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Bulls Q&A: Why is Michael Reinsdorf so positive about the rebuild? Is Patrick Beverley an ideal offseason signing?

There are 16 games to go. Do you know where your draft lottery positioning is? Oh, wait, you’re the ones asking the questions.

What is Michael Reinsdorf smoking and where can I find some? — Everyone, Chicago

I received roughly 1,283 responses to my interview with the Bulls president and chief operating officer. For those who missed it, Reinsdorf reiterated his faith in the management team of John Paxson and Gar Forman, confirmed — again — that Jim Boylen will return next season and expressed his optimism in the progress of the rebuild the franchise undertook when it traded away Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler.

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Most readers and e-mailers found it, shall we say, too positive.

I’d start by reminding that he did add there’s plenty of work that remains. Simply put: The Reinsdorfs believe in the roster construction ability of Paxson and Forman. Ownership watched the team management created from 2003-2005 when it first took over for Jerry Krause. And it watched cheap nba jerseys from china
management build another solid team around Derrick Rose from 2008-2010. In Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., the Bulls feel they possess four solid, frontline starters. The goal this offseason is to upgrade the point guard position and bench.

I’ve been wrong countless times before, but this nucleus to me has the feel of a slightly better version of that Luol Deng-Kirk Hinrich-Ben Gordon era. Good enough to win 50 regular-season games, make the playoffs but not compete for championships. For me to be wrong, LaVine and/or Markkanen have to be really, really, really good. And that’s certainly possible. The Bulls also could get lucky in this May’s draft lottery and/or pull off a free agency surprise.

That’s why, as they say, they play the games.

It’s been great to see Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen get some “free air” and continuity. For the first time, we’ve been able to have a sustained look at how the future might look with this team. While they look like really solid pillars and potential future All Stars that the team can build around, management has to be concerned with the diminishing play of Kris Dunn as the season has gone on. Do you think that this is the biggest concern for management moving forward and how do you see it playing out? Do you think Dunn will be in Chicago next year or will they go to the draft or free agency? — Andrew R., Melbourne, Australia

I think both will happen. I think Dunn will be in Chicago next season but I also believe management will try to upgrade the point guard position either via the draft or free agency. Dunn remains on his rookie deal. I think he’d make an excellent reserve — an athletic defender with energy. In fact, Boylen has started to stagger his minutes — with Ryan Arcidiacono, no less — to move him off starter’s minutes and playing some with the second unit. This allows Dunn to serve as a primary ballhandler more often and also in more pick-and-roll situations.

BROOKLYN NETS ALLEN CRABBE TO HAVE PRICE SCHOOL’S COURT NAMED IN HIS HONOR

LOS ANGELES — Last summer, Allen Crabbe’s financial contribution helped rescue the Frederick K.C. Price III Christian Schools, and Wednesday night the school’s basketball court will be named in his honor at a ceremony at the Los Angeles school. The small school of approximately 175 students, a neighborhood beacon with 100 percent graduation and college acceptance rates, was in danger of closing until Crabbe’s six-figure donation.

Crabbe’s interest in securing the future of his alma mater is personal. His aunt founded the school, which is located on the campus of the Crenshaw Christian Center, a congregation founded by his grandfather. The school is named for his uncle, who died as a child.

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“I simply was doing it because it was my family’s school,” said Crabbe. “Like I said they put a lot of hard work and dedication into building that school, and it’s been up for 20-plus years, I’ve had uncles, cousins, little cousins that still go there, my nephew still goes to school there. So just me being blessed financially and being in the position I’m in, you don’t want to see something that my family put a lot of hard work and dedication in when I have the financial means to help it stay open. So really, for me it was a family decision. Family looks after family. And like I said I come from a background where family is priority in my life. Family comes before anything. So I was just doing it simply out of that.”

Crabbe attended the school himself from pre-K through high school graduation and counts his childhood classmates as friends today. There was a time when he wouldn’t have minded going to a different school, maybe a bigger public school where he wouldn’t have the unique spotlight of being the family of the school’s founders and leaders.

“I think it was great for me,” said Crabbe. “Obviously I was a rebel at first, not really trying to be at my family’s school my whole entire life, but I feel like it paved the way for me. Grounded foundation, it was good.”

As a senior at Price, he was named California’s Mr. Basketball and the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year before going on to college in-state at Cal-Berkeley. The school previously retired his No. 23 jersey when he made it to the NBA.

“For my grandfather to create his legacy and everybody knows him as the pastor in the church, it’s kind of dope for me to create my own legacy within the family,” said Crabbe. “Not in the pastoral route, but with basketball. I kind of set the tone for others growing up to realize that when you make it to the NBA and all that money that you can make, it’s good to give back. I think it’s a really humbling experience. Now, that it’s closer to the ceremony getting here, I’m actually more excited. At first, it was like, ‘All right, that’s cool. They’re naming it after me.’ But now with all the work they’re putting into it and all the things that are going to happen during the ceremony, I think it’s really an exciting time for me.”

Crabbe’s contribution turned out to be just the first step. The attention that came with it generated more support, and Crabbe continues to keep a focus on further fund-raising.

“My donation, once people caught wave of it, started getting other people sending donations in,” said Crabbe. “I think it was just a stepping stone of something great. Obviously we’re putting things in, I’m still thinking of other ideas and things I can do to raise money for the school. It’s a work in progress still, but I’m going to do whatever it takes for it to stay open. My family is doing the same thing, looking for other donations outside of just me. But there’s other people who stepped up because of what I did.

“Other people have been donating money to the school, so I think it’s been cool. I was just doing it, something that I thought was small, helping out my family. Other people were like, oh wow, what he did was great, so I want to join in too. I think it’s headed in the right direction right now.”

5 takeaways from the Utah Jazz’s 114-98 win against the Brooklyn Nets

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz recovered from a slow start and never let up, beating the Brooklyn Nets 114-98. Behind 21-13 early, the Jazz took the lead on a 27-2 run that put them in control for the remainder of the contest.

Here are five takeaways from Saturday night’s win:

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Players and staff from the Jazz and Nets organizations alike came together in Vivint Arena to demonstrate their unwavering support for one another in the effort to combat and denounce racism in light of recent events both in Utah and around the world.

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The Jazz were able to make good use of their bigger players and bullied the undersized Nets throughout the game. Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors controlled the paint, forcing cheap nba jerseys 
bad shots and recording seven blocks between the two of them. Gobert scored 23 points with 16 rebounds, Favors scored 13 points with 12 rebounds. The Jazz outrebounded the Nets 64-44 and scored 48 points in the paint to the Nets’ 38.
Donovan Mitchell and D’Angelo Russell are two young guards who have established themselves as legitimate All-Stars with promising futures. Mitchell shined tonight with solid shooting and flashy plays. Leading the Jazz with 24 points, he pulled down six rebounds and provided four assists. Russell struggled shooting from the floor, but his impact on the Nets cannot be understated as his exit from the game correlated with the team’s early collapse. Russell scored 20 points, second-most on the Nets behind a 22-point performance by Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Jazz continued their season-long trend of dominating on defense, holding Brooklyn to 98 points and allowing it to shoot only 35 percent from the floor. Their defensive play has been the driving force behind the team’s three-game win streak and has set it apart from most other teams in the NBA.
The Jazz climb to 40-29 on the year and remain in seventh place in the Western Conference behind the red-hot Spurs, who have won eight straight. The Jazz hit the road for their next four games, facing some of the weakest teams the NBA has to offer. The Jazz will need to take advantage of their remaining schedule, which features only two teams currently above .500, if they want to move up in the standings.

Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics Live Game Thread: Hey, why not, right?

WHAT: A Nets are dealing with a TON of injuries, while the Celtics are finally getting healthy. The good news, though, is that the Nets are one of (or, the) hottest teams in the NBA right now. Maybe? Possibly?

WHERE: TD Garden, Boston, MA

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. EST

HOW: YES, NBCSB; NBA League Pass

THE STORY: Game Preview

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The Celtics have one of the deepest rosters in the league. Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, cheap nba jerseys
Terry Rozier. It’s kind of wild. Basically every guy they pull off the bench is either a seasoned vet, a talented young guy, or one of those players that makes the right plays and elicits the reaction Ugh, that guy? Really? This may be the kind of team that just takes the regular season to figure it all out and ramps it up come playoff time.

If the Nets want to steal a win and continue the winning streak, they’re going to have to bring it from multiple positions. At point guard we’re in a DLo boom and a Dinwiddie backseat period right now. That seems to be how it goes. Either one is killing it and the other is playing sidekick.

For more on the Celtics, check out: Celtics Blog

Marcus Morris and Kyrie Irving returned to practice today with the latter winning a post-practice shooting contest. All indications are that Irving will play against the Nets tomorrow night after missing the last two games of the homestand to a scratch cornea he suffered in San Antonio on New Year’s Eve. Morris is likely as well, depending on how his stiff neck feels on Monday. Morris left Wednesday’s game against the Timberwolves after 23 minutes of play, scoring 12 points.

In their brief absences, the Hospital Celtics are 2-0 with wins vs. Minnesota and Dallas. Terry Rozier has been solid as a starter and Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward have both turned in efficient games filling in for two of Boston’s top scorers. Irving talked about Hayward’s steady improvement and how his role as a playmaker will help the team going forward and “for not just this year, but a few years down the line.” It’s a developing process as the team looks to look toward the post-season:

We’re talking PLAYOFFS in Brooklyn: Nets win 3rd straight in 117-100 victory over Bulls

One month back, the Nets were 8-18 and we were discussing tanking … and Zion Williamson.

Now, at the mid-point of the season, we’re talking about the Brooklyn Nets being the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Nets (20-21) won its third straight game with a dominating 117-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls (10-30), Sunday afternoon.

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It’s their 12th win in the last 15 games and the first time they’ve won 20 games by the midway point since 2012-2013, the first season in Brooklyn. They didn’t win Wholesale nba jerseys
their 20th game last season until February 26. To add to that, they’re 10-10 on the road.

Kenny Atkinson kept it simple: “We’re getting contributions from everybody. That’s important.”

The Nets had a hard time pulling away in the first half. They took a 12-point lead, but Zach LaVine lifted Chicago on a 14-0 run and a tie ballgame at half.

But then the third quarter started and the Nets started punching.

Behind D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen’s lead, the Nets began the second half on a 12-3 run and took their largest lead of the night at that point at 15, capped off with a Shabazz Napier three-pointer.

The Nets continued the rout as Russell put Chicago out following his sixth and final three-pointer on the night. The Nets went up 104-87 with 6:25 and Russell’s night would be cut short early with a game tomorrow at Boston.

“We’ve been at it a long time… I kind of had to sit back in my seat today because it was running by itself,” Atkinson said. “They knew what to do and they were talking. That’s the ideal scenario for a coach.”

NETS VS. CELTICS: BROOKLYN TAKES BIG STEPS INTO BOSTON

BOSTON — When the Brooklyn Nets face the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Monday night, they’ll be taking the floor a month to the day since they snapped an eight-game losing streak with an overtime win against the Toronto Raptors.

In that month, a season has changed, and it seems a long-awaited turning point for the franchise has been reached. Over the last 15 games beginning with that Dec. 7 victory, the Nets are tied with the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs for the NBA’s best record, with a 12-3 mark.

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They’ve hit 20 wins, with a 20-21 record right at the midpoint of the 82-game schedule, two years after winning 20 games the entirety of coach cheap brooklyn nets jersey
Kenny Atkinson’s first season. With wins at Memphis and Chicago on the first two games of this road trip, they’re an even 10-10 away from Barclays Center.

They’ve done this while working around injuries, demonstrating the solid foundation of the roster, program and schemes put together by GM Sean Marks and Atkinson.

“We don’t watch nearly as much film now as we did before during the eight-game streak because guys have now held each other accountable,” said Jared Dudley, “It’s not even the coaches calling people out, it’s players calling other players out when it’s a missed assignment, if it’s DC not putting a hand up on the shooter here today. They’re already hearing it from the bench. I would say guys finally looked themselves in the mirrors, bought in, and it all started clicking at the right time.”

“We’ve been playing at a good level,” said D’Angelo Russell. “Just keep building on it. Taking care of what we’re supposed to take care of and giving ourselves a chance when the numbers aren’t in our favor. Our confidence is high, so I don’t think anybody can tell us anything else.”

DRAFT WATCH #1: Draft strength is Nets strength, too

Nets scouts —three of them, according to reports— were at the Murray State vs. Auburn game in Alabama Saturday, no doubt to take a look at Ja Morant, the 6’3” Murray guard who many think is the top point guard in the country.

He’s also the player most associated with the Nets in recent mock drafts. He’s a fast-riser who’s likely to jump again after he finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists cheap nba jerseys in the Racers’ 93-88 loss to the seventh-ranked Tigers. (The Nets could also been been looking at Chuma Okeke, who some think would be ideal for the Nuggets pick later in the Draft. He’s a 6’8” forward from Auburn who had 17 and five in that game.)

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Here’s some highlights…
It’s hard —well nigh impossible, actually— to project where the Nets will pick in the June 20 draft. Right now, they are in the 10th spot, but are only one game out of the playoffs which would mean no lottery pick, no anxiety the night of May 14, the draft lottery.
This year’s draft is seen as generally week, but strong up top … with many of the best picks guards, the area where the Nets are strongest. Still, the Nets are in talent acquisition mode and will likely take the best players available, particularly up top.

Our usual caveats: The mocks listed below are in some cases pure mocks, in other cases more general top 100 lists. They were published over the past two weeks. Each is the latest compilation published by sites listed. We are a long way away, but, why not take a look at what the draftniks think this early.

A footnote now, Dzanan Musa still big part of Nets future 36

Dzanan Musa, the Nets first round pick, has become a bit of a footnote this season, after two injuries —one to his ankle, one to his shoulder— and the performance to his fellow rookie, Rodions Kurucs, but the 29th pick in the NBA Draft is still considered a big part of the Brooklyn organization’s future.

Sidelined for another month after partially separating his shoulder, the 6’9” swingman is frustrated as he told Brian Lewis before the Pacers game. He’s made just seven appearances for Brooklyn, averaging 1.7 points in 3.7 minutes per game.

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“Yeah. It’s tough sometimes, you know, because my primary goal is to be here and help the guys,” Musa told Brian Lewis. “But I’m happy that we have this seven-game stretch of winning, so I’m happy to see the guys that are winning.”

Musa has played extremely well for the Long Island Nets in the G League, where he’s one of the league’s youngest players. He’s averaged 20.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and three assists Cheap Brooklyn Nets Jerseys while shooting 43.9 percent overall and 35.6 percent from deep. Although he’s been playing the point on occasion, he’s more of a playmaking wing who’s not afraid to mix it up.

Here’s some highlights of the Bosnian’s season so far, including the first video when he did play the point…
As Tim Capstraw said on the YES broadcast, a “glimmer of brilliance.”

Just before he went down, Musa spoke about how he’s trying to improve all parts of his game, that he doesn’t want to be seen simply as a scorer, which is how he made his reputation in Europe.

“I’m trying to prove to everyone that I can do multiple things on the court, that I’m not just some scorer, that I can pass, I can play defense,” Musa told The Post. “I’m trying to prove to my coaches that I can do a little of everything. [I’m working on] ballhandling, a lot of shooting, and passing obviously. I’m trying to just help my guys in Long Island to be better players every day. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Of course, Musa has to deal with more than injuries. He’s facing a logjam at the wing and point, where the Nets are strongest. Kurucs had an advantage (which he took) because the Nets lacked a stretch 4. But the Nets are patient, very, very patient.