Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson visited Jeremy Lin in the hospital after the point guard’s season-ending injury on opening night (Jeremy Lin/Instagram).
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The Brooklyn Nets’ 2017-18 season, much like Boston’s, was shaken from the very start when starting point guard Jeremy Lin went down with a scary-looking knee injury. Shortly after, it was announced the veteran guard would be sidelined for the rest of the season with a ruptured patella tendon. To discuss the implications of the devastating injury and much more, Sandy Mui, host of the Brooklyn Revolution Podcast, not to mention Brook-Lin.com assignment editor and writer at The Brooklyn Game, graciously joins Loren and Aaron. Particularly, she also pays close attention to the team’s youngsters, D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, among others, and some of the veterans exceeding expectations, like DeMarre Carroll. These selections below hit nothing but net:
5:00-5:15: “I think he [D’Angelo Russell] has looked great so far, aside from the fact that he’s struggled a bit with his passing and playmaking in these last couple of games, but we’ve already seen how high his ceiling can potentially be. In the first three games he played, he averaged 21 points, 4.3 points, 7 assists and 1.7 steals.”
9:25-10:50: “I was really heartbroken for Jeremy Lin too. You could see the look on his face after he fell down. He knew that this one was going to be bad…This is terrible news for a guy who only played 36 games last season. And now, he played less than 48 minutes for the entire season…As for the impact on the team, I’d expect, of course, more playing time for the young guys. Continue reading
Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls halted their five-game losing streak by defeating Charlotte Monday night (Jacob Gaertner/Creative Commons).
A particularly tumultuous period sees the Warriors and Cavaliers dropping to their lowest positions of the season. Meanwhile, every other team has moved up or down at least one spot except for the Clippers and Hawks, who remained at No. 8 and 12, respectively. A handful of sub-.500 squads are recognized for their strong recent play, as the Grizzlies and Bulls are punished for their sluggish performances over the past two weeks. One final fun fact: Last edition, Chicago came in at No. 15, a full 10 spots ahead of the Hornets. This time around, Chicago clings to a single-spot lead over Charlotte after edging the Hornets Monday night.
Biggest Jumps: Milwaukee Bucks (+6), Minnesota Timberwolves (+5), Washington Wizards (+4)
Biggest Falls: Chicago Bulls (-6), Memphis Grizzlies (-5), Dallas Mavericks (-4), Indiana Pacers (-4), Toronto Raptors, (-4) Continue reading
This season, Kemba Walker appears poised to make the first All-Star appearance of his career (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).
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The Charlotte Hornets’ reliable core is back this season and performing admirably despite some early-season streakiness. As usual, with a Steve Clifford-led team, the defense is generally stout and the offense is taking care of the ball. Nick Denning, editor for SB Nation’s At the Hive, rejoins the show to discuss Kemba Walker’s brilliance, Nicolas Batum’s multi-faceted game and more broadly why this fundamental, non-flashy team handles its business so well. All that and more on the show, but first some particularly buzz-worthy bites:
3:57-4:15: “100 percent convinced [Hornets head coach Steve Clifford is the right person for the job]. He’s perfect for this team. He’s created an identify for them and one thing that’s becoming pretty clear is that players like to play for him, and we’re not necessarily talking about stars, but a lot of good players like to go play for him just because he knows how to maximize their talent.”
5:01-5:30: “His [Kemba Walker’s] emergence has been really in the last couple of seasons. He’s just never really had the pieces around him to be effective because before it was like they had to rely on him; late shot clock, whatever it was, it’s like you gotta get the ball in his hands or else there’s no chance of scoring. Now, a few more pieces, they’re much better at moving the ball and whatnot, he’s able to do more of the things that he’s good at it, but he’s also improved himself a ton. He’s actually a better player than I thought he would be at this point.” Continue reading
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The crew interviews Doug Branson, host of Hive Talk Live, on the state of the upstart Charlotte Hornets. He expounds on the various factors that have led the team to overachieve this campaign after self-destructing near the end of last season. Chief among these are the play of Charlotte’s most valuable players, Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum, the invaluable contributions of glue guy Marvin Williams, remarkable bench play and the team’s 3-point shooting makeover.
1:40 – 2:30 on Courtney Lee replacing the unstable P.J. Hairston: “Courtney Lee provides a consistency at the starting wing position that the Hornets did not have with P.J. Hairston…There certainly were issues ever since he (Hairston) has been here with staying in shape, with having a professional attitude, with consistency on the court in terms of his 3-point shooting and defense…(He) was a situational starter in there to guard the other team’s best wing to basically give Nic Batum a chance to play well offensively in the fourth quarter.”
3:35 – 4:25 on how ready the Hornets management is to win: “Let there be no doubt: the Hornets are definitely in win-now mode. They were in that mode last season, and they were just hit with injury after to injury to key guy after key guy. We’ve seen the sequel to that movie this season, but, fortunately, Kemba Walker has been able to stay healthy…The goal has always been to win a playoff series. That’s step one, because the Hornets haven’t won a playoff series since the early 2000s…You can’t attract the free agents you need to take the next step (otherwise).”