I was at today's Nets game and just wanted to post my thoughts.
Brook Lopez had a pretty poor game. My biggest advice to him: Get your big body near the basket, big fella! He has a great post game, but does not post up nearly enough. He spends too much time fishing for 18 foot jumpshots. His rebounding was also poor. He just has terrible positioning, he is never under the hoop to grab boards. The talent is there, he just needs some coaching.
Devin Harris is one of the fastest players in this entire league. The Nets do not utilize this nearly enough. There was a stretch in the third quarter where Harris used his speed to create two fast-break layups in a row, that pumped up the crowd and the team, however they went straight back to boring, unproductive half-court right after a Pacers time out. Harris needs to drive more, kick out, create. He's a good player, but I don't think he is being used correctly.
Derrick Favors is invisible out there way too much. He will go five minutes without doing anything significant. He does not jockey for position, seems content to just watch people. Post up, young fella! Call for the ball! Assert your will! Avery doesn't help matters here, either. After Favors picks up a couple fouls he sits for a quarter and a half. That is not the way to coach your prized rookie. Ruins his confidence. In the third quarter, he picked up a couple fouls. Okay. They were aggressive, strong fouls. You can't just sit him down for the rest of the meaningful part of the game for that, Avery!
Travis Outlaw and Johan Petro actually weren't that bad today. If they know their roles, and don't take more than five shots per game, they could be okay role players. Uzoh wasn't bad either, he could develop into a decent backup in his future, but he's nothing special.
Anthony Morrow's 3-balls were not falling. No big deal, can't get 'em every day. Not worried about him.
Sasha and Kris were both decent. Hump has to get some kind of an offensive game, though.
Some thoughts on the team as a whole:
There is NO perimeter defense. Indiana was getting open 3s at will and Dunleavy in particular was hurting us. The zone defense was terrible and should be scrapped immediately. The defensive rebounding was also awful. They were getting far too many second chance opportunities, especially in the second half.
There are way too many possessions where the ball just stays outside for 20 seconds and someone jacks up a bad shot. We need to get the ball inside, whether it's driving the ball, posting up, something! The closer you get to the hoop, the easier it is to score. Simple as that. And when you kick out, you can get better outside shots than the ones we are currently getting.
What's the main thought I came away with from this game? That Avery Johnson is a terrible, terrible coach. His offensive system does not correctly utilize the talents of Lopez, Favors, or Harris, the three most important parts of our future. Bad teams need to RUN, especially with such a quick PG in Harris. The defense was also awful, no intensity, rebounding, or closing out. Sasha Vujacic in particular just stands there and watches as people shoot threes over him. Also, his substitutions are truly baffling. Late in the third quarter, the make-or-break time in the game, when we were within 9, the lineup on the floor is Uzoh-Ross-Vujacic-Humphries-Petro. Really dude? Nobody in there can create their own shot. That is, frankly, the worst offensive lineup i have every seen an NBA team put out there.
Bottom line? Color me unimpressed, by the coaching AND the execution. Changes need to be made here. I really think Lopez, Harris, and Favors could be great pieces of our future. Avery Johnson is hindering them and he needs to either change or get the heck out of here.