookies in three-point field goals made (19) and attempted (51). But he struggled Friday, with three points in 23 minutes with no field goals (0-for-5).
Nets opponents averaged 106.6 points during the five-game losing streak.
Links: Box Score
What’s Next: The Nets travel to San Antonio to face the defending champion Spurs Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
The Nets are in Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder on Friday night.
The game is scheduled for 8 p.m. on YES and WFAN.
Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, Bojan Bogdanovic and Deron Williams are expected to start.
Andrei Kirilenko did not travel with the team due to personal reasons.
November 3, 2014
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 18 points, six rebounds and two blocks in his first regular season contest since December 20, 2013, as Brooklyn defeated the Thunder by the largest margin of victory in a Nets NBA home opener.
January 31, 2014
As Brooklyn fell to the Thunder 120-95, the Nets saw five scorers in double-digits: Shaun Livingston (16), Deron Williams (14), Mason Plumlee (13), Jason Terry (11) and Paul Pierce (10).
The Nets have had preliminary talks with the Philadelphia 76ers about a deal that would send Andrei Kirielnko and Sergey Karasev to Philadelphia (Youngmisuk Nov 21).
According to ESPN’s report, the Sixers would waive Kirilenko if they did acquire him from the Nets.
What? Why? The Nets are no so desperate to move Kirilenko that they’re going to include Karasev, who they were so excited to swipe from the Cavs? How does this make any sense?
It’s starting to strike me that the Nets don’t really have an actual plan here. At first, it looked like there was going to be some kind of youth movement, and that the 20 year old Karasev — alongside Mason Plumlee — would be at the heart of the Nets’ next core. Now, it just seems like Brooklyn to flying blindly into the wind, trying to paint themselves out of corners that they’ve gotten themselves into. I just don’t get it.