NBA Notebook: Nets, Pistons, Kings

Nets guard D'Angelo Russell will be making his first All-Star Game appearance later this month.

NETS

The Nets have looked like a different team since the injury to wing Caris LeVert, and not in a good way, Brian Lewis of the New York Post wrote.

Lavert went down with a dislocated ankle Nov. 12. As Lewis pointed out, the Nets were 6-7 at the time. Since then, they’ve dropped nine of 11 — including Saturday’s 102-88 loss to the Washington Wizards.

Six of those defeats have come to teams with losing records.

“Our shot selection has got to improve,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Whether a team switches or they’re in zone, I’m not thrilled with the shot selection. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board.

“In these past games, our shot selection has really slipped and our offensive efficiency has really slipped. It’s hurting us. Shot selection and turnovers are our cross to bear. We’ve got to improve both.”

PISTONS

Facing a Warriors team supposedly energized by the return of Steph Curry proved to be no problem for the host Pistons, who beat the two-time defending champions 111-102 on Saturday.

This has been an ongoing theme for the Pistons under new coach Dwane Casey. Opponents that live by the long ball often die by it, as the Pistons are second in the NBA in 3-point defense (31.6 percent).

The Warriors went just 6-of-26 from beyond the arc, including 3-of-9 shooting from Curry and 1-of-5 from Splash Brother Klay Thompson.

Blake Griffin (26 points) has said the Pistons are a different team this season and it might be time to start believing him.

KINGS

The Kings improved to a surprising 11-11 following Saturday’s thriller of a 111-110 home win over the Indiana Pacers. And it’s not just “surprising” because the Kings are such a young team.

They have also experienced some drama, with coach Dave Joerger and the front office (or more specifically, assistant general manager Brandon Williams) being at odds.

“I think that a lot of great organizations, great families and great sports teams can be destroyed from within,” Joerger said, via Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. “I want to make sure we’re airtight and solid from the inside, and it’s been an opportunity for us to really grab on to each other.”