The NBA G League Tipped off on November 2 with 27 teams taking part. This is the 18th season of the NBA minor league and second in its current version. For NBA teams, the G-League is a place to have the end of the bench and raw talent stay in game shape. While still in its infancy, the G-League is also a place to continue cross-town rivalries. The Brooklyn Nets affiliate is aptly called the Long Island Nets. In the battle of the outer boroughs, Long Island Nets roll over Knicks to stake claim to New York.
Long Island Nets Roll Over Westchester Knicks
Musa showcases ability
— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) November 3, 2018
NBA rookie Dzanan Musa seized on his opportunity to play in the G League opener. Musa, selected 29th in the 2018 NBA Draft, only played a total of 5 minutes for Brooklyn thus far. The man dubbed the “Bosnian Scoring Machine” by drafted guru Mike Schmitz lived up to that title at the NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum Saturday.
Musa came out firing on Saturday, finishing with 23points (from 10-22 shooting) and 5 rebounds. It’s also worth noting that Musa was 3-7 from downtown. At just 19 the potential is evident. What’s also evident is while Musa is abundantly talented, he’s still quite raw as a basketball player. Simply judging this performance, the future bodes well for Musa as his game ultimately develops.
A Bull in the China shop
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) November 4, 2018
Nets two-way player Alan Williams was the man Saturday night. A 6’8′ power forward/ center, Williams may be viewed as undersized but he was more than a handful for the Westchester Knicks. Williams tormented the Knicks front line and ruled the paint to the tune of 27 points (12-21 from the field) and 21 rebounds. Wow.
Williams was a menace on both ends of the court as evidenced by his 8 offensive rebounds. Truly a career day. With the Brooklyn Nets having issues ending possessions, one reasonably expects Williams to play for the Nets soon if he keeps this up.
Will starts with a ‘W’
This new season also unveiled a change at the coaching helm for the Long Island Nets. Will Weaver replaced Ronald Nored who is now an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets. Weaver spent the previous two seasons as ‘special assistant’ to Brooklyn’s head coach Kenny Atkinson. When announcing the Weaver hire, Long Island Nets general manager Trajan Langdon expressed major enthusiasm. In a statement, Langdon said, “Will’s experience working under Kenny Atkinson on Brooklyn’s coaching staff has given him a strong foundation to lead Long Island, and we are confident that his vision and focus on player development are the right fit for the team and its young talent.”
To this end, Weaver has installed the 4-out motion offense, much like the Brooklyn counterparts. There were flow and continuity to the offense, though the shooting was not remarkable. The Nets attempted twice as many three point shots (31 to 15) than the Knicks. Unfortunately, the Nets much like their NBA affiliate had offensive doldrums which led to the opponent battling back. But Weaver marshaled his charges through those calm moments much like the ship captains of yesteryear securing the victory.
This was the opening night of a fifty (50) game season. The Nets are obviously encouraged by the performances of Musa and Williams, but also Theo Pinson (two-way player) and Rodions Kurucs (second round draftee). Spectators of the game on Saturday included Brooklyn Nets swingman Caris LeVert and WWE legend (and Long Island native) Mick Foley.
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