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.
The first edition can be found here
1) Who is your favorite current Net and why?
canofan42: My favorite Net, like many other Nets fan I'm sure, is Brook Lopez. As a Nets fan, there really isn't much to complain about from him. Besides the fact that he's the cornerstone of our franchise and was one of the very few bright spots of our team last year, he has a very likable personality. He's quirky and different in his own way, but it's amusing and you can't help but smile when you hear his interviews from the way he talks. In terms of his game, he is already one of the top centers in the Eastern Conference, and is only getting better. He has a very nice offensive repertoire in the low post, and can step out and hit a jumpshot as well. His defense is average, but he's improving. The fact that he's a likable character as well as his willingness to work and improve are why he is my favorite Net.
jabez: Brook Lopez. He is the cornerstone of our team. The NBA is becoming a speed game, and quality big men are increasingly rare. Brook is very skilled and will soon become one of the top two or three centers in the league. Speed is great, but no matter how quick you are or how well you shoot, you won't beat us by shooting jump shots when we are dunking.
MrDollarBills: Right now, it's Brook Lopez. The big man has a great touch around the basket, and can make some sick moves with his back to the basket or facing up against his man (I wonder if anyone else has noticed that Brook has a little cross over dribble move?). I mean, I can go on about him but what I'd like to see from Brook going forward is an improvement on establishing post position(he gets pushed around by guys like Howard and Perkins), extending his jumpshot range out to the 3pt line, and working on his 1 on 1 defense. We should see him really establish himself as one of the best offensive big men in the league this year now with shooters around him. People balk @ Brook for having a surly attitude at times but I like the fact that he has a bit of a nasty side to him. No one should be happy when getting your butt kicked 70 times.
ghoti: Terrence Williams! These are the two types of players I am typically drawn to:
- Toolsy, skilled players who can be plugged into multiple lineups, used at multiple positions and do several things at an above-average level. In today's NBA with the soft cap and not much flexibility, these are the players I think are most valuable.
- Freak athletes who have good basketball instincts. I love high-fliers who can finish and can get me yelling from my seat or my couch. Basketball is supposed to be exciting! I love a game full of crazy highlights.
T-Will delivers in both of these departments, and he isn't a liability on defense, either. It takes a good, creative coach to get the most from him, but as a fan I think he's fun to watch. Now that the team is competitive I think he'll be the one to get everyone going, get the crowd excited and bring some real confidence to the team!
Universe: Brook Lopez even though I can see it being Damion James by the end of the season because I enjoy rooting for the underdog.
2) What are your current and all-time favorite Nets-related debates?
jabez: My favorite current debate is how to build our team. Since we have now demonstrated how difficult it is to attract a free agent until we are winners, what other ways can we build a championship team? A successful strategy will revolve around building from the draft, establishing a team-first winning culture, avoiding boat anchor contracts, and having some patience. All-time, I still think JKidd got robbed of the 2002 MVP award and that the New York Nets were a great team that were destroyed by the NBA merger.
MrDollarBills: Right now, it's arguing amongst ourselves about Terrence Williams, since he's been the source of a lot of debating on this blog. All time? Hmmm it's hard to chose. Maybe the Lawrence Frank debate, is he really a good coach that was given bad teams, a good X and O guy but a poor in game coach, a guy that has no business being a head coach, or a little bit of everything?
ghoti: Classic topic? The Lawrence Frank debate. He's a great guy and a talented coach; he's easy to defend. I think you can tell a lot about someone by how they evaluate his performance over the years. The debate isn't over, either. His defection to my least favorite team brings new twists to a familiar argument.
The current debate I like is what Devin Harris' role should be. He was so great when his responsibilities were narrowed to scoring and he was not expected to create for others. I think Avery understands how to get the best from him. How he is used and what lineups he succeeds in could be a way for the Nets to exceed expectations this season.
Universe: Any debate that included the word "Marcus", "Williams" and "talent".
canofan42: I've enjoyed the Derrick Favors - DeMarcus Cousins debate during the draft, because both players have the potential to become superstar-caliber players, but each have a different skillset and different questions surrounding them. Favors is the ultra-athletic 4 who is a monster rebounder, solid defender, but is still very raw. Cousins on the other hand, is a very large figure, and has shown he can bruise around down and score, but there are questions about his mentality and mindset. In my opinion, I feel like the Nets made the right decision based on the players' skillsets and their team needs. Favors fits perfectly in my opinion alongside of Brook as a 4 who can rebound and defend. At this point in time, offense from Favors is a considered a bonus. He's still very young, and seems to be a great character. I'm very excited with what Favors can bring to this team, and believe that the Nets did make the correct choice.
3) At what point this season to you expect that Favors will start averaging more than 24 MPG?
MrDollarBills: Post all star break. I think Avery should let him play through his mistakes, and leave it up to his production and ability to keep himself on the floor(meaning, not fouling out) to determine his minutes. You know that he's going to listen and work hard, so it's just a matter of him adapting to the speed and physical play of the NBA as well as gaining confidence that he belongs out there. This year is all about getting this kid's feet wet and letting him learn. He has the physical tools and the right attitude, so the sky is the limit.
ghoti: I believe he will play as much as Avery can reasonably play him. He will definitely have foul trouble, but they have some depth now which means that the minutes he does play he can let it go and not worry about leaving the team shorthanded. This guy is the future of the franchise - or the ticket to trading for a superstar. Either way, this season is all about showcasing him and for that he has to be on the court. I'll say he averages 24 MPG from day one. If Murphy misses time, which happens almost every year, it will be significantly more than that.
Universe: All depends how we do. I know we aren't going to have a Miami Heat kinda start but we could be winning games early and I don't see him putting in that many minutes. With that being said, he could easily surprise us all after training camp and be ready as soon as the first tip.
canofan42: With the acquisition of Troy Murphy, the Nets will be able to bring Favors along at his own pace & not have to throw him into the wolves before he's ready. Troy Murphy was obviously brought in to be our starting power forward until Favors is ready, and although I do believe Murphy will be starting for a majority of the season, Favors can still get significant playing time off the bench. That however depends on how quickly he develops. Personally, I believe he will develop quickly and be able to provide valuable minutes by around game 30. By game 30 or so, I feel that Favors will be ready to average 24 MPG or more, regardless of whether it's starting or off the bench.
jabez: I can see it happening fairly early (Nov/Dec), and perhaps all season. After all, he will be the first big off the bench, and Brook may not have a great deal of stamina to start the season. I can see Murphy and Brook averaging 32-35 minutes each, which leaves more than 24 for Derek. And I have little faith in Petro being effective--hope I'm wrong.
4) Predict the starting PF in game 1 and the starting PF in game 82.
ghoti: Troy Murphy, Derrick Favors If either answer is Kris Humphries, I won't be posting because I'll be too busy punching myself in the face.
Universe: Game 1: Troy Murphy Game 82: Derrick Favors / Travis Outlaw
Murphy will get the nod on opening night because he is the veteran and I believe he fits better with Lopez to start off the season. If we don't trade Murphy at the deadline he will be the starter still but I see him having a great start with the Nets while our team might not be in the same position. Our lineup either goes smaller or we start Favors if he is ready.
canofan42: As I stated in the prior question, Troy Murphy was obviously brought in to be our starting power forward, so in all likelihood, he will be our starting power forward in game 1 of the season. Murphy is essentially the best power forward the Nets have had since K-Mart, and as long as he stays healthy and plays the way he's capable of, the starting power forward position is his to lose. With that being said however, I feel Favors is going to develop quicker than people expect him to, quickly enough to be deserving of a starting spot by the end of the season. Both Murphy and Favors are capable 4's who have very different skillsets, yet both compliment Brook very well. Towards the end of the season, the Nets will be able to mix and match depending on the opponents. Because the last game of the season is against the Bulls, I think our starting power forward for game 82 will be Favors, because he matches up much better against Boozer than Murphy does.
jabez: Murphy, then Favors - I can see a trading deadline deal for Troy to a contender.
MrDollarBills: Troy 'frickin Murphy, and by game 82 if we're not in the playoff hunt Derrick should start....but if we're still in it and game 82 is a must win, Troy 'frickin Murphy. I'm very high on Murph. Great guy to bring in and teach Derrick how to bring it every night and how to be a pro. I like the makeup of our new locker room in general.
5) Predict the order of finish for the Atlantic Division.
Universe: Celtics, Knicks, Raptors, Nets and Sixers
Aside from the Celtics, I don't think you can truly put one team ahead of the other. New rosters, coaches and rookies make the race for second in the division up for grabs IMO. I really do think we can surprise a lot of people but my hopes are realistic due to the fact that we did only win 12 games.
canofan42: After the Celtics, it's really a toss-up in the Atlantic Divison. Because so many teams have so many new players in the division, it's difficult to predict how they will play as a unit and how long it will take for each team to gain chemistry. I may be biased, but I feel the Nets are the most talented team in the division after the Celtics. The acquisition of Murphy definitely improves the Nets and fills a hole, and their bench is one of the better benches in the NBA, something that the Nets haven't been able to say for quite a few years. I feel the Nets are talented enough and prepared (with an actual coaching staff) to be able to end up second in the division. After that, I don't think Turner and Igoudala will mesh well with the Sixers, so I give the Knicks the benefit of the doubt there. The Raptors... well without Bosh, they simply don't have much left.
Therefore, my Atlantic Division order goes as follows: Celtics, Nets, Knicks, Sixers and Raptors
jabez: Celtics, Sixers, Knicks, Nets and Raptors
The Celts have no tomorrows, but their today looks better than anyone else here, which isn't saying much. The Sixers have some talent, though I don't see Turner as ROY material. Hate putting the Knicks ahead of us, but they are better built for this season and this season only, so enjoy it Knick fans while it lasts. I see us winning perhaps 30 games this season, but it could be more if everything goes right (it never does, though). The Raptors could be really terrible this season.
MrDollarBills: Celtics, Knicks, Nets, Sixers and Raptors
Mind you, this is based off of what we look like now. If a certain guy gets traded here, this is subject to change. I also think that we can finish better than NY but to be objective, I'll throw us in at 3rd.
ghoti: Celtics (46 wins), Knicks (34), Sixers (33), Nets (32), Raptors (22)
Thanks to canofan42, jabez, MrDollarBills, ghoti and Universe for participating.