I will be around tonight posting some bullets from time to time so stick around if you want and leave some comments. The Czar and Marv are talking, so I will see you around.
- I didn’t notice this sooner but from opening day last year to now, there are 12 new players…that is plain nuts.
- The Czar reports that Frank will play 10 players in the first half and dish out 2nd half minutes based on how they play in the 1st. Should be interesting, but I don’t like this…let’s say Brook has a poor first half because of nerves…is he not going to play in the 2nd half? I thought the preseason was supposed to be used for evaluation.
- Its official…Boone starting instead of Brook. We also got Yi, Simmons, Harris, and Carter. No real surprises. It will be interesting to see when Brook gets in.
- Yi gets his first bucket of the season, the Wiz comes back and hit (what else is new) a three. Although hearing Marv say “I can’t feel my face” was kinda funny.
- Carter gets his first jam of the year off of a very nice attack to the hole…good to see him not settling for a jumper.
- It looks like Hayes is the 6th man tonight.
- Yi’s shot looks on point tonight…I like how our offense is looking so far…a lot of movement and screens.
- The Czar calls Gilbert flamboyant, I think that is just a fancy word for gay.
- Rookie sighting! Brook…no its not Brook its Ryan Anderson. What the fuck?
- Anderson makes me eat my words and drills a three.
- And now here comes Brook. This blogger is very happy now.
- CDR enters the game and now we have all three rookies in at the same time…
- Anderson gets his second block…I am really liking how he is playing right now. Shooting with confidence and playing some solid defense.
- At the end of the first quarter, we are tied at 23. Our defense is looking halfway decent tonight, we are on pace to hold the Wizards under 100 so far.
- Both squads got their second unit in, and the game is getting sloppy.
OK, I haven’t done a game preview in a while, so I am going to try a couple different methods…tonight the bulleted, rambling on version:
- So it looks like Boone is starting tonight (making our starting lineup at least my guess – Devin Harris, Vince Carter, Bobby Simmons, Yi, & Boone), it could be good, but I would rather see Brook starting, he looked better this preseason. Coach Frank, I know you read this blog, so if Boone starts off poor tonight, get Brook in.
- My guess is that the Wizards starting lineup will look something like this: Antonio Daniels, DeShawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, Antawn Jaminson, Etan Thomas.
- Gilbert isn’t playing, but the Wizards are used to this, so it still won’t be a cakewalk. Whenever Gilbert isn’t in, Caron Butler seems to step up and play like a madman…We are going to need all of Simmons defense tonight (don’t know how much there is of it).
- Caron Butler vs. Bobby Simmons – Bobby is going to have problems on both sides of the court. Caron is a great defender who when he puts his mind to it can cause havoc on the offensive end as well. Id like to see Bobby concentrate more on the defensive end tonight, but I doubt that will happen.
- Wizards’ bench vs. Nets bench – The Nets bench is unproven, while the Wizards have some young guys who helped their team in terms of production last year. I see them outscoring the Nets’ bench.
- Devin Harris vs. Antonio Daniels – Antonio is a great player, but he is getting up there in age and Devin is a young speedy guy, I see Devin having a big game getting into the lane at will.
- Brook/Boone vs. Etan Thomas – Etan is a great hustle guy, but he is undersized usually and will be tonight. That is part of the reason I wanted to see Brook starting, this would be a good game to get his offense going and boost his confidence.
- Vince Carter vs. DeShawn Stevenson – If both players get going this could be a great one. Both are streaky shooters who don’t really play defense or take the ball to the hole. Which ever one does more of the latter will win this head to head matchup.
- I think the Nets can take this one if Devin and Vince play well. The Nets are going to be undefeated tonight and on pace to win 82 games!
|Wed 29||@ Washington (1-0)||7:00pm||YESHD|
|November||Opponent||Time||Local TV||Nat TV||Radio|
|Sat 01||vs Golden State (1-1)||7:30pm||YESHD|
|Tue 04||vs Phoenix (1-2)||7:30pm||YESHD|
|Fri 07||vs Detroit (1-3)||7:30pm||YESHD|
|Sat 08||@ Indiana (2-3)||7:00pm||YESHD|
|Mon 10||@ Miami (2-4)||7:30pm||YESHD|
|Wed 12||vs Indiana (3-4)||7:30pm||YESHD|
|Fri 14||vs Atlanta (4-4)||7:30pm||YESHD|
|Sat 15||@ Atlanta (4-5)||7:00pm||YESHD|
|Tue 18||vs Cleveland (4-6)||7:30pm||YESHD|
|Fri 21||@ Toronto (4-7)||7:00pm||YESHD|
|Sat 22||vs LA Clippers (5-7)||7:30pm||YESHD|
|Tue 25||@ LA Lakers (5-8)||10:30pm||YESHD|
|Wed 26||@ Sacramento (6-8)||10:00pm||YESHD|
|Sat 29||@ Utah (6-9)||9:00pm||YESHD|
|Sun 30||@ Phoenix (6-10)||8:00pm||YESHD|
The table above shows the Nets first 16 games (through November) also known as the most important part of the Nets’ season.
Why is this part of the schedule so important? Because if we start out with a halfway decent record (7-11 is the limit, anything less is no good), this will prove to Rod Thorn that we can contend for one of those bottom playoff slots and he will stand pat. If we start out poorly, Thorn will lose confidence and probably go into full rebuilding mode…which means trading Vince Carter. And once that happens, no shot at the playoffs, the only thing we would be competing for is lottery balls.
So how will we do? After looking at the schedule above (which is pretty soft) I see us finishing 6-10. If everything plays out like I have it, Rod Thorn is going to be making a tough decision. Keep the team together and hope for a playoff apperence, or trade Vince for a young guy and/or draft picks. I personally would like to see playoffs (and I think if Vince stays on the team we will make the playoffs), but who knows what will happen?
NBA TV has come up with a halfway decent idea for their Tuesday night’s games. Their idea is called “Fan Night” where they give you, the viewer, the opportunity to vote for your favorite match up out of three listed. The winning game will be played on NBATV. Well guess what, the Nets vs. Suns are one of the choices this week. Us Nets fan’s need to get them on National TV. Here is the link to vote:
Now, if the Nets win, Nets fans outside the Tri-State area (there has to be 1) will get to see the Nets, but also we’d be sticking it to THE MAN. Yeah sure, they are giving you the chance to vote, but you know what game they want you to pick. The Celtics vs. The Rockets. That is why they put it up against two crappy games (or what they think is crappy). I say we throw a monkey wrench into that plan. Let’s go guys! Let’s vote for the Nets!
That is right a Net made some sort of positive list. This article comes from John Hollinger, one of the only MSMer (Main Stream Media) that I enjoy reading (the article itself is about a week old, but I just stumbled across it). Anyway here is what Hollinger said about Harris (via ESPN)
Harris made steady improvement during his time in Dallas, but now that he has the keys to the offense in New Jersey, we could really see him take a step forward. He’ll likely be playing in obscurity for a team going nowhere before sparse crowds, but Harris’ blazing speed going to the basket and his improving outside shot could enable him to break the 20-point barrier this season.
I agree with him about the sparse crowds, but I do believe this team is going somewhere…the playoffs! The whole article is a real good read, and I recommend that you take the time to read it.
Just wanted to give you guys a heads up…your favorite Nets blogger (yes I mean myself – don’t look at me like that) just got let go (ok fired) from his full time job today. Normally, you won’t see me posting about my personal life, but this one effects the blog. This means I will posting more at regular hours…this will start tomorrow, so stick around and I hope you don’t get sick of me!
Thorn, who said before the preseason started up that he expected his Nets to make the playoffs, is now changing his tune. Apparently a terrible preseason on the defensive end can do that to you. From the NY Post:
The goals are a tad less lofty now.
“Get better. Show we’re competitive. Show we’ve got a nice future,” Thorn said yesterday when he insisted he hasn’t lessened expectations, but maybe made them a bit more realistic.
Nice. Oh and in the same article, Fred Kerber got a nice quote from coach Frank about whether or not my man-crush Brook Lopez or Josh Boone would be starting tommorow.
Frank wants to see Boone practice today, but it sounded as if Boone may have an edge to start over Lopez because of experience.
“Josh, because he’s been here, is probably a little bit more comfortable communicating and talking in terms of calling the defensive commands,” Frank said.
Wonderful. Yeah that works, let’s start the guy with the lung issue over the guy who had a great preseason…”experience”…ha what a joke. Looks like someone is trying to save his job already and doesn’t want to see any rookie growing pains…
Before I get to the post, you guys need to read this. Gives you everything you need to know (maybe more – Did you know that Yi Jianlian is the son of two pro handball players?) about each and every NJ Net. All 15 of them. Real interesting read, and if you have a boring job like I do, it is a great way to kill some time at the office.
Now on to the rookies. The Nets received high praise for their draft day this year, and what this preseason showed (especially the finale against the Knicks) is that the experts were right (for once – another rant for another day). Like I said earlier (but now I want to go more in depth), these rookies are ready for competitive minutes. Let’s take a look at each one a little more in depth.
Brook is the best among the rooks (and is deserving of the most minutes), which makes sense since he was drafted the highest. He is very strong with his back to the basket and has shown he has a ton of low post moves (a great jump hook), and he can also pass out of the low block, which is just as important. On defense, he is a shot blocking machine…he averaged over 2 blocks per game. Oh and he can shoot foul shots too! There is a man-crush developing here.
It is not all positives though, he is a young fella after all…his main problem is not getting good enough position on the block before getting the ball. This could be solved by a quick pass out and a repost, but Lopez seems to force the issue (a couple times on Friday I saw him taking his jump hooks from just inside the stripe. Too far away!). Lopez will get better at this with experience…so I am not too worried, but it may cause some issues the first couple of games.
With all this being said…if he isn’t starting, I am going to be pissed…he’s ready, and he has proved it this preseason!
Ryan Anderson was a spot up shooting type big man in college last year, and after a breakout sophomore season, he decided to enter the draft and the Nets drafted him. I see him being a role player for his first couple of years, getting in the game to drain the three ball. Because that is all he can do right now…you saw it on Friday, he looked lost when they closed out on him and forced him to put the ball on the floor. Even with all this being said, I do see him becoming a Dirk type of player (im talking 5-6 years down the line, so don’t jump down my throat).
This year though, he should get some minutes…a decent amount…whenever the team may need a three or use him in pick-and-pop situations.
This guy is the hardest to guess his playing time. Early on during the year, he probably won’t be getting too many minutes…probably only whenever there is foul trouble or injuries…but depending on his play he could see more minutes as the season goes on (which I see happening). I like CDR because his athleticism and his size gives him the ability to cover multiple positions on defense (He could probably cover the opposing team’s 1-3 players – the 2 or the 3 more realistically). He has also shown improvement in one of the weakest part of his game, his foul shooting (we all remember the championship game last year). He shot 88% from the line.
So what does all this rambling mean? Well, it means that I am likely what I see from these rookies. Sure not all of them are ready to start this year, but they are all ready to contribute (and when I say contribute, I mean get in there and fill a roll). That’s a positive…especially when you believe everyone else who says we are rebuilding. Anyway, we are only one day away from the start of the season! Well, technically it starts tonight, but it doesn’t matter because it isn’t the Nets! Look for another post later/tomorrow on why our start is sooooo important this year plus a game preview for Opening Night!
I wish I could have had this up a lot sooner, but two days later is going to have to do for now. This is going to be a huge in depth recap with me analysing stats like I usually would (im serious…I do in fact do that), but in my opinion stats are not a big deal in the preseason. Why? Well, because in the preseason (especially the last couple of games when guys are fighting for roster spots) you are playing people who may or may not be on a NBA roster.
What is important to me is how the team looked, the sets they were running, and who was out there working their ass off. There was a whole lot of good in this game, but there was also some bad. I will talk about the good first.
- All our rookies look ready. I am not saying they all should be starting (well, except Brook, if he isn’t starting, I swear…), but if Anderson or CDR had to play due to foul trouble or injury, I would be ok with it. Anderson was a little shaky starting out – hesitating a little before pulling his shot – but he seemed to settle down towards the game.
- Devin Harris and Vince Carter are playing in mid-season form. Harris is getting into the lane – dishing and finishing (his jumper still needs a ton of work). Vince doing his thing too. Hitting his jumper, and even driving the lane.
- It looked like we had a real offense out there. We were getting the ball to Brook in the post, running the offense through him. Also, we were running pick and rolls with him and Harris. My favorite though, was the pick and pop. Anderson would set a screen on the top of the key, and instead of rolling, he would just pop out to the three point line, for a wide open look. If we can run these sets during the season – and expand on them as the season goes along, to keep teams from scouting us.
And now the bad…
- Defense. Boy did we look terrible on defense, hell, we gave up 110 points to the Knicks…the Knicks! The key to our poor defense – and what we need to fix before anything – is how we defend the three ball. The way we close out on shooters is absolutely terrible. Our guards close out too cautiously…we have two guys who can erase shots at will (Lopez had 4 on Friday – Williams had 1), why not go all out on the shooters and funnel them inside? Even if Lopez doesn’t block the shot, he will alter it. And if he doesn’t get to the shot and we give up a layup, giving up a 2 is better than giving up a 3.
That was about it when it comes to the bad, couldn’t really critize the rotation or the starting line-up since we had a bunch of guys out for the game so it was hard to get an idea of how he is going to use some players. All things considered it was a good showing…our defense is going to kill us though. We aren’t going to be able to put up 111 every game. I sure hope we do, but it is highly unlikely.
- 12:00 left – David Lee starts out as the Knicks center. If we don’t get it in the post to Brook…
- 11:24 left – And we do…but Lopez has to enforce his will a little more. Can’t settle for a jump hook there.
- 11:00 left – Nets show a little half court trap, and it results in a T/O. I like that move, lets try to force the issue.
- 10:35 left – Simmons may have stepped out of bounds there, but he is playing really well tonight.
- 10:00 left – Another thing a great big man gives you? Less double teams and help. Harris with the easy lay-in because Lee was afraid to leave Lopez.
- 9:45 left – Lopez gets his 4th block, runs the court makes the layup…but is called for the charge.
- 8:35 left – VC3!!! A nice pass by Harris leads to this one.
- 8:10 left – Anderson drills the three off of the pick and pop. Pick and roll with Lopez, pick and pop with Anderson. I am really liking what I see from this offense.
- 6:16 left – Hilarity ensues as the announcing team discusses whether Marbury’s tattoo was real.
- 6:00 left – Harris drills a 15 footer…hopefully he can do this consistently.
- 5:20 left – Lopez does what he does and hits another 2 foul shots. Giving them an 82-66 lead. Let’s see if we can crack 100 in the third.
- 4:14 left – Lopez with a rebound and a putback. They are up 84-66…Knicks’ fans are getting restless and begin booing…music to my ears.
- 2:37 left – Great D by the Nets. It leads to a 24 second violation.
- 2:12 left – Hayes drills a two, some great ball movement by the Nets…I am loving this offense right now!
- 1:03 left – The Nets give up back to back threes. This is the weakness of the Nets D…allowing the three ball. We need to close out quicker! Let them drive into Big Brook.
- 0:47 left – Robinson is too tiny there. Swatted by two Nets.
- End of 3rd – Crawford drills a three to end the quarter as the Nets just watch. How on earth do you let Crawford who is on fire get an open shot off like that? HOW?!?!?! Nets up by 12
- 11:22 left – Tired of giving threes to Crawford? Yeah, let’s just foul him. That makes sense.
- 11:00 left – Great hustle by CDR getting the steal then taking it coast to coast before getting fouled.
- 9:50 left – CDR shows off some of his athletic freakishness. Nicely pinning the ball off of the backboard.
- 9:00 left- After a rough start, CDR seems to be settling into a nice rhythm scoring the Nets’ 100th point of the night.
- 7:30 left – I feel like im just writing about Roberts this quarter as he drills another jumper.
- 7:00 left – We get our first Ager sighting as he gets to the line. He hits both
- 6:19 left – Hayes just misses dunking on the entire Knicks’ roster
- 5:45 left – If LeBron is going anywhere in the tri-state area, it will be the Nets!
- 5:00 left – Rose shows his experience by “pulling the chair” on Williams, leading to the walk.
- 4:20 left – It sure looks like we are tired of giving up threes to Crawford. Why not let Patrick Ewing Jr. hit some.
- 3:00 left – I knew it was too good to be true…we aren’t going to hold the Knicks under 100.
- 1:45 left – It is a 6 point game after another three by the Knicks…key word…another…
- 1:15 left – Another three by the Nets…I don’t get it, why help out on the dribble drive…a 2 is ok, no threes! Stay home on your man!
- 0:50 left – The Nets have the ball again after trading baskets…up three.
- 0:28 left – The Knicks are cheating, they put Crawford back in. He hits a lay-up getting the lead down to 1. 111 – 110.
- 0:04 left – Poor late game execution or playcalling. Let’s run a pick and roll there with Lopez, it has only worked all game.
- End of 4th – That shot looked good the whole way and nearly gave me a heartattack. Nets win by 1!
That was a pretty good way to end the preseason, and minus the 4th quarter it was all good. Come around tomorrow to catch my recap and analysis. See you then!