New Jersey Nets WiretapDecember 2001 New Jersey Nets Wiretap

MacCulloch Pushes Nets to Win

Dec 30, 2001 1:38 PM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When they had the opportunity to deliver a knockout punch Saturday, the Indiana Pacers swung and missed.

Indiana squandered a seven- point lead in the final 2:32 of regulation and lost 98-93 in overtime to New Jersey Nets before a raucous crowd of 17,023 at Continental Airlines Arena.

Tags: Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

Can't catch as catch can

Dec 27, 2001 2:08 PM

The Cavaliers are becoming a fourth-quarter team, but that is not a compliment. The trend lately has been that the snooze alarm doesn't go off until the fourth.

Last night, for the third time in eight days, the Cavs stormed back from a huge deficit. And once again it wasn't enough, as they fell to New Jersey 91-89 at Gund Arena.

``I read 'em the riot act after the game,'' Cavs coach John Lucas said.

Lucas looks every day at the NBA standings. He sees W for wins. He sees L for losses. He does not see M for morale victories.

The Cavs on Dec. 19 at Boston battled back from a 23-point deficit to get within three points in the final minute but lost. The Cavs last Saturday against Indiana overcame a 14-point deficit to close within two in the final minute. Last night, they trailed by as many as 25 points in the third quarter and 13 in the fourth before getting within two on three occasions in the final 1:26.

``We couldn't get anything going until late in the game,'' Lucas said. ``That's what bad teams do. It looks like it's a good game at the end and you say, `Oh, you got a chance to win.' ''

Lucas, who called what he saw last night ``garbage,'' was most displeased with what happened after the Cavs got the ball back with 30 seconds left and down 89-87. During the next 26 seconds, the Cavs (11-17) didn't take a timeout nor did they get the ball into the hands of guard Wesley Person, the team's best shooter.

``We've got to get smarter,'' Lucas said.

First, guard Ricky Davis missed a 19-foot jumper. Point guard Andre Miller got the rebound and missed an off-balance baseline jumper. Forward Chris Mihm missed a tip, but Miller got the rebound.

Miller passed to forward Jumaine Jones on the right side. Person was open on the other side, but Jones didn't see him and missed a 3-pointer.

``I thought I had a good look, but Wesley had a better look,'' said Jones, who had a career-high six blocked shots. ``I didn't see Wesley until after I shot it. When you have a guy who's one of the best shooters, you want him to take the last shot.''

The Nets (17-9) then had no problem finding their best player. They got the ball into the hands of point guard Jason Kidd, who was fouled. He locked up the game by hitting two foul shots with 3.4 seconds left.

With Nets forward Kenyon Martin serving a one-game suspension, Kidd had a phenomenal outing with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists. Kidd, who shot 11-of-21, scored the Nets' last nine points, including a pivotal 3-pointer that put the Nets ahead 89-84 with 1:08 left.

``I like to have the ball at the two-minute mark,'' he said. ``I would like to have it in my hands to decide if we're going to go down or if we're going to win. Hopefully, I'll make the shots.''

Put a hold on any talk of Miller trying to get to Kidd's level as he again was outclassed in their matchup. Miller had 13 assists but shot 6-of-17 for 14 points.

``To be compared to Jason Kidd is a compliment,'' Lucas said. ``But right now, New Jersey is 3-0 against our team, and Jason Kidd has been the difference in all three games.''

With forward Lamond Murray out with a bad back, Lucas tried to make a difference by inserting 7-foot-3 center Zydrunas Ilgauskas into the starting lineup. Ilgauskas, who had 15 points and 12 rebounds in 25 minutes in what Lucas called an ``average'' performance, did make his presence known by scoring four points in the first 6:30 as the Cavs took a 13-4 lead.

For the next two quarters, though, nobody could help the Cavs. They were outscored 60-26 during a stretch that led to the Nets taking a 64-39 lead with 9:10 left in the third.

``We were sluggish,'' Davis said. ``We need to jump on it from the beginning. We weren't together as a team.''

It didn't help matters that Davis had a brutal first three quarters, scoring two points. He was so bad that Lucas actually played Trajan Langdon in front of him.

But everything changed in the fourth quarter when Davis shot 4-of-5 for eight points. He was so confident that he waved Mihm to get out of the way so he could drill a jumper.

``Luke just called a few plays for me, and I got myself back together and helped the ballclub,'' Davis said.

Davis helped the Cavs make an impressive second-half run. Trailing 84-73 with 4:40 left, they went on an 11-2 run to get within two, at 86-84, on a layup by Mihm with 1:26 left.

But it turned out to be another sequel to which Lucas gave thumbs down.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

Cavs' rally runs out of steam

Dec 27, 2001 2:05 PM

Ricky Davis shares the same view as his teammates when it comes to what the Cavaliers need to change at the start of their games.

"We need to come out and jump on teams like we're losing before the game starts," said Davis. "We need to jump out like we're mad at somebody."

The Cavs rallied from a 25-point third-quarter deficit and came within two during the final 50 seconds but came up short in a 91-89 loss to the New Jersey Nets last night at Gund Arena.

Chris Mihm led the Cavs with 19 points. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who played a season-high 25 minutes, had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Wes Person added 16 points, and Andre Miller had 14 points and 13 assists.

Jason Kidd led New Jersey with 27 points and 13 rebounds. He also came up big for the Nets (17-9) as he did against the Cavs (11-17) in two previous meetings.

"Jason Kidd is one of the best point guards in the league, and he has been the difference in all three games," said Cavs coach John Lucas.

But before Kidd was the difference-maker last night, the Cavs stormed back from being down, 64-39, with 9:10 left in the third. The Cavs rallied and trailed by 11 heading into the fourth.

Davis added some punch to the Cavs' late effort. His back-to-back jumpers cut the Nets' lead to six. Person's jumper cut it to four. Person came back with a perfect inside pass to Mihm, who caught the ball in stride and made the layup for an 86-84 deficit with 1:26 left.

"The main thing is that we didn't quit," Person said. "They had a big first quarter and we came back in the second half. We had a chance. All we had to do was execute."

That chance slowly began to fade once Kidd regained control. He dribbled through the Cavs' defense, went underneath the basket and dribbled out to the right wing.

"I dribbled through their defense because I was just exploring, like I always do," Kidd said.

"Then, once things settled down, and they thought I was going for a layup, I had it in my mind to take the three."

And he did.

Kidd splashed the shot, giving the Nets a five-point lead. Person answered with a trey on the Cavs' next possession for a two-point deficit with 47 seconds left. Then the crowd came to its feet when Miller and Mihm deflected a pass.

Miller brought the ball up court, and the Cavs got four shots at the basket before Kidd came up with the ball and was fouled with 4.1 seconds left.

"It was crazy," Davis said. "We were down two with a few seconds to go and we were scrambling for a shot. We had good looks, good shots and some good tips and it just didn't go in. It's just a matter of playing hard before we get to those situations."

Kidd iced the win with consecutive free throws for a four-point lead with 3.4 seconds left.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

Ban Won't Change Martin

Dec 27, 2001 11:24 AM

Kenyon Martin insists his hit on Karl Malone that resulted in the league imposing a one-game suspension, was nothing more than a hard foul. And the penalties are not going to change the way he plays, which includes giving hard fouls.
"It was a hard foul. I wasn't trying to hurt nobody. [But] the league didn't take it that way," said Martin, who last night here against the Cavs served his ban for his flagrant penalty II foul. "That's the way I play. That's me. I'm still not going to stop being aggressive for anything. That's just the way I play."

Tags: Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

Suspension no suprise, says Martin

Dec 27, 2001 7:48 AM

Kenyon Martin claims that he wasn't out to hurt Utah's Karl Malone, but he knew the league would not see it that way.  The play, of course, is the now infamous clothesline on Malone from behind on a layup in the fourth quarter of Utah's win against New Jersey, an action which saw Martin suspended one game and fined $7,500.

"I ain't trying to hurt nobody," said Martin."  The league didn't take it that way so that is why I'm sitting here."

"There was already a little tension there anyway, it can't do nothing but add fuel to the fire," Martin said referring to the encounter between Malone and Nets coach Byron Scott the previous time the two sides met.

Tags: Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

Nets Take Shots at Malone

Dec 26, 2001 11:49 AM

If Karl Malone thought the nastiest shot he took from the New Jersey Nets came courtesy of Kenyon Martin on Saturday night, he was wrong.
Martin was suspended for one game and fined $7,500 Monday for flagrantly fouling Malone with 1:37 left in the Jazz's 104-90 win.
But Martin's cheap shot was only the beginning for Malone, whose team returns to action tonight (7 p.m., FSN) against Boston at the Delta Center.
Before the NBA announced that Martin has been fined and suspended, Nets president Rod Thorn accused Malone of melodramatics when he crashed after being clotheslined on the way to the basket.
"I don't think anything else should be done," Thorn told reporters. "Karl Malone is a great player, but he was playing it up. When he was down, he was smiling."
Thorn called the play "just a hard foul."
New Jersey coach Bryon Scott seemed to dismiss the flagrant foul as a reasonable response to what Martin and the Nets deemed unfair officiating.
"When you feel you're getting the short end of the stick," he said, "sometimes your emotions get the best of you."

Tags: Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

Opinions vary on Martin's malicious hit on Malone

Dec 24, 2001 3:09 PM

From the time Kenyon Martin cleaned Karl Malone's clock Saturday night, it seemed likely some sort of suspension and/or fine was in store.
Opinions on the violent play in the final two minutes of the Jazz's 104-90 victory over the New Jersey Nets, however, really did run the gamut.
Malone himself had no firm thoughts regarding what punishment he felt the NBA should impose on Martin, who clotheslined him with what looked like a swing directed at the head as the fast-breaking Malone elevated for a late-game layup.
Malone did, though share what sort of suspension he figured he'd be facing had he been the guilty party.
"Probably four or five games, at least," said Malone, who fell hard to the floor front-first, but rose uninjured after several scary moments.
Nets teammates defended Martin, who essentially had no comment after getting ejected for committing a type-2 flagrant foul.
"Kenyon tried to swipe at the ball, and he hit Karl in the head," Jason Kidd said. "I think he was trying to make a play on the ball, and Karl was going to the basket. He wasn't trying to hurt Karl."

Tags: Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

Nets' Thorn: Kenyon's Foul Was Fair Enough

Dec 24, 2001 10:04 AM

Rod Thorn knows when he sees a foul worthy of a suspension.

And he believes Kenyon Martin's flagrant II foul on Karl Malone Saturday night should not warrant such a penalty for the Nets second-year forward.

"I thought it was a hard foul but I don't think it was as bad a foul as when (Charles) Oakley fouled Vince Carter last week, which was a flagrant II," said Thorn, the Nets president who used to handle such issues for the NBA when he was the league's executive VP of basketball operations.

"I think (the Oakley foul) was a harder foul and there was no suspension. There have been other flagrant IIs this year and no suspensions. I'd be very surprised if there was (a suspension)."

Thorn also noted that Malone wasn't hurt by the foul. Of course, Thorn is no longer the man in charge of discipline. That job belongs to Stu Jackson, who reviewed the matter yesterday. The Nets (16-9), who have lost two straight, play their next game on Wednesday at Cleveland.

Tags: Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

Suspension for KMart?

Dec 24, 2001 1:03 AM

Liz Robbins of the New York Times reports that the NBA is reviewing the videotape of Kenyon Martin's flagrant foul on Utah's Karl Malone on Saturday night and will have a decision soon on whether Martin will be fined or suspended.  A decision is expected in a couple of days.  

Martin was behind Malone on the fast break. He tried to stop Malone's shot by taking a swing at him from behind. He hammered the right side of Malone's neck and face, sending the 240-pound power forward toppling to the floor.  Martin was assessed a Level 2 flagrant foul, which is a flagrant foul with excessive contact.

Martin is a player with fiery emotions. "I don't play angry, just very aggressive," he said last month.  Team president Rod Thorn said, "I would be very surprised if there were a suspension," adding that "I think Kenyon is making a reputation as one of the best defensive forwards in this league. I'm very happy with the way he's competed, and his energy is a big part of why this team has been successful."

Tags: Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

No Kidding: Nets have turned corner

Dec 20, 2001 12:19 PM

When the New Jersey Nets talk about their 180-degree turnaround this season, they don't Kidd around.
Kerry Kittles, Kenyon Martin and Keith Van Horn -- three-fifths of the team's starting lineup -- are finally healthy. Four rookies have injected youth. Todd MacCulloch, now starting at center, has added size and depth.

But the biggest change comes in the team's shortest package: 6-foot-4 point guard Jason Kidd.

"Jason has turned our team around,'' Nets coach Byron Scott said recently. "Our system is tailor-made for Jason because we want to run a lot and he has the ball in his hands 90 percent of the time and makes good decisions. It's amazing the way this guy can dominate the game. He doesn't have to score. You just don't see many guys in this league that are able to do that.''

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets, NBA

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