In a debate between Greg Anthony and Marc J. Spears, the YES analyst says the Nets have the personnel to be a contender but not yet the mindset.The debate took place after the firing of Avery Johnson but apparently some time last week. The only game tape shown is from the Charlotte game, the first under P.J. Carlesimo.
Anthony's position is that the Nets have the talent but Spears contends the roster is not up to contender status.
Asked if Johnson was the problem, Anthony says...
I don't think we know yet but what we do know is that there was a problem and what we're going to find out now is who is the culprit.
This team now, when I look at the landscape of them, they don't necessarily have a leader. So the question for me is, 'who takes that mantle.' Brook Lopez? Deron Williams? Joe Johnson? One of those three, I believe, is truly going to have to be more of a leader and not just in terms of what leaders do off the court but also in terms of their impact on the floor and I would lean more towards the point guard, Deron Williams, who could be that guy because of the nature of the position.
Then, we'll find out just how good this basketball team can be moving forward.
Spears doesn't think the Nets were that good to begin with, saying they weren't as good as their 11-4 record (an interesting counter to Bill Parcells' old line that you are only as good as your record.)
I actually believe this team played over its head in the beginning, was never a big fan of their roster or enamored with their roster. But if you look at it now, Deron Williams is going to get the heat because of what happened in Utah, fair or unfair in each place. The coach leaving in Utah. He's taken a lot of heat for that. Now, he makes a comment about Avery's offense, blames Avery and a couple of weeks later Avery's fired. And he has to show, people are wondering if he is an overrated point guard.
Anthony disputes Spears' argument, saying the talent is there, but the mindset is not...yet.
He's a top five talent at his position. Joe Johnson is a proven commodity at his position. He;s a six time all-star. Brook Lopez is an emerging center. That's legit talent. This is a team that has to play a little slower, more methodical. They have to shrink the game. fewer possessions and I think they got away from the identity they needed to be successful. They have the personnel to compete with a lot of teams in this league. They may not have the mindset right now and that's going to have to change going forward.
Spears was also asked by Larry Biel of Yahoo! about the Nets coaching situation. He dismissed the speculation that Phil Jackson would take the Nets job and said he doubted Carlesimo would get much consideration unless he did extraordinarily well.
They're going to have the pick of the litter because their talent, because of their market.He's going ot have to do something phenomenal, like get them to the Eastern Conference Finals to keep the job.