Mark and I are continuing the process of getting you prepared for the season, which couldn’t be closer. Mark already talked about one of his concerns for this year, and I decided that I would follow suit and give you some of mine. The following is stuff I am worried about going into the season. I don’t necessarily think that this stuff will happen, but these things just worry me. Here goes nothing:
Can CDR defend larger SFs?
This is my biggest concern going into the season. Now don’t get me wrong, CDR is a great offensive player, and this move is worth a shot to see if CDR can in fact defend the 3, but I am just worried that it won’t work. When CDR covered 2s last year, he was able to use his height and long arms as an advantage. The one game I specifically remember last year is when CDR covered Rip Hamilton. He used his slim frame to slip through screens, and he used his length to bother shots. When CDR slides to the 3, that advantage gets taken away. Most SFs are close to his height, which is ok, but they weight more. LeBron and Al Harrington have 50 pounds on CDR. Guys like Thaddeus Young have 20 pounds on CDR. My biggest worry is seeing guys like LeBron and Harrington just back down CDR into the post, and getting easy buckets.
This could also hurt him on the offensive end. Guys defending him are now taller than the 2s he faced last year, and that could effect his scoring. Also, if he is getting bodied up when he is playing defense, that could tire him out, and when that happens his shots could end up short later in the games.
Defending The Three
You guys have seen it. We have been getting killed from behind the arc. The Knicks hit 6 straight threes in a row against us. The Sixers (the worst 3 point shooting team last year) hit 40% against us last Friday. I just fear that teams will be getting a ton of good looks from 3 (and making most) all year. The thing that worries me about it is that Lawrence Frank seems unable to get this corrected. When I talked to Frank on Thursday he told me there are some things they can do differently, then they go out and play the same way, allowing the same type of 3 point field goals. This is something they struggled at last year, and it looks like something that will carry over into this year.
No Backup Center
Let’s face it, Josh Boone hasn’t looked good this preseason at all. Boone is the only viable back-up center option for the Nets (Battie and Sean Williams can play C, but they are much better at the PF spot). This will cause Brook to log more minutes, causing him to tire late in games (not to mention late in the season). Also, the fact he will be logging more minutes makes him more injury prone.
Devin Harris already suffered two different injuries this preseason that caused him to miss time. Devin’s style of play (which he won’t be stopping soon) causes him to get little bumps and bruises that can accumulate as the season progresses. This accumulation could lead to him missing more time. The fact that he hasn’t missed a big chunk of time scares me too, because I can’t help but think that “big one” is on the way.
Lawrence Frank’s Coaching
I could do a whole post on this, but I will keep it short for your sake. My biggest concern with Lawrence Frank’s coaching is that he will continue to coach like Lawrence Frank. Lawrence Frank loves playing veterans even though it seems like they don’t belong on the court (Trenton Hassell last year/Bobby Simmons this preseason), and his strange rotations always keep guys that will be fun to watch on the bench (CDR last year/T-Will possibly this year). Also Lawrence Frank unable to out-coach and out-scheme other coaches is now resorting to gimmicks to try and win games. Playing Bobby at the 4 just won’t work, and this whole “wildcat/frenzy” thing can work in spurts, but not when you commit to it 5 minutes a quarter. Teams are now knowing what to expect, and they will be somewhat prepared for the situation. Don’t even get me started on how he continues to mess up the whole T-Will point forward thing.
All in all, we don’t know what is going to happen this season, I am just really worried some of the stuff I listed above will happen. I guess we are just going to have to watch and find out.