With the Nets having won four straight games and playing their best basketball of the season, we caught up with Daily News Nets beat writer Ohm Youngmisuk for the latest edition of "Three Questions With."
1. Before Wednesday, the Nets recorded their three highest fast break point totals of the season in the last three games. Is this just a result of better defense or do you think there was a change of focus and/or philosophy?
I definitely think this is the product of much better defense and some poor shot selection by opposing teams. During the Golden State rout, the Warriors took several long outside jumpers, resulting in long rebounds that sparked fast breaks. The Nets also have been good at holding teams to one possession, more frequently now than before when opponents were able to get several second chances during the Nets’ slump. Jason Kidd always wants to run and Lawrence Frank knows this.
While Frank may not have the roster to run like the Nets used to back in the day, he still wants to take advantage of Kidd’s strengths. What you are seeing now is Richard Jefferson hitting the glass less and getting out and running more often. However, I don’t think the Nets can run like this all season. Vince Carter is not a particularly great runner and is more of a halfcourt player. And outside of RJ, Jacque Vaughn is often the only other Net who runs with Kidd. So I don't expect the Nets to run like they did during their glory days of a few years past.
2. Is there a diconnect between management and coach Frank as far as personnel is concerned? It seems like Frank has had a tough time trusting this summer's new additions.
"Disconnect" would be a strong word. I know that management would like to see Frank play the players that were acquired in the offseason more often like Jeff McInnis and Marc Jackson. While some coaches play reserves consistent minutes regardless of whether they are producing or not, Frank is adamant about playing the players that will defend and give effort every night. McInnis and Jackson, management’s two big offseason acquisitions, have been inconsistent defensively. Now, in their defense, it is difficult for a player to come in and produce in limited minutes when their roles are not defined. Management surely would love to see Jackson and McInnis be given consistent playing time so they can evaluate the two before possibly trading them. Same goes for Lamond Murray, who as of late has been getting playing time. I still tend to think that Jackson can play a solid role for this team. He can score offensively inside for the Nets and with Jason Collins' health in question, Jackson may be needed down the stretch.
But Frank only wants to win and he tends to trust the guys he knows have produced for him before like most coaches.
Still, this is not some sort of Jeff Van Gundy-Ernie Grunfeld clash where the two were engaged in a bitter feud in the late 1990’s over the coach not playing Marcus Camby and some of Grunfeld’s other acquisitions.
3. Who is the best interview on the Nets and why?
My vote goes to Richard Jefferson. While he is incredibly sarcastic and constantly in denial about everything, Jefferson offers refreshing quotes that aren’t your typical clichés and boring sound bites. He speaks his mind and more often than not will tell you the truth and be honest and not always give you what is the "politically correct" answer. That is all you can ask for as a reporter.