Wednesday, December 5, 2012

They're Not Who We Thought They Were: Ballin' In Brooklyn

In stark contrast to the mainstream basketball media, we here at DI saw a potential disaster in the offing when previewing the Nets' first season in the city. Notoriously lousy GM Billy King, after failing to trade the stuff he found between his couch cushions for Dwight Howard, committed big bucks to the vastly overrated Brook Lopez and slightly less overrated Deron Williams, and topped that off making those of us who called Joe Johnson's hideous contract untradable look bad by (sigh) trading for it.
We still figured they'd make the playoffs, though. We liked the rest of their top five- Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries, and the additions of the usually solid Reggie Evans and Josh Childress to replenish their bench. All told, this looked like a seventh or eighth seed out of the East.
However, with five weeks of action in the books, the Nets hold the third best record in the Eastern Conference and look legitimately good most of the time. Score one for conventional basketball logic, right? Well, not exactly.

Player                                    WP48* (league avg - .100)
Reggie Evans                                           .299
Kris Humphries                                        .211
Marshon Brooks                                       .194
Andray Blatche                                         .190
Jerry Stackhouse                                      .163
Josh Childress                                          .157
Gerald Wallace                                          .138
Deron Williams                                         .129
Brook Lopez                                             .91
C.J Watson                                               .57
Joe Johnson                                              .41
Keith Bogans                                            - .17

What jumps off the page is how heavily the Nets are relying upon their bench for win production and how mediocre the guys they gave all the money to are performing, which again, we kind of expected. We aren't totally sold on the ability of some members of the bench to continue to produce at this clip (Stackhouse, Blatche) and we certainly don't expect Billy King to do anything but credit the guys who make all of the money when it comes to making decisions regarding the team's future. So, if we had to guess, this might be as good as it gets for the Nets...but the current incarnation of the squad figures to win a lot of games for the Brooklyn faithful this season. So enjoy that.

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