Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brooklyn Nets: Know Your Team - #4; The 80's

From the desk of:   THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

September 2011

BROOKLYN NETS: Know Your Team - #4
New Jersey And The 80's:
Chocolate Thunder

For me, the first half of the era back in New Jersey was highlighted by Chocolate Thunder.  He was most known for busting the league's glass backboards.  Darryl Dawkins was a highlight unto himself.  Fans and the media couldn't wait for him to do it again.  Acquired from Philly, Darryl Dawkins played five seasons in New Jersey.  He enjoyed his career year during the 1983-1984 season, when he averaged sixteen points per game.  For his size, he should have rebounded more.  Back problems saw to it he didn't.  Over his last three seasons in New Jersey, the big guy could never stay healthy enough to power the Nets far into the playoffs.

But the New Jersey Nets real stars were Otis Birdsong, the classy Buck Williams, and the troubled Sugar Ray - Michael Ray Richardson.  In supporting roles were Albert King, Mike Gminski, and Darwin Cook.

The Nets would be Sugar Ray's last NBA team.  He began his career with the New York Knicks.  His mastery on the court was only undone by the demons he fought off it.  I witnessed him play and can attest to his superior skills on a basketball court.  Before the Nets, he had a brief stint with Golden State.  After the Nets and his banishment from the NBA, Michael Ray Richardson would revive his career overseas in Europe.

Since Buck Williams' 1981-1982 rookie season and ever after, the Nets forward exuded professionalism.  For almost all eight seasons in a Nets uniform, all he did was play over eighty games a season.  As a member of the Nets, he twice led the league in games played and led the league in minutes played once.  Buck was not only a workhorse, he was a rebounding machine.  He led the league in offensive rebounds during the 1983-1984 regular season.  For seven of his eight seasons between 1981 and 1987, Buck averaged a double-double in points and rebounds.  Over those seven seasons Buck averaged seventeen points and twelve boards per game.

Buck Williams' #52 has been retired by the organization.

2012-1013 Pre-Season:
Game One - Nets 108; 76ers 105  o.t.
Pre-Season Game Three Final:
NETS   97
Celtics  96
COACH AVERY'S HEROES:  Up in Boston, the Nets took on the Celtics in pre-season game number three.  Paul Pierce was the game's high scorer with twenty nine points in twenty seven minutes played.  Rajon Rondo played thirty five minutes.  Kevin Garnett played fourteen minutes.  Jeff Green kicked in fourteen points off the bench.
After riding Deron Williams and Joe Johnson rather hard Monday night in the Barclays Center opener against the Wizards, Coach Johnson gave all his starters a rest Tuesday evening against the Celts.  Williams and Johnson joined Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace, Marshon Brooks, and Kris Humphries as non participants.  Avery's Heroes were called to action in their place.
Six players clocked in over twenty minutes against Boston.  Getting it done for Brooklyn this evening was Tyshawn Taylor, who led the team with five assists.  Reggie Evans cleaned up on the boards leading the Nets with ten rebounds.  Seven came on the defensive end.  Then Andray Blatche pulled down another five rebounds on the offensive glass, and nine overall.  Carleton Scott chipped in with seven more off the bench.  Together, they helped the Nets win the rebounds battle by a 41-35 margin.
Indeed, Andray Blatche continued with his third consecutive strong game.  He led all Nets scorers with twenty three points.  Mirza Teletovic followed with eighteen points.  With 0:04 seconds left in a 96-96 deadlock, Mirza hit one of two free throws to put the Nets ahead of Boston by a point.  The Nets finally won their third straight game on a final Celtics missed three point attempt.


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