Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Ratner’

Morning shootaround — Dec. 3


VIDEO: Highlights from games played Dec. 2

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Jennings open to bench role | Traditional big men explore 3-point line more | Report: Prokhorov close to deal to get full control of Nets

 

No. 1: Jennings more than open to bench role — The Detroit Pistons won last night against the Phoenix Suns, moving them to No. 10 in the Eastern Conference (and a half-game back of the No. 8 spot) as of this morning. They have picked up some big wins this season — against Cleveland at home, on the road vs. Miami, a 2-0 series edge on Atlanta — but are an inconsistent bunch. Point guard Brandon Jennings is on pace to return to the team in three to four weeks and while Reggie Jackson has entrenched himself as the starter, Jennings isn’t about to rock the boat for his own benefit. Terry Foster of The Detroit News has more:

Brandon Jennings spends too much time on the Internet. He heard from Pistons fans that he might not be a good fit coming off the bench for the Pistons.

He will be rusty. His ego is too big. He is accustomed to being a starter.

That makes Jennings bristle. He sees a young team with potential. He sees a starting unit that is bonding and making things work. The last thing he wants is to disrupt things when he returns to the lineup in three weeks.

“I am not going to mess up the chemistry,” Jennings said. “The starters have chemistry and they have been playing well. If I can come off the bench and help out, then why not?”

“Always in my head (I am a starter),” Jennings said. “But sometimes you’ve got to take the back seat and do what is best for the team.”

And if he never starts?

“I want sixth man of the year,” Jennings said.

Jennings coming off the bench is best for the Pistons. This bench has been inconsistent at best and at least twice cost the Pistons wins.

Forward Stanley Johnson is emerging as its best player. He is coming off a nice 19-point, 10-rebound outing against Houston. If the Pistons can pair Jennings with Johnson, they can become the two J’s crew and get the Pistons through rough spots, particularly in the late third and early fourth quarters.

The Pistons need Jennings but do not want to rush him. He works daily to strengthen his left calf and work on conditioning for a Christmas return. Jennings shoots every day and has gone through every workout except five-on-five scrimmages. He believes his offense will come, but Jennings mostly works on his movement to be a more competent defensive player.

“I am tired of shooting by myself,” Jennings said. “I am tired of not playing one on one with anybody.”

And he is tired of being patient.

“I am feeling pretty well,” Jennings said. “I am more confident. I still have to be patient. That is the main thing. I have been learning patience the whole 10 months.”


VIDEO: Reggie Jackson powers the Pistons past the Suns

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The Doors Are Open In Brooklyn

BROOKLYN — It’s been nine long years since Bruce Ratner presented his idea for an arena in Brooklyn to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. So you’ll excuse Ratner if he was so excited that he repeated his opening line at Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony to express how important this was for him.

“We are finally here to celebrate the grand opening of the Barclays Center arena,” Ratner said, and then said again. Then the lights came on and the long-awaited Barclays Center was there.

There’s no doubt that this was Ratner’s day, but the star of the show was the Brooklyn Nets’ new home. It’s much better located than the old Izod Center in East Rutherford, with 11 subway lines and the Long Island railroad stopping right outside. It’s much more permanent than their stopover in Newark. And it may be the best building in the NBA.

There are some that will certainly have issues with the rusted exterior. But because the floor is below street level, the building doesn’t dominate the neighborhood vertically. And once fans are inside, they can’t help but to be impressed.

The open concourse and luxury suites are pretty standard for modern arenas. The real signature of this building will be the large atrium at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush, which takes fans right up to the arena bowl at the top of the lower level. From there, you can check on the game before you make your way to your seat.

The bowl itself is vertical, giving the arena an intimate feel. It’s a far cry from the cavernous Meadowlands that the Nets used to call home. And if crowds can help a home team win basketball games, this one certainly will.

The Nets needed a good team to bring to their new arena. And clearly, their new arena played a part in bringing the players — starting with Deron Williams — that will make up a pretty good team. Now, they’re less than six weeks away from opening night against the Knicks.

The doors are open. Brooklyn has its team. And the Nets have a place they can be proud to call home.