Nets Notebook: Bench scoring igniting current hot streak

Andray Blatche
Andray Blatche has been a key contributor off the bench as of late.
Credit: Getty Images

Many things can explain why the Nets have won 10 of their last 11 games — continuity, lineups, improved play and better effort — but maybe none more so than the bench’s offensive contributions.

Brooklyn’s reserves were held to 27 points in the 96-80 loss at Toronto on Jan. 11 but the group has posted the following point totals since: 43, 50, 52, 74 and 47. During that stretch, that group has shot 53.4 percent (101-of-189).

“The bench has been big for us the last five games,” head coach Jason Kidd said. “They have been first in a lot of different categories but it just shows the depth of this team being able to count on guys — Mirza [Teletovic], Dray [Blatche], A.K. [Andrei Kirilenko]. With Deron [Williams] part of that group and Jason Terry, it’s good to have if we get off to a slow start to put that second group in.”

All of those mentioned by Kidd have had significant contributions at some point throughout this month.

Teletovic entered a sluggish game and scored 24 of his career-high 34 points Friday against Dallas. Blatche led the Nets with 17 points in Sunday’s emotional win at Boston when the team pulled out an 85-79 win while shooting 39.3 percent.

Williams has been playing close to 30 minutes since returning from his latest ankle injury and Kirilenko has done things not often in box scores.

The Nets talked about their depth during training camp and preseason but it did not come to the forefront until now. Some of the burden has been lifted from a starting unit playing at a 90.51-point pace this month, among the slowest in the league.

Rebuilding still on menu for Raptors

Don’t let the record fool you, the Raptors are still in rebuilding mode. They came into this season looking to further push along the development of various players such as center Jonas Valaciunas and Terrence Ross.

So how do you explain the fact that the Raptors are over .500 and have led the Atlantic Division for most of the last month?

The record is a byproduct of development, according to head coach Dwane Casey.

“I haven’t lost sight of that,” he said before last night’s game. “Where we are, who we are and where we have to go [is part of that].”

The Raptors began this season with Rudy Gay on the team but since trading him to Sacramento in a seven-player deal on Dec. 8, they have won 16 of 25 games, including a 96-80 home win over the Nets on Jan. 11. That deal was viewed as the precursor to tanking in order to land the top overall draft pick and was expected to precede a potential trade of point guard Kyle Lowry to the Knicks.

The inability of the Knicks to acquire him, however, does not mean Lowry won’t be moved. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported the Raptors are still pursuing trades for the unrestricted free agent.

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.