In their NBA TV season preview, both Mike Fratello and Stu Jackson suggest that Lionel Hollins is going back to his Memphis playbook and "inverting" his center and power forward in Brooklyn.
First Fratello suggested it...
"Maybe this is where you invert your center and power forward, because (Thaddeus) Young is so good around the basket and (Brook) Lopez is so good facing up ... And wait a minute, there's some team that has a guy named Marc Gasol who goes outside and plays Z-Bo (Zach Randolph) on the inside. They kinda invert, that old Memphis team of Lionel Hollins. Maybe he does it again in Brooklyn."
Jackson agreed and thinks the Nets are already doing it...
"They do invert Lopez and Thaddeus Young. Thaddeus Young has a great ability to play along the baseline. He can put the ball on the deck from the perimeter, especially from the wing, terrific offensive rebounder. And this is a team under athletic transition. They go out and draft Chris McCullough who wont play most of this season, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Markel Brown, Thaddeus Young. The plan is clear on how they want to build around Brook Lopez and that is getting a little bit more athletic."
Both think such "inversion" is going to be helped by what they've seen from Young in the preseason ... adding wrinkles to his low post game, moving from his comfort zone on the low right block to the mid left block. Every little bit helps, says Jackson.
"It's really a credit to him as professional the way he's continued to add skill to his game. The fact that he's showing in the preseason the ability to put the basketball on the floor going both ways,he's trying to make himself a complete player and I think he's headed for a very good year."
Jackson also takes aim at those who add "if healthy" to every discussion of Brook Lopez's game.
"Two things about Brook Lopez. One is he got healthy. The other is that the second half of last year, he underwent a transformation himself. Lionel Hollins challenged to have more of a disposition to dominate games defensively and I thought he responded. I mean he averaged 19.7 points a game, nine rebounds and 1.8 blocks, which is not the way he played previously."
In other parts of the half-hour preview, Young offered what host Rick Kamla described as "critical comments" directed at Deron Williams ... while praising Jarrett Jack.
"From vocal standpoint, Jarrett is better. He's more vocal. He has the ability to go out there and lead and talk to certain guys. I'm not saying D-Will didn't lead. He sometimes wasn't vocal enough. Sometimes he just kind of played. He just played the game"
Bottom line, Fratello and Jackson were asked if the Nets would win more or less games than the 28.5 projected by Las Vegas, Fratello was more optimistic. He cited the veterans on the team, Lopez, Young, Johnson, Jack and a healthy Andrea Bargnani. Jackson said he thought the Nets would win "slightly more."