The Nets take on the Wizards tonight at 7:30. For the Nets, Deron Williams and Shelden Williams are both returning to action in Newark. Nene and Trevor Booker are likely out for Washington.
Joining Mark and I in the 3-on-3 is Adam McGinnis, from the Wizards TrueHoop page, Truth About It.
1. Who makes more All-Star games in the next 5 years, Deron Williams or John Wall?
- Chris Hooker: The problem with the All-Star game is that is more of a popularity contest than it is a representation of the best players in the league. That is why you see guys like Vince Carter or Allen Iverson who make it in when they aren’t even good. Based on that, Deron Williams is more popular than John Wall and has already established himself a top-tier guy. I’m not sure how good Wall will end up being, but, barring an insane season, he probably won’t be as popular as D-Will. So, I’m going with #8.
- Mark Ginocchio: Until John Wall can hit some long-range jump shots, I don’t see him ever making an all-star game, so DWill by default.
- Adam McGinnis, Truth About It: Deron Williams has made it three years in a row and I do not see John Wall over taking him in that category over the next 5 years. William at age 27 is 6 years older than Wall and has already established himself as one of top points guards in the entire NBA. Wall is still searching to find his identity in this league and he will not become an All Star until he can improve his jump shot to the level of Williams. My prediction is Wall makes 2 and Williams with 4.
2. Which team team makes the playoffs first, Wizards/Nets?
- Chris Hooker: At the rate the Nets are going, I’m saying Washington. I’m looking at the Nets and Wizards as the Tortoise and the Hare. The Nets (the Hare) are trying their best to hit a home run and make the playoffs the easy way, and they have an equal chance of success as they do as failure. Washington (the Tortoise) are building a team and taking baby steps. That doesn’t really answer the question at all, so my answer is Washington because the Nets have yet to prove they can make any big moves without the help of Kevin O’Connor.
- Mark Ginocchio: There’s obviously a lot of variables here to consider, but if I accept all of Williams’ chatter as of late to mean he’s leaving the Nets at the end of the season, then I see a clearer path to the postseason for the Wizards, though I think both teams are years away under those conditions. At least the Wizards stand to have their lottery pick this summer.
- Adam McGinnis: A healthy Brook Lopez, a resigned Williams and a focused Gerald Wallace is a solid nucleus for a playoff run in the watered down Eastern Conference but with all of those possibly in limbo, I will take the Wizards making it first. Washington has a friendly cap situation which can make them major players in the 2012 and 2013 free agent classes. Their likely second worst record will earn them no worse than a top 5 pick in this year’s highly regarded draft class and the addition of Nene has solidified a long term weakness in the paint. It is set up structurally for success but Washington’s desperately needs a fresh GM to put all these pieces in place and a talented coach to mold it all together.
3. And the winner is…
- Chris Hooker: I’m picking the Nets in this one because Deron is better than Wall,
Humphries matches up well with Nene (if he plays) and Shelden Williams — who proved
how underrated he is in his absence — is coming back. The Nets have
also lost two close games and are due for a break. It’s going to be
closer than it should be, but I predict the Nets come out on top.
- Mark Ginocchio: I think the Nets two wins on the West Coast this past week were a bit of a tease. We’ll see if Deron Williams stomach virus is similar to Jason Kidd’s migraine issues in 2007. My guess is the Nets lay another egg in front of the home crowd and DWill’s feelings get hurt on twitter.
- Adam McGinnis: The Nets are playing much better ball than a depleted Washington team trying to grind out this grueling shortened season with this being their third game in a row and 5th in 6 days. Washington was blown out at home by Milwaukee and Indiana before competing last night in a 99-94 loss at Detroit. Unless both Nene and Trevor Booker come back or Deron Williams is tossed again like Wizards victory, this should be an easy victory for New Jersey. Although if Brian “Bullseye” Cook starts rattling in line drive three balls and takes the ball coast to coast, all bets are off.