One more year and we never have to crossover into Jersey to watch an NBA game. I been following Deron Williams on Twitter for a good month to two months now. He really had convinced himself that playing in Turkey was a good look, it really hurt to see your favorite point guard accept playing in another country. I met a chick from Turkey one day at work (slim, light cheeks, long brown hair) and made a bet that if Deron Williams came back to the states this year then so would she. It was a playful wager, she left me with just her name and the scent of her aura lingering in my store for the rest of the day, I shoulda been a little more serious with her. My point being, just continue to live life optimistically while lifting weights and showing off your watch and great things are bound to happen, Deron’s back, the NBA’s back.
Farewell New Jersey
Marshon Brooks, Jordan Farmar, Sundiata Gaines, Anthony Morrow, Deron Williams
Bojan Bogdanovic, Stephen Graham, Damion James, Travis Outlaw, Jordan Williams
Brook Lopez, Johan Petro
The Nets posted a miserable 24-58 record in 2010/2011, a +12 improvement from the year before. They’ll be lead in the backcourt by (depending on who you ask) the top point guard in the NBA today, Deron Williams. In terms of all-around game he still may very well be the best point guard in the league, and I feel like playing over in Turkey will give him a leg up for that 1st month of the season. The Nets will probably be a plus .500 team in the 1st 2 months of the season on the strength of this alone. Marshon Brooks has to be one of the most intriguing rookies for anyone who followed college basketball last season, Kemba Walker did not lead the Big East in scoring, Brooks did and he was 2nd in the nation in scoring to Jimmer Fredette. No clue as to if he or Anthony Morrow (who is offensively potent as well) will get the starting SG spot, but expect a lot of points out of this duo in 2011/2012. As much as Laker fans hate Jordan Farmar he remains a great backup point guard in the league today. Sundiata Gaines is a CHSAA legend and he hit one of the best game winning shots in the past two years so he’s iight in my book.
The 3/4’s on the Nets really may be their demise. Travis Outlaw can be good but he never gives you the game to game consistency that you look for out of him. Damion James has skills, which ones those are remains the question. Williams is a rookie from Maryland who may see substantial minutes with the lack of players/size up front, he rebounds well especially on the offensive glass. Stephen Graham just hanging around the league picking up a nice mil this year, I reserve the right to be mad at that. A lot of attention will be given to Brook Lopez this year (1. His name has been brought up in Dwight Howard trade rumors, 2. He will flourish with Deron Williams at the point). If there’s one thing you know about Avery Johnson it’s that he demands a lot out of his point guards in terms of defense and distribution (we never knew Devin Harris could score until he left Avery in Dallas). That being said the one-two punch of Williams to Lopez will be very dangerous. I personally see a ton of Lopez slander but he has an efficient back to the basket game, has the ability to step out and knock down mid-range shots and plays solid defense, no reason why he can’t be the second best center in the East this year. Petro is a very good backup center as well, he will give the Nets valuable minutes.
2011-2012 Prediction: 31-35. Before you judge me for posting that record, think about the fact that 48 of 66 games will be played against the Eastern Conference. They could very well go .500 against them and sneak another 7+ wins versus the Western Conf. I can’t see Deron having the keys to this team for a whole season and him leading them to mediocrity, plus Kris Humphries is outta there that gotta be good for something right? I’m putting the weight of the wins on the shoulders of Williams and Lopez which in my opinion will be the best 1-5 combo in the NBA this year. Uncle Fish said that Kemba gets rookie of the year, given that he starts this year I give my nod to Marshon Brooks, cuz at the end of the day scoring is the end all be all in the league today. And I find it hard to believe that Avery Johnson can’t turn this team around. 31-35 may be just enough to push the Nets into the Playoffs come April.