Preview & Chat: The New Jersey Nets

Kurt —  December 19, 2009

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Records: Lakers 20-4 (1st in West) Nets 2-25 (their scouts are looking hard at John Wall)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 108.1 (13th in league), Nets 96.5 (30th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 99.6 (1st in league) Nets 108.8 (22nd in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Nets: Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas Roberts, Josh Boone, Brook Lopez

The Lakers Coming in: Not much to say, the Lakers play three games in the next four days, and it would be good to get off to a fast start through that stretch. The last two games should be challenging.

By the way, those of you who like money, you should be using the Lakers to predict the stock market.

The Nets Coming in: How bad are things? Nets are Scorching this morning compared the team to the Hindenburg. See more of their thoughts in the previous post.

One thing that is different since the last time these teams met (Thanksgiving weekend): Under Kiki Vandeweghe the Nets have been a better offensive team, scoring 9 more points per 100 possessions. The problem is they are now giving up 9 more points per 100 possessions on defense.

Keys to game:On the television in the locker room before a game teams usually teams run video of that night’s opponent. Tonight, instead Phil Jackson should have the video of the Celtics loss to the 76ers last night up, just as a reminder that any team can beat any other team in this league. You can’t take any night off.

Last meeting between these two was a laugher, the only thing of real note was the Lakers did go small a lot — Bynum sat, Gasol went to center, Artest to the four and Kobe to the three. We may see that again.

When you read Dean Oliver’s Basketball on Paper — the bible of the advanced stats revolution — one of the first points he makes is obvious: The team that shoots better wins almost every time. (Sure, you don’t need stats to tell you that, but he wanted to reinforce that however you do the math, basketball remains about putting the ball in the hoop.) The Nets have the worst field goal percentage in the league, although if you use True Shooting Percentage (basically points per shot attempt) they do slide past Chicago into 29th. The Lakers force teams to shoot a lower percentage than any team in the NBA, however you slice it. Ergo….

The Nets run a lot of high screen and roll, with Harris handling the ball and Lopez setting the screen. On paper this is a more deadly combination than it has turned out to be this season (I really don’t understand the regression of Harris), but the Lakers still need to defend it well. Bigs need to cut off Harris, he is quick and if he turns the corner he can be a problem. Lopez has a lot of good post moves, and at times they will isolate him down there and he has a lot of low post moves.

The Lakers do catch the Nets on the second game of a back to back, New Jersey was run out of the building by the Raptors last night. Chris Douglas Roberts was the guy trying to motivate his teammates saying everyone needed to pick up their games. We’ll see if they come out fired up for the world champs, but if the Lakers can jump out to an early lead they may be able to take the will out of them.

The Nets will run at times, especially when Rafer Alston is in, and they have guys like Courtney Lee and Chris Douglas Roberts who operate well in space. The Lakers simply need to get back in transition and not turn the ball over.

Where you can watch: This game is on Channel 9 here in Los Angels starting at 5, and also is on ESPN 710 radio.



72 responses to Preview & Chat: The New Jersey Nets

  1. What’s the over/under for boards for Pau tonight? 20? 25?:D

  2. Guessing Pau’s gonna take a little breather for tonight. 17-18’s my bet.

  3. What’s the rebound record for 5 games? Just got my 52 inch HDTV today, it would be fantastic to inaugurate it with a Laker win.

  4. We should see the Taco Unit. We really should.

  5. Something close to a hundred I guess, since Wilt once pulled down 42 IN ONE GAME, don’t be fooled by ESPN, Gasol isn’t anywhere close to the record in a 4-game span.

  6. Really bad second foul by Bynum, Harris came off the pick and he didn’t show out hard, didn’t use his feet, then got there late and ran into Harris. Just sloppy.

  7. 6 ESPN originally said, ‘since Camby pulled down 79 in year ####,’ and not ‘most ever.’

    I would guess that Rodman probably had more in a 4 game stretch as well.

  8. Nets showing a lot more passion than they did last night against Toronto. But, they are shooting 29.4% eFG% so far. They are going to fade if the shooting percentage hoovers around there.

  9. Ammo sighting! Ammo field goal!

  10. Is Phil trying something with Morrison on the court to see how he plays with a different unit?

  11. Only 3 rebounds for Gasol in the first quarter. Slacker.

  12. Gasol is being a slacker, Drew is outrebounding him 2-1 while sitting on the bench, LOL!

  13. I’m thinking this is the trade showcase game. Brian Cook got a ton of then-questionable time on the court before they moved him two years ago, and Radmanovic got the same treatment last year.

    If it goes similar to those two scenarios, I betcha the trade partner is tonight’s or tomorrow’s opponent.

    Sorry about trade talk, Kurt–not talking specific players so I hope it’s okay.

  14. Farmar, Morrison, and Shannon Brown together with Kobe and Lamar to finish the first quarter. And it actually worked.

    It also makes perfect sense. The Nets are the sort of team that Phil is confident his starters can finish off in the second half without difficulty. He’s going to use the first half to give the Taco guys some minutes and give them a chance to develop and grow.

  15. link better than the freedocast?

  16. Yahoo NBA has decreed that Jordan Farmar is not playing in this game.

  17. Dude, the kind of decisions Jordan is making in this game seems like his mind isn’t playing in this game.

  18. DJ! Nothing but net!

  19. Joey Crawford, attention hog.

  20. First Pau makes me look bad with my rebounding comment, then Jordan starts to play better. Who should I reverse jinx next? How about LO’s outside shot looks like crap?

  21. Guys…get the ball to the FT area against the zone please.

  22. For DreDawg from the “Gasol is going nowhere” post…

    I’m from Dipolog City way down south in Mindanao. In case you are not very familiar, its 15 minutes from Dapitan where Rizal was exiled.

    Internet is still a bit choppy since we are a 3rd world city on a 3rd world country but 80% on tv is quite cool. There are 4 channels that air NBA games so that works for me.

  23. Ugh. I am sufficiently embarrassed.

  24. anyone else have another link?

  25. It appears that Josh Powell did not come to play tonight. Ugly basketball.

  26. Oh and timezones are no hassle at all. Philippines is like 12hrs apart from Eastern Time (without DST) so like 8pm in New York is like 8am in here.

    If its PST then its 3 hours later than that, 4 if you include DST.

  27. Um… this has not been a pretty first half.

  28. Who would have expected tha Lakers to be down at the half to the Nets? Good to see you up Warren, your day is just beginning, huh? Hopefully to a Laker win tonight.

  29. Lakers are 3-14 on threes – it might not hurt to see if Sasha can hit a couple – nobody else can.

  30. The Lakers have been really struggling from three point range the last couple games…Is it a product of shot selection, playing on the road, or just a product of having below average three point shooters?

  31. Somewhat off-topic… I learned earlier today that Pau Gasol agreed to a 3-year extension with the Lakers. That made me happy. :)

    Kobe might be our biggest star, but we can’t win another championship without Pau.

  32. The Lakers had trouble with the zone by the Nets and did not attack it. They have attempted too many threes so far and are not making them. The only positive is 17 dimes on the 20 made FGs

  33. Kobe is in take over mode. Not sure if it’s good or bad in this type of game.

  34. kobe scoring the first 3fg’s for us in the 3rd… this should NOT be a live by the kobe night!@

  35. Boy that Fish sure does suck doesn’t he? Crappy FG% and can’t ever make a shot when the team needs it.

  36. Fisher back-to-back 3’s niiiiiiice. Could be pulling away now with Kobe and Fish getting hot.

    Lakers don’t look good on D. Nets are getting early position, Brooks is having his way with Pau, Bynum is on the bench with 4 fouls, and Boone has had two layups just by running down the floor unchecked.

  37. Wow, with that LO foul, I wonder if Phil will bring Josh in or go small and move Ron to PF? Or maybe DJ with Pau at PF?

  38. Lakers need to leave the starters in to begin the fourth and put it out of reach.

  39. Great reverse layup wit the foul for Kobe

  40. Drew just fouled out and Hot Rod and Joel didn’t even notice.

  41. Dude, maybe they’re trying to protect him and not call even more notice to the horrible game he’s had.

    LO 7-9 from the field.

    So much for the starters playing short minutes. Who cares if the bench is productive if Kobe, Pau and Ron are all going to end up with 35+ minutes.

  42. Just checked the box score and almost freeked b/c Drew had only 11 minutes. I thought he was injured again. Then I saw the six fouls

  43. If LO could get these clean up baskets every game we would be so much better. Also, his extra effort of cutting to the basket (and finishing) is making a huge difference too. If only he was more consistant.

  44. Very nice game by Odom, hopefully this will be a positive sign for the rest of the season

  45. Why is Pau still in this game?

  46. How about that Jordy Farmar kid? 6 of 8 shooting, 12 points in 16 minutes so far.

    Shannon shoots too much.

  47. Why is DJ not in for Pau? WTF?

  48. Phil kept Pau in the game with a 24-point lead and finally takes him out with 3:19 left. I guess he wants him to get in game shape.

  49. I was asking the exact same question Dude. Apparently Phil is a Nihilist.

  50. Taco truck on the road.

  51. Good road win after all, the Taco Truck was good to see.

  52. How on earth does drew get fouled out in just 10 min ? Did the NJ centers just eat him up? Was he trying to challenge penetration (agressive) by guards and was just late ?

  53. Did Farmar really play as well as the box score would suggest? I didn’t feel like chasing around the internet for a link to watch the Nets so I missed this one.

  54. Was one of those few games I got to see on TV since it’s Sunday morning here.

    Not that I was enjoying it during the first half, but the 2nd half was convincing enough, and now my wife sorta understands why I worship Kobe.

  55. Drew had about three legit fouls and three rather ticky-tack fouls. Brook Lopez is a load, and Drew was late on a rotation and committed a dumb foul on Harris. Also, Joey Crawford was one of the refs.

  56. Tyler, I only saw the second half, but from what I saw Farmar played well. He wasn’t looking for his shot (passed up an open 3 at one point, and was often moving the ball) but got good looks and knocked em down.

  57. So Morrison has a coming out?
    The league gets to see him play before the trade?
    Not a bad time to do it, if anyone can make a player look good it’s NJ, and the Lakers aren’t taking too much of a chance.

  58. I miss DJ I rather they just trade Bynum and let DJ start, at least it would be interesting.

  59. Does Joey Crawford hate big men or something?!

    BTW, another Meyers classic: protects it well!

  60. 62

    If ever there was a definitive post justifying the “no trade speculation” rule that was it..

  61. Not like they’re going to trade him, so i think it is more of a fantasy than a speculation.

    I just feel bad for DJ who actually improve his skill yet can’t show off and get more money on other team.

  62. I don’t know why the Nets record is so atrocious. They have some good looking players.

    Of course I only saw the first half of the game…

  63. The Lakers were able to get out of NJ late last night and skipped the morning shootaround in Detroit.

  64. Was at the game last night, took about 2 hours to get there, another 2.5 to get out. It was like a pseudo Lakers game, and we represented well at the game. No one can ever question my bona fide LA loyalties ever again!

  65. Being LA fan in NJ, i make it a point not to miss going to IZOD center for the Lake show – some tidbits from yesterday that i wanted to share –

    1. Pre-game: Spike Lee was going around carrying a gift bag – which he gifted to PJ. PJ atleast looked quite surprised at the gesture
    2. Over the last couple of years, I have not seen the lakers communicate/ talk with each other on the floor so much – both on the offensive and defensive end. This group of lakers seem to really blend in with each other well – even better than last year
    3. This year contrary to the last couple of years, the lakers D seems to be much more fun to watch than the Offense
    4. To me, Kobe is the one who makes the offense work ..

  66. 66

    I agree.. Brook Lopez is so dreamy.. like Ryan styles!


    When Henry Abbott says something good about the Lakers, well, there will be frozen flying pigs in hell.

    Oh, by the way, there is this.

  68. Pistons preview up.