Matt Moore's Hardwood Paroxsym hasn't always been kind to the Nets. They had this way of reminding everyone that the Nets didn't have any draft picks or were boring or just realllly bad.
But Miles Wray of HP writes thoughtfully Monday about the changes he and fans have seen since Sean Marks took over in February. While noting that most of what has been said is still true, he adds... "So far, it’s hard to imagine how Marks could be doing this job any better. It’s been about a decade since somebody said this genuinely, but: I’m excited and optimistic to see what the Nets do next."
Yeah, we get that. It's called anticipation. And it's based on what Marks has done so far, from starting to fulfill a promise to find good young players in non-tradtional places --signing Sean Kilpatrick -- to going for the incremental steps rather than rolling out a "name" coach -- hiring Kenny Atkinson.
It's also based on Marks style, as Wray writes: "The first and maybe primary reason to love Sean Marks is that, while the work ethic is necessarily there, he talks about the massive project ahead of him as if he has just walked inside from a beach, calmly evaluating his options in that instantly charming New Zealand drawl."
Wray predicts more unorthodox moves --"signing several players currently earning basketball paychecks in other countries" -- but thinks the Atkinson hire is very orthodox. He's a teacher, Wray notes, supplying a video of Atkinson talking about his summer league gig with the Hawks last year.
"I’m becoming convinced that these private, daily rhythms of teaching are actually the most important part in determining winners and losers in today’s NBA," writes Wray. "I know, I know: analytics are important. And they are; they’re absolutely vital. But in an era when 29 teams or so have robust analytics departments, it feels like the very biggest competitive advantages come from discovering and maximizing the talents of whichever players are already on your own squad."
The Nets 2.0, Wray notes, is diametrically opposed to Nets 1.0. Hope so.