The NBA announced this today:
NEW YORK, February 4, 2011 – New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson hasbeen fined $25,000 for improper conduct towards a game official surroundinghis ejection, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive VicePresident, Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred with 7:47 remaining in the third quarter of the Nets’106-92 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at the Prudential Center in Newark,N.J. on February 2.
Johnson was ejected after arguing a no-call on a Devin Harris turnover that led to a fast-break basket for the 76ers. It was Johnson’s first ejection of the season. The Nets were down by 13 points when Johnson got ejected, and went on to lose the game by a final score of 106-92.
A couple of days ago, when asked if he dreamed of coaching someone like Carmelo Anthony, Nets coach Avery Johnson had a snappy comeback:
“No. I dream of our center getting 10 rebounds.”
Wednesday night, in the fourth quarter of a close battle with the Phoenix Suns, the Nets ran few plays for Lopez even though he was guarded by the smaller Channing Frye. Then with three minutes to go and the game still very much undecided, Johnson benched Lopez.
Which led Lopez to say some things on the bench that, well… watch the video yourself (via Deadspin) but we’re pretty sure Mama Lopez didn’t teach him those words. (It was Robin, he’s a bad influence.)
Whatever dramatic shakeups the Nets front office is planning, Lopez and Johnson are part of the future of the franchise. Together. Coach and star center. Maybe roles need to be more clearly defined, maybe Lopez works best as a second or third option, but whatever the case these two need to get on the same page. Or it won’t matter who they bring in to play along side them.
Another sign that the Carmelo Anthony trade is not on the fast track…
Starting Wednesday night the Nets head out on one of those grueling four-games-in-six-days road trips to the West Coast. Johnson said his roster likely will not be shaken up during the trip.
“This is the team that will be playing on the whole road trip,” Johnson said.
Johnson backed off the comment when asked if that meant a potential trade was on hold.
“I don’t make guarantees,” he said. “That’s not my job. I don’t make guarantees. No. I don’t even know if I was that good when I was in the media at making predictions. I had a few right, and the few that I got right I let everybody know about them consistently. But the other ones that I didn’t get right, we don’t talk about those. The point is, we’re going to have this team throughout the road trip…”
“I know what’s going on behind the scenes,” Johnson said. “So, just because somebody else reports something, I know what the truth is.”
Part of that is standard coach-speak — “we play with the guys we’ve got” — but there is some logic to it as well.
If at all possible, the Nets would want to hold of on any trade until the end of the trip (and they have been the ones pushing for a speedy resolution). Half the Nets roster would be moved in the deal as proposed and when traded players have 48 hours to report to their new team and pass a physical — which means on a road trip the Nets could have a game or two where they had barely enough players to field a team.
The core of the proposed trade would send Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton to New Jersey; bring Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, plus other players and picks to Denver; and Troy Murphy and Johan Petro would go to Detroit along with picks. There are a lot more players and moving parts here, with as many as 15 players involved. The sticking point is Al Harrington and his contract — the Nuggets want to dump it and nobody wants to take it.
The day was coming.
If the Nets weren’t 9-25 it might have come later — Kris Humphries has played pretty well as the starting power forward for the New Jersey Nets and put up a 12 points and 14 rebounds last game.
But at some point No. 3 pick Derrick Favors was going to be come the starter.
That time is tonight, against the Chicago Bulls, Al Iannazzone of the Bergan Record tweeted. Nets coach Avery Johnson said, “it was just the right time.”
Um, just the right time is against Carlos Boozer? Pretty tough way to start.
Favors, considered a project as a draft pick who would not really blossom for a few years, has been more solid than many expected as a rookie. He is shooting 56.4 percent on the season, is grabbing 16 percent of the available rebounds when he is on the floor, and has been strong on the offensive glass. But what has really impressed — the reason he comes up in Carmelo Anthony trade talks — is Favors flashes crazy athleticism that he is just learning how to use. He could be an offensive force in this league (ESPN’s David Thorpe calls him potentially a young Amar’e Stoudemire). He’s also been a solid defender.
This is not a move about winning more games now; this is a move the Nets hope will pay off right about when they move to Brooklyn in two seasons.
Avery Johnson has provided the object lesson in just how porous the Nets defense has become.
Thursday afternoon he jumped into the Nets practice scrimmage, promptly drove the lane and scored over Johan Petro, according to a tweet from Al Iannazzone of the Bergin Record.
That would be 45-year-old, 5’11” (at best), out of the league seven years Avery Johnson having no problem shredding the Nets defense.
What more need be said.