The NBA: Broken in Brooklyn

Deron Williams is frustrated at his team for committing the same mistakes
over and over. Will it be enough to send him elsewhere in the offseason?
 *Unless otherwise specified, all images are from the Associated Press.

"It's hard to play like that. It's hard to play. I don't want to say you can't get up for games because, of course, you want to win every time you step on the floor. But when you're trying to make the playoffs…"
—Deron Williams, on the reality that the Nets probably won’t make the playoffs

You almost get the feeling Deron Williams has had enough, that he’s given up.

Which is all but saying bye bye Brooklyn.

Of course, NOT getting Dwight Howard didn’t help things.

And now that the Nets are losing games left and right (three-game slump, and they’ve lost 6 of their last 10), it seems there are less and less reasons for D-Will to stay.

Even if he thinks the new stadium waiting in Brooklyn is going to be the best in the league. 

Despite how brand-spanking-awesome the new Barclays arena is bound to be, however, there’s still no hiding how frustrated Deron has been with the team he’s leading.

Sure, Kris Humphries is having a career season, MarShon Brooks is a promising young bronco, and Gerald Wallace is as good a two-way player as you’ll get, but how can Deron really appreciate all these silver linings when New Jersey is currently 7.5 games behind 8th place in the East and when they are just a .319 team?

They may have enough cap room to get the NBA player equivalent of a mid-major when June swings around, or, better yet, maybe trade a piece or two for another budding star, but things just don’t look very rosy for D-Will and his Nets.

Dwight Howard was supposed to join him here. He was supposed to build the next great “super team” in the league that would challenge the dominance of the Miami Heat and rival the star power of the New York Knicks. New Jersey’s media people were supposed to be preparing super-sized banners of Dwight and D-Will and dreaming of deep playoff runs.

Instead all they have is a team a little better than the one with which they started the season, coming together a little too late. And the only bona fide star in the team is trying his best to hide his misgivings by drumming up their new arena.

All the Big Apple-sized ambitions of the Nets have been shattered and scattered.

They’re bound for Brooklyn next season, maybe a better team, but certainly not brilliant team.

Just broken –broken in Brooklyn.

After the JUMP, March 19 & 20, 2012 stat-stuffers:

March 19, 2012 Scores:
PHI over CHA, 105-80
Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young tallied 20 points apiece to lead the Philadelphia 76ers over the Charlotte Bobcats. Lou Williams added 19 points and 5 assists, Elton Brand scored 16 and Spencer Hawes recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds to snap a three-game losing streak for the Sixers. With the win, the Sixers swept the Bobcats for the first time since Charlotte's inaugural campaign in 2004-05.

BOS over ATL, 79-76
Ray Allen scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half and sparked a fourth-quarter run that helped the Celtics hold off the Hawks. The win, aided by Kevin Garnett's 16 points and Rajon Rondo's 10- point, 13-assist effort, pushed Boston to 3-3 on its eight-game road trip. Atlanta, looking to extend a two-game winning streak, was led by Joe Johnson's game-high 25 points.

CLE over NJN, 105-100
Tristan Thompson scored 27 points, fellow rookie Kyrie Irving had 26 and the Cavaliers downed the Nets. Thompson added 12 rebounds, Irving handed out 7 assists and Antawn Jamison had 13 points and 13 boards for the Cavaliers, who halted a three-game losing streak. Gerald Wallace, recently acquired from Portland, finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds for New Jersey. Deron Williams had a team-high 28 points while Kris Humphries chipped in 13 and 11 rebounds. The Nets have dropped three straight and five of six overall.

CHI over ORL, 85-59
John Lucas scored 20 points in place of injured guard Derrick Rose to lead the Chicago Bulls to a convincing victory over the Orlando Magic. Chicago, playing without Rose for the fourth consecutive game, got a big night from Carlos Boozer, who recorded a double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds to help the Bulls secure their NBA-best 19th road win of the season. Dwight Howard led the way with 18 points and 12 boards for Orlando, which saw a four-game home winning streak come to an end.

DAL over DEN, 112-95
Dirk Nowitzki scored 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting and the Mavericks snapped a seven-game road losing streak with a thorough spanking of the Nuggets Center. Nowitzki also added 11 rebounds and 6 assists in the win, Dallas's fourth straight on the heels of a three-game slide. Arron Afflalo netted 24 points to lead Denver, which welcomed back Wilson Chandler on a losing note.

MIN over GSW, 97-93
Kevin Love had 36 points and 17 rebounds, leading the Timberwolves over the Warriors. Luke Ridnour added 11 points and Anthony Tolliver had 10 for Minnesota, which halted a three-game slide. Golden State retired Hall of Famer Chris Mullin's No. 17 jersey at halftime and fittingly overcame a 17-point deficit during the contest before eventually dropping its fourth straight game. David Lee had 25 points and 9 rebounds while recently-acquired Richard Jefferson scored 19 for the Warriors, who played their fifth straight game without shooting guard Stephen Curry.

March 20, 2012 Scores:
IND over LAC, 102-89
Danny Granger netted 25 points and pulled down 8 rebounds to help the Pacers down the Clippers. Tyler Hansbrough poured in 17 points off the bench for Indiana, which snapped a two-game skid. Blake Griffin paced Los Angeles with 23 points and 10 boards. The Clippers have lost three straight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

NYK over TOR, 106-87
Amar'e Stoudemire poured in 22 points and ripped down 12 rebounds as the New York Knicks remained perfect under interim head coach Mike Woodson with a victory over the Toronto Raptors. Jeremy Lin added a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists to give the Knicks their fourth consecutive win. DeMar DeRozan scored 17 points to lead the Raptors, who dropped to 2-3 to wrap up its five-game road trip.

MIA over PHX, 99-95
Chris Bosh had 29 points and 8 rebounds as the Heat downed the Suns for their 14th straight home win. LeBron James added 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists for the Heat. Miami's last loss at AmericanAirlines Arena came on Jan. 22. Grant Hill scored 19 points as the Suns saw their four-game win streak come to and end, but are still 9-3 since the All-Star break.

HOU over LAL, 107-104
Goran Dragic's 16 points included the tie- breaking three-pointer as Houston used a furious fourth quarter run to take down the Lakers. Dragic also handed out 13 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds while Luis Scola and Courtney Lee netted 23 points apiece for Houston, which snapped a two-game skid. Kobe Bryant had a game-high 29 points but made just 10-of-27 shots from the field for Los Angeles, which dropped its second straight on the heels of a five-game winning streak.

UTA over OKC, 97-90
Paul Millsap scored 20 points to lead six Utah players in double figures as the Jazz held off the Oklahoma City Thunder. Al Jefferson tallied 16 points, Devin Harris added 15, and Gordon Hayward and Jamal Tinsley netted 11 points apiece for the Jazz, who completed their fourth straight victory. Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 23 points and Kevin Durant added 18 for the Thunder, who have now dropped two of their last three.

MIL over POR, 116-87
The Bucks finished with six players in double figures, including Drew Gooden, who poured in 19 points to lead Milwaukee to a blowout of the Portland Trail Blazers. Carlos Delfino tallied 16 points as Milwaukee notched its sixth consecutive victory. LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews scored 21 points apiece and pulled down 12 and 9 rebounds, respectively for Portland, which has now dropped four of its last five.

SAC over MEM, 119-110
Marcus Thornton erupted for 31 points and also had 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals as the Kings defeated the Grizzlies. DeMarcus Cousins poured in 23 points and Isaiah Thomas netted 18 with 7 assists for Sacramento, which won its third straight and snapped a four-game skid against Memphis. Rudy Gay paced the visitors with 23 points and all five starters scored in double figures, but it was not enough for the Grizzlies, who have lost three of four.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
March 19: Kevin Love (MIN) – 36
March 20: Marcus Thornton (SAC) – 31

Marcus Thornton and the Kings continue to be
a dangerous team despite probably not
making the playoffs.

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
March 19: Kevin Love (MIN) – 17
March 20: Jason Thompson (SAC) – 13

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
March 19: Rajon Rondo (BOS) – 13
March 20: Goran Dragic (HOU) – 13

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
March 19: Rajon Rondo (BOS) – 6
March 20: Mario Chalmers (MIA) – 5

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
March 19: Greg Stiemsma (BOS) – 4
March 20: Serge Ibaka (OKC) & Ekpe Udoh (MIL) – 4

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
March 19: A LOT with 4!!!
March 20: Wesley Matthews (POR) – 5

Wesley Matthews looks to have more playing time now that
Gerald Wallace has been traded to New Jersey.

March 19, 2012 First Five
C – Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) – 33pts, 11rebs, 6asts, 3 treys, 1blk
F – Carlos Boozer (CHI) – 24pts, 13rebs, 4stls, 2asts
F – Kevin Love (MIN) – 36pts, 17rebs, 3 treys, 2asts
G – Gerald Wallace (NJN) – 27pts, 12rebs, 1ast, 1blk
G – Kyrie Irving (CLE) – 26pts, 7asts, 5revs, 3 treys, 1stl

Honorable Mention:
Tristan Thompson (CLE) – 27pts, 12rebs, 1ast, 1blk
Thaddeus Young (PHI) – 20pts, 6rebs, 2asts, 2blks, 1stl
David Lee (GSW) – 25pts, 9rebs, 3asts, 1stl

Daily Zap:

March 20, 2012 First Five
C – Chris Bosh (MIA) – 29pts, 8rebs, 2stls, 1ast, 1blk
F – DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) – 23pts, 5rebs, 4stls, 3asts, 2blks,
F – Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) – 22pts, 12rebs, 2asts, 1stl, 1blk
G – Marcus Thornton (SAC) – 31pts, 7rebs, 6asts, 3 treys, 3stls
G – Goran Dragic (HOU) – 16pts, 13asts, 7rebs, 2stls

Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat are looking to make a crack
at the #1 seed in the East.

Honorable Mention:
Jeremy Lin (NYK) – 18pts, 10asts, 3rebs, 1stl, 1blk
LeBron James (MIA) – 20pts, 8rebs, 6asts, 2stls, 2blks
LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) – 21pts, 12rebs, 2asts

Daily Zap:


*Game recaps were compiled and compressed from the Sports Network.
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