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Blank Post December 26, 2008

Posted by netsophobia in Devin Harris, New Jersey Nets, Vince Carter, Yi Jian Lian.
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Big WOW, seriously, I mean after 28 games, I never thought that the Nets would still be this competitive, I mean at best they would be like 12-16 you know and a game out of the playoffs but 14-14? come on, you gotta be kidding me, 

The three point shooting that plagued us for the last three seasons, this season the team just literally exploded from beyond the three point line, Last season, we were consistently among the last 5 in 3 point percentage but this season, the team is all the way up to 13th in the league with 37.2%, which I could proudly say are better than teams like the Cavs and Jazz. The improved shooting effiency is a big change from the offense of last year where it was just pounding the ball up court and leaving it in the hands of Carter, Jefferson or Kidd (pre-trade), but this year, the team is playing faster leading to more shots attempted per game compared to last season, and although we’re shooting more or less the same percentage compared to last season.

The free throw shooting which we all lamented about in the past, thanks partly to Jason Collins, Josh Boone and Sean Williams, are totally not the case of our struggles right now, partly due to the fact that Boone has been injured for the first quarter of the season and Williams can’t even buy a minute on the floor. In 2007, the team averaged 27 FTs per game, but only converted 73% of it, which is below average, however this season, the team is shooting 79% from the stripe, a total increase of 6.3% in clean calculations, which boosted the Nets right up into the top 10 of points per game with 101ppg easily eclipsing last season’s effort of almost 96 ppg.

The change in lead guards also means that a change in tempo would be needed, and when Devin Harris has the ball, attacking the rim is his first option, and right now he is top 3 in the league is FTs attempted per game, and tops in FTs made, when you have a backcourt duo that is going to average 20 FTs per night, it opens up the outside shot for the rest of the team and that is what the rest of the Nets are doing right now, Jarvis Hayes finally deserves to have his J back, Keyon Dooling is shooting a decent percentage, Ryan Anderson is in the top 10 among rookies from three, and not to mention three starters shooting 40% and above from beyond the arc.

Seriously, the cornerstone of this 14-14 record is Devin Harris, one that I used to hate, because he was a Maverick, and I’m also one that’s still pretty much on the Kidd bandwagon, although he’s the one who jumped off it first. Considering how Harris ended last season averaging 16ppg and 6 apg, shooting less than 44%, I thought all right, he could complement RJ and Carter next season and be pretty decent for the next few years. But the numbers that he’s averaging now, he’s a hands down winner of the Most Improved Player award and 24ppg and 7apg? that’s Gilbert Arenas’ numbers right there. His improved aggressiveness going to the rim not only changes the dimension of the team, but it also helps Vince Carter, because now Carter does not have to be the one that constantly attacks the rim, but rather one that shoots mid range jumpers and posts smaller guards up, it fits with the team, as Harris can attack the basket better and faster than anyone does on the team, and the league, and this also opens up the middle for Brook Lopez.

Never since Todd MacColluch had we had any centers with the production of Brook Lopez, I mean of course Brook is better than Todd come on! But, we never thought Brook Lopez would be this good this soon, I my self thought Brook Lopez is going to be a project, Josh Boone’s going to continue to start and miss free throws, but man hate to say this, but man, thank god for the injury, Lopez just exploded, 2 blocks per game? seriously when was the last time someone on the Nets averaged 2 blocks per game? not K-Mart, it was way back fellas. Jayson Williams is the only one I can think about back in 00. And also finally for the first time a Center not a guard, is leading the team in rebounds, thank god.

The improved offensive effiency, improved rebounding, a new point guard on the block and a low post presence which came sooner than expected is why we have 14 wins. But what about the 14 losses?

I hate to say this but look I don’t stay in Jersey or anywhere near the States but if my team is playing anywhere remotely near my place, I would be the first one to go, and what the heck is wrong with the Nets’ home record? 5-10 at home? That’s criminal, I mean if we would have the home crowd of maybe Memphis right here at the Deadzod, we would be looking at possibly a 10-5 record. It’s sad but the fact that the team feeds off the energy of fans from opposing arenas is just pathetic. I mean we want this team to win then we have to come out and cheer for them, where are they? From my own calculations, 6 games where I watched on broadband where the Nets got blown away at home, most of the fans were either dead at the third quarter or they aren’t even cheering. I can’t imagine any home team with this kind of support having a good record at home. The front office are pulling all the stops to attract people but the fans seriously have to take a look at themselves. Just look at the Rockets – Nets game.

Continuing this awful trend of giving up a trillion points in the second half, playing a game of two halves in every game is not the make up of a playoff team, and yes currently WE ARE A PLAYOFF TEAM, so losing out to the Bulls when we had a double digit lead in the third is unacceptable.

I had high hopes when Keyon Dooling and Eduardo Najera was signed by the team, they’re both instense defensive players who aren’t afraid to get up close, and I was hoping that their style of defense would actually rub off onto the team, but 25 games into the season, and upon from the occasionally flash in the pan on defense, it’s still as bad as last season, too slow on the close outs, and I thought last season, we were terrible the way we defended the three point line, but this season just Ko’ed last season’s 3pt FG % defense, the team is just letting opposing players get too many good shots, and we clearly have no designated defender who can stop whoever’s hot on the opposing team, Dwyane Wade got us, Deron Williams had us, we just can’t stop them. Trenton Hassell is a decent defender, but he is way too limited on offense to even be on the floor seriously, and Bobby Simmons, I mean he’s slightly better than Hassell, but if only Simmons was playing like it was 2005, and it would be even better if somehow they magically merged together, that would be the perfect SF to complement the team.

But seriously, 14-14 is nothing I can complain about, I should even feel delighted by this, because even if we were 12-16 I would be delighted, but the defense, and the early game intensity, the way we start out games while playing at home, I know it’s harder said than done but the team somehow just needs to make it a mind over matter kind of thing, no matter if the team is playing in front of 10 people or 16,000 people, it’s the intensity we start the game with that counts, Let’s win more basketball games in the 3/4! GO NETS!

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