Pulling up to the IZOD Center in a garden variety Honda, waiting and anticipating the debut of one of the most exciting teams in basketball, the New Jersey Nets, I began to think to myself…
Oh, wait, the Nets are definitely not one of the most exciting teams in Basketball. The Nets suck, they’re from New Jersey.
This is Jay-Z’s team though, and you don’t question the Roc.
Before we tip off, let’s meet some more famous Americans with ties to the Garden State. John Bon Jovi is fron New Jersey, so is Frank Sinatra. That quintessential American Bruce Springsteen also grew up in New Jersey. Aaron Burr grew up in New Jersey before he shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Trailblazer Zebulon Pike is also from New Jersey, along with actor Kevin Spacey and rapper Ice-T.
With guards Devin Harris and Courtney Lee, forwards Bobby Simmons and Yi Jianlian, and center Aaron Techentin, this team should slowly ascent the NBA totem pole.
Who is Aaron Techentin, you ask?
Okay, so the gentle giant A-Tec isn’t the starting center for the New Jersey Nets, but we wish he was!
Even with the addition of the dynamic Courtney Lee and explosive scorer Rafer Alston, can the Nets really count on improvement following a 34-48 season?
The jury is still out on the Nets off-season moves but with the looming sale of the franchise to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the team may struggle to focus on basketball. Ownership widgets aside, the New Jersey lineup shows flashes of potential.
No longer subject to the onus of Vince Carter, All-Star Devin Harris will team up with former Magic swingman Courtney Lee in what proves to be a very potent, albeit youthful back-court. Behind these two sit Rafer Alston and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Roberts was a former teammate of Derrick (help I can’t read!) Rose at Memphis where the two players formed a potent duo that propelled the Tigers to the Final Four.
Bobby Simmons, another piece of the trade that sent Richard Jefferson to the Bucks, should play small-forward. This begs the question, how will Bobby Simmons match up against guys like LeBron James and Paul Pierce? Yi Jianlian, a seven footer acquired in the draft day trade with Milwaukee, will start at power forward. Little is known about the mysterious Yi. Brooke Lopez, who started all 82 games for the Nets in his rookie year and averaged 13.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, will anchor the lineup at center.
The Nets have a young lineup with talent at every position, few of these players have any practical experience starting in the NBA though. This limited veteran presence will likely hamper the nets chances of making the post season and will likely relegate them to a similarly average 9th or 10th place finish in the Eastern Conference and thus, their win total will likely mirror the remaining number of Republicans in Congress.
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