All Is Not Lost: Reflections On The State of The Nets

All Is NOT Lost: Reflections On The State of The NETS


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com


Salt Lake City, UT, Nov. 19 — Take heart, Nets\’ faithful. All is not lost! Amidst a humbling five game losing streak, a sense of gloom and doom pervades the clubhouse, yet the Nets\’ record only stands at a mere 4-6. That\’s not so bad! It\’s not the end of the world!

If you think about it, the best the Nets could be at this juncture of the young season anyways is, perhaps, 6-4. Yeah, the victories that got away against New Orleans or Miami were the culprits. Gee, that\’s only a two-game swing! That\’s not so bad. There are 72 left to be played.

The \’bigger picture\’ is that the caliber of competition became far better and the games are now way more intense in the Eastern Conference. That\’s the simple reality of it! While the Nets\’ task is to adjust and overcome, it is better that they\’ve come to grips with this reality sooner … than later!*

First, though, the Nets head out on a four-game Western swing where they\’ve been notorious for losing and take on the Utah Jazz, Seattle Supersonics, Portland Trailblazers and finish with the Los Angeles Lakers before returning home. Maybe the \’change of scenery\’ will do the Nets some good? After all, it is not the vastly improved Eastern Conference they must face, but, instead, the same old Western Conference foes.

Of course, most of the team will likely spend the obligatory Thanksgiving dinner wolfing down some turkey holiday fare at Richard Jefferson\’s mother\’s home in Arizona, but I suspect that\’ll all depend upon who won the family feud between RJ and his mom that was broadcast recently. [Did anyone see it? Be careful, Nenad! One of the last times you filled up on too much American holiday food like this down in Arizona at RJ\’s mom\’s place with your Serbian tummy, it didn\’t stay down … like your shot as of late!]

The Nets handled Utah pretty well to start the season last year. Seattle isn\’t the same team anymore. Portland is a bunch of rookies without Oden. The Lakers are still finding themselves. It all means that New Jersey should come away with no less than a 2-and-2 record from this trip. Perhaps, they\’ll go 3-and-1? None the less, I\’m prepared for 0-and-4! Still, I won\’t cry! The Nets always start their seasons slowly of late. It\’s a tradition!

The simple task before the Nets now is to go out and win the games they can against those teams they should beat and making a game try at the others for another shot at knocking off the elite teams that are emerging around the league and particularly in the East. It begins with winning the very next game. That is all that is important.

It\’s not so hard to play a game where the final score ends in your favor. It means that you don\’t give up, stop playing or embark on a series of miscues — twelve straight against NOH in Q4 after staking out an 11-point lead with under five minutes to play — for all of 48 precious minutes. A victory means that there are more points on the scoreboard for the Nets than the opponent when the final buzzer sounds! Got it? Not too hard, huh?

Some of the positives to be taken away from this recent losing streak are: a) that the Nets can get up on even the most elite teams and \’hang\’ with them for a while; b) that the Nets may have finally found a legitimate power forward in Sean Williams; and c) that the Nets can play well for a quarter or two, at the least. All of the foregoing means that if the Nets can stretch out that good play over 48 minutes, they can prevail at the end against almost anybody! It requires an infusion of youthful energy from the likes of Sean \”Swat\” Williams and Josh \”Daniel\” Boone, but it can happen.

All things considered, New Jersey has played well for a team carried by its \”Big Two,\” a Serbian Center coming back from knee-surgery, and a bunch of reserves that are gaining valuable experience. Now, maybe league protocol, as a matter of professional courtesy amongst ballplayers, dictates that no team configured as such must ever be allowed to win without at least a third big (read: highly paid) star on the squad, but you never know. Rules were made to be broken.

Notwithstanding popular theories about a \”Big Three\” and the madness of crowds, there is always something known as the X-factor of a \”no-name\” offense. \”New Jersey can prevail without Vince Carter.\” [Repeat the aforesaid sentence with your eyes closed.] Remember, Patriots\’ Coach Bill Belichick [See photo above] was responsible for Don Shula\’s Miami Dolphin\’s \”No-Name\” defense that went undefeated in 1972. He\’s doing it again.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2007 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

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