Starting Over, But Not From Scratch …

Starting Over, But Not From Scratch …

By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive

The venerable former Net, Jason Kidd, has remarked of late that the Nets are \”starting over.\” To that I would add: But not from scratch!

Indeed, there are but three remaining holdovers from the Kidd era: Vince Carter, Josh Boone and Sean Williams. Never the less, it doesn\’t mean that the Nets can\’t achieve!

Starting PG Devin Harris is a seasoned player that only recently was guiding the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA finals. Backup PG Keyon Dooling brings valuable playoff experience from Miami and Orlando. Eduardo Najera, Jarvis Hayes and Trenton Hassell are no strangers to the real season either. So, you can\’t say the team is devoid of postseason experience. Finally, you can\’t forget that one of the greatest athletes to ever dunk a basketball is also on hand. His name: Vince Carter!

Remember, it is not as if Vinsanity didn\’t go one up on the Heat on the way to a possible finals appearance with a spirited Nets squad a few short years ago. It was against one of the better, Riley-coached, Shaq-led, championship teams of all-time. The run was cut short by an injury to running-mate Richard Jefferson … and an untimely suspension to Cliff Robinson.

So what\’s to expect from the 2008-2009 version of the Nets?* Well, I think it\’s premature to write them off as a mere 27-win team like many \’head-up-the-arse\’ pundits have. In fact, with the talent and coaching on hand, don\’t blink if they surprise! Moreover, with a little luck, it wouldn\’t surprise if they manage to sneak into the playoffs, but as everyone agrees, we\’ll have to \”wait and see!\”

In the meantime, with the roster calm for now, but not necessarily a finished product, it would seem premature to make any projections about this group without a full training camp behind them.

With that in mind, I am going to turn to a seer for early off-season prognostication in the interview that follows:

Q: Welcome, Nostradamus, to my featured blog here at netsinteractive!

A: Nice to be here, but it isn\’t 16th century France, you know!

Q: True. But, you\’ve been \’ahead of the curve\’ predicting a \”summer of change\” for the Nets that\’s already transpired. What do you foresee from here on out for the Nets?

A: More change!

Q: Can you be more specific?

A: Not really! The crystal ball is cloudy!

Q: Well, what can you see?

A: Another major deal!

Q: When?

A: Within the next three to six months.

Q: Who?

A: A big player and some smaller players.

Q: Names???

A: Can\’t see them right now.

Q: Okay! How will the Nets adjust to the loss of Richard Jefferson?

A: Poorly at first, but better as the season wears on!

Q: How will newcoming veteran Bobby Simmons fare?

A: He\’ll surprise!

Q: Is there a future for Stromile Swift?

A: Of course. Everyone has a future. Wasn\’t he a Frank favorite in Vancouver?

Q: I think, but where will the Nets end the season?

A: It depends on the moves management makes, but I foresee the Nets making it back to the playoffs.

Q: Really?!! That\’s quite a bold prediction!

A: I know, but that\’s what the ball says!

Q: Okay, who will be the Nets\’ leading scorer?

A: Brook Lopez.

A: A rookie? C\’mon you know that Coach Frank doesn\’t always let his rookies play much! What about Vince?

A: I know, but that\’s what the ball says!

Q: Who will lead the team in assists?

A: Devin Harris.

Q: I guess that was easy, but Vince can rack up the assists, too! Okay, who will lead in rebounds?

A: Brook Lopez.

Q: What about Josh Boone, Swat or Yi?

A: That\’s what the ball says!

Q: Okay, who am I to question your ball? Now, who will be the MVP of the Nets?

A: Devin Harris.

Q: Which rookies, if any, will make impact?

A: All three!

Q: Which rookie will have the most?

A: Lopez!

Q: Who will be the sleeper?

A: Anderson!

Q: What about Chris Douglas-Roberts?

A: He will vie for a starting position before the season\’s out.

Q: What about Sean \”Swat\” Williams?

A: Big year as a defensive presence if he isn\’t traded! Shows more offense.

Q: How \’bout Josh Boone?

A: Stronger. Solid play. Will hustle. Most improved. Unveils a jumper no one thought he had. Same caveat as with Swat.

Q: Where does Yi fit in?

A: Tutored by Kiki. Could be part of another deal.

Q: I\’m more optimistic about Yi. I don\’t think your crystal ball is infallible. Is there anything else you see?

A: The Nets will move to Brooklyn.

Q: With the project delays and real estate in a downturn are you sure that\’s not Lyubertsy? [Laughing …]

Q: Yes!

Q: Okay, Ladies and Germs, there you have it, our first annual offseason prognostication by the noted basketball seer: Nostradamus!

Note: Triumph Lyubertsy (formerly known as Dynamo Moscow Region) is a Russian professional basketball club from Lyubertsy, playing in the Russian Super League. Their home court is SH Triumph. Nenad Krstic is their starting Center.

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 2008 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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