The Nets officially kick off their season tonight at 7 PM at the Prudential Center, as they take on the Israeli professional basketball team Maccabi Haifa in Newark. This will be the first opportunity to see the completely revamped New Jersey take on a professional basketball team, albeit not an NBA team. Maccabi Haifa is led by American Sylven Landesberg, a former Mr. Basketball (NY) who played two years at Virginia and spent Summer League this offseason with Sacramento.
Three things to watch out for:
- Anthony Morrow & Terrence Williams. Morrow struggled with his shot at the Prudential Center and chalked it up to adjusting to the rims. While Avery has made a few comments indicating that Morrow is likely the starter come opening day (and according to Nets beat writer Stefan Bondy, he will start tonight), he’ll have to show that he can make some shots in Newark at some point if he wants Avery to keep saying that.
- Jordan Farmar. Unlike Morrow, Farmar seemed to have no issue knocking down three-pointers at the open practice, and showed a considerable swagger on the court. Against a second-tier professional team, he should continue to shine. Devin Harris shouldn’t have any issues keeping his starting job, but if Farmer continues to impress, he could be facing a competition he didn’t expect.
- Lastly, of course, the rookies. Joe Smith, Troy Murphy, and Brian Zoubek are all out tonight, which means that there will be a lot of time backing up Kris Humphries at the 4 (and perhaps some at the 5) for Derrick Favors. Damion James is a 3-4 hybrid w ho should see some time at both positions as well. James is more polished but Favors of course has that unbelievable upside, and against a small front line (Other than 7’1″ Robert Rothbart, Maccabi Haifa has no player taller than 6’8″) Favors should be able to utilize his strength & quickness down low and overpower the opposing defense.