Another week and another Monday edition of the Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish, where the Nets value Jared Dudley in a plethora of ways beyond the court.
Welcome back to the Brooklyn Nets Morning Dish, where we’re looking at the many positives that came out of a weekend that was less than successful on the scoreboard.
To follow Nets Twitter is to get a sense that fans don’t really appreciate new Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley all that much. The mere mention of his name seems to be a trigger for some fans.
While operating on the Nothin’ But Nets handle during Sunday evening’s game against the Golden State Warriors, even an innocuous mention of the 33-year-old veteran prompted a negative response.
At one point in the second half Sunday, the Warriors went small — without a true big on the floor — and Nets coach Kenny Atkinson responded by deploying Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at the 4 and Dudley became the de facto center for the unit.
I pointed out that Dudley, early in his career, had played a significant amount of time at the shooting guard and was now being deployed as a very-small-ball 5 — an indication of how much the NBA game has changed over the course of Dudley’s career.
But Dudley’s teammates and coaches are much more appreciative of having the 12th-year pro around.
Atkinson told Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders last week that it isn’t just the younger players — and on this Brooklyn roster, that means every player not named “Jared Dudley” — who are learning from the veteran when asked about Dudley’s impact on the club.
“Huge. And for the coach too, right? The young coach, he’s been in the league longer than I have. I learn things from him every day … his spirit and his enthusiasm and he’s a positive dude. You learn more from players than you do from coaches. He’s a real sharp guy.”
Dudley debuted in the NBA with the then-Charlotte Bobcats in 2007. Atkinson came into the NBA as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks in 2008.
“They’re young guys that want to learn, so when you tell ’em, they don’t have an attitude. High energy, high work-ethic type guys.
“Caris is getting better each day. D’Lo’s learning because he’s still playing the point guard position different. And then Jarrett Allen man, I mean he’s expanded his game to shoot the 3. We demand a lot out of him. As far as his development goes, this team will grow.”
On the floor, Dudley has been a contributor as well, starting all six games thus far and averaging 6.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 25.8 minutes per game on .467/.409/1-for-2 shooting and showing a knack for keeping the ball moving at the offensive end.
Because all things are eventually retro
John Sterling, much more well-known as the voice of the New York Yankees, will take a trip down memory lane on Dec. 16 when he calls the play-by-play on YES Network with the Brooklyn Nets face the Atlanta Hawks, per this Newsday report.
Sterling is no stranger to the Nets’ booth, having served as their play-by-play guy from 1975-80 when they were the New York Nets at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale the first two seasons and the New Jersey Nets playing at Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J., the final three.
Sterling is iconic, in that he’s done what he’s done for the Yankees for a very long time. But even as a Yankees fan, I’ve always found that screaming madman thing at the end of New York victories a crime against humanity.
So, yay, nostalgia … I guess.
LeVert says the Brooklyn Nets are no joke
Caris LeVert came to the Brooklyn Nets in 2016 after his draft rights were acquired from the Indiana Pacers and he’s been through the worst of times in the recent rebuilding process — a 20-win season the Nets endured when LeVert was a rookie.
They got better in his second season, winning 28 games, and now in his third year, LeVert has been the breakout star for Brooklyn, averaging 21.3 points per game and becoming the guy the club looks to when it needs a bucket.
LeVert was interviewed in a Q&A with Steve Serby of the New York Post that was published Saturday and said the days of the Nets and their fans being the punch line are over.
“We’re a young team, we’re still fighting to get better every single day, but you can definitely be encouraged about the future, can be encouraged about the present, because I think in years past, a lot of people were kind of mocking Nets fans and Nets players and things like that, but I think those days are over.
“We’re becoming a good team, somebody that people have to respect. And just stay with us, because we’re definitely gonna be very exciting this year and in the future.”
LeVert and the Nets showed they deserved some respect Sunday, when they came back from 19 points down against the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors to get to within two points in the late going. LeVert scored 23 points, canning 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
D’Lo marks the spot
D’Angelo Russell has been positively on fire from 3-point range in his last two games, hitting 11-of-17 from deep.
For the season, he’s at 48.6 percent from long range and Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype pointed out that Russell has been one of the best spot-up shooters in the NBA this season.
The fourth-year guard is averaging 5.7 points per game in spot-up situations, with is in the top 10 in the Association.
Russell hit six 3s against the Warriors on Sunday after canning five in New Orleans Friday night, marking just the second time in his career he’s made five bombs in consecutive games, per Nets PR via Nets Daily.
It was the first time he’s done so since joining the Nets. The last time Russell turned the trick was Jan. 1-3, 2017, as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.