Nets Week 18 Newsletter

Upcoming Games

Tonight at Raptors: Coverage on YES & the YES App begins at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday at Timberwolves: Coverage on YES & the YES App begins at 8:30 p.m.

Monday at Grizzlies: Coverage on YES & the YES App begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday at Magic: Coverage on YES & the YES App begins at 6:30 p.m.

Tipping Off

In Kevin Ollie, the Nets have a new voice leading them as they come out of the All-Star break. He takes over as interim head coach following Monday’s dismissal of Jacque Vaughn, who compiled a record of 71-68 in parts of three seasons with Brooklyn. Speaking to the media Tuesday, Sean Marks said that Ollie, who was previously an assistant under Vaughn, has “carried a great voice” in the locker room and that the goal is for Ollie to “get some movement” for his team over its final 28 regular season games. The 21-33 Nets will resume play 2.5 games behind Atlanta for the last spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament that is going to determine the East’s final two postseason entrants. You can watch Marks’ media session in its entirety on the YES App.

Nets Notes

Prior to joining the Nets’ staff ahead of this season, Ollie spent two years as head of coaching and basketball development for Overtime Elite. He previously served as head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Connecticut from 2012-18, including the Huskies’ NCAA National Championship season of 2014. Mikal Bridges leads Brooklyn with a season average of 21.7 PPG, followed closely by Cam Thomas at 21.2 PPG. Nic Claxton is one of seven players in the East averaging at least ten rebounds per game, and despite missing ten games earlier this year he is one of eight NBA players with 100 total blocks. Cam Johnson returned to action in the Nets’ final game prior to the All-Star break after missing Brooklyn’s previous four due to a left adductor strain. Jalen Wilson capitalized on his first extended run as an NBA player just before the break, shooting 50.0 percent from the field over the Nets’ last five games and averaging close to 26 minutes on the floor, a span that included the 23-year-old rookie’s first career start. Tonight’s game will be a reunion between Dennis Schröder and the Raptors, who dealt the veteran guard to Brooklyn just before the trade deadline earlier this month.

Know The Foes

Having traded core players like Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby along the way, the Raptors own a season record of 19-36 and sit 2.5 games behind Brooklyn in the Eastern standings. Led by the trio of Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, the 39-16 Timberwolves are 1.5 games ahead of Oklahoma City for the best record in the Western Conference. Following an active trade deadline as they play on without Ja Morant, who is out for the season after having surgery on his right shoulder in early January, the 20-36 Grizzlies won their final two games prior to the All-Star break after losing nine in a row. At 30-25, the Magic are hoping to return to the postseason after three years on the outside looking in; Orlando is only a half-game behind sixth-place Indiana for the last guaranteed playoff spot in the East.

A Dazzling Fact

Brooklyn is his first head coaching opportunity in the NBA, but Kevin Ollie knows his way around the Association! During a 13-year playing career that ran from 1997-98 through 2009-10, Ollie appeared in games for 11 different franchises including the Nets, for whom he played early in the 2000-01 campaign. Here’s that number again – he’s one of just 11 players in NBA history to appear in at least one game for 11 organizations! The all-time record is held by Ish Smith, who is currently with Charlotte and has played for 13 different franchises. If you want to look up Ollie’s statistics, remember: the Sonics and Thunder count as one franchise. Watch the Nets on YES and the YES App to see how Ollie shapes the team over the remainder of the season!