Denver Nuggets v Brooklyn Nets

Nets GM says loss of Brook Lopez didn’t help last season’s success


Brook Lopez began the year playing at an All-Star level for the Nets last season, but the numbers he was putting up didn’t translate to very many victories.

Brooklyn was below .500 while Lopez averaged 20.7 points, six rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots in 31.4 minutes per game, and ended up with a record of just 7-10 in his appearances, before he went down with a foot fracture that prematurely ended his season.

The Nets managed to turn things around beginning in January, and played well the second half of the season and through the first round of the playoffs — successes that all came with Lopez out of action.

Nets GM Billy King, however, doesn’t believe that the loss of Lopez contributed to his team’s success.

Without the low post scoring threat that Lopez was on a nightly basis, the Nets looked to Joe Johnson to carry more of the load offensively, and there’s no doubting the positive results.

But it’s hard to envision Brooklyn not improving by adding Lopez back into the mix, and new head coach Lionel Hollins has enough experience to figure out the right way to utilize him.

76ers owner: Brett Brown deserves an ‘A’

Brett Brown
Leave a comment

Only one person in NBA history has coached as many games as Brett Brown and had a worst winning percentage.

The 76ers coach, who sports a 37-127 record, is trumped by just Brian Winters. Winters went 36-148 with the expansion Grizzlies and during interim stint guiding the Warriors.

Brown is entering the third season of his four-year contract, and Philadelphia general manager Sam Hinkie has been mum about an extension.

76ers owner Josh Harris is taking a similar approach, but he also says a lot of nice things about Brown.

Harris, via John Finger of CSN Philly:

“It’s probably not appropriate for me to talk about specifics about what the negotiations are with him,” Harris said during a media conference on Thursday at the team’s training camp at Stockton College.

“I give Brett an A for the job he’s done,” Harris said. “He’s been an incredible player development person, which is what we need at this point in time. He’s a great person to be around. He’s enthusiastic and he’s a born coach and a leader of men. I’m very impressed with Brett and I hope and expect Brett to be around the team for a very long time.”

Brown has done a fantastic job keeping this team engaged through losing and developing its young players. It’s not his fault Philadelphia stinks. Tanking is an organizational decision.

But the 76ers aren’t tanking forever, and soon, they’ll require a different type of coaching.

Is Brown up for it? No idea. He hasn’t had any chance to prove it.

After all he’s done, though, he probably deserves a chance to find out.

Thabo Sefolosha found not guilty

Thabo Sefolosha
Leave a comment

Thabo Sefolosha clearly believed in his innocence.

The Hawks wing rejected a plea deal of only day of community service and six months probation. That probably would have been easier than a trial.

But Sefolosha opted to fight the charges – misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Today, he was vindicated.

Robert Silverman:

Sefolosha, who missed the playoffs due to a leg injury that seemingly occurred during his arrest, has made his case clear: New York police targeted him because he’s black. Given everything else we know about policing habits, that’s certainly believable.

We’ve also seen video of multiple officers literally pulling Sefolosha in different directions and one striking him in the leg with a nightstick. We don’t know what preceded that video, but especially given the information revealed at trial, it’s difficult to justify that use of force.

This verdict probably sets up Sefolosha’ to sue the NYPD.