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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Feb 14, 2011 at 11:51:57 PM

Avery Johnson hopes to build a team the way his mentor and former coach Gregg Popovich has in San Antonio. But the Nets are eons away from the Spurs.

You knew it before the two teams played each other last night, and the Nets didn’t do anything to make you believe they’re one or two players away. Maybe they are if those two players are Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.

The Spurs dominated the Nets inside and out, trouncing them, 102-85, in a game that had San Antonio’s greatness and New Jersey’s shortcomings on full display.

It’s a credit to Popovich and the Spurs’ stars that they didn’t take this game lightly when they could have. They have the NBA’s best record, are near the end of a long Rodeo road trip and are playing one of the worst

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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Feb 13, 2011 at 06:48:26 PM

...And the Nets just got out to Landry Fields.

It could have been Sally Field, the Nets probably still would have been late on their rotations and contesting shots. That’s how far away the Nets were from the shooters in their 10-point loss to the Amar’e Stoudemire-less Knicks.

The Nets won’t be as lucky tomorrow night when the Spurs come in healthy and well rested, sporting an NBA-best 45-9 mark.

The Spurs enjoyed such a laugher in Washington that Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker played 39:16 – combined. But these are the games you have seen the Nets get up to play.

I’m not saying the Nets are going to win, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s competitive based on some of their performances against the Lakers, Celtics, Magic and Mavs.

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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Feb 13, 2011 at 12:00:07 AM

NEWARK, N.J. - The Nets will tell you this game is one of the reasons they’re moving out of New Jersey. They had their first full house of the season and most of the fans were cheering for the opposing team.

Naturally, there were more Knicks fans at The Rock. The Knicks fans always come out in droves in New Jersey. The Nets think it’s going to change when they move to Brooklyn, but that’s in the heart of Knicks’ country.

The only way, if there is a way, for the Nets to beat the Knicks is by beating them off the court. In other words, the Nets have to do whatever they can to make sure the Knicks don’t get Carmelo Anthony.

The Knicks didn’t have Amar’e Stoudemire last night and they handed the Nets a 105-95 loss at the Prudential Center that

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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Feb 10, 2011 at 12:12:50 AM

The Nets haven’t been in this kind of game in a long time, one that could have gone either way, and one that came down to late-game execution.

The Nets made just enough plays to beat the Hornets 103-101 in overtime and end a three-game losing streak. Just enough.

The past six Nets’ games were lopsided; all of them decided by double-digits. But this was a nail-biter last night. They looked like they were going to win early in the fourth quarter and then appeared they were going to lose in the final minute.

Then they got it to overtime and looked like they were going to pull away, but had some lapses and almost let it slip away. In the end, the Nets breathed a huge and collective sigh of relief after this bench-led victory.

“Nobody really got rattled tonight, which is

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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Feb 8, 2011 at 05:08:56 PM

Mikhail Prokhorov is not walking through the Prudential Center doors to make another bold announcement, so the Nets will just have to find it from within to come out and play hard from the opening tip.

It’s amazing that a team with 15 wins doesn’t play with energy all the time, especially at the start of games. There is no reason and no excuse for not being ready to play.

Nets coach Avery Johnson will be around much longer than most of the players, so it doesn't help their standing with the team to start sluggishly. You can say that many of them were almost traded anyway, which is true, but you still have to be professional. You are recognized for your play.

Devin Harris remarked that maybe guys have to change up their routines or work out differently before the game.

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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Feb 6, 2011 at 05:54:38 PM

The Nets had a chance to show some pride and the ability to bounce back from some losses that as a competitor have to stick with you. Instead they just added another bad performance and outcome to a rather depressing resume.

The Pacers – not the Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, and the Davis brothers' Pacers, but the team led by Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert - have beaten the Nets by 51 points twice in the last 10 days.

The Super Bowl Sunday afternoon 101-86 trouncing wasn’t as bad as the 32-point demolition Indiana put on the Nets last week. But many were left scratching their heads or hanging them and coach Avery Johnson looking for answers.

“We’re just in a bad little cycle right now, mentally and physically,” Johnson said. “Hopefully

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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:51:29 PM

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Nets seemed to be very upset after Friday’s 92-82 loss to the Pistons, and rightfully so. They weren’t upset with anyone but themselves, which could be a good thing if they finally do something about it.

Many times there is indifference in the Nets’ locker room. Often times there is more smiling and laughing than there should be.

Many times, the Nets feel they’re getting closer to putting together some wins. They feel good about how they played despite a loss. They weren’t even kicking themselves all that much after losing by 32 points last weekend in Indiana and 10 points the next night in Milwaukee.

But after this one, you could see the disgust in some guys faces, including Brook Lopez, who hasn’t been down on himself

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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Feb 2, 2011 at 11:51:26 PM

Avery Johnson couldn’t answer the question before the game and couldn’t stick around for the whole game.

The Nets coach lost his cool and was thrown out of Wednesday’s 106-92 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers for arguing. But his team’s performance contributed mightily to Johnson’s first technicals and ejection as Nets coach.

If it was a tight game, Johnson may not have run onto the court and right at young official Brent Barnaky after Devin Harris didn’t get a call in the third quarter. But Johnson wanted to incite his team because for stretches of this game they looked as if they were running in mud. Other stretches they appeared to be running in concrete.

The Nets’ lackluster performance was predictable, which was why Johnson was asked about

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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Feb 1, 2011 at 12:12:19 AM

Carmelo Anthony came, saw placards of what the new arena in Brooklyn will look like, and the Nets conquered.

This was easily their most significant win of the season and how they beat Anthony and the Nuggets, 115-99 last night at the Rock, made it even more significant.

Brook Lopez, the only untouchable, had a strong game with 27 points. But it was everyone else, many of them involved or affected by the Anthony talks, that showed tremendous pride and desire and put forth some of the better efforts of the season.

It started with Devin Harris. The Nets’ captain was nearly traded to Denver twice and it definitely had an impact on him. After Mikhail Prokhorov said the Nets were out of trade talks for Anthony and cancelled a meeting with the Nuggets star, Harris’ game and focus

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Posted by: Al Iannazzone on Jan 30, 2011 at 07:49:56 PM

All eyes will be on Carmelo Anthony on Monday night and many ears will be listening to what he says pregame and to hear what kind of reaction he gets from the Prudential Center crowd.

Anthony never came out and said he didn’t want to play for the Nets, only the Knicks. But that seems to be the belief because of things that have been written and said throughout this long, drawn-out process that many think officially came to an end when Nets principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov instructed management to back out of talks for Anthony.

Believe what you want about whether the Nets are in or out. My feeling is they’re out until Denver brings them back in – with Prokhorov’s approval, of course.

There remains the chance that Anthony will re-sign with the Nuggets. They have

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