In our latest edition of Three Questions With, NetsDaily talks to Gannett Newspapers beat writer Bob Considine. This is Bob's ninth season covering the Nets. His work appears in the Asbury Park Press, The Bridgewater Courier News, The Home-News Tribune, the Morristown Daily Record and The Journal News.
1. It seemed like the Nets are at their best when they are forcing tempo, but it obviously isn't happening enough (I'm not sure we've seen a full-court press since the preseason). How can they get out and running more often?
B.C.: Well, I think the days of the Nets' daily track meet are long gone with Kenyon and Kerry no longer around. Richard Jefferson was just talking about this Saturday night and his No. 1 answer was the change in personnel. But they still should be running and picking up points on the break much more than they are. To me, it's directly correlated to how they play defensively. If they're back on their heels or scrambling defensively, putting people on the foul line or simply pulling the ball out of the basket, they're not going to run. Your point is well taken, though. The Nets are averaging just over 10 fast-break points per game. In games they score 16 or more on the break, they're 6-0. Pretty telling.
2. How would you evaluate the Jeff McInnis experiment at this point? Could we be seeing more of Jacque Vaughn in the future? Where does Zoran fit in?
B.C.: So far, I don't think you can't call it a success. It's all about fitting in and feeling comfortable and I'm not sure Jeff has that comfort level yet. I'll say this, he doesn't have that look of uncertainty on both ends that he so obviously had in the preseason and in the first couple of weeks. But I still don't see the confident, "look-how-much-fun-I'm-having" playmaker. I'm sure Jeff would put that on his role and his minutes. I do think it's too early to draw any final conclusions though. As far as Jacque goes, I do think you'll see more of him as long as the Nets continue to struggle defensively. Lawrence has piece of mind with Jacque. He doesn't have to worry about upsetting him if the minutes go down. Zoran is interesting. Liked his energy and intent, even after he got the contract extension. But Lawrence is searching right now. And because Z has played single-digit minutes in the last seven games and, yes, zero (against Philly) is a single-digit, it's safe to assume Lawrence wants more out of him defensively. Ultimately, however, it's hard to imagine him being anything more than a 10-12 minute guy on this team given the roster.
3. What has been your favorite moment covering the Nets?
B.C.: You mean besides this interview? Well, moments and games probably aren't the same thing and my favorite moments probably aren't related to basketball as much as what you see, who you meet and where you go. In other words, stuff your readers probably won't care about. So I'll go games. Game 5 against Indy in 2002. A watershed moment and a challenging story to write on deadline, given its magnitude. Game 5 in the 2004 Eastern Conference finals, the Nets' triple OT win over the Pistons, is a close second.
Three Questions With:
Al Iannazzone - 12.06.05
Ohm Youngmisuk - 10.20.05