Mar 29, 2005 2:24 PM EST
The New Jersey Nets beat the Charlotte Bobcats last night to sweep the season series 4-0. This win was coming off of a two game slide against Memphis and Minnesota. New Jersey still sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, seemingly forever 2.5 games back of the 8th seed. This is their last chance to stand up and claim a playoff spot. They are done with playing Western Conference teams after the forthcoming Clipper game on Wednesday and can focus on winning within their conference. No more crazy travel, no more dominant big men to contend with, just go out and win.
The Nets have 11 games left (6 home, 5 away). They play two back-to-backs, including the last two games of the season. They play the Clips at home, at New York , home for Orlando, at Cleveland, home for New York and Boston, at Indy, at Toronto, home for Philly and Washington, and finishing up in Boston. I will begrudgingly give the Nets a 7-4 record. Many of these teams are fighting for the same thing so the games will be highly contested. Plus, the Nets are relying on Vince Carter to score into the thirties every night in order to give them a chance to win. He might be great, but that is hard to ask.
Mar 29, 2005 2:18 PM EST
Now with the Miami Heat, center Alonzo Mourning says he is sorry if Toronto fans feel ?duped? over him not playing for the Raptors after being sent there as part the Vince Carter trade with the New Jersey Nets.
?I knew I wasn't going to win in Toronto,? Mourning said.
"I apologize," Mourning said in his first public discussion of the Dec. 17 trade which made him a Raptor ? at least theoretically?and sent Vince Carter to New Jersey. "That was my main purpose of not stepping foot in Toronto at all, not to raise anyone's hopes or anything like that.
Mourning is adamant that the Toronto staff was made aware by the New Jersey execs that there was a good chance Mourning would not report to the club.
"I'm 35 years old and I've been a part of rebuilding teams and considering my health situation, I didn't want to be in a situation where I was going to waste my time out on the court," Mourning said.
"I want a reward for my efforts and I'm not saying Toronto didn't have the talent to get into the playoffs, especially if I had come there to contribute but it's not about getting into the playoffs for me any more. I'm at a stage in my career where I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to do this so if I do it, I want to do it on a level where I can see a reward at the end of it."
Mar 29, 2005 12:53 AM EST
Vince Carter scored 39 points as the Nets barely beat the Charlotte Bobcats 95-91 on Monday.
``It was important for us to find some energy, so I just tried to get us started early,'' Carter said. ``Once I got going and got double-teamed, it opened things up for everyone else. In the situation were in, we have to have the mentality to get off to a fast start.''
``Vince is an All-Star, we all know he's going to get his, but we still had a chance to win,'' Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace said. ``If you execute and do what you have to do on the offensive end, you can still win. We didn't do that tonight.''
``You have to find a way to win, and they are not all going to be masterpieces, especially coming off two losses,'' Lawrence Frank said. ``Winning on the road is not easy, and Charlotte competes hard every night.''
Mar 26, 2005 4:51 PM EST
Sam Cassell scored 23 points in just 22 minutes on Saturday afternoon to lead the Timberwolves to a 96-75 blowout of the New Jersey Nets.
``We'll see how everything shakes out,'' said coach Kevin McHale, declining to be more specific.
Said Cassell: ``If he decides to put me back in the starting lineup, that's fine. But it doesn't matter who starts, it's who finishes. I know I'm going to be on the court in the fourth quarter.''
``I know for a fact I'm a starting point guard in this league,'' Cassell said. ``I'll do what this team needs me to do right now. I've been hurt for a while, and I need to make up for lost ground. That's what I'm trying to do.''
Vince Carter scored 16 points for the Nets.
Mar 24, 2005 11:01 PM EST
Lorenzen Wright and Jason Williams each scored 20 points and the Memphis Grizzlies shot 70 percent to end the New Jersey Nets' five-game winning streak with a 105-96 victory Thursday night.
James Posey added 12, Bonzi Wells had 11 and Earl Watson and Pau Gasol each had 10 as Memphis continued their hot streak, winning for the ninth time in 12 games.
Vince Carter led the Nets with 22, Nenad Krstic had 21 and Rodney Buford 15. Jason Kidd had 12 points and 12 assists.
Mar 23, 2005 4:47 AM EST
Jason Kidd told the New York Post that he is playing out the season under the belief that Richard Jefferson will be unable to return.
"I don't foresee RJ coming back," Kidd said. "You've got to go with the team you have. I've been in this situation once before with Penny [Hardaway] in Phoenix. Especially in this part of the season, to count on one person coming back, that's a lot to ask from one guy."
Jefferson still believes that he will be able to play again this season, in an attempt to help the Nets reach the playoffs.
"Of course. Those are my plans," said Jefferson, who underwent left-wrist surgery Jan. 20. "That's what I'm working every day toward. That's what I'm pushing myself toward. If it doesn't happen, it won't be because I didn't try. It's because my body didn't allow it."
Mar 21, 2005 6:06 AM EST
In the first game of a home-and-home, the New Jersey Nets defeated the Indiana Pacers by a final score of 94-85. The win was the Nets' fourth in a row.
Vince Carter scored 39 points, including 14 in the third quarter.
``We wanted to see how they would play me. We wanted to see how they would react to us and see where we could attack them,'' Carter said. ``I just continued to attack and we stuck with what worked.''
``With that performance out there, I'm not sure we want to see Vince Carter again. But that's the schedule,'' Anthony Johnson said. ``We've got to go out and do better against him.''
Mar 19, 2005 5:28 PM EST
In the race to make the playoffs and avoid the dreaded 8th seed and a date with Miami, the middle teams of the East are looking for that magic end-of-the-season run.
The New Jersey Nets have seemingly gone through many seasons in this 2004-05 campaign. So many lineups, so many players, so many injuries, and so much inconsistency. Yet, on the heels of a 3-game winning streak, and with the inconsistency of the teams around them, they are very much in the playoff hunt. For me, making the playoffs as the eight seed is pointless. You might as well load up for the lottery instead of being the sacrificial lamb for the Heat. However, there is a good chance of getting even as high as the sixth seed right now.
The Nets sit 4 games back of the sixth seed Indianapolis Pacers. Coincidently, the Nets have a home-and-home with the Pacers starting in Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon and finishing up in Jersey on Tuesday night. They will play one more in Indianapolis in late April. The Pacers continue to give Rick Carlisle the effort but without Artest or O?neal, and with the urgency of the games for New Jersey, the Nets need to take care of business if they are serious and poised for the playoffs.
The Nets are 3.5 games back of the seventh seed Chicago Bulls. New Jersey swept the season series 4-0, so there is not much more that they can do themselves to gain ground on the Bulls. The Bulls are quite young, however, and might just slip up themselves.
Mar 19, 2005 5:18 AM EST
In an effort to shake things up and turn around their dismal season, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan changed up the starting lineup. The result? A 94-80 loss coming at the hands of the New Jersey Nets.
Andrei Kirilenko did a pretty good job defending Vince Carter when he was in, when Kirilenko was on the bench, Vince was able to do as he pleased.
"When I got back in the game, it was like 20 points," Kirilenko shrugged. "I can [only] talk for myself - I'm just trying to come every night and try to do good job defensively, I think I did good job on Vince Carter tonight. . . .
The Jazz have now lost 8 straight games.
Mar 16, 2005 5:26 AM EST
Richard Jefferson began working out as Nets' practice was winding down on Tuesday.
"It's like riding a bike. You never forget how to do it," Jefferson said. "It feels so good to get out here and shoot the ball."
In addition to some physical therapy, he is only allowed to shoot baskets.
"[Jefferson] wants to get right back in there," said Nets' GM Ed Stefanski, who was on hand yesterday. "I've talked with him and explained that he cannot rush back. But you know Richard. Who knows how much of that he heard? That's why we love him."
"I can't push it. I'm just gonna continue working out and hope that I can get back out there as soon as possible," Jefferson said. "One positive is that I'm about a week or so ahead of schedule."
"It was great to see [Jefferson] out there with us," Jason Kidd said. "But we need to focus on the upcoming games right now. He's not even close to being ready. So we need to go out there with what we have and start up a winning streak."
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