New Jersey Nets – NetsDaily

October 2, 2006

Website: NetsDaily Blog
Author: NetsDaily

Last Years Record: 49-33
Key Losses: Jacque Vaughn?
Not exactly “key”
Key Additions: Eddie House?, Mikki Moore?, Marcus Williams?
How “key” they are is still to be determined.

1. What significant moves were made during the offseason?
The Nets needed to rework their bench, which was inconsistent and unproductive all of last season. They brought back Clifford Robinson, but waived Scott Padgett and Zoran Planinic, let Jacque Vaughn sign with the Spurs and told Jeff McInnis to stay away.

They traded for Mikki Moore, signed Eddie House and drafted Marcus Williams and Josh Boone out of UConn. Moore gives them a little more athleticism on the frontline. House gives them a shooter who should benefit from double-teams on Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. Williams was a steal at #22, performed impressively at summer league and should provide Kidd a little relief at the point.

At this point however, none of the above is clearly a better move than any of last summer’s busts.

2. What are the team’s biggest strengths?
a) Defense – Team defense moreso then individual defense
b) Experience and leadership
c) Team play (4th in assists)
d) Vince Carter’s ability to get a basket when they need it
e) They play in the Atlantic Division

3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses?
a) Perimeter shooting (28th in 3pt % last year)
b) Shot blocking (27th)
c) Bench scoring

4. What are the goals for this team?
Primary: NBA Championship
Secondary: Develop the kids: Williams, Boone, Antoine Wright, Hassan Adams and Mile Ilic

5. Why will they win it all?
The Eastern Conference is probably more wide open than it has been in recent years. Richard Jefferson has improved every year in the league and Nenad Krstic (with a full summer of rest) will only get better.

Other improvement from within could come from Antoine Wright, who, by the time he sniffed any playing time, had lost whatever confidence he had coming into his rookie season. He has the potential to be RJ-light off the bench.

Lawrence Frank will hopefully have more confidence in his second unit, which will allow the starters to stay fresh fpr the postseason.

6. Why won’t they?
As terrific as Vince Carter is in the halfcourt, if he was a better defender and was more willing to run the floor, the Nets could get more easy baskets in transition.

As terrific a leader, a defender and a passer that Jason Kidd is, his jumper isn’t consistent enough to be a serious threat when Carter is doubled.

As pleasant a surprise as Nenad Krstic has been, the Nets need more toughness down low. They’re a solid rebounding team, but they don’t have that one guy to clean the glass and allow the perimeter players to leak out on the break.

If one of their Big Three Plus One gets hurt …

Predicted Record: 51-31
Slight improvement from last year. They won’t have the same slow start (9-12), but they also might not get 388 games (77.6 per) from their starters either.