Bullets Fever

A blog and community website for the Washington Wizards and their fans.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Analyzing the Competition

Coming into last season, it seemed like so many people were excited about seeing the trio of Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson finally play together. Ultimately, after a 2005 season that saw a key injury to Jefferson and a late-season trade for Carter, the Nets finally got their wish, as Kidd, Carter, and Jefferson missed only 7 games between them. Still, what resulted wasn't the powerhouse that some were expecting. The Nets were extremely inconsistent last year, with a couple long winning streaks masking the rest of the season's mediocre play. The Big 3 plus Nenad Kristic were all very good last season, but the Nets got nothing out of a bench that they worked hard to revamp last offseason. The end result was a team good enough to win the Atlantic Division and knock out a floundering Indiana Pacers team in the first round, but not good enough to seriously challenge any of the top teams in the East, especially the Miami Heat.

Additions: Eddie House (FA-Phoenix), Marcus Williams (Draft 1-22), Josh Boone (Draft 1-23)
Subtractions: Jacque Vaughn (FA-San Antonio), Jeff McInnis (?)

The Nets are in a bit of a tough spot because they don't have enough money to do much to address their deficiencies. They spent a lot of money on their bench last year and it exploded in their face. It would probably be silly to trade any member of their Big 3, so they have to hope that their rookies and youngsters can step it up this season. If Marcus Williams and Antoine Wright can take steps forward and Eddie House can provide mintues, the Big 3 should be able to get some more rest this season.

The dilema for the Nets is that, save for drafting Josh Boone, the frontcourt remains the same. The Nets were so desperate that they re-signed Clifford Robinson, even though he's 100 years old and got himself suspended for 5 games during the most important period of the Nets' season. Nenad Kristic is a rapidly improving player, but other than him, they have nothing inside. When it comes to the playoffs, and the Nets are matched up against a team like Miami, they will have no chance again.

Ultimately, I see the Nets having a really similar season to last year. Their bench should be better, if only because it can't be any worse. In addition, they still play in the Atlantic Division, which is worse than Anna Kornikova's serve (I know, I know, that stunk, but I just fasted for 25 hours). However, I don't expect Kidd, Carter, and Jefferson to be as healthy as they were last year. Ultimately, the two should balance each other out and we'll see a decent, but not great, team.

Projected Record: 47-35.

Nets Daily previewed the Nets today for the NBA Blog Previews and predicts a 51-31 record.
Slight improvement from last year. They won’t have the same slow start (9-12), but they also might not get 388 games (77.6 per) from their starters either.
I think 51 wins is a bit too much, but I agree with the overall analysis. Be sure to check out Nets Daily for great New Jersey Nets coverage.

Think I screwed this one up? Let me know. How many wins do you think New Jersey will have this year?

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