Here and there, you start to see it ... in Jonathan Tjarks appreciation of Joe Johnson on RealGM. Or Miles Wray's excellent breakdown of Deron Williams game. Or Devin Kharpertian's deep dive into Brook Lopez's first game. Or the two pieces Wednesday morning on Lionel Hollins, one by Shlomo Strung in Sheridan Hoops and one by William C. Rhoden in the Times.
What, you may ask? A sneaking suspicion that the Nets are a very good basketball team with very good basketball players and a very good coach. Oh, we know, it's early and a loss to the Timberwolves at Barclays could send everyone into a panic, but if the Nets win Wednesday night, they will be tied for first in the East with a 3-1 record.
As Tjarks wrote Tuesday in his Johnson profile, "Few are talking about Brooklyn this season, but they are still a dangerous team that no one in the East is going to want to play in the first round." And everyone is raving about the healthy Deron Williams. As Wray writes, "Deron’s totals on the evening were 17 points on eight shots, alongside only two turnovers (one of which was a questionable offensive foul call) and nine assists." He described that as "about as close to perfect as it gets. And this is not a one off. This is how Williams plays."
Kharpertian details Lopez's extraordinary efficiency: "Lopez scored 18 points despite only touching the ball in the frontcourt 16 times. That’s right: Lopez scored more than a point not just per possession, but for every time he touched the ball in the frontcourt."
The two Hollins pieces look at the coach in a different way. Sprung talks to veteran Nets players about their boss while Rhoden talks to Hollins.
The Nets’ arena is more dramatic than the Knicks’ Madison Square Garden; they have a better coach; and, for now, a better team. But they are still the Nets, and they are still in Brooklyn.
If the Nets have any hope of shifting the gaze away from Manhattan — even a little — they must win consistently. Forget the glitzy fireworks, the Jay-Z and Beyoncé sightings, real estate and rumors of a sale.
Forget old school, forget new school.
Winning is timeless.
And so it is.
- RealGM Blog: Joe Johnson Beyond The Contract - Jonathan Tjarks - RealGM
Deron Williams Played A Perfect Game, And Few Even Noticed - Miles Wray - Basketball Breakdown
Brook Lopez is still a fire-breathing scoring machine - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Lionel Hollins commands Brooklyn Nets' respect - Shlomo Sprung - Sheridan Hoops
In Rapidly Changing World, Nets Strive for an Important Constant - William C. Rhoden - New York Times