The season has started, and its already pretty been a roller coaster ride, a times, with massive dips. We've started the season 1-5, not the worst, but pretty bad. Here's my thoughts on the early season.
What we have:
Right now, we've got a superstar PG (I will not deny it), a rookie whose done surprisingly well, a lights-out shooter who hasn't been lights out, an injured underrated center, 4 Williams, Frenchi as our starting center (at times), a bunch of shooters, and lots of new names. All this was made... a few days before the season even began. Our lineup right now (I believe) is:
Deron Williams / Sudiante Gaines
which is pretty much what we've seen. However, the starting rotation usually consists of Gaines/Dwill/James/Hump/?
What's clearly noticable is the lack of chemistry this team has. There are so many new players on this team, our bench is practically all new. They had a few days to get together and get something going before the season started. Granted, everyone had a shortened off-season, I think the New Jersey Nets had the shortest one of all, considering how late we resigned Humphries, Stevenson, and the new call-up of Dennis Horner. You know what happened. Looking at other teams (Mavericks, Clippers) that had numerous off-season additions, have also struggled early on. This just goes to show how much chemistry means to this team. The early part of this season has not favored the Nets. I'm thinking we should be fine chemistry wise soon.
Lack of Preparedness:
Now I'm not talking about the chemistry part now. This is about how it seems that so many of our players just aren't basketball ready. Jordan Williams (Springfield now) has had dehydration problems. DeShawn admitted that he was out of shape. Humphries was physically ready, but I don't think he was basketball ready. A couple of other players didn't look like they were ready for this season to begin. Maybe it was because of the lockout, maybe they were being lazy, maybe they didn't think they'll get signed. Who knows. All I know is that as a professional, they should have all been ready to ball.
I am fine, as of now, of our starting rotation. Deron, Morrow, and Hump should definitely be starting at all costs. There is no denying that. I'll explain Morrow later on. Johan Petro had started the first few games, and I'm not sure, but I believe Okur has started some of the later games. Hopefuly we'll see more Okur than Petro later on but right now, I'm cool with it. James has hustle and that passion to play which I like so that is great too to start off a game. However, the confusing part is the point guard situation. The rotation consisting of 2-point guards to start doesn't seem to working effectively. Yes, Deron said he would like to play more off the ball, but I doubt this is what he meant. Deron is an All-Star POINT GUARD, not SHOOTING GUARD. I know he played alot of that in Turkey but we need him as a point guard. Watching the parts of games that I endured, we seem to get better shots off when Deron is point guard and distributing (not forcing shots) than when Gaines is at the 1 position. Gaines can be that force off the bench, but not to start. Now to start with Morrow. Contrary to popular NetsDaily poster belief, I think Avery is doing the right thing not starting MarShon. He's a rookie and needs to develop. I remember one of the games he came in a little early and tried to force some ill-advised shots. Yes, I like his swag. Yes, I like this passion. I just don't want him to be another Kobe attitude-wise thinking he's all that. Plus, we need his scoring ability to come off the bench. From what I've seen, there are not many bench players that can score. Shawne hasn't hit a 3 yet I believe, Petro... don't get me started. Sheldon can't shoot, although he can defend. If Gaines comes as the backup PG, he and MarShon can lead the second-unit AS OF NOW. Morrow has not been shooting too hot right now but I feel like that may be due to him bulking up in the off-season. Something similar happened to me, not too say I was as great as a shooter as Morrow, but I used to be a pretty good shooter, until I decided to start working out. I'm jacked or ripped or anything now but it had, early on, affected by shot tremendously. I eventually figured it out and have improved my shot back to that level before, maybe beyond. What I'm saying is that once Morrow starts to get his feel, he'll be that shooter we saw last year. I also feel like he should be shooting more mid-range jumpers since he's money from there, until he feels hot and then start shooting his threes.
I will not write too much on him as it is still early on but I must say this kid has surprised me. He has shown alot of hustle and passion in his game and has shown me he is that type of scorer that he is hyped up to be. He may be no Kobe, now or ever, but he seems to me like he'll be pretty damn good later on in his career if all goes well.
Reflection on the Games:
The first few games showed just how much we lacked scoring. We could barely score, he were down by double-digits early, and it showed in our blow out losses. Yes the Wizards game we came back to win but I haven't seen that intensity much this season. However, the last few games I've seen alot more passion and cohesion in our offense and defense. Our defense the first few games lacked an interior force to go up and block shots, or atleast challenge shots. However, we seemed to have progressed and done a better job of protecting the paint. What we lost from that was our ability to defend the shooters, specifically the 3-point range. Opposing teams are 55-113. 48.6%. That's nearly half the amount of threes they shoot that go in. That's a major problem. This alone is probably making the games that should be close, blow-outs. I think we had one sort of close game this season. Everything else either we were never in it, or it fell apart later in the game.
Impact of Brook Lopez:
What? What impact? He hasn't even played! Yes, he hasn't but his lack of presence has shown a lot about this team. You may say he doesn't play defense, but watch this team now and I assure you he plays more defense than you may have thought. On the offensive end, he was pretty much our #1offensive option, and now he's gone. It seems like this team was built around an interior force. We have plenty of shooters, we just need to get them open, which has not happened much because the opposing teams know our centers can't do much. This team would be much better if he was here. By replacing Petro, he can get Deron assists, which boosts his confidence and his confidence in this team. Once Deron shows aggression and happiness, his leadership will cause that to spread to other players and naturally this team will be aggressive. Maybe we won't have won many more games, but we would've at least been pretty close in those games.
Well, those are just what I gathered from those games. Share your thoughts. Agree? Disagree? Go ahead, I don't mind.
I changed the poll because I can not commit to making alot more of these. New poll.