As a dad, I totally get the wanting and expecting the best for your kids. I understand thinking they are the best ever. Mine (all under 8) will all grow up to be doctors or the lead actress in Broadway musicals. I have no doubt.
That side of me can see where Travis Outlaw’s dad is coming from, that big things are expected in Outlaw’s second year with the Nets after a tough first season.
But the side of me that watched a lot of Nets basketball doesn’t see what he told the Starkville Daily News he heard (via Ball Don’t Lie).
Travis’ father John expects better things from his son as his career with the Nets enters a second season.
In conversation with New Jersey head coach Avery Johnson, John overheard that the coaches would like for Travis to put up at least 17 shots per outing.
Even though Travis felt there weren’t the opportunities to take that many shots last year, things may be different moving forward.
“(Johnson) said, ‘I want you to put up those 17 shots’ so this year, Travis said it’s on,” John Outlaw said.
Outlaw took 8.9 shots per game last season — and as he shot 37.5 percent from the floor he should have taken a lot fewer. Brook Lopez (who has a good inside offensive game) took 16 per game, Deron Williams 14.1. You think Avery Johnson wants Outlaw to take more shots than them? Johnson is a smart man. He wants his best players shooting more.
Outlaw lost his three-point touch last season, hitting 30.2 percent of his threes after hitting 37.8 the previous season. He has to find that groove again, be a stretch four. Then the shots will come.
But not 17 a game. Not ever.
Quinton Ross has barely touched the court lately for the Nets — just four minutes total in the team’s last seven games — but now it is official, he is done for the season.
He has a herniated disk in his back and the Nets are shutting him down, reports the New York Post.
“Unfortunately he has another disk situation,” (Nets coach Avery) Johnson said. “We’re going to confirm that when we get home, but based on preliminary discussions with Tim and our doctors, he’s out.”
The Nets aren’t headed to the playoffs but they are banged up none the less. Deron Williams is dealing with sore wrists and Sundiata Gaines is out for the season as well.
Avery Johnson and the Nets organization have made their bet — they must convince Deron Williams to sign an extension with the team.
Williams can opt out in the summer of 2012. The Nets traded significant assets to Utah to bring D-Will in, they have to keep him. They have to get talent around him, they have to keep him happy.
Johnson said the Nets can do that, according to the Bergen Record. Of course, he admits that’s the only thing he can say.
“I have no doubt and I’m really, really confident that we’ll be able to re-sign him,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said after practice Wednesday…
“What am I supposed to say, I’m leery?” Johnson said. “All signs that I’ve seen and heard are that as we move forward, he’ll be in a Nets’ uniform.
“Down the road if that changes, I’m not going to be the first person in America or professional sports that [has] had no doubt and it didn’t work.”
Johnson can lay a foundation, build a relationship now. The real work comes during free agency and trade windows in the future (whenever those are after the lockout). D-Will is very competitive. He wants to win. If the Nets prove he can do that in Brooklyn, they will get his signature. And then Johnson’s confidence can seem prophetic.