Good morning everyone! The Nets have made it to China & are set to take on Yao Ming & the Rockets in Beijing at 8 A.M. EST. This marks the first preseason game that the “It’s All New” Nets will be televised (on NBATV), as well as the first preseason game overseas this year.
A few things to watch out for:
- The competition at the 2-guard spot. While Shane Battier is lauded as the premier perimeter defender, in the NBA, Kevin Martin is far from a lock-down defender. While it looks like Morrow has been taking the starting spot in preseason, if Terrence Williams can dominate he can start to push the scales back in his favor. I’m on record as saying that Anthony Morrow should be the starting shooting guard, but if T-Will can break out of his slump and start showing off his playmaking skills he can start to make a stronger case for himself.
- The big boys. While Yao Ming is only restricted to 12 minutes this game, the Nets bigs aren’t, and Troy Murphy’s injury leaves plenty of minutes to go around between Derrick Favors, Kris Humphries, & Damion James. Luis Scola will not be in the lineup today, as he and his wife are expecting a mini-Scola to arrive any day now. This provides a serious opportunity for the Nets bigs to go to town; Scola is one of the more surprisingly efficient players in the game. I think we all remember his 45-point decimation of Yi Jianlian & the Nets last year. The Nets have a front line that is almost exclusively 25 & under, Joe Smith being the lone “veteran.” Preseason is just that – preseason – and so we can’t ever take too much from it, but it’s always better to play well than to play poorly.
- Fatigue. It’s 8 AM in New Jersey right now and the Nets have traveled from NJ to Moscow to China. Jet lag may have taken its toll. Heck, I’m tired, and I still live in this time zone. Hopefully the Nets have been on a solid sleep schedule and are as adjusted as they can be.