Brooklyn Nets: All-Star Game

Lopez replaces Rondo as All-Star

January, 30, 2013
1/30/13
5:16
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Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez will be heading to Houston after all.

Lopez was selected by NBA commissioner David Stern to replace Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, the league announced Wednesday.

This is Lopez's first All-Star selection. He is currently the only player in the NBA averaging at least 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game. He leads all NBA centers in scoring (18.6 ppg) and ranks fourth in the league in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul.

But despite being Brooklyn's most consistent player this season, Lopez finished 14th among East frontcourt players in the fan balloting and was not selected by the East coaches as a reserve. Many felt he was the biggest omission out of the players who were not selected.

The Nets (27-18) are 25-13 with Lopez in the lineup, but went just 2-5 without him when he missed seven games with a sprained foot.

The All-Star Game will be played in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17.

Rondo injured his knee last Friday and will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The fans voted him in as an All-Star starter. The East head coach, who will be determined Sunday, will select Rondo's replacement in the starting lineup. Point guards Kyrie Irving of Cleveland or Jrue Holiday of Philadelphia are the likely candidates.

Lopez becomes the 13th All-Star in Nets franchise history.

All-Star audition for Lopez, D-Will

January, 28, 2013
1/28/13
11:42
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Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez heard the chants and saw the signs.

Still, being named as a replacement for Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference All-Star team isn’t one of his main concerns.

"I’m just thankful that we have support out there like that," Lopez said after scoring 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting and grabbing five rebounds in his team’s easy 97-77 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday night at Barclays Center.

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"But I'm not really thinking about it, honestly. I was busy getting ready for this game, and we’ve got Miami coming in in two days."

Many thought Lopez should’ve already made his first All-Star team as a reserve. But Rondo’s season-ending ACL injury has given him second life.

NBA commissioner David Stern will name Rondo’s replacement.

"Definitely [Brook’s] an All-Star this year," said Nets point guard Deron Williams, another candidate to be named to the roster. "It’s just unfortunate because everybody on the team deserved to be on the team, but now there’s a spot, so there’s still a chance that he can get in."

Nets fans who attended Monday night’s game better hope Stern tuned in. Seven of them seated behind the basket held up letters that spelled out "A-L-L-S-T-A-R." The crowd also chanted "All-Star" at Lopez.

"I have no clue why we don’t have an All-Star," Williams, who had made the past three All-Star games, said. "That’s not really my concern. We’re just concerned about winning basketball games."

"I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m not trying to come out and prove anybody wrong," said shooting guard Joe Johnson, who had made the past six All-Star teams. "I’m just coming out and having fun like we’ve been doing for the past month or so and trying to get a win."

• This is the first time in franchise history that the Nets have won 11 games in two separate months in the same season (they also won 11 in November).

• Williams hit the 20-point plateau for the 12th time this season.

Reggie Evans grabbed double-digit rebounds for the team-leading 18th time this season and did so without scoring a point for the third time this season.

Keith Bogans set a season-high with four 3-pointers. His 12 points led all of Brooklyn’s bench scorers.

• Brooklyn’s reserves outscored Orlando’s 41-14.

• The Nets shot 50 percent or better from the field for the sixth time this season.

D-Will: I'm not having an All-Star season

January, 15, 2013
1/15/13
12:04
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams is a three-time All-Star.

But he doesn't think he has done enough this season to merit a fourth selection.

[+] EnlargeDeron Williams
Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images Deron Williams scored 20 points in last season's All-Star Game.
"I just think there's people playing better than me," he said Tuesday.

Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo disagreed.

“I consider Deron an All-Star. ... I think he’s playing very well,” Carlesimo said.

Carlesimo then joked: “I’ve said this 15 times: Deron gets asked too many questions, and consequently gives too many answers. I just think that you guys should give Deron a month off and not do interviews. Then he’ll be fresh and he’ll have better answers.

“He’s like a coach, really. You get the same silly answers from coaches because you ask the same questions in the morning, in the afternoon and after the game. Deron’s the same way. He gets asked more questions and has to answer more, so he’s gotta work on his answers. I don’t like his answers a lot.”

The All-Star starters will be announced Thursday night on TNT.

Williams, 28, is averaging 16.8 points, 7.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds a game. He's shooting just 40.9 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from 3-point range.

Williams has been plagued by minor injuries and fatigue, while also struggling with his confidence. "I haven't taken a break since before I went to Istanbul [in 2011, during the lockout]," he reiterated.

He also wasn't a fan of Avery Johnson's offensive system. Williams has been a different player since Carlesimo took over.

During Brooklyn's six-game winning streak, Williams has looked like an All-Star, averaging 19.5 points, 8.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 48.3 percent from 3-point range.

Fan voting for the All-Star starters ended Monday. As of the latest returns at the beginning of January, Williams trailed Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo by more than 325,000 votes in the race to start alongside Dwyane Wade in the East backcourt.

Coaches vote for the reserves. Based on statistics, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (23 points per game) and Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday (18.8 ppg) are having better seasons than Williams. But given that there aren't that many All-Star-worthy backcourt players in the East, Williams might somehow find his way onto the team.

Nets center Brook Lopez has a strong case for being selected as a reserve. Lopez, the only player in the NBA averaging at least 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game, has never been an All-Star.

Lopez 14th in All-Star East frontcourt voting

January, 7, 2013
1/07/13
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez is playing like an All-Star this season. But it doesn’t appear as if any NBA fans have noticed.

As of the latest returns on the fan balloting, Lopez ranks 14th among Eastern Conference frontcourt players -- behind the likes of New York Knicks power forward Amar'e Stoudemire (who has played three games this season due to injury) and Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum (who has yet to play a game this season due to injury). So Lopez, 24, is going to need help from the East coaches in order to make the team as a reserve.

[+] EnlargeBrook Lopez
Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsBrook Lopez is playing like an All-Star this season, but fans don't seem to notice.
"To me, he’s definitely an All-Star," Nets point guard Deron Williams said. "He’s playing like one on both ends of the floor. He’s a big reason why we’re playing well right now. He’s a constant threat for a double-double, and you throw in those blocks that he’s getting every game, he’s playing so good for us right now."

Lopez, who has never made an All-Star team, is having the best season of his career, averaging 18.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks on 52.3 percent shooting. He ranks fifth among all NBA players in PER. The four players in front of him? Miami Heat small forward LeBron James, Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant, New York Knicks power forward Carmelo Anthony and Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

"I can’t lie and say I wouldn’t like to make the team," said Lopez, who missed seven games with a sprained right foot (the Nets went 2-5 without him). "I’d definitely enjoy that. But my goal is to help the team be the best team it can be."

This is the first season that the league took away traditional positions -- i.e., center, forward and guard -- and replaced them with frontcourt and backcourt.

"The rule change hurts him, and it’s disappointing to me after all those other years," interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "That’s just the way it is. I’m not a fan of fan voting to begin with, so the fact that in addition to that, they took the position away. It is what it is, you know?

"I have confidence, regardless of what happens with the fan vote, that the coaches are going to pick those other seven spots. For the most part, the coaches get it right."

Asked about Lopez being so low in the voting, Carlesimo said, "I haven’t looked at it, so I’m gonna say one of -- if he’s not one of the best centers in the league, I’m crazy. There’s no question he is. But I don’t think you can worry about the fan vote. Hopefully the other 14 coaches in the East will see what he’s done."

Nets' starting five on All-Star ballot

November, 13, 2012
11/13/12
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All five of the Nets' starters are on the 2013 NBA All-Star ballot.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson can be voted in as East guards, while Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace can be voted in as East frontcourt players.

Voting began at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and will end Jan. 14.

The starters will be announced Jan. 17 on TNT. The game takes place in Houston on Feb. 17.

Johnson has played in every All-Star Game since 2007, but will have to do a lot better than 13.6 points on 36.2 percent shooting if he wants to make it a seventh straight time.

D-Will has played in every All-Star Game since 2010, and will be seeking his fourth consecutive appearance.

Wallace was an All-Star in 2010. Lopez and Humphries have never made the team.

Rapid Reaction: D-Will named All-Star

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
7:18
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WHAT IT MEANS: Nets point guard Deron Williams was named an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve on Thursday night, and will participate in his third career NBA All-Star Game (2010, 2011, 2012) on Feb. 26 in Orlando.

HOW IT HAPPENED: D-Will ranks 12th in the NBA in scoring (20.9 points per game) and tied for fifth in the league in assists (8.6). The Nets are just 8-19, but in their eight wins, he's averaging 26.5 points and 10.3 assists. Williams was off target early in the season but has picked it up since, and is currently shooting 41 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range.

IMPRESSIVE: Williams is the only player in the NBA averaging more than 20 points and eight assists per game. He has scored 30-plus points four times. Williams' 11 points/assists double-doubles are tied with Steve Nash and Ricky Rubio for the most in the NBA.

DON'T FORGET: Center Brook Lopez (broken foot) has been injured all season, so Williams hasn't had any sort of post presence. Shelden Williams is the only Net to play in all of the team's first 27 games. D-Will has been criticized for his poor body language and has also made known his dislike for Prudential Center. Still, given the lack of talent around him, D-Will has put up solid numbers.

THE QUOTE: "It's an honor to make the All-Star team," Williams said Wednesday night. "It's always great to go down there and take part in All-Star weekend. The festivities are great. I think the NBA does a good job putting on these events, and it's a great thing to be a part of.”

THE TWEET: “Congrats to @DeronWilliams on making the 2012 NBA ALL STAR GAME. Well deserved.” -- Nets GM Billy King

THE EAST: Starters first:
G Derrick Rose, Chicago
G Dwyane Wade, Miami
C Dwight Howard, Orlando
F Carmelo Anthony, New York
F LeBron James, Miami

G Joe Johnson, Atlanta
G Deron Williams, New Jersey
C Roy Hibbert, Indiana
F Chris Bosh, Miami
F Luol Deng, Chicago
F Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia
F Paul Pierce, Boston

THE WEST: Starters first:
G Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
G Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
C Andrew Bynum, L.A. Lakers
F Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
F Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers

G Steve Nash, Phoenix
G Tony Parker, San Antonio
G Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
C Marc Gasol, Memphis
F LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland
F Kevin Love, Minnesota
F Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Joe Johnson
PTS AST STL MIN
15.7 3.7 0.9 35.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 7.0
AssistsD. Williams 6.3
StealsJ. Jack 1.2
BlocksB. Lopez 1.6