It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but the Long Island Nets were able to get their second win of the season Saturday night in a 91-83 victory against the Greensboro Swarm at the Nassau Coliseum.
Big man Noah Clowney, taken with the 21st pick in the June Draft, was the main catalystas he posted another double double in 19 points and 12 rebounds in 34 minutes. Clowney showed signs of toughness and durability as he constantly battled down low to get rebounds and looks at the rim...
He finished 6-of-12 overall, 1-of4, from deep. He also blocked a shot giving him five in two G League games.
Guard Keifer Sykes, acquired in a G League trade over the summer, also contributed with 12 points and providing leadership and pace to keep the Nets close before taking a late second half lead.
Despite jumping to a 7-0 run in the first few minutes of the game, the Swarm did not play their best brand of basketball. Still, it was enough for the Hornets G League affiliate to go into halftime up 51-45, even with the Nets shooting 52.4 percent from the field and outscoring the Swarm 29-26 in the second quarter. Greensboro did not relinquish until late in the third quarter, whern the Nets finally turned it on, much as they did in their Opening Night win over Raptors 905. Long Island put the clamps on Greensboro holding them to 16 points in the fourth while scoring 22.
Jalen Wilson, another June draft pick, did not have the same game that he did on Friday, where he erupted for 33 points. Instead, Wilson was only able to tally nine points, five rebounds, and a block in 23 minutes due to foul trouble (and ultimately fouling out). Still, Wilson’s presence was very much felt on both sides of the court due to his size and ability to get any shot he wanted.
“Overall, I felt it was pretty good,” Wilson told NetsDaily. “ It’s always good to get the win. I’m just trying to come out here and be aggressive and play good basketball. I want to get everybody involved. Even though we only played two games together, we all picked up a pretty good feel for each other so I’m just trying to get everyone involved.”
Wilson spoke as well about the bond between the three draft picks: he, Clowney and Dariq Whitehead who didn’t play vs. Greensboro, the second game of back-to-back following five months of post-operative rehab. (Both first rounders were called up to Brooklyn just before Sunday’s game between the Nets and Wizards.)
“We came here together so it feels good to see us all progress,” Wilson expressed. “Obviously, we are trying to grow together and individually and it’s great to see everybody getting better every single day.”
After Whitehead and Clowney were called up, Wilson said he didn’t know when he might play in the black-and-white instead of Long Island’s red, white and blue.
“I’m not really sure, that is more like a day to day thing,” Wilson said. “I’m just open to whatever happens. This is my job so I just want to do what I’m asked to do.”
“It’s a blessing to put on a Nets jersey and go out there and play. I love this organization and I love basketball so it feels great.”
Keon Johnson, the 6’5” small forward who the Nets signed to a two-way last week, had his Long Island debut Saturday, but like Whitehead on Friday night, he had a rough night. Johnson shot only 1-of-10, the sole field goal a steal and a dramatic breakaway dunk...
Keon Johnson with the Steal and Score! pic.twitter.com/55GtMhJxFl— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) November 12, 2023
Johnson, who set the NBA Draft Combine record with a 48” max vertical two years ago, got rewarded with a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Armoni Brooks, Patrick Gardner and Kennedy Chandler the two “assigned players” on the roster, all finished with nine points as did Wilson. Terrell Brown Jr. led the way for the Swarm with 19 points and eight rebounds. Hornets draft pick and high school sensation Amari Bailey did not play.
- Box Score: Long Island Nets 91, Greensboro Swarm 83 - G League
- Highlights: Noah Clowney, 19 points, 12 rebounds, 1 block (Video) - Long Island Nets
- Highlights: Keifer Sykes, 12 points (Video) - Long Island Nets
- Highlights: Armoni Brooks, 9 points (Video) - Long Island Nets