Cause for Concern?

Tonight\’s game at the IZOD Center against division foes the Raptors was challenging for even the most loyal of Nets fans to watch, especially the stretch in the beginning of the second half that saw the starters allow an 18-2 run that broke the game wide open and ensured a blowout home loss in the season\’s second game.* Most can agree that there are still 80 games left to be played and tonight was just \”one of those nights\”, but were there any causes for concern when looking closer at tonight\’s game?

1) The big men failed to impress. Other then Sean Williams, who was making his NBA debut in garbage time and played wonderfully (4 pts, 4rebs, 4 blocks in 20 minutes), the big men failed to contain Toronto\’s bigs and allowed Bargnani to score 21 points and Bosh a quiet 15. Magloire is still getting used to the system, a fact he displayed in his limited minutes, Krstic is still getting his legs back as was shown by his jumper still being a little off, Boone couldn\’t get into the flow (or lack thereof) of the game, and Malik Allen did his best but was outmatched on both sides of the floor. What\’s even more surprising is the fact that the best big of the night was the one with no points and only one rebound; Jason Collins was the only Net who had a +/- above 0 (+2). Although the Nets seem to be deeper then ever, it will take some time before the big men rotation is regularly contributing as it potentially can. Tonight should not cause Nets fans to panic about the bigs, but only to warn them that it may be a few weeks before we see the true worth of these players come through on the floor and in the box score as well.

2) The guards failed to impress. Two nights ago against the Bulls VC\’s production was picked up by Antoine Wright (even though Carter finished with 24 points he shot poorly) who added 21 points off the bench to help the Nets secure a season-opening victory. Tonight, when once again VC shot poorly and was out of it, Wright was nowhere to be found. Even Boki couldn\’t stop the bleeding, as he himself succumbed to the Nets woeful shooting night and was just 3 for 11. Combine that with Kidd only hitting for 2 points and Armstrong going for 0, it was a terrible night all around for the guards. So what does that mean? No one had it going tonight on either end, and for the Nets to lose by this much it took a collapse of basically the entire team, and we will assume that this will not happen on a regular basis, so don\’t fret too much over tonight\’s lack of production. The defense by the guards does need improvement though as Calderon, Dixon, Ford, and Parker all had plenty of open shots and passing lanes available to them.

What have we learned then? Like we all know, for the Nets to succeed at least 2 of the Big 3 must be playing well, and against the Raptors only RJ showed up. Once again, I believe that tonight was a fluke and Kidd, VC and Co. will get back to it tomorrow night against the Sixers, a team that usually gives the Nets trouble. If I know Kidd (and I like to think that sometimes I do) he will not let the Raptors game hang over this team very long. A fast start to this season is incredibly necessary and everyone in the organization knows it. Looks for the Nets to come out strong tomorrow and play a more flowing offense. Also, I imagine that VC will get plenty of touches after only shooting it 6 times against his old team. The defense has to be there too; with Iguodola, Korver, and Miller, the Sixers can put up points if you don\’t watch out. Case and point – they beat the Bulls in Chicago by 11 and held them to only 85 points.

~~~The above picture was taken by myself~~~

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