Nets' Media Day was interesting this year because right after it concluded is when the latest Carmelo Anthony rumors surfaced (The ones involving the potential four team trade). A lot of the quotes that came from Media Day were Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and trade rumor related and rightfully so. However, that wasn't the only thing talked about on Media Day. Topics ranged from the team's preseason international trip to the effect that shooters will have on this team:
On The Preseason Trip
Obviously, the main purpose of these international preseason games (and their brief stop in Russia) is to improve the team's image and brand overseas. However, an effect that hasn't been really talked about is how this trip could help the Nets gel as a team. This is important considering that there are going to be 11 (and maybe more) players on the roster who weren't here last year, and these guys don't really know each other. Instead of regular camp and preseason situations in the United States, where players would be returning home after games these guys are going to be traveling and staying together for days. That can only help team cohesion, and in my opinion this is important. Look at a team like Oklahoma City who improved greatly last season. You could tell those guys really enjoyed playing on the same team together.
Despite owner Mikhail Prokhorov's proclamation that the Nets are going to make the playoffs this upcoming season, nobody in the media could really get anyone on the Nets to match it:
I think it is smart that the Nets' are staying away from any bold predictions right now. I mean, these interviews were done before the Nets even had an official practice, so there is no logical way that anyone on the Nets are going to know where they stand right now. My take on the whole prediction stuff is that it is good for an owner to be bold. When owners make predictions (especially owners in Prokhorov's position as a new owner), nobody really expects them to stick or anything like that, but if a player or a coach makes a prediction, the media eats that up and that would be something that hangs over the players heads all year (I mean people still bring up Devin's comments from two years ago when he said the Nets were a playoff team).
On Outside Shooting
If you guys read this site on a consistent basis, you know that I have been going on and on about how a good shooters around Brook Lopez would turn him into an even better player since the beginning of last season. What I haven't really talked about is how the success of the Nets' shooters actually effects Devin Harris.
When Devin Harris was an All-Star two years ago, the Nets were top 10 in three point shooting. Obviously the Nets were horrible from deep last year, and Devin struggled (hat tip to John Schuhmann for pointing this out). Poor three point shooting wasn't the only reason Devin struggled last year, but it didn't help. Better shooters means more driving lanes for Devin, and hopefully that will turn him back to his old self.
Things could change, but right now if the team stays as is, Brook could be the guy who becomes the focal point of the Nets' offense:
When Brook is playing well and dominating the basketball, he makes things much easier for everyone. In my opinion, Brook's success will impact Troy Murphy the most:
I think both Troy Murphy and Brook Lopez complement each other perfectly on the offensive end (defense is another story, but I think the benefits on offense make defense less of a problem). If Troy is hitting shots, defenses can't send his man to double Brook. If Brook is playing well enough, teams are going to have to send that double anyway, and that opens things up for Troy. In my opinion, it is what Rod Thorn had in mind for Yi and Brook. It worked for one game last year (that game against Detroit where they both scored 20 plus), but Yi was too inconsistent.
Some More Random Thoughts
- I have seen Coach Avery Johnson speak on TV (both as a coach and with ESPN), but hearing him talk in person is a different experience entirely. He is just so full of energy and so excited about everything that I would be surprised to see the Nets give as many lackluster performances as they did last year.
- Everybody remembers Avery Johnson from his playing days, but I had no idea that he played with Troy Murphy:
- I have never been a big believer in fan support really helping a team (I know home court advantage is important, but my position is I would rather have 0 fans in an arena than fans supporting the away team. Coach Johnson's thoughts on the situation might have me changing my mind though:
- I have been really interested in seeing how the holdovers from last year's team want to remember last year (use it as motivation, or just forget that it happened). When asked about last year, Brook kind of stayed away from the topic. Avery Johnson has some thoughts on it: