I asked five Nets fans the same five questions. Here are their answers. If you would like to participate in future editions, please send me a PM on the forum.
Question 1: How do you feel about the Avery Johnson hiring and the amount of power he is being given in the organization?
Belarus: I feel absolutely positively about AJ hiring. We needed defensive minded coach who could lit fire under Devin's GO NETS!!! and make other youngsters to treat the game of basketball accordingly. As far as amount of power AJ getting I'll reserve my judgment on this one. So far no harm, no foul.
CalamityX04: Well before Avery's hire, I was personally very skeptic on him and his praisal as a coach. Did he have a winning record? Yes he did, but inhertiting a playoff bound roster with top quality players with high experience is quite a gift IMHO. So how much "coaching" did he really do? He was to bring defense which may or may not have been there but we know the end results. So looking at that, I was wary about Avery and believed he was more hype than anything. Arguments can be made about coach Scott, Del Negro, even Spoelstra, Woodson(i know) and Frank(i did) that they've done more with their teams with less talent around them. Avery is coming into a young team so we will see.
D-Lightning: Avery is the right guy for this job, he was a big name coach on the market and the Nets needed a coach that would bring a presence with him. He’s been to the finals and has had a great amount of success as a player and coach. I’m not sure I agree with the amount of power hes being given, however every coach has a say in personnel to a certain degree within any organization. That being said Avery has been brought in here to lead this team to a championship within 5 years and I think it’s important for him to be a part of the rebuilding process as to what players are being brought in.
Jerkstore: I believe he will be "the" coach for this team, perhaps garnering the kind or relationship that keeps him with the organization for the next 20 years, perhaps moving to the office at some point. I think he's putting together a really high quality coaching staff.
J-Kay: I absolutely love the hiring. I don't think there was a single candidate better than Johnson (and when I say candidate, Izzo, Phil Jackson, and Coach K don't count, they were clearly never available). I'm a tad bit concerned amount how much power he may have, as there isn't much of a precedent among current teams. That being said, I think Avery, King, and Marks will create a great set of checks and balances.
Question 2: What is your favorite roster move of the offseason and why?
D-Lightning: Anthony Morrow. I love this kid’s game, he can shoot the lights out, has the ability to drive it to the hoop and is an underrated defender. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take the starting job away from Courtney Lee at some point in the season.
J-Kay: My favorite roster move was selecting Derrick Favors. He has the upside to be one of the best defensive players in the league and seems to have a great work ethic. We haven't had anything resembling a quality starting power forward since Kenyon went to Denver. Another part of why this was my favorite roster move was that we elected not to select Cousins, who would have been a terrible fit next to Brook, or Wes Johnson, who has a much lower ceiling than Favors.
Belarus: Favorite roster move is that we did not trade away key pieces: Lee, TWill (hope they don't trade him for PF), Favors. All FA signings though small in statue will definitely improve our team.
Jerkstore: Anthony Morrow. This guy could blow up.
CalamityX04: Roster move, not inlcuding the draft, would be the signing of Anthony Morrow. That right there, to me, was an aggressive push for a scorer on game nights. Outlaw has some potential to be huge for us, but he has other responsibilites that I have set the bar for him, such as rebounding and defensive play(one on one or helpside) I applaud the Farmar signing and think he'll be an excellent backup PG or starting PG pending injuries. But Morrow, has that one role off the bench, and I think it will bring a much needed flare or excitment to both the team and fans.
Question 3: What is your take on the Nets strategy to saving cap space in case a big name becomes available by the trade deadline?
Jerkstore: Solid and we have Devin and Lee as trade chips. I think it may be better to take our product on the court and show other teams that we are not the Nets team of last year. Players may begin to shake lose on their own if we can give them a reason to come here. so i don't think anythig changes before the trade deadline.
CalamityX04: Nearly filling out the roster space, it is very wise to save a considerable amount just in case come deadline the NETs are prepared to make a big move(if a top name came available). We definitely have the contracts on hand for those moves, but hopefully it would be moves to help us and not further cap clearing.
J-Kay: Its clearly the right move, I don't think there's much argument against it. The Pistons proved it last season, just because you have cap space doesn't mean you have to use it right away. Signing role players like Gordon and Villanueva to those huge deals is going to set that team back a while. Even if we aren't able to acquire a massive talent such as a Chris Paul or Carmelo Anthony with the cap space, the Thunder proved last season that having that type of flexibility can still get you a high quality young player such as Eric Maynor.
Belarus: I think it's a viable strategy since we're in no position to compete for a championship for the next 2-3 years.
D-Lightning: Smart move. At this point of free agency there is no one left on the market to overspend on and once all the top tier guys were off the board their best bet was to just hold onto their cap space. Although when I start to look around the league I’m not sure of any "big" names becoming available other than perhaps Carmelo Anthony if Denver foresees him walking in free agency.
Question 4: Do you think this new coaching staff (Avery Johnson, Sam Mitchell, Larry Krystkowiak, Popeye Jones, John Loyer and Tom Barrise) is going to be able to get this roster playing better than the sum of their parts? Why or why not?
CalamityX04: I'm going to have close my eyes and go on a leap of faith to say Yes, however a No is right there behind it on the tip of my tongue/fingers. Already speaking on Avery, the case for Mitchell, he'll be one one year guy if a new HC spot were to pop up and he'll immediately go after it. Nothing wrong with that on a career view, but as a Fan i couldn't put much stock in him. Popeye Jones would be interesting, I think he'll have more influence on Favors than Brook, losing roy rogers is going to show for some reason but I hope i'm wrong on that. Loyner and Barise should be fine in fact Loyner might excel under Avery's "defense" approach, I can't speak so much on Krystkowiak as I am unfamilar with him.
There will be an adjustment for the young players with their respected coaches, a proper approach would be needed to be taken by the coaches therefore avoid any unnecassary drama. Still un clear on the identity of the team, but we'll see.
Belarus: Yes I do. Key word "accountability". New coaching staff will make sure every player gives it all on the court and won't tolerate BS where player can be a passenger or puts "ME first" mentality (hello CDR) before the team. Also, I think AJ is great motivator and players will be pumped to compete in front of him.
J-Kay: I absolutely believe Avery and company will make the team play better. If you look at that Dallas team, it was great, but was it really a 67 win team? A couple of players in particular catch the eye from that team, You can make the argument either way for Devin, but while he wasn't filling up the stat sheet in Dallas as he is now, he was doing more to help his team win with his tremendous defense. Josh Howard has been complete garbage without Avery. Overall its a very coaching staff with two former head coaches as assistant (including Mitchell, who Bosh credits for a lot of his development) and a potential future head coach in John Loyer.
D-Lightning: I believe this coaching staff will be a difference maker and certainly get this team playing better than what they are. Its critical to have an experienced coaching staff to guide and educate when you have the amount of youth the Nets have. Avery will get Devin back to being the All-Star we saw just a season ago.
Jerkstore: With very few superstar egos to serve and no major ticket draw it becomes alot easier to have a pure approach. IMO plugging Morrow and James into the [insert point guard/fwd] Lopez machine will be the first goal i'd look at.
Question 5: Predict the Nets record for the 2010-2011 season.
J-Kay: This is the difficult question, especially given the roster is far from finished. I think we'll be better than Cleveland, Toronto, maybe New York, Detroit, maybe Philly, Washington, Minnesota, and Golden State. Puts us in line for somewhere around 34 wins I suppose.
Jerkstore: Ohh man, I'm never good at this. Gonna go high/low 58 wins if the coaching staff really works well
46 if we hit some bumps in the road.
D-Lightning: 34-48. I see this team surprising a lot of people next season. I expect them to add a legitimate starting PF through a trade at some point and the additions made through free agency along with an improved Brook Lopez will make this team an exciting young bunch to watch.
CalamityX04: 35-47 sounds realistic but i'm going throw in the unknown variable and call a 40-42 record.
Belarus: I see us vastly improved team, but not in a position to compete for PO position. 32-50.
Thanks to Belarus, CalamityX04, D-Lightning, Jerkstore and J-Kay for participating.