Winning For Losing?

Winning For Losing?

By: NBASCOUT / Special to

As the season winds to a rapid close with some rousing victories, like the double-overtime thriller against Chicago on Friday, the New Jersey Nets may have finally turned the corner winning five of their last ten. However, by losing tonight to the Indiana Pacers, 115-102, they have won for themselves the most ping pong balls in the NBA Lottery. That earns you the best shot at the top pick in the draft.

While it is only still a one-in-four chance, it is still better than any other, and the Nets could end up with the first pick in what has been termed a \”talent laden\” draft. In any event, they will draft no worse than fourth.*

For my part, it would be nice to see the Nets come away with one of the first three picks. They are likely to get a good player if that happens.

Incoming Owner, Mike Prokhorov, or his management team, have a lot to do this offseason if he will turn things around for next and hampering that is some residual court proceedings that will evict the remaining occupants of the Atlantic Yards sufficient to formalize his ownership. As such, he will have to act through lame duck ownership proxies to get the job done if he is to get a jump on the offseason. Ratner and his people can act on Prokhorov\’s behalf pending finalization of the ownership transfer which at this point is a mere formality.

In the meantime, it appears that interim coach-GM Kiki Vandeweghe could remain within the organization in some capacity if Prokhorov wants him. Vandeweghe excels in talent development with a keen eye for teaching young players how to improve.

In any case, Mr. P made a splash with the news leak, if accurate, about his willingness to dangle big bucks before the eyes of NCAA Champion Blue Devil Coach Mike Kryzewski to see if it\’ll entice him to leave men\’s basketball at Duke University for Newark. Of course, the Lakers already tried that without much success and I anticipate no change unless Coach K has a change of heart. While Mike Kryzewski is an excellent college coach who would likely succeed at the next level, he has always appeared to be a Duke lifer and some things are more important to him than money.

None the less, it leaves Prokhorov in the position of attracting other coaching talent like Avery Johnson or even Phil Jackson if wanderlust strikes and the stars align. That settled, the Nets could get on with the draft, free agency and other offseason matters. A critical offseason this is!

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 2010 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

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