The Brooklyn Nets are 5-8 and trending in the wrong direction, having lost six of their last seven games. And coach Lionel Hollins seems very willing to hold players accountable for that slide, even in public settings. Starting center Brook Lopez is averaging just 5.4 rebounds in 29 minutes, and lately, he’s found himself benched in fourth quarters, including Saturday’s 99-87 loss to the Spurs in San Antonio. Both Lopez and Hollins have been visibly frustrated by things.
Training camps are over, exhibition games have begun, and the excitement is palpable as we build towards the 2014-2015 season with players who should have breakout or standout seasons. Here are five players in the Eastern Conference – one at each position, no rookies – who will take the next step towards greatness this upcoming season. Tomorrow, the West.
Last season began with championship expectations for the Brooklyn Nets, thanks to the headline additions of three future Hall of Fame stars: Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on the court, and Jason Kidd on the sidelines. However – less than a year later – Kidd has burned his Brooklyn bridge with the Nets, Pierce signed with the Wizards this summer and Garnett is coming off the worst statistical season of his career. Furthermore, key role players such as Shaun Livingston, Andray Blatche
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Retirement is not in Kevin Garnett’s immediate future. Of course, “immediate future” is a phrase open to interpretation when a guy is entering his 20th season in the NBA. Yes, his 20th. For all we know, Garnett could play three more years. Or three more months. KG is not the type of guy who is going to show his hand. This much we know: He never had a worse season than last season. This we also know: Garnett’s value
Today was media day for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and understandably everyone was crowding around LeBron James.They asked him the patently obvious questions. What’s it like to be back where it all started? How much do you know about new coach David Blatt? Can the Cavaliers win the NBA championship and finally end Cleveland’s 50-year sports title drought? Here’s a question they might have wanted to ask: Hey, LeBron, which fourth star would you like to add to the roster next summer?
In an interview in April 2013, Kevin Durant told Sports Illustrated he was tired of finishing second. Durant was the second player taken in the 2007 draft. He lost in the NBA Finals in 2012. He finished second in MVP voting four times. This past season, Durant took a huge step forward when he won his first MVP award, finally emerging from the shadow cast by LeBron James. But if he doesn’t win an NBA championship in the next two years with
BROOKLYN — One season after the Jason Kidd experiment failed in bizarre fashion, the Brooklyn Nets introduced the man the franchise should have hired in the first place. Lionel Hollins isn’t here for power struggles, whether they be with staff members, GM Billy King or ownership. He’s here to coach. “I’m a basketball coach,” Hollins said. “I don’t want to do Billy’s job. I don’t want to do anybody else’s job in the organization but the one that I’m hired to do
Jason Kidd didn’t just burn a bridge with the Nets. He basically set it ablaze with an entire gas station’s fuel supply. Once groomed to be the face of the franchise, Kidd will now have all his images removed from Barclays Center – perhaps even his retired jersey hanging from the rafters.