Long Island Nets: Honors for Will Weaver, Trajan Langdon, playoff win

Brooklyn Nets Will Weaver Trajan Langdon. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Will Weaver Trajan Langdon. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Long Island Nets advanced to the Eastern Conference Final while coach Will Weaver and GM Trajan Langdon were honored, but Mitch Creek is gone.

It was a week of honors for the Long Island Nets, as well as a successful first foray for the franchise into the NBA G League playoffs, as in their lone game last week, the Nets pounded Raptors 905 in an Eastern Conference semifinal.

Coach Will Weaver was honored as the G League’s Coach of the Year and Trajan Langdon, the Long Island general manager as well as an assistant GM with the parent Brooklyn Nets, was named G League Executive of the Year for their roles in leading Long Island to its first playoff appearance.

The Nets, in just their third season, finished as the Atlantic Division champion and the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 34-16 record, matching the league’s best march along with three teams from the West — the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Santa Cruz Warriors and Oklahoma City Blue.

Weaver has already accepted a new position, as he will head to Australian’s National Basketball League to take over as head coach of the Sydney Kings next season.

Langdon, meanwhile, is on the short list of candidates to replace Dell Demps as general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Brooklyn has given New Orleans permission to interview Langdon, one of several candidates for the job.

Long Island, as the top seed in the East, got a bye to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they faced Raptors 905 at Nassau Coliseum on Friday. The Raptors reached the semifinals with a 91-90 overtime win at home in Mississauga, Ontario, on Tuesday over the Grand Rapids Drive.

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The Nets took control of the game in the second quarter, closing the first half with an 8-0 run to go up 65-47 at the break, and Long Island went up by as much as 21 in the third quarter before 905 made a run.

The Raptors finished the third with an 18-4 run to close the gap to 86-79, but Long Island answered by scoring the first 10 points of the fourth period to blow the game open, leading by 22 with 2:47 to go before 905 scored the final nine points to make the final score respectable at 112-99.

Long Island will host the second-seeded Lakeland Magic in the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday. Lakeland also had a bye in the first round and then beat the Westchester Knicks 104-91 on Friday to advance.

The Nets had a balanced attack against 905, with six players in double figures, and won by hammering the Raptors on the glass by a 58-38 margin. That led to a dominant 23-2 edge in second-chance points.

The rebounding edge helped Long Island win despite shooting just 41.8 percent (41-for-98) overall and going 10-for-35 (28.6 percent) from 3-point range. The Raptors hit 45.2 percent (38-for-84) and were 11-for-31 (35.5 percent) from deep.

Long Island had 16 offensive rebounds, however, to just four by 905.

Tahjere McCall scored 20 points to lead the Nets, with Brooklyn first-round pick Dzanan Musa adding 21 points and three steals and two-way player Theo Pinson dropping 20 points with seven assists.

Mitch Creek had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Alan Williams, Brooklyn’s other two-way player, added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Jordan McLaughlin had 12 points off the bench.

Chris Boucher paced Raptors 905 with 33 points and had three blocks. Wade Baldwin added 18 points and eight rebounds, Jordan Loyd had 17 points and six assists and Malcolm Miller blocked two shots.

However, the Nets will move forward without Creek, the Australian forward who spent two weeks with Brooklyn in January and February.

Creek signed a 10-day contract with the injury-riddled Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. The Timberwolves were able to add a 16th player to their roster after the NBA approved a hardship exception, with Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Jeff Teague and Robert Covington all sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Creek has already agreed to return to Australia to headline the expansion South East Melbourne Phoenix squad, but his contract with the Australian club includes an opt-out provision should he land an NBA roster spot.

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Creek played 41 games in the regular season for Long Island, averaging 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.6 minutes per game while shooting 55.2 percent overall and 22.2 percent on 1.5 3-point attempts per game.