Nets may be in Brooklyn, but players still living in Jersey

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The Brooklyn Nets have a very flashy new building in Brooklyn. Well, it looks a little rusty on the outside, but that’s intentional. Inside it’s as state of the art as arenas get now, according to all reports. And it is set up with plenty of revenue-generating luxury boxes, then more exclusive Jay-Z designed suites. Because just luxury suites are not enough anymore.

But the Nets practice facility is still in East Rutherford, New Jersey. About 40 minutes from Brooklyn if there is no traffic. And there is never no traffic.

The Nets will spend nearly twice as many days at the practice facility this season as at Barclays, so as Nets players are finding places to live in the area they are leaning closer to practice than in the city, reports Howard Beck at the New York Times.

So when the final buzzer sounds each night, Brooklyn’s basketball ambassadors will retreat to TriBeCa and Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, and to Edgewater, Hoboken and Clifton in North Jersey. You might see them in Fort Lee, but not in Fort Greene.

“I like Brooklyn a lot,” Deron Williams said, before adding: “We practice in Jersey. In Manhattan, I’m in between both…”

Seven Nets will reside in New Jersey, including the rookie Tyshawn Taylor, who got an apartment in Hoboken, his hometown.

The Nets are shopping for a place to build a new practice facility in the Brooklyn area, something that could be ready in a couple years when their Jersey facility lease is up. That would certainly draw players back to the area.

But lets not just pick on the Nets — less than half the Knicks live in Manhattan (and the six last season was the highest number in years). The Times says there are not Yankees in the Bronx and almost no Mets in Queens. Most of the Giants and Jets live in New Jersey, close to the practice and game facilities in East Rutherford.

But if the Nets get a practice facility built, they could keep a lot of players in the borough (Brooklyn has a mix of young singles and families).

Kawhi Leonard returns Tuesday on minutes restriction

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The Spurs have been the Spurs this season, going 19-8 with an elite defense and offense that’s good enough to get them wins, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge playing at an All-Star level.

Starting Tuesday, they add Kawhi Leonard back to the mix.

He will return to the lineup against Dallas, but will be on a minutes restriction, coach Gregg Popovich said on Tuesday. He would not say how many minutes, although around 20 seems a logical starting spot.

Leonard is one of the five best players in the NBA (and that may be selling him short). He averaged a career-high 25.5 points a game last season, he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and he finished third in the MVP voting last season.

However, there are going to be adjustments. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the focal point of the offense, but he could see fewer touches, particularly in crunch time. Kyle Anderson could see fewer minutes, and Rudy Gay may as well because Popovich liked some small-ball lineups last season with Leonard at the four. A lot of players will see their rotations change.

That said, it’s the Spurs. Do we really expect them to be anything but an incredibly good regular season team? One that is about to get better?

 

 

 

Pelicans’ Tony Allen out 3-4 weeks with fibula fracture

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The injuries just keep hitting the Pelicans. Guys like Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca are out for extended periods of time. Anthony Davis has missed four of the team’s last six games and is questionable for Wednesday night due to a left adductor injury.

Now comes the news that reserve guard Tony Allen will be out three to four weeks due to a nondisplaced left proximal fibula fracture, the team announced Tuesday. This is the part of the bone near the ankle.

Allen has played a limited role for New Orleans off the bench this season, averaging 12.4 minutes a game, and averaging 4.7 points. His reputation is that of a defensive stopper, and when he is on the court this season the Pelicans’ defense has been 5.6 points per 100 possessions better. However, father time has started to catch up with him and he is not the defender he once was.

Expect the minutes to bump up for Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore with this injury, which is not a bad thing as they have played well (they were knocking down threes against the Rockets Monday like they were named Curry), plus Ian Clark could get a little more run.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.