Nets

Keep It Up Deron

D-will has been playing phenomenally as of late as a New Jersey Net. Although his scoring numbers have decreased significantly, Deron is racking up over 13 assists per games as a Net and benefitting the team greatly. The Nets have enjoyed success for the first time all season since acquiring Williams and are on a substantial 5 game winning streak assuming that they fare well against Chicago tonight. D-Will is a definite benefactor to the Nets and one of the elite players in the NBA. If Deron’s high level of play continues, the future looks bright for this once hopeless New Jersey Nets team.

Aside from Williams impressive stat line of 21 points and 10 assists a game, Deron also has a great effect on his teammates. Since William’s trade, players like Anthony Morrow, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez have been feeding off Deron’s positive energy and tremendous play making abilitiy. Brook is playing some of his best basketball this season due to Deron’s ability to set him up. Humphries has chemistry with Deron due to the two playing for the same Utah Jazz team in the past. Because of this Williams understands Humphries game and knows when and where to set him up. Morrow is a sharp shooter and is more than able to hit open shots and Williams is able to give Morrow plenty. The Nets as a team are playing much better since the trade and now might even be a dark horse to clinch the 8th seed in the east.

Williams is a great player and elite point guard. His style of play meshes will with New Jersey’s offense that is composed of sharp shooters and big men. Look for Deron to make a huge run next season with New Jersey that results in a playoff appearance.

Ahead To The Future

The future of basketball is uncertain as of this point because the current audience is not focused on tomorrow but now. The teams that have the potential to win titles in the future are disregarded and labeled as failures and busts by todays NBA fans. For example, if you take a look at the Nets, Timberwolves, and Clippers, you see teams that are not doing as well now but have the potential to become elite in coming years.

The Nets are loaded with talent that most fans disregard. Center, Brook Lopez, is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He is one of the most versatile centers in the league. Lopez can pull up from 15-20 feet out and drain jump shot after jump shot if the defense leaves him wide open. Brook is also athletic and can rebound and block reasonably well when given the opportunity. What I mean by that is when defensive specialist Kris Humphries is not working his magic down low. Humphries is a rebounding machine and a defensive threat. When playing well, Lopez and Humphries can form a lesser version of the Tim Duncan, David Robinson twin towers. They are led by NBA elite point guard, Deron Williams, who can explode for 15-20 assists any given night and sharpshooters in Morrow and Vujacic who are offensive threats. The Nets are a team that can definitely make some noise in the future.

Minnesota is another team that fan should look out for. Minnesota has crazy talent in Kevin Lowe who also has range extending to the 3 point line. The T’Wolves also have a scorer in Michael Beasley and a defensive stopper to an extent at least in Darko Milicic. Minnesota also has young talent in Wesley Johnson and a decent pointguard in Luke Ridnour. With an couple high draft picks coming up in the future, the T’Wolves are definately a team that can do some damage.

The Clippers are loaded with young offensive talent. They have a superstar in rookie Blake Griffin whose athleticism and size completely negate his lack of versatility and Eric Gordon who is one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA. The Clippers also have great young talent in Bledsoe, Aminu, and Jordan along with a defensive stopper in Chris Kaman. Look for this team to make a huge run next season and even possibly make the playoffs.

The Clippers, Nets, and T’Wolves are three team that aren’t so good right now but have the potential to be great. Don’t disregard these teams until you see them play to their full potentials.

Anthony Morrow Jump Shot Analysis

There’s a reason that Anthony Morrow’s jump shot is so deadly. He has nice distance above the ground to avoid blocks. Morrow shoots a good distance above his head so that he has a clear view of the basket and bends his arms enough to produce an arc on his jumper. Morrow also grazes the ball with his left hand in order to produce enough spin on the ball so that it has a higher chance of rimming in. All these factors combined result in a deadly jumper.

Morrow’s distance above the ground on his jump shots is a key factor in why it is so good. This allows him to shoot over larger defenders and generate power from his knees. Then there is the distance the ball is above his head when he shoots. He gets the ball high so he can see the basket well. Morrow also bends his arms so he can produce a rainbow delivery which has a higher chance of going in than a line drive. Morrow is also able to generate spin on the ball by grazing it with his left hand. Spin makes it so that the ball has a chance of going in when it makes contact with the rim.

There is a reason that Morrow is one of the best pure shooters in the NBA. He has the highest 3 point shooting percentage in history and amazing form in his jump shot. Morrow is a constant target for double teams and reasonably so.

Melo Update: It

It seems like the Melo deal is finished as the Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has ended his 5 month, 13 player push. Prokhorov finally realized that he was sacrificing way too much for an overrated scorer and two aging players looking to end their careers. This is the first move of Prokhorov’s that I fully approve of.

The Carmelo Anthony Trade

Rarely do you see a professional basketball trade that has as much drama involved as a reality show or a broadway play. The Carmelo Anthony trade is one of those instances. Over the last four months, the Carmelo trade has gone through many twists and turns and captured a large audience in the mix. There are a couple of main characters involved in this overhyped deal that seems to resemble the typical broadway play. There’s the main protagonist, Carmelo Anthony who everyone tries their best to accommodate. There’s the main antagonist, The Denver Nuggets who want to get as much as they can out of Carmelo and prolong his departure at all costs. Then there is the desperate team that attempts to acquire Anthony and does so by working with the antagonist, who are the New Jersey Nets. Finally there is the team that the protagonist wants to go to but can’t due to several reasons which is the New York Knicks. Like most broadway plays, this deal will probably not have a happy ending and Melo will end up going to the Nets due to the upcoming projected lockout.

Now that we know what the projected outcome will most likely be, lets take a look at how it will impact the struggling Nets. The three main players involved in the deal are Carmelo Anthony of Denver, Chauncey Billups of Denver, and Richard Hamilton of Detroit. The Nets will be trading Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, Ben Uzoh, Stephen Graham, and Quinton Ross as well as two first round draft picks to Denver for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter. The Nets will trade the expiring contract of Troy Murphy as well as Johan Petro to Detroit in exchange for Richard Hamilton. This will definately have a positive effect offensively on the Nets who are in desperate need of scorers and offensive talent. Carmelo Anthony scores the ball exceptionally well and his offensive skills are envied by many. Carmelo’s lowest season average of points per game in the past 5 seasons was 23.8 ppg in 08-09 and his lowest ever was 21 ppg in his rookie season. Melo’s true shooting percentage is at an impressive 53%. What worries me though is Anthony’s lack of defensive talent. His points allowed per 100 possessions is at a dismal 107 and his average wins contributed due to defense is only a shade over 1 which is not what you want to see from a superstar. Now lets take a look at how Chauncey Billups will impact the team both offensively and defensively. His age will impact his stamina and fitness level to a certain degree. Billups can still score the ball, averaging 16.3 ppg and has a true shooting percentage of 62% which is impressive. Billups also contributes 2.8 wins due to his offensive talent. The wins contributed stat for Billups and Anthony will change dramatically if they join the Nets. Now lets take a look at the most balanced player in the deal, Richard Hamilton. Hamiltons stats this season can’t relflect his level of play because he hasn’t played with much motivation and intensity due to his issues with Detroit. Richard’s a tough defender and has decent offensive talent and will help the Nets on both ends. Other players involved in the deal are only there to provide some sense of depth in the Nets bench which will be horrible if this deal takes place. The Nets get a lot older acquiring Billups, 35 and Hamilton, 32 but will get some much needed wins as well as new fans drawn in by Anthony.

This deal will also impact Denver significantly. Denver gains Devin Harris who is much younger and much more explosive than Billups, a sharpshooter in Anthony Morrow, and young talent in Derrick Favors as well as depth in their bench with Stephen Graham, Ben Uzoh, and Quinton Ross. Harris can score the ball about as well as Billups did as Harris averages 16 ppg and he passes the ball as well as Billups too at 7.0 apg. Harris’ statline is almost identical to Chauncey’s but Harris has the advantage over him in speed, stamina, and potential regarding his all star appearance two years ago. Harris is also more defensive minded and has quick hands which give him 1.1 steals a night. Anthony Morrow is the best three point shooter in NBA history percentage wise and is more than capable of knocking down a couple open jumpers. Denver has a couple players who can draw double teams and leave Morrow wide open. Favors is a work in progress but has the potential to be an all star power forward as shown by his high player efficiency of 14.03 in his rookie season as well as his outstanding atheleticism and size. Favors is also a great defensive player and can be sent in to guard big men. The Nuggets also get two first round draft picks making it really easy to rebuild once Melo departs.

Detroit won’t be effected much just cleared of some cap space with the expiring contract of Murphy.

This trade will be one for the ages involved tons of players and reshaping franchises. Perhaps it’s worth all the drama and attention that it’s getting.

Stay Frustrated Brook

When Brook Lopez is mad, he becomes a better player. Brook becomes more aggressive, takes smarter shots, and plays tighter defense. Recently the Nets have lost 11 out of their past 12 games and Brook’s rage is beginning to accumulate and present itself on the court. In the past three games Brook has averaged 29 ppg 1.3 bpg and is shooting an incredible 64% from the field. This is the Brook Lopez Nets fans hoped and prayed for last season and now he is beginning to show his true colors. When the Nets get into a tough offense stretch which has occurred frequently this season, they need someone who is willing to sacrifice his body and drive to the rim. Brook is beginning to fill that role as he is averaging 9.5 free throw attempts a night over his last two games and connected on 86.3% of them. Typically, players make rash decisions that harm the team when they’re mad but Lopez is succeeding in concentrating his rage into great basketball.

This season hasn’t been the best for Lopez who is averaging career lows in field goal percentage at 46.6% and rebounds per game at 5.9 rpg. His true shooting percentage is also at 54% which is horrible for a center with a game like Brook. His offensive rating is only 105, a point below the league average and his player efficiency has dropped from 20 last season to a significantly lower 18.3. Brook’s scoring hasn’t been horrible this season at a shade under 19 but it’s much lower than the ppg total Nets fans expected him to put up which is around 22-23 ppg.

This season isn’t even close to over and there is a lot of time for Brook to improve his stats as well as get the Nets some much needed wins. Who knows, maybe he’ll drop 40 next?

Update on Melo: What’s next?

This overhyped deal took another twist when Melo stated this morning that he doesn’t want to talk to the New Jersey Nets. Seems like Melo is just trying to get closer to his ultimate goal, The New York Knicks. Or maybe perhaps, Melo is just frustrated about a meeting that he didn’t know about being scheduled. Either way, this isn’t a good sign for the Nets and it seems that their deal is slowly but surely falling apart.