The Nets Are Scorching

Nets’ First 16 Games Key To The Season

October Opponent Time Local TV Radio
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?

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Preseason | Leave a comment

Devin Harris on ESPN’s All Breakout Team

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.

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Around The InterNETS, Player Spotlight, Preseason | Leave a comment

Thorn Takes Back Playoff Expectations/Injury Updates

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…

October 28, 2008 Posted by | Injury Update, Nets News, Preseason, Rod Thorn, Rotation | Leave a comment

The Rooks Are Ready

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 Lopez

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

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.

Chris Douglas-Roberts

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!

October 28, 2008 Posted by | Man Crush, Player Spotlight, Preseason, Rookies | 3 Comments

A Look Back At Friday…

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.

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Game Recaps, Preseason | 1 Comment

Preseason Finale Second Half Blog…

3rd Quarter

  • 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

4th Quarter

  • 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!

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Live Blog, Preseason | 1 Comment

Preseason Finale Live 1st Half Blog

Alright, just got home from work, and I got my dinner sitting in front of me and YES is on.  This should be a fun one, and hopefully you guys will be here with me, breaking it down.

So nobody met me in the chat box, so I will be live blogging here.  Made a new post just because all those silly updates were clogging it up.  Leave some stuff in the comments for me if you wish!

Pregame

  • We get Gus Johnson and Clyde Fraiser as our announcers…should be fun, they are great!
  • Devin Harris playing tonight.
  • Interviewing Ewing Jr…blah…blah…blah…get to the Nets!

Starting Lineups

  • Knicks -Randolph, Lee, Duhon, Crawford, and Richardson
  • Nets – Lopez, Anderson, Simmons, Harris, and Carter

1st Quarter

  • 11:20 left – Randolph drills the 1st bucket over Lopez
  • 10:20 left – VC3!!!  Carter drills a three.  Nets up 5-4
  • 9:43 left- Nice foul by Harris, not letting him get the shot up.  VC turned over that last one, but I like to see him driving the lane.
  • 9:00 left – The Nets and the Knicks exchange threes.  Followed by a nice little move by Lopez.  Showing a nice touch.
  • 7:30 left – Lopez doing a nice job getting outside on Randolph’s jumper forcing the miss.  14-12 Nets.
  • 6:20 left – Lopez drills a 15 footer…nice touch.  18-15 Nets.
  • 5:22 left – Timeout.  Nets up by 1…
  • 5:22 left – Starbury and his crazy ass head tattoo is now in the game.  Let’s see if he does something crazy.
  • 5:11 left – Lopez gets bailed out on a traveling call.
  • 5:00 left – Nice screen by Lopez for Harris.  Would love to see him penetrate off of that rather than settle for the jumper.
  • 4:45 left – Crawford is hot!  Drills a three when the help comes.
  • 3:45 left- Williams and Hassell check in.  I am hoping to see some energy from Williams.
  • 3:40 left – And right as a say that, a offensive rebound off from the line.  Leading to another pair of shots.
  • 3:10 left – Williams gives up an offensive board to Lee, but makes up for it with a block.
  • 3:00 left – Simmons is on fire…another three Nets up 28-23.
  • 1:32 left – Dooling, who should be our go-to guard of the bench drills a three.  33-24 Nets.
  • 0:20 left – Williams drills a jumper…nice shot
  • End of 1st – Tied 35 – 35.  Nets shooting 64% Knicks shooting 50 – something %

2nd Quarter

  • 11:28 left – Lopez showing some good hustle.  Didn’t get the rebound, but put up enough of a fight where the Knicks couldn’t break.
  • 10:20 left – Great two man game by the Nets!  Lopez on the post with the nice little handoff to Dooling on the cut for the lay-up.
  • 9:43 left – Lopez with a nice move to force the foul.  Two shots for him.  Which brings up my favorite thing about him.  He can shoot from the stripe.  80% last year in college.
  • 8:56 left – Knicks lead 45-43 in this no defense game.  Both teams could be breaking three figures in the third quarter.
  • 8:40 left – Even though we didn’t score on that play, I really what the offense has been doing.  Pick and rolls, posting Lopez…Do this during the regular season Frank!
  • 7:00 left – CDR uses his speed and athletic ability to get to the whole.  Game tied at 47.
  • 5:40 left – Clyde the Glide just said we have swiss cheese defense.  That is a fair assessment.
  • 4:45 left – Anderson seems to have lost confidence in his shot already.  He hesitates then drives, turning it over.
  • 4: 24 left – Harris with the great move off of the pick and roll.  And 1.  Misses the foul shout though.  55-49 Nets.
  • 3:42 left – Duhon turns it over.  WORST. SIGNING. EVER.
  • 3:21 left – Carter with a great putback jam.  Nets up 8.
  • 2:57 left – Knicks end an 8-0 run.  I am not sure if that run was caused by our defense or the Knicks terrible offense…ill say defense…since im a homer.
  • End of first half – Nets winning 62-57.  Sorry about the lull towards the end…had to step out for a minute.  I am back though!

2nd half blog!

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Live Blog, Preseason | Leave a comment

Nets Roster Set At 15

Last night, the Nets made their final cuts to their roster, giving them the NBA-required 15.  The players cut were Eddie Gill, Brian Hamilton, Julius Hodge and everybody’s favorite trade bait…Keith Van Horn.  Based on the way the preseason went, the cuts aren’t all that surprising.  Would have loved to see Hodge make the team though (I have a feeling he will stick with a team soon, coming off the bench), he was a college great player who was set back severely in that shooting

Oh and fun little fact on KVH.  We traded for him last year, but he hasn’t played in a game since the 2005-06 season.  Silly NBA and their silly trade rules…

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Preseason, Roster Moves | 2 Comments