42-40 (Tom), 45-37 (Gil)
Last Year’s Record
Some think this Nets squad will fall out of the playoffs, but that’s crazy-talk. As long as Kidd is somewhat healthy, he’ll maximize the output of the team’s lesser players and keep them in the hunt for a lower playoff seed.
Nenad Krstic’s knee blowout last December threw the team for a loop. While Krstic is never going to be a rough-and-tumble rebounder and defender in the paint, he provided a nice mid-range option for the team’s many wing players to pass to, and could also make with a McHale impression in the low block. Once he got hurt, the team went almost exclusively to a perimeter, S/R offense.
The loss of Krstic and the need to shake up a stagnant team opened up minutes for another eastern European player, Boki Nachbar. He turned out to be a high-flying dunk-machine with 3-point range. Unfortunately, this pretty much duplicates the skill set of Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson, but he did throw down some pretty awesome dunks (look up Nachbar on Youtube; you won’t be sorry). I entertain a fantasy-notion that the Nets will trade Carter and spare parts for a legit center or PF, and let Nachbar take a lot of minutes at the 2/3 spots. As you can tell, I have a boring fantasy life.
Rejoinder From Tom
Richard Jefferson has gone from being featured over Carmelo and LeBron with the 2004 Olympic team to being completely snubbed by the Virtual Memories Annual NBA Preview. That’s gotta hurt.
Gratuitous Comics Connection
Dover serves as headquarters for Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art.
Gratuitous Pharma Connection
Wyeth, headquartered in Madison, NJ, will flat-out not leave me alone, which is a lot better than other major pharmas, which never return my calls.
The Bottom Line
I could spare myself a lot of viewing time if I just let myself accept the truth: The Nets are a competitive team that will lose a hard-fought second-round playoff series. Again. –GR