(Sean Kilpatrick – @BrooklynNets)
The Brooklyn Nets’ season came to a merciful end, as they lost 103-96 to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night at Barclays Center.
Two Nets who finished the year strong had nice games to close the season. Bogan Bogdanovic led the Nets with 29 points on 10-17 shooting, 7-10 on three-pointers, five rebounds, and an assist. Sean Kilpatrick, who had a good final six weeks with the Nets after being brought in from the D-League, finished with 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
The Nets finished with a record of 21-61, and it was a season of transition, as Sean Marks replaced Billy King as General Manager. Head Coach Lionel Hollins and King were dismissed on January 10, signalling the rebuilding would commence. A month later, shooting guard Joe Johnson was bought out, and he later went to the Miami Heat.
The two building blocks the Nets have are Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, along with young prospects Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough. The rest of the roster is subject to a lot of change. Marks has his work cut out for him, as the Nets don’t have any draft picks for the next few seasons.
Nets Interim Head Coach Tony Brown said of his experience in the job, “All positive. Any time you get a chance to run a club from day-to-day, also manage a game, game-to-game, it’s just another notch on your belt as far as NBA experience as a coach. I’ve spent a lot of years doing it as an assistant coach but never – I’ve had a few times as a head coach before – but never for this long of a span. All of it is positive for me, and I appreciate the opportunity. I have to thank Mikhail Prokhorov for the opportunity to do it, and I will just try to build from it going forward. But I enjoyed it. I’m thankful for the process, having a chance to do it, and I don’t know what else to say.”
Brown said of being asked by management to make recommendations for the Nets roster going forward, “No. I mean, no one has asked me about that. I don’t really expect that. I think they have had enough eyes to see what’s going on out there on the floor and what’s going on in practice and seeing improvements in certain players, so I’ll let them be the judge of that. That’s why they were hired and I’m sure they’ll do that.”
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson said of how his first season in the NBA went, “I’m sure everyone knows I was injured. Aside from that, I feel like I did some pretty good things. There’s some things that I could’ve done a lot better, but I feel like it went well. I mean, aside from the losing and stuff – personally, myself.”
Hollis-Jefferson said of things he is looking to do this offseason, “I think any basketball player is going to work on his game, if you want to be good, if you want to be great. Definitely get into the gym a lot – live here. Just put in the work, put in the work.”
RHJ said of anything surprising him in his first year in the NBA, “No. Somebody asked me this before, but I feel like everyone talks about the NBA. You hear stories, you hear what to expect, so it’s like to come in and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t expect that.’ I don’t know the word for it. It wouldn’t add up to me because I feel like you hear so much. And people say, ‘Hey, you’re going to get this,’ or like ‘ Yo, when you’re guarding LeBron (James) you’re going to get posted up, he’s like help, help,’ and stuff like that. I would say no.”