Author Archives: netsinteractive

Odds of Nets Future Success

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov captivated the basketball world when purchasing the New Jersey team last year. With outspoken plans of moving the struggling team to Brooklyn and even bigger dreams of landing talented players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, New Jersey
s faithful were understandably excited yet cautiously optimistic.

The breathed skepticism was warranted, as most realized the New Jersey Nets, the way they stood up until a week ago, were a bottom-rung Eastern Conference team, an entire starting rotation behind squads like the Celtics and Magic. But that was then, this is now.

Heavy the most talented point-guard in the league, one Deron Williams, the Nets odds for success going forward have exponentially improved. Although New Jersey gave up a lot to bring Williams in from Utah would have been even more had the Melo deal with Denver gone through the potential for winning is actually greater in New Jersey than in New York, Anthonys eventual home.

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In fact, looking at the setup realistically, New Jerseys potential to win is potentially greater than Miamis. And here is why:

Grouping together to form a “super team” does not necessarily guarantee victory. While every sports book and internet casinos may be pulling favorably for the powerhouse Miami Heat, it is actually Boston and Chicago out in front playing better basketball.

Is this due to team chemistry? Hardly. It is due to point-guard play. Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose control their respective offensive squads and are able to torch the big-bodied commercial talents like Howard, Stoudemire, James and Bosh. Placing so much emphasis on scoring the ball is great, but putting your stock in scorers instead of facilitators is the wrong formula in the Eastern Conference.

Big players with big star power make their teams instantly better, simply due to scoring averages and commercial appeal. Do they make their teammates better, though? A double-team on James might leave Miller open, but we all witnessed how well that formula worked in Cleveland.

The Nets, on the other hand, are building their team around a start point-guard, meaning they have the most important piece in place. If your point has game, your entire team has game.

Odds suggest that New Jersey will be a little slow to catch up with others teams in the East, and maybe rightfully so. They have already lost 42 games this season and the next handful certainly will not help with chemistry, when you consider that the roster is going to be a lot different next year.

But if Williams wants to stick around as the Nets centerpiece, he will attract the type of talent to New Jersey that will be able to instantly compete. The top Eastern teams lose to good point play; it is as simple as that.

They will still be an underrated team per sports media, getting odds closer to online blackjack games than basketball games, but the only numbers important to any team are the numbers they put up in the “W” column. With Williams setting the pace and a few key additions, the Nets should have no trouble competing for the 4th seed next year.

Harris: 47?

Are you kidding me? This guy isn\’t gonna stop! He\’s having the year of his career right now, and it\’s just getting better and better. Several weeks ago, Devin had never even scored 30 points in a game.* Sunday night, the Nets beat the Suns ON THE ROAD- thats the first time in 15 years! Harris scored 47, adding 8 assists.. AND 7 rebounds- thats SORTA flirtin with a triple-double- with 47 points! I really can\’t say enough of this guy. Carter too, has really been playing very nicely- not what many of us expected as he entered his 10th year. The two, (Harris, Carter), are also the league\’s top scoring duo at 49.1 ppg.

All this after the Nets worked the injury-ridden Jazz on Saturday. Harris, scoring 34 points and shooting 77% from the field didn\’t at all disappoint. The addition of Vince, Simmons, Jianlian, and Hayes all scoring in double digits didn\’t hurt either. Keep it up guys, I\’m loving what I\’m seeing

By the way, if Yi and Lopez keep improving then that\’d be even more fantastic, because i think both have great talent. Coming out of the west coast trip 3-1, and with a record of 9-7, we can start looking forward 🙂

Kidd asks for a trade

In an article on ESPN, Jason Kidd is quoted for asking for a trade. It is sad and unfortunate that the Kidd error for the Nets will be coming to an end.

Under Construction – More to come.*

Carter and Anderson traded to Magic

Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson have been traded to the Magic in two seperate deals. Carter was traded for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee. Alston and Battie are both expiring contracts, and Lee will be entering his second season in the NBA after a decent rookie season. Ryan Anderson was also traded for a trade exception, no other players or picks were involved.*

What\’s next and what do I think? Getting rid of Carter needed to happen sooner or later, and the latest being by the deadline. With this being the best offer for Carter since the Nets started listening to offers last season, they were forced to take it even though they had to give up Ryan Anderson. I would have preferred to keep Anderson and not get Lee, but that\’s the small sacrifice to get Carter\’s contract off the books. As for what is next, hopefully Terrance Williams is available at #11 and it is likely he will be the Nets draft pick if that\’s the case.

Nets collapse to lose 9th straight

1/27/08 – The Nets were looking to finish their road trip with a win and to end their streak of 8 straight losses against the Timberwolves, dubbed the worst team in the league. But the Nets weren\’t even able to close out what was a 14 point lead in the 4th quarter, and ultimately collapsed to the Al Jefferson lead Timberwolves. Al Jefferson had 40 points and 19 rebounds, but his 4 most important points came from the free throw line at the conclusion of the game to finish off the Nets and to win by 3 points.*

As much as emotional wins, and turning points in a season are noted when a team turns things around, the loss to the Timberwolves could mark the game that made Nets management pull the trigger and blow up the team. The Nets now sit on a dismal 18-26 record, and are at 9th place in the Eastern Conference. The Nets schedule doesn\’t get any easier as they will be playing 4 of their next 6 games on the road.

Notes: Sean Williams grabbed 12 boards and swatted 3 shots, while Jefferson lead the Nets in scoring with 35 points on 11-22 shooting.

On Tuesday prior to the Bucks game, the Nets are holding a chalk-talk with several season ticket holders which will allow the fans to talk directly with a member of the Nets management. So be sure to check the site after that game to read all about what was asked and what answers were given.

Kings dominate struggling Nets

1/22/08 – The Nets continued there road trip, and there losing trip as they got blown out by the rejuvenated Kings. For the first time this year, Bibby, Artest, and Martin were all healthy and in the starting line-up, and made a statement against the Nets in a 128-94 blowout. The Nets started the game careless and gave away 5 early turnovers and allowed the Kings to set the pace with an 11 point lead after the first quarter. The Nets were also outscored in every quarter after that.*

Although the Nets shot the ball well, it means nothing when you allow your opponent to shoot at 57.5% from the field and 62.5% from three while making 15 of 24 shots from beyond the ark. Eight of those 3\’s came from the Kings version of the Big 3, who combined for a total of 61 points, and got help from 4 others who put up double figures. This game was dominated from the start, and the Nets didn\’t look like they had the effort or will to come back from behind for another time this season.

The Nets losing streak has now hit 6 games, and at the halfway point in the season, they are on pace to finish 36-46. A record that will not make the playoffs. It isn\’t surprising that the Nets and Bulls are discussing a trade now to swap some key reserves, both teams are currently out of the playoff picture and are huge disappointments this season. If the trade falls through, doesn\’t happen, or does happen and just doesn\’t work out, expect to see the Nets send Kidd to a contender and rebuild from there.

Blazers turn down Nets

1/14/08 – The Nets hosted Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, and right from the get-go, the Nets dug themselves into a hole too big to climb out of. The Nets were down a whopping 13 points after the first quarter, and never got a run to close the gap significantly.

The Nets were embarrassed on their home court, and neither Kidd, Carter, or Jefferson had a good game as the nets ended up losing 99-73.*

Enough is Enough with Lawrence Frank

After many analysts have dubbed the Nets the surprise team this year, ESPN was quick on nominating Lawrence Frank for the Coach of the Year award (link, for those interested.) If it is fair to give the credit for a “bad team” to have success to the coach, than the same can be said when the same franchise has seen the same patterns in losing over Lawrence Franks tenure as the Nets head coach.

Before going into details about the patterns of Lawrence Frank which will result in the Nets inability to achieve the goal of every team, every single year, winning the Championship. Let’s first explain what happened in the game against the Knicks on December 10th. The game started out with the Nets scorching hot, Devin Harris was dominating, the Nets were attacking and finding the open players on the perimeter and the shots were falling. The Nets built up a 15 point lead which looked like it was just the start to a great night of whooping the Knicks around. With the game seemingly out of reach for the Knicks, they needed a miracle to gain the momentum to beat the Nets in the Izod Center. But that miracle came from the Knicks head coach, Mike D’Antoni, something Knicks fans would have never expected to see last season. D’Antoni quickly went for his energy players looking for a boost, calling on his team to control the tempo of the game, and that they did. The Knicks beat the Nets in what used to be the Nets game, running.*

The Nets were unable to keep up or slow the tempo of the game, and the Knicks brought the score to within reach by halftime only trailing by 6 points. The Nets, like they have many times during the tenure of Lawrence Frank, came out flat when they came out to play the second half. They go rocked in the 3rd quarter, 33-21, and outscored by a total of 18 in the entire second half. But there was a point in the game when it seemed as if the Nets caught a break and were going to be able to control the tempo of the game once again. With 6:21 to go in the 3rd quarter, the Knicks best post defender and rebounder, David Lee left the game for the remainder of the night. That left Jared Jeffries being the biggest man, and only hope to stopping Brook Lopez. Brook Lopez is that 7 foot 260 pound top rookie center the Nets have, he had 8 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks and was constantly commanding a double team in the 23 minutes and 22 seconds he was in the game prior to David Lee leaving. After David Lee’s injury the Nets took Lopez out of the game only 2 minutes and 30 seconds later, and he never returned, not even for a single rotation in the 4th quarter.

Now Brook Lopez being on the court would have helped more than just the Nets offense, but could have helped the Nets contain Al Harrington, who scorched the Nets with 39 points. How many of you saw how effective Vince Carter was at guarding Al Harrington at the top of the key in the 4th quarter, the only problem was the help defense came in too little and too late, with the helpers being Stromile Swift and Sean Williams. Those two compiled a total of 7 fouls in their combined 17 minutes and 28 seconds on the court, effectively contributing to helping the Knicks get 35 attempts from the free throw line. Perhaps the Nets would have done better had that defender coming over to help Carter defend Harrington down low been a 7 foot 260 pound center named Brook Lopez. This game has a coaching loss written all over it, and it’s doubtful many will blame him, because after all, the Nets are a “bad team”.

That wraps up the summary of the Knicks game, it is now time to demonstrate a patterns that have been consistent while Frank has been the Nets head coach. Remember, any attempt to blame these patterns on the players is a failed attempt to support Lawrence Frank, the Nets have a total of 4 new starters on the team from last years opening line up. Lets take a look at the past two seasons and each seasons west coast trip during November. In the 2007-2008 season, they went 3-1, and were starting to gain confidence, and had what everyone called an easy game waiting for them at home when they were hosting the 4-9 Memphis Grizzlies. They lost that game and ultimately and all momentum gained from their strong west coast trip. This season they traveled to the west to dominate 3 out 4 very strong opponents. This time they were coming home to face an even worse team than the previous years 4-9 Grizzlies, they had to play the 2-12 Wizards. Guess what? They lost by 20 points!

Now I certainly wouldn’t write all this to only document 1 pattern, so allow me to demonstrate another pattern that comes from Lawrence Frank which has shortened my life by many years, and is a clear-cut reason to back up my point that Lawrence Frank is not an NBA-caliber head coach. Take a look at the scores for the following games going into half-time, and the scores in the 2nd half:

Example 1.

Example 2.

Example 3 – examine the 4th quarter.

Example 4 – came out flat in the 2nd half.

Example 5 – 4th quarter collapse after Carter ejection.

And dont forget the Nets most recent game, Example 6.

What happens is these games is not just a coincidence, but a pattern that has consistently plagued the Nets for as long as Lawrence Frank has been here, Frank does not know how to prepare his team to come out into the 2nd half of games to close them out and get a win. He has been given his chances, and at this point the is the longest tenured coach in the Eastern Conference. He may be a hard worker, but it doesn’t matter how hard he works if he doesn’t know what he\’s doing, because if he doesn’t know what he\’s doing he\’ll go nowhere. And that’s where the Nets have gone ever since Lawrence Frank has taken over as the head coach of the Nets.

Update On Faces from the Past & Present – **UPDATED 7/29/08**

It is obvious The Nets are going through a rather large facelift, so I thought it would be fun to look back at Nets over the last 2 seasons. The below will cover anybody who wore a Nets\’ jersey from any point between the first regular season game of the 2006-07 NBA season and the current date (7/29/08)*

PLAYERS FROM THE 2006-07 ROSTER WHO WERE NOT ON THE 2007-08 ROSTER:

Hassan Adams ~ Waived on 7/14/07 ~ Currently on The Toronto Raptors

Eddie House ~ Left via Free Agency ~ Currently on The Boston Celtics

Mile Ilic ~ Trade to The New Orleans Hornets on 10/29/07 ~ Currently on Iurbentia Bilbao Basket in The ABC Spanish League

Mikki Moore ~ Left via Free Agency ~ Currently on The Sacramento Kings

Bernard Robinson ~ Trade to The New Orleans Hornets 10/29/07 ~ Currently a Free Agent

Clifford Robinson ~ Waived July, 2007 ~ Currently a Free Agent

PLAYERS FROM THE 2007-08 ROSTER THAT ARE NOT ON THE CURRENT ROSTER:

Malik Allen ~ Traded to The Dallas Mavericks on 2/19/08 ~ Currently on The Milwaukee Bucks

Darrell Armstrong ~ Currently a Free Agent

Jason Collins ~ Traded to The Memphis Grizzlies on 2/4/08 ~ Currently On The Minnesota Timberwolves

DeSagana Diop ~ Left via Free Agency ~ Currently On The Dallas Mavericks

Eddie Gill ~ Waived ~ Currently a Free Agent

Richard Jefferson ~ Trade to The Milwaukee Bucks on 6/26/08 ~ Currently on The Milwaukee Bucks

Jason Kidd ~ Traded to The Dallas Mavericks on 2/19/08 ~ Currently on The Dallas Mavericks

Nenad Krstic ~ Left via Free Agency ~ Currently On Triumph Moscow

Jamaal Magloire ~ Wavied 2/22/08 ~ Currently a Free Agent (finished last season with Dallas)

Boki Nachbar ~ Left via Free Agency ~ Currently on Dynamo Moscow in the Russian Basketball Super League

Billy Thomas ~ Left via Free Agency ~ Currently a Free Agent (finished last season with Cleveland)

Marcus Williams ~ Traded to The Golden State Warriors on 7/22/08 ~ Currently on The Golden State Warriors

Antoine Wright ~ Traded to The Dallas Mavericks on 2/19/08 ~ Currently on The Dallas Mavericks

PLAYERS STILL UNDER CONTRACT WHO WERE ON THE 2007-08 ROSTER:

Maurice Ager

Josh Boone

Vince Carter

Devin Harris

Trenton Hassell

Stromile Swift

Sean Williams

Interesting Note:The only players who are still on the team who were on the team FOR THE FIRST GAME of the 2007-08 season are Josh Boone, Sean Williams, and Vince Carter. Josh and Vince are the only players who were on the 2006-07 roster.

Brook Lopez: He is the Real Deal!

Brook Lopez was drafted by the Nets with the 10th overall pick. It surprised many that he was still available at the Nets selection because many experts had him ranked high on their draft charts and no one expected the Bobcats to pass on him. Fortunately for the Nets, they were on the clock and Brook Lopez was still available, it made for an easy pick in the draft to fill a position of need, Center, and pick the best player available.*

Brook Lopez started out the Summer League in Orlando with a performance that had Nets fans excited, and NBA experts giving him praise. He than failed to dominate in the Nets second Summer League and suddenly he was no longer being considered a NBA ready player. But after playing in 2 pre-season games, he looks like he is ready.

Brook Lopez may be the Center the Nets have been looking for during the past decade. He is the biggest guy on the team, has an excellent frame for a center, and as Stephen A. Smith would say \”plays with a mean-streak.\” During the two preseason games he has played in, he has done nothing but impress, he crashes the boards and puts up a fight every time for the rebound, has a great understanding of how to play defense in the post and deny the pass, has quick hands and long arms which he uses to break up passes, and has displayed an effective hook shot in the paint. If Brook Lopez can continue to contribute like he has during the preseason and can get bigger and better, he may be that force in the paint the Nets have desired throughout their franchise history.