Dave D’Alessandro reported this yesterday, but I am just getting around posting about it. It seems that Vince Carter sees himself staying in New Jersey for at least another season. When he was asked if he did anything differently stepping off of the court of the IZod center (because it could be the last time he does so), Carter responded:
“Naaah, That’ll jinx you.”
Jinx is a funny word to use there, does that mean he wants to play on that court again?
“If you approach it that way, all of a sudden you say, ‘If I didn’t do that, it would have been different,’ As far as I know, I’ll be here next year, that’s why I’m trying to do what I have to do for this team — to keep us together and build something for next year.”
When asked about if he still believes he can reach a his goal of becoming a champion as a Net, Vince brought up the Celtics of last year.
“But you never know, I don’t think Boston felt that way three or four years ago. They asked Paul Pierce the same thing, and then they made the trades. So anything is possible.”
This is an interesting quote, does VC know about some trades the Nets are going to attempt to make? As Vince said, you never know. Back to his quote though, it’s all well and good for a player to want to stay here, but it’s Rod Thorn’s opinion that matters. What is that opinion?
“I think he has several really good years left, as long as he keeps himself in top condition. If he mentally wants to do it, he has several top-flight years left.”
In the end, all these quotes mean one thing. That Vince Carter will be back wearing a Nets uniform next year. I know everyone takes shot of his lack of toughness and his love of settling for jumpers (Myself included), but he is without question the leader of this team, and we would struggle to make up for the production we lose if we lose him. Another plus of keeping is that we know what direction we want to go to in the draft. Right now there is talk of drafting a 3 or a 4. Now that we know Vince is more than likely staying, we can draft a 4, develop a real nice frontcourt, and worry about getting a 3 of the future (even though I already believe he is here – CDR Baby! Woot!) in later drafts. Everything next year will just be easier if Vince is a Net.
.With the season winding down, and the Nets no longer in contention for the final playoff spot, a lot of talk about the Nets have revolved around Brook Lopez and whether or not he is going to be the Rookie Of The Year. Brook definitely has a good shot at winning this (and the Nets must think so as well, because they have put out a promotional video, highlighting some of his stats and showing some of his biggest highlights), but he does have competition, and that competition is Derrick Rose. In the end, one of these two players are going to win ROY, so I am going to compare these two and show you who I think should win Rookie Of The Year (hint it’s Brook) and who will win it.
Why Brook Should Win It:
The numbers. Brook has been a solid producer from the get go and when it comes to rookie big men, this is a rarity. Brook has started 70 of the team’s 77 games, and averages 30.5 minutes a game. In those minutes, he is averaging 13 points a game (which is 6th among all rookies), and 7.9 rebounds a game (which is 2nd among all rookies). Brook is also the only rookie with over 100 blocks (139 to be exact), while averaging over 1 block per game (1.8 to be exact). Among all NBA players (not just rookies, the whole NBA), Brook is 7th in total blocks and 10th in blocks per game. Also, for what it is worth, Brook is in the top 20 of all rookies in assists (1.1 per game), so he is getting the job done in all facets of his game. Brook is 3rd among all rookies in double-doubles, and his shooting percentage (53.2%) is 6th among rookies, but of rookies who are averaging over 10 shots per game, Brook leads in FG% (This in my opinion is very important. It shows that Brook is good enough to get the touches, and when he does, he converts them).
Derrick’s numbers are not shabby at all, but in my opinion they just don’t compare. Derrick is 2nd in PPG among all rookies with 16.6, and he is also first in assists with 6.2 (but that tends to happen when you are the starting PG for your team, and when he is out there, it is arguable that he is the first option for the Bulls. Meanwhile, Brook is 3rd option for the Nets on good nights…). Other than that, Brook has him topped in all other categories (and this is with Derrick playing about 6 more minutes per game than Brook).
The final and in my opinion most important stat is PER, and this too shows Brook is more productive than Derrick with the time he is being given. If you don’t know what PER is, you can find out more about it here, but basically it is a per-minute assessment of players (and it is also pace-adjusted as well). Brook is 4th among rookies with a 17.87 PER (he is only behind Marreese Speights, Kevin Love, and Greg Oden). Derrick Rose is 9th on the list with a PER of 15.66. Another efficiency stat that I looked at was VA or Value Added (this number is the estimated number of points a player adds to a team’s season total above what a “replacement player” (for instance, the 12th man on the roster) would produce. Value Added = ([Minutes * (PER – PRL)] / 67). PRL (Position Replacement Level) = 11.5 for power forwards, 11.0 for point guards, 10.6 for centers, 10.5 for shooting guards and small forwards). Brook leads all rookies with a VA of 254.7 (Derrick Rose is 4th with 194.6). The final effciency stat that I looked at was EWA or Estimated Wins Added (Like Value Added, Estimated Wins Added takes a look at how many wins a player was worth above what a “replacement player” would contribute. Estimated Wins Added is Value Added divided by 30, giving the estimated number of wins a player adds to a team’s season total above what a “replacement player” would produce). Brook leads all rookies in EWA with 8.5 (Derrick Rose is 4th with 6.5). These stats show that Brook is overall more effective with the minutes he receives, and that he is worth 3 whole wins more to his team than D. Rose is.
Why Derrick Should Win It
Success of his team. While the Nets contended for a playoff spot until later in the season, Derrick Rose has been running point for a Bulls squad that has pretty much locked up a playoff spot (Most analysts didn’t have them even sniffing at the playoffs), and they are even challenging for the 7th or 6th (which may be a stretch) seed. Despite individual awards being handed out based on individual achievments, it would be naive to think that the people handing out the hardware won’t look at team performence. This is especially true for the Rookie of The Year award.
So Who Will Win It?
You already know that I think Brook should win it, but who WILL win it? If you want my honest opinion, it is going to be a tough call and you can really go either way with this one. I decided to look at the trends to see how the award has been given out recently. Looking at ROY award winners since 2001, only 3 have been guards. The winning team trend has also been broken, none of the winners in the 2000s has lead their team to the playoffs. This looks good for Brook, and I think in the end his production will be too much to overlook, and he will end up winning the ROY. If Derrick Rose wins it you can’t get too mad though, he had a great season and did lead the Bulls to the playoffs. There is even a possibility for a co-ROY, but if they didn’t do it when Carmelo and LeBron were rookies, I don’t see them doing it now.