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When offense doesn’t count for much. March 2, 2008

Posted by netsophobia in Atlantic Division, Desegana Diop, Devin Harris, Eastern Conference, Lawrence Frank, Marcus Williams, Maurice Ager, NBA talk, New Jersey Nets, Sean Williams, Trenton Hassell, Vince Carter.

Before the lineup overhaul, this team was struggling both on the defense and on offense, even with the same team that from two years ago whichc was one of the best defensive teams in the league, the team slowly deterioriated to the point of last season where on certain games they could lock teams down defensively to this season where teams would just steamroll over them.

Then came all the trades which saw the blog favorite Jason Collins traded for Stromile Swift and Kidd and Antoine going over to Dallas, it all points to the new guys like Harris, Hassell, Swift (and of course Diop, but we’re talking about offense here) to score more, to shoot higher percentages compred to the other three. Prior trade, none of the three ex-Nets were shooting over 41% while the trio of Hassell, Harris, and Swift has Hassell shooting 44% which is the lowest among them three. So basically the offense’s going to improve over time correct?

Yeah, but the point is, if you can’t stop anyone, you can’t win games even if you’re scoring 120 or 130. The focus on this team has to be on defense, because no matter how many points they can score, this team isn’t equipped to be Phoenix East or Golden State East, the Nets just don’t have the personnel to do that, the reason we lost against the Magic, was because coach Frank wanted to keep up with the scoring charts therefore five players ended the game playing 38 minutes and only one reserve played over 20 minutes, and in the end the team suffered. During crunchtime when stops are important, we couldn’t get any because the entire lineup on the floor was fatigued and Frank isn’t trusting enough to put any new guys on the court.

if kids could D up, why can’t we?

Which comes to the next point, player rotation, we all heard what the Hassell’s, Diops and Swift could do, they CAN play defense, but if the coach isn’t going to play them, they can’t do their jobs no? If the reserves don’t get playing time, players like VC and RJ, Harris would suffer at the end fo close games when we need a closer, we need our star players to be fresh to make plays; not be tired and choke.

We have so many players on this team that’s capable of playing stellar defense so why not we utilize them? Let’s say this team needs to score, yeah the starters can score all they want, but when it’s the 2nd quarter, a time for runs, why not but a few of those guys in and let them play defense, let’s say a 2nd quarter lineup of Harris, Carter, Hassell, Diop and Williams. It’s the balance between offense and defense that matters.

I’m sure if the team focuses on D, guys like Maurice Ager would play defense when they are on the court, he certainly has the tools, but he’s trying to hard to show everyone how good he can sore the basketball, hence his lousy stats. Frank needs to give defense a shot but everything starts with trust, he has to trust the new players and give them minutes, put the emphsis on D and the scoring will come, because I don’t see the Suns winning any championships yet.


What’s New in The Atlantic Division July 5, 2007

Posted by netsophobia in Boston Celtics, Eastern Conference, NBA Discussions, NBA predictions, NBA previews, NBA talk, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Off-Season, Philadelphia Sixes, Toronto Raptors.

The Nets drafted Sean Williams and re-signed Vince Carter, we all know that, but in the mean time, our foes around the division got better as well, that’s an understatement because the number of stars around the teams are double the number of last season’s, basically right now the Knicks are contenders to make the playoffs, the Sixers probably won’t suck that much, Boston would have two All-Stars on their team, the Raptors went from strong to abit stronger, and of course then there’s the Nets.

New York Knicks
No matter how you look at it, the Jigs stole one hell of a deal from Portland, basically you’re giving up a malnutritioned 7 footer who shootes too much and a also a Nate Robinson sized tumor in exchange for a premiere 20/10 guy in the league, that’s good business anyhow you see it.

Wilson Chandler isn’t much of a prospect in my eyes, but since Isiah had a wee bit of success in the draft, as in David Lee and Renaldo Balkman, I’ll give him to benefit of the doubt that Chandler will not end his first season like how ermm…Michael Bradley did.

Possible Outlook: A starting line-up of Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, Quentin Richardson, Z-Bo, and Eddy Curry, sounds really tasty on paper, Krispy Kremez, but everything looks good on paper, Curry and Randolph are both black holes, put them on a tande and you get possibly a 0:4 assists to TO ratio, Randolph will have to live with less shots and accept and interview on Marbury’s frickin’ show.

Throw in the fact that they have a very strong bench, David Lee, Mardy Collins and yes, Nate Rosbinson, yes they have quite a squad out there, but then again, they have Jerome James and Isiah Thomas

Favorite Outlook: Randolph, Eddy Curry and Jerome James, the three big fat uncles, bwent fishing at some nearby swamp, tagging along, their little nephew Nate Robinson. So the three “Fatsketeers” saw this Dunkin Donut outlet and went berserk, leaving their  nephew outside the store picking fights with everyone.

Philadelphia Sixers
Thaddeus Young
, they said they need his shooting or whatever, Derrick Byars is a steal, Jason Smith WILL be a bust, and also another guy aptly named Herbert’s on a Hill, four rookies, and one of them’s a bust.

Derrick Byars is one of my favorites in this year’s draft, and seeing him on the Sixers team makes me feel like.. feel like… Qyntel Woods all over again, anyhow, the Sixers looking at Andre Iguodala as a saviour as just playing themselves, A.I is a star, he is a good player, but he isn’t a franchise player, YET, Andre Miller and guys are heading towards to correct path, adding in a collection of experience, athleticism, and youth, they’re heading towards the correct path, they just need time to grow.

Possible Outlook: Probably struggle their way onto another limping record during the All-Star Break before charging back for a grandstand finish, Iguodala will probably be an ALl-Star or maybe bubble All-Star team player, Jason Smith would have proven that Nick Fazekas is a better prospect and player.

Favorite Outlook: Derrick Byars, Thad Young, and Herbert Hill all breaking into the starting lineup alongside Iguodala and Andre Miller, ya, they’ll play small ball, and Byars will just jack up threes. Iguodala + Young + Miller = lots of alley-oops.

Toronto Raptors

BC (Before Colangelo), this team would have probably sucked their way through the draft process (drafting Rafael Araujo), or swam their way through the Free Agency (Rafer Alston? Lamond Murray?). But now, After Colangelo, he’s got himself Carlos Delfino in exchange for two draft picks, and then signing Jason Kapono through FA. By the way, BC hates the draft or what? he traded away Phoenix’s draft pics, and now he’s doing the same with the Raptors?

Possible Outlook: Build on their spetacular season and successfully defends the Atlantic crown, Chris Bosh turns into the second coming on Tim Duncan and brings the team to the brink of say the Eastern Conference Finals, Kapono shoots the bullets out of the crowd and Juan Dixon sulks somewhere in the arena. Hi Kris Humphries, you suck.

Favorite Outlook: They go the Clippers way of life, and struggles throughout the entire season, ending wth a mediocre or bad record, and leads everyone to believing Bryan Colangelo isn’t god in disguise, he’s Lucifer, and Sam Mitchell will be brought to the gallows.

Boston Celtics

HAHAHA, that’s it, way to go Danny, way to fucking go and screw up whatever’s left of your sorry franchise, and trade for Ray Allen? look, your team at least had something goin with Delonte West, Tony Allen and all the young guys on the team, basically if you wouldn’t want to trade Al Jefferson, then trade Paul Pierce, something’s gotta give, but not the 5th pick, that team just went from servicable to bad. They’re going to be undersized for good, AL Jefferson will have to play Center, Ryan Gomes will have to make way for Pierce to slide over to the 3. Ray Allen’s going to sell some jerseys and make some shots, but he isn’t going to brng this team to the promiseland. maybe lotto land. 

Possible Outlook: The Celtics starting FIVE, 1- Rajon Rondo, 2- Ray Allen, 3- Paul Pierce, 4- Ryan Gomes, 5- AL Jefferson, looks good right? except for the fact that bot of their All-Stars are injury prone, okay maybe Pierce isn’t but Allen’s going to miss his fair share of 10-20 games every season, maybe they will scrape into the playoffs or stay in the race until something happens, some bad injury happens, but maybe they won’t at all.

Favorite Outlook: ending the season 20-62, or worse or partially better, so that they could get the number overall draft pick and spend it on O.J Mayonaisse, and with that I can conclude their season with a nice, EVEN JESUS COULDN’T SAVE BOSTON. (Sorry Adam if you’re reading this, it soudns a bitharsh I know.)

I won’t be doing the Nets, why? because I don’t want to be have to sort of blogging bias, so I would save the Nets for later, because I know that I would eventually end up being bias eventhough I’ve said I won’t. Try me.

The ALL-NBA Teams are a Farce May 11, 2007

Posted by netsophobia in Detroit Pistons, Dwight Howard, Eastern Conference, Melo, NBA Playoffs, NBA talk, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix, Recap, Season Awards, STAT, Stevie, Weekday Randomness.
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First of all, the first team, there’s nothing wrong with the first team, Steve Nash, STAT, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, and KB24, they did what they did the entire season, and got to where they are now, obviously Steven Nash, the double MVP, STAT, with his successful comeback, Kobe those scoring spurts, Duncan, being solid the entire season, and of course the leader of the best during the regular season, Nowitzki.

But the problems starts here, the 2nd Team, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Gilbert Arenas; Bosh and James, no troubles there, but Arenas? man he had a hell of a season, but the second team? you’d gotta be kidding, what about Jason Kidd? man, he had one of the best statistical season ever, and the Nets have the same record when compared to the Wizards, and T-Mac? and Yao? man, i know the choices are limited, but hey, guys like them missed tons of games, so how do you put this equation together?

and the All-NBA 3rd Team? joke. F Kevin Garnett, F Carmelo Anthony, C Dwight Howard, G Dwyane Wade, G Chauncey Billups. Ok, this, Billups should be here, because he’s repping the best team in the East, so he’s got his case, but Wade? what did he do? last thing i’ve heard from him was nothing related to the 47-35 record the Heat got at the end of the season. Garnett didn’t even make the playoffs, and Melo? let’s not start talking.

let’s see how many players who should’ve be here, Mehmet Okur, Carlos Boozer, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter. The Sports Guru from Fear the Sword noted that King James will be extra motivated on Sunday’s game because he got snubbed from the first team, which i think is what he deserves after apparently “coasting” through the entire season or so. But let me tell you this, the best point guard in the NBA right now (arguably), won’t be too happy about being snubbed as well, and the scary thing is, he has even started dominating yet.

Louis Williams aren’t kidding ya March 6, 2007

Posted by netsophobia in Eastern Conference, NBA talk, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia Sixers.
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how much confidence can be instilled into a team once they beat New Jersey?

well, more than enough for the Sixers with a 22-38 record to start thinking about the playoffs;

“Why not?”
“Look at the Orlando Magic last year,” Iguodala said. “They were in a similar position. Nobody was looking at them and they sprouted up and finished ninth and surprised everybody. You never know.”
“We’re going to keep playing hard and we’re going to play like we have a chance. We can only control what goes on on the court.”

WAIT!!; don’t you guys want Greg Oden or Kevin Durant? or to a certain extent Al Horford? they are certainly tons better than what you guys got in Rodney Carney, or even better still, one of them could really turn your franchise around for better or worse.

ahh, alright, maybe Andre Iguodala was just being over optimistic, let’s hear some someone who sounds less optimistic, let’s hear from Passion and Pride’s own garbage time monster, Willie Green.

“I’ve been saying that we want to build momentum so that even if we don’t make the playoffs, we’ll have that going into next season,” said Willie Green, “Our [playoff] chances are slim, but if we keep playing hard and keep playing together, it might happen.”

ok, that sounds much more realistic, building momentum, ahh, how long was it since we last heard that phrase, “building momentum”, well actually the Sixers are just only 6 games behind 8th spot, and with 22 games left; really anything can happen right now. but come on; stop kidding, YOU WON’T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS.

Louis Williams – The Great Hope of Philly Sports


the Nets are upbeat no matter what. March 6, 2007

Posted by netsophobia in Eastern Conference, NBA talk, New Jersey Nets.
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we lost to two of the worst in the league consecutively and now the Knicks are only half a game behind us for 8th spot in the playoffs, but, Lawrence Frank is still very optimistic that the team will make the playoffs

“We lost two games in a row, Yet if you think about it, that’s kind of how our season has gone. It isn’t as if it’s an anomaly. This is kind of who we’ve been. The key is can we get ourselves back on course? These two losses, although very disappointing, we have a lot of life in us. We’re going to have to regroup and play a whole lot smarter and a whole lot harder and a whole lot more together, especially on the defensive end.”

The thing is, he was spot on on two things; this is really what the Nets have been this season, they play promisingly for like 5 or 6 games, then sink without a trace in the next 7-8, secondly; the Nets sucked defensively this season, it’s not like they aren’t trying to defend, but with much of the team what came back from last season, where the Nets where tops in the L for opp FG % last season, we’ve seen none of that except in flashes.

“we’re in the playoffs right now if you look at the standings and we just have to keep it that way, So it’s basically up to us. We don’t have to look up to other teams and hope they lose. We have to do our thing.”

Boki is spot on on that one, to make the playoffs, it’s all up to us to make it happen, but the problem is now, i don’t see the Nets winning any of their next three against the Texas big three, so the Nets really have to see how Indiana and New York plays and hope that they lose, if they win, it’s just gonna keep piling on the pressure on us to produce.

(edit: Orlando just whipped the craziness out of Michael Redd’s Bucks so Orlando too is just half a game behind the Nets)

Weekly Playoff Jostle March 4, 2007

Posted by netsophobia in Eastern Conference, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, NBA talk, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic.
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So what’s the situation on New Jersey’s playoff hopes?

Well, right now the team is occupying 8th spot in the standings and are remarkably only 1.5 games behind the 6th seed in the East, New York Knicks are streaking with 2 straight wins, Miami Heat too have won 2 straight behind a vintage performance by Shaq, Orlando Magic’s slump continues and it doesn’t look like they are breaking out of it, the Pacers are on a 5 game slump and are now 29-29.

Indiana Pacers, in at the 6th spot, have 4 of their next 10 games at home, and have 6 of their next 10 against 0.500 and above teams, crucial games includes games against Cleveland and Miami. with Sacto, Utah, Philly, Cavs, Minny, Wizs, Hawks, Rockets Spurs and Heat in their next 10 games, we could see whether the Pacers stays in the 6th spot or fizzles out and play ala Magic to end the season out of the playoffs.
Schedule Strength : 8/10

Miami Heat, in the 7th spot, without Dwyane Wade have suprisingly won their last two on the back of a Shaq and Antoine Walker attack, WOOT!, they have their next ten with two against the Hawks, Bulls, Minny, Wiz, Jazz, Jersey, Kings and the Magic. with crucial games including two playoff tussles against the Nets and Orlando. they have only 3 games against teams above 0.500 both have tough games against some below 0.500 teams like the Kings. how they play in their next 10 is probably how far can Shaq take them, because other than Shaq, the next best player in the team is maybe Antoine “the walking chucker” Walker and Jason Williams, whom are both best playing as the fourth and fifth options on offense.
Schedule Strength : 4/10

New York Knicks at 9th, again playing without Jamal Crawford but if you seen them play with Steven Francis, Stephon Marbury and Quentin Richardson clicking, they are really quite a team, coupled with Eddy Curry and Channing Frye and a solid supporting cast, suddenly the Knicks are looking like a serious playoff threat, one’s gotta give credit to Isiah Thomas for bringing them to this position right now, the Knicks play their next 10 with two against the Atlantic leading Raptors, two against the Cavs, Mavs, Wiz, Sonics, Blazers and the Magic. with crucial ones including the games against T-dot and Orlando. they have one of the toughest 10 game stretch amongst all five teams and how they will cope with their squad will be interesting to see.
Schedule Strength : 9/10

Orlando Magic at 10th, have been on a free fall since god knows when; have their next 10 against the Bulls, Bucks, Jersey, Knicks, Hornets, Rockets, Heat, T-Dot, Utah and the Kings, with the team under performing as a whole (well, Dwight Howard is the only bright spot), this stretch of games against 6 sub 0.500 teams could either spell playoffs for the Magic or the lottery. crucial games includes three games in this list, heat, Knicks and the Nets.
Schedule Strength : 5/10

finally we come to the New Jersey Nets, who are 28-31, occupying the 8th spot, and with a six game roadtrip looming, have; i mean HAVE to step up in the six games and at least win two out of those six to keep their playoffs hopes alive, with the Texas big three part of that six game stretch, it really looks bleak. big games include the game against a NBA best Dallas team, the Heat and the Magic. the CLips and Denver are teams that could test Jersey at home because they are two completely different teams compared to the Nets. this stretch will both be interesting and painfully depressing.
Schedule Strength : 9/10