Nets on the Net: 12/20/09 Edition

Filip Bondy of the Daily News on the Nets relationship with the Knicks once they move to Brooklyn: No matter what, however, the Knicks better get used to the idea of having a very real rival in the city, competing both for fans and for talent. The Knicks have fared poorly enough without such a challenge. If they don’t get LeBron James, they may well be the second-most popular NBA team around here within four years.

Wondering what’s up with the Nets and their defense? Maybe they’re not having enough practice writes Al Iannazzone: Vandeweghe, who believes in pumping up players and keeping them upbeat, has said the Nets haven’t had enough practice since he took over, but that seems to be an excuse. The Nets have had six practices and six shootarounds since he became coach. They have been banged up, but have had time to go over general sets and principles on both ends of the floor.

Kiki also has a simple approach to defense: “Obviously there are offensive-minded players and defensive-minded players,” Vandeweghe said. “But rather than focus on more rotations and things like that, we’ll focus on guarding your own man.

The Bleacher Report looks at the Nets roster and tries to determine who should be part of the future. An interesting nugget about Courtney Lee: Perhaps his injuries have held him back? Perhaps he’s still psychologically scarred from the abuse he took at the hands of Kobe Bryant during last season’s NBA Finals? Or perhaps he’s simply not as good as expected to be?

The Merced Sun Star lists Brook Lopez as an all-star you may not have heard of.

Could the Nets be interested in George Karl as coach next year?: With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh among those who could be free agents next summer, the Nets have cleared an enormous amount of room under the salary cap — potentially $30 million or more. Former Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe is interim coach of this year’s stripped-down roster, but if a big-name coach is available, Prokhorov is not expected to be shy.