KCP Weekend Sports Roundup: Nets Progress Continues, Islanders Remain Sharp

Brooklyn Nets

On the Hardwood

Right now, all of Brooklyn is holding there collective breath and crossing their fingers, in a good way, as the Nets have found some momentum by winning two straight games.  As the calendar gets ready to turn to March, things are actually beginning to take a turn for the better.  Certainly some more losing will continue down the stretch, but right now there are some positive signs that this franchise is beginning to right the ship.

In their last two games, the Nets have been able to play with some positive energy on both sides of the floor.  In both of their wins in Phoenix and Utah they have also been able to avoid some of the poor starts that have hampered this team all season long.  While both of these opponents have had lackluster seasons themselves, it is still important for this Nets team to go out and get wins any way that they can.

At 17-42, Brooklyn still finds themselves trying to claw their way through what has been a very rough season here in Kings County.  Their next six games will be on the road and they visit the playoff bound Clippers on Monday night.  It will be a tinseltown two-step as the Nets play the lowly Lakers on Tuesday night as well.  Rounding out the week, the Nets will visit the Nuggets and the T-Wolves.

Off the court, newly installed General Manager Sean Marks made some pretty important decisions last week. After lots of trade chatter that never led to fruition once the deadline came, the Nets went ahead and made the decision to wave Joe Johnson.  In three and a half seasons Johnson played a very important role for three separate playoff teams in Brooklyn. 

Anybody watching this team tell you that Johnson’s skills were diminishing.  And the proof was in the pudding.  Looking at his stats over the last five years, it’s clear that Johnson has been on a steady decline.  He is simply not the offensive force that he once was because father time always catches up to you.  This does not mean that Johnson cannot contribute to a playoff bound team and the Miami Heat realized that, which is why they went out and immediately grabbed him. 

Lastly, the Nets went ahead and signed guard Sean Kilpatrick from the D-League to a 10-day contract.  Kilpatrick had been putting up 26.4 points a game and had recieved D-League All-Star accolades.  There is no telling what type of impact the Yonkers native will have the rest of the way, but it will be intriguing to watch as the former Cincinnati Bearcat gets his chance to shine on the big stage.

On the Ice

The Islanders continue to fight their way through their Canadian road trip against some subpar competition.  With the playoff race heating up it is crucial for this team to get as many wins as possible to solidify a top-notch playoff seed.

Last week the Isles were able to win two of three games.  After topping Minnesota and Calgary, they had a letdown on Sunday losing to the Edmonton Oilers.  This was a game that the Isles should have won since Edmonton has had a rough season and is playing some very poor hockey.  However, the Isles had a quick letdown, but will be able to rebound tomorrow night in Vancouver. 

After playing the Canucks the Islanders travel to Winnipeg to close out their road trip.  Then, their ultimate test will come this Sunday when they head across the East River to Madison Square Garden.  The Big Apple will be buzzing about this matchup because if the playoffs started today, the Rangers and Islanders would be set to play one another in the first round.

With 73 points there is no doubt that this Islanders team has a golden opportunity in front of them.  In the NHL, literally 16 teams will have a shot at the cup once the playoffs unfold.  It is not like other sports because it is all about getting hot at the right time and in this sport we have seen that teams can come out of nowhere, win sixteen games in the playoffs and lift that Stanley Cup trophy when it is all said and done.