Saturday Night’s game at home against the Magic is now officially “Brookie Night.” Brookie, that is so awesome, I wish I would have come up with that. The Nets, who are continuing their Brook Lopez for ROY campaign, will be giving out the above T-Shirts to the first 500 fans in attendence Saturday Night*. I was thinking about going to see this game anyway (Brook vs. Dwight should be a great matchup – Skip vs. Devin Harris too), but now I think I have to go and get one of these shirts, the comic book cover style looks awesome! It is going to be a great collector’s item when he wins the Rookie of the Year.
The first 500 Toyotas to pull up also get’s free parking…
I know it seems like this is a Brook Lopez blog more than a Nets blog as of late, but David Thorpe, a writer for ESPN, gave out his awards for the rookie class this year, and Brook Lopez was all over them. Brook was mentioned for:
- Defensive Rookie Of The Year
- Biggest Surprise of the Class
- All Defensive Team
- All Rookie First Team
I know this is just one guy’s opinion, but it is awesome to see Brook getting the respect he deserves!
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!