I have visited NetsDaily on a daily basis since the day Vince Carter came to the Nets. I never commented on this website since then, but I think it is time for me to say why I think this team should be given a chance. First of all, I'm a European fan, and as all the European fans out there, I have to pay International Leaguepass, stay up until at least 3.30AM to watch the Nets play on a too small 11' inch netbook. Also, since I've been watching this team since VC came here, and since I cannot remember the Nets final runs, I have not witnessed one positive season as a Net fan - and yet, I still pay, do not sleep, and watch the Nets. I travelled to London and Paris (I was a student then and it cost me more than roughly $1500, found a part-time job just to afford it) when the Nets played preseason games against the Heat. Back then, I was thrilled to watch the Nets play from 200 feet away and escatic to meet Jarvis Hayes, Yi Jianlian and Eduardo Najera. I would give everything to be able to join the L&P section and attend a regular season game in Newark. This is for those who are giving up on the Nets, and complaining about parking, 10$ tickets, a 30 minute drive, etc to put things into perspective.
Perhaps no team was affected by the lockout as much as the Nets. From our starting 5 (whoever they are), on most nights, 2 at least are new, and pretty much all of the bench is. A new team needs to gel as a compact group, and the Nets, with the lockout and the (almost) inhumane schedule have not managed to do it yet. This explains the unacceptable amount of turnovers and lack of communication. Stevenson, Humphries and Okur were added at the last minute. The team has played almost everyday in a week and a half, and practice time was very scarce during that stretch. Look at the other teams with several new guys (eg, the Mavericks, Clippers), they're not doing great either. Others aren't even that new to each other and doing badly (eg Lakers, Grizzlies, Knicks). Bad chemistry takes a toll on the team and suddently you have players missing shots, finding themselves out of position, etc. Let's stop blaming Avery Johnson, let's wait until the schedule easens up, then we'll make our evaluation.
Let us all please STOP comparing the Magic to the Nets. Yes, the Magic are 4-1. Ryan Anderson is playing great, true as well. But let us not fall into the trap thinking that because the Magic are good Howard won't come to a bad team (if we're that). That is precisely why the Nets are all in for Howard, because he can make a bad team a good one. I really would like to see a Howard-less Magic, and I really doubt how better than the Nets they would fare. The Heat were comparably much worse than the Cavs before Lebron James signed with them. Look at the Heat now, look at the Cavs. Of course, one might argue: 'but the Heat signed Chris Bosh as well as some very good role players'. Who's to say we will not? A superstar makes a team much better, makes mediocre players very efficient and effective players. That is why we're all in on Howard.
Why is Williams not making our players effective players? Truth is he's not. Through necessity, he's playing out of position, forcing his way to score when he never did this before, thus becoming the focus of opponents' defence. I used to watch the Jazz a lot, and most of DWill's points in Utah came when defending players were looking at other players (who had mostly became a scoring threat thanks to Williams himself). The fact that he can score does not make him a first scoring option.
Billy King and the Management
Let's have faith in Billy King. He knows what he is doing. We've put up with losses for a long time, and yet we hoped for the future, hoped for Brooklyn. Brooklyn is only months away now, let's wait. If we manage to attract Howard, veterans who can play a role off the bench will line up to have a shot at a championship. We could attract the likes of Allen, Garnett, Miller, Delfino, Billups, Wallace, Okur, all who could be willing to play off the bench with a contender. More could come through trades. We have a world-class point guard. We have an injured young great Centre. We have a rookie who's putting up 17 and 21 point games at will.
We could be a very good team. Or we could not. But it is too early to judge this team, the players, the management, and stop believing.
And for me, it is too early to stop cheering on the Nets on my 11' netbook at 3.30AM.
Let's go Nets!