Tag: New Jersey Nets


Obama compared Mitt Romney to Jeremy Lin. I don’t get it.


For a guy known for his oratory skills, this Barack Obama shot at Mitt Romney looks like an Andrew Bynum three pointer.

Obama is out on the campaign trail this holiday weekend, firing up his supporters before heading to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. A city where he might not want to compare his record to the local NBA squad (just a little free advice, Mr. President).

On the campaign trail he said something… odd. From the New York Times (via Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated, at least this week until he moves to Grantland soon):

No matter what moves Mr. Romney made, the president said, he and his team were going to cut him off and block him at every turn. “We’re the Miami Heat, and he’s Jeremy Lin,” Mr. Obama said, according to the aide.

Um… bad analogy.

I get what you are going for, at least I think I do — that you have the better team who can shut down this overhyped newcomer. Like the Heat did to Lin.

But part of Lin’s appeal is he is the American dream — the kid is not the most athletic guy on the court but he worked hard, played smart, got the most out of the talent given him, played for free at the most prestigious academic institution in the nation (there are no scholarships at Harvard), fought to make an NBA roster and when really given a chance in the right setting exploded on the scene. He parlayed that into a big contract and success.

Part of Jeremy Lin’s appeal is we can all see ourselves as Lin in a way we never could with LeBron James or a big man like Dwight Howard. None of the rest of us were gifted like that. Lin, we can relate to him.

Let me try to help, Mr. President. I think the analogy you want is “We’re the Miami Heat, he’s the Brooklyn Nets.” That’s a team put together by a billionaire with most of his money locked up overseas, a team that has some talent but is unproven, a team that was put together on an old-rules model not really thinking through the long-term consequences (in the Nets case the new luxury tax costs and restrictions mixed with Joe Johnson’s contract). I think that is more what you were going for.

Just trying to help, Mr. President.

Nets signee Mirza Teletovic tearing up EuroBasket qualifying

Vitoria's Bosnian forward Mirza Teletovi

When the Nets signed Mirza Teletovic this summer, most of America shrugged. If they noticed at all.

But followers of international basketball applauded the move. Teletovic is a stretch four with a very quick release, but also a mean streak that has him defending hard and banging bodies inside.

That shot tearing up EuroBasket qualifying going on right now — Teletovic is averaging 25.7 points and 6.2 rebounds a game for Bosnia and Herzegovina so far, reports USBasket.com.

Now, those are sort of like Summer League numbers, don’t put too much stock in them. But it’s another sign the Nets may have some scoring punch off the bench this season.

Of course, scoring points isn’t going to be the Nets problem. The other end of the floor… we’ll see.

If the Jazz have to choose between Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, what’s the call?

Utah Jazz v Dallas Mavericks

There’s been a lot of talk about Paul Millsap and his contract situation. The young under-All-Star has decided to reject extension offers and instead opt for unrestricted free agency next summer according to reports, and so the Jazz will have to determine just how much they want to keep him. But kind of snuck under that headline (and beneath the lack of coverage the Jazz get) is that their other big-name big man Al Jefferson is also up for a new contract.

So the Jazz could go from this glut of big men to a downright dearth.

They can obviously elect to re-sign both players. But what if it were to come down to a choice between the two? They’d want to make it before the trade deadline so they don’t risk losing both for nothing. But which one? Derrick Favors complicates the situation, with the young athletic freak playing very well last year in a reserve role and openly interested in getting a starting position. Jazz blog SLC Dunk examined the position, and began to rethink the idea of focusing on keeping Millsap and letting Jefferson walk:

1) Keeping Jefferson allows him to start with Derrick Favors at power forward, and playing predominantly at that position seems to be a priority for our young potential-franchise player. While I think a Favors/Millsap duo would work as well—or better—it would not allow Favors to continue to mature at the position where he is most comfortable. (I’m assuming the team chooses not to play Millsap at SF a great deal, which I believe would be foolish and harmful to the team in both the short and long term.)

2) Enes Kanter is probably a few years away from starting, and having Jefferson as our starting center in that time would be about as well as we could do at the position. Even with his weaknesses, Jefferson is a probably a top five center in the league.

3) Millsap’s current trade value strikes me as far greater than Jefferson’s, partially due to his contract, partially because he isn’t the same defensive liability Jefferson is. Given how their respective careers have progressed, I think the sentiment across the league would hold that Millsap is also the more amenable of the two to the possibility of coming off the bench—if he feels his role and money are sufficient. As the more tradable, more flexible, and generally more desired of the two in a trade, moving Millsap gives the Jazz the greatest possibility of getting a worthwhile asset in return.

via An Open Question: Re-Sign Al Jefferson or Not?|SLC Dunk

Millsap on the market could draw huge offers. That’s the kind of difference-maker move that near-contenders shop for at the deadline. The Jazz could wind up with a great package of young players and picks if they trade either one, but Millsap in particular will draw the kind of combination that could allow for major changes. But the Jazz are still in the middle of a rebuild after Deron Williams, despite returning to the playoffs last season. Do they want to surrender on that plan so soon?

But Millsap-Jefferson-Favors just presents too much of a cluster of big men long-term. Ty Corbin has done a terrific job of making it work and turning it into a plus. But they need balance, and have the luxury of depth to use it to improve other positions. They have talent the can move to make the team better. That might be the best approach. Jefferson has a lot of draw backs defensively and in terms of ball movement. But he’s also one of maybe five post players you can give the ball to inside a minute and watch him deliver. It’s one of his biggest strengths and something few notice. He’s a killer crunch-time scorer in the post. That’s a huge weapon to be able to draw out because of his free throw shooting.  (78% last season, nothing groundbreaking but good enough to keep you from hack-a-Jeff’ing him).

The Jazz have so many directions they can go this season, so many things in motion. This is a big one for the franchise, not just on the floor but up in the offices. It’s complicated, but it could also bring huge rewards if management can pull it off.


Brooklyn Nets still searching for local practice facility


When Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and the rest of the Brooklyn Nets go to practice they have to head out the Lincoln Tunnel on the 495 West toward East Rutherford, New Jersey. The same practice facility the Nets have had for years.

It’s a 40-minute drive from Brooklyn to New Jersey to practice, and that’s if you don’t hit any traffic. And good luck with that. It’s why a lot of Nets players are splitting the difference and living in places like Hoboken (home of Frank Sinatra, thank you very much).

But the Nets are still looking hard for a practice facility in Brooklyn, they just can’t find one, reports Crain’s New York (via SLAM).

The search for a Brooklyn location has been going on for over a year now. Last year, the Nets weighed three sites in Brooklyn, according to another real estate source. But team officials decided not to pursue those opportunities because a number of key players reside in New Jersey and wanted to practice closer to home, the source said. The Nets also have a lease on the facility in East Rutherford that runs through June 2015….

Last year, General Manager Billy King told reporters who follow the team that the Nets plan to build a new practice facility for the 2013-2014 season.

Build is the most likely option, but all they have to do is find affordable land to do it on in the New York area. They’d have better luck finding a day without traffic for the commute to East Rutherford.

But they are looking and you can expect an announcement in the next year about the Nets new facility. Somewhere.

Report: Bobcats, Knicks interested in Josh Howard

Josh Howard Jazz
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The Charlotte Observer reports that Josh Howard, who is from Carolina and attended Wake Forest, is in Charlotte working out for the Bobcats as he continues to look for an NBA team.

Former Wake Forest forward Josh Howard is doing some workouts with the Charlotte Bobcats this week, president of basketball operations Rod Higgins confirmed.

The Bobcats’ interest in Howard at this point is still exploratory, as they consider ways to fill out their roster. The Bobcats would like to have another power forward, and have previously considered Antawn Jamison, Kris Humphries and Carl Landry, who all signed elsewhere. Howard, 6-7, has played both power and small forward.

via Inside the NBA: Charlotte Bobcats working out ex-Wake Forest star Josh Howard.

The Bobcats could use Howard to not only improve their depth (since pretty much anything is an improvement on their depth from last year), but help Michael Kidd-Gilchrist adjust to the NBA game. Howard fit in well with the Jazz last season, before an injury futzed with things. Ty Corbin took valuable minutes away from sparkplug DeMarre Carroll last year to keep Howard in the starting lineup for his experience.

Howard is a long way from his All-Star season in 2007, but could still help the Cats out. Again, only one way for them to go up, really.

Yahoo Sports reports that Howard could also get interest from the Knicks. Well, Howard’s a player who was great four years ago with injury issues, so yeah, that makes sense. But Howard also makes sense for New York. He’s a veteran defender and the Knicks like playing with guys with experience.