1) First things first: Marshon Brooks dropped 48 points in a Pro-Am game in Manhattan. (See some more video here.) Fluke, or sign of things to come?
- Justin DeFeo: Sign of things to come. This game was no fluke. Of the few questions about Brooks’ game, scoring has never been one of them. He scored almost 25 points per game last year in the BIG EAST. I am not shocked at all that he scored 48 in a pick-up game.
- Devin Kharpertian: Sign. The guy was a scorer at Providence and he was a scorer at Baruch. He’ll be a scorer in the NBA, too. Now, I’m not saying it’s a guarantee, as one game against mostly inferior competition does not a star make, but this game is yet another piece added to the “man, Marshon can create his own shot at will” puzzle. That’s something that’ll serve him well at the next level, as long as he plays under control.
- Dennis Velasco: To a degree, it’s a sign of things to come because he’s not going to drop 48 on the regular or anything like that. Although that would be pretty dope if he did. Dreams aside, Brooks did actually tear up a pro player as Jamario Moon was defending the whole night. Granted Moon isn’t the best defender, but if Brooks can slice up a pro, it’s very telling in his ability to succeed at the next level. He created his own shot, finished on breaks and according to reports, played with a swagger about him. I think he’s made for BK.
2) The NBA released its “schedule” yesterday. What’s one Nets game you’re circling on your calendar?
- Justin DeFeo: January 14th at Utah, just because I always think its fun when a longtime star returns home for the first time. They are usually entertaining because the fans will either boo the star (LeBron’s return to Cleveland) or cheer, which is I believe the response Deron will get and deserves.
- Devin Kharpertian: April 18th, the final game of the season, and the final home game in New Jersey’s basketball history. It’ll be against Chicago – the same team the Nets closed against last season – but the story won’t be what’s happening on the floor. I can’t wait for Brooklyn, but that night will be an emotional one.
- Dennis Velasco: March 7 and 8 versus the Orlando Magic in London. The Nets will be promoting the brand internationally once again and Deron Williams will be spending a good amount of time off the court, particularly with Dwight Howard. I don’t think any more needs to be said about what I’m insinuating, and officially nothing can ever be said about this without calls of collusion, but I think when friends talk, sometimes things happen.
3) Around the NBA: What’s one non-Nets game you’re circling on your calendar?
- Justin DeFeo: Going with the obvious choice on this one, but the slate of games set on Christmas Day (Boston at New York, Miami at Dallas and Chicago at Los Angeles) is about as good a present as you could hope for and just about the best the NBA has to offer.
- Devin Kharpertian: Any one of the four L.A. Clippers-L.A. Lakers games – the first one occurs on December 27th, but the ones on January 20th and January 26th will be nationally televised. Think about it. The Lakers are the quintessential team on the decline, and the Clippers are quickly becoming one of the most exciting teams in the league. I know the Clippers will never top the Lakers in L.A., but if Blake Griffin becomes a superstar, and they make the playoffs, and they win the Los Angeles games…
- Dennis Velasco: Honestly, any Oklahoma City Thunder game because they’re just a fun team to watch. However, since I have to choose one, I’ll go with the December 23rd game when the Thunder visit the Miami Heat. It would be the NBA Finals that I wanted with the good guy, Kevin Durant, going up against the bad guy, LeBron James. Also, I’d like to see Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, et al. beat up the Big Three, proving as the Dallas Mavericks did that a collection of several talented players is better than a few (super) talented players.
4) For the second straight year, the Nets will be playing a back-to-back in London, against Orlando. This gives the Nets only 39 “home” games. Serious disadvantage, or nothing to worry about?
- Justin DeFeo: I like the idea of the Nets embracing the “global” team identity and more exposure of our team in Europe in my opinion is a great thing, especially now that we have a marketable star on our team. Plus the thought of Dwight Howard and Deron Williams possibly spending some quality time together in London is pretty appealing…if you know what I’m saying.
- Devin Kharpertian: For the second straight year, the Nets are the only squad in the NBA who agreed to give up two home games, and for the second straight year, they’ll get a huge benefit. The 02 Arena is LOUD, and they loved the Nets last year. Compared to the crowds they normally get in New Jersey, this’ll feel like two real home games to the players.
- Dennis Velasco: Nothing to worry about. As I mentioned above, the Nets will be selling the brand internationally and that fulfills one of the goals for the Nets – to be the world’s team. It’s a smart move and I agree with all of it because with technology the way it is, it’s easy to have an NBA team become the world’s team. Why not the Nets?