Thursday, April 20, 2006

Greetings from East Rutherford,

Welcome to the first Nets’ blog here at the Courier News, which also happens to be my first blog anywhere. Yes, dreams do come true.

For those who don’t know me, I congratulate you. But you should probably know I have been the long-time Nets beat writer for Bridgewater and all of your fine Gannett newspapers in New Jersey and New York. Please feel free to say hello and give your thoughts on the Nets and their playoff run. I’ll be with the team for all of it, home and away. I’m also here to discuss movies, recipes, affairs of the heart….whatever you’d like.

Anyway, as you now know, the Nets will be facing the Indiana Pacers in the first round, starting on Sunday at 1 p.m….Today was a fairly low-key day here at the practice facility. The players were basically here to watch tape on Indy. We only had access to Lawrence Frank today, but there was much to discuss. Friday, we'll get to hear from everyone else.

In a nutshell, the Nets have a healthy respect for the Pacers. But there aren’t too many people outside of here who feel they can really give the Nets run (except for Sports Illustrated, who actually picked Indiana in seven). My prediction will run in Sunday’s paper, but here’s a clue: It rhymes with Bets Fin Hive.

Although Indiana does have some good offensive options in Jermaine O’Neal and Peja, the Nets have more star power. Krstic is a better player than he was when the Nets lose 2 of 3 to Indy in the regular season. Kidd should prove to be too much for his good buddy Anthony Johnson. And we haven’t even gotten to Vince and RJ yet. Indiana was hot of late, but against bad teams….and weren’t we just hearing about O’Neal being traded after the season like a week ago?

I’m sure there are other opinions out there…Let’s hear ‘em!

12 Comments:

Blogger CraigPo said...

Hi Bob, I recall seeing you on ESPN a while back. You were on the money with your comments. I was pretty impressed.
Take care,
Craig P.

6:32 AM  
Blogger LINDA said...

Hi Bob,

Have read many of your Nets' columns and think that you are a great writer. The Nets are great most of the time. Hope they go far into the playoffs. Continue the great work you do.
Linda

7:03 AM  
Blogger Mr. Christophersen said...

Dear Mr. Considine,

I have just finished reading your latest article in the Asbury Park Press, 4/21. I agree with your comments regarding the Pacers.

I want to tell you how much I appreciated your clearly written and thought provoking articles.

Thanks so much for years of articles that expresses both the positive and negative aspects of the NJ Nets.

Kindest regards,
Mr. Christophersen

7:23 AM  
Blogger Stanley Eisen said...

I'm a Nets fan from the Philadelphia area. I always know that the Nets are doing well when they're featured on Philly news. I guess A.I. is going to have to listen to how much booty the Nets are going to kick in the playoffs...Enjoy your R and R Iverson, better luck next year

Stanley Eisen

7:37 AM  
Blogger Bob Considine said...

Hi all,

Thanks for the kind words! More from Friday's practice later this afternoon. Keep peekin'

Bob

8:14 AM  
Blogger Bob Considine said...

And to Mr. Eisen,

Me thinks the Answer could have a new home by next year's post-season.

Bob

8:17 AM  
Blogger Bob Considine said...

Friday, April 21st:

First full day of practice for the proverbial ‘second season’ today, which means lot of TV cameras that were never around all season shooting lots of video footage that never seems to get seen anywhere

But I digress…

Spirits were good with the players today. Lots more flattery for the guys over in Indy, who do have some injury concerns heading into this series … To break up the monotony, we got on the topic of Vince’s 40-50-foot shooting range and just how good his shooting percentage is from halfcourt.

“Probably about 40 percent,” Carter said, half-seriously.

Watching the guy practice is actually pretty amazing. We’ve seen him shoot from halfcourt in pregame sitting down. And they go in. There are less amazing feats in a circus it seems. I asked him he’d be in favor of a 4-point shot. You can guess his answer.

XXX

Of course, for guys like Cliff Robinson, this time of year is old hat. He’s 39 years old, played 17 NBA seasons. Been in the playoffs, 16 of those years.

“It’s always nice,” he said. “I just want a ring.”

In case you may have forgotten, Robinson was there in Portland when Jermaine O’Neal was just an 18-year-old rookie. The dude wound up leaving the Blazers dismayed (like most do) because he didn’t get enough playing time with Rasheed and Cliff around.

“He’s showing me some of the same stuff he showed me in Portland,” Cliff said. “But he’s doing it on a more consistent basis. He’s a lot stronger. He’s a lot more confident in what he’s doing. When you’re getting opportunities and your team is coming to you on a regular basis, shoot, he’s a good player.”

XXX
Not to look too far ahead, but the Nets’ spots in the June draft were determined today. They’ll have the No. 1 picks at No. 22 (via the Kerry Kittles trade with the Clips) and their own at No. 23.

Whether they keep both is another matter. But if they do, they’ll be thrilled with whoever they pick and ‘shocked’ that those players were still there for them at those spots.

More tomorrow…thanks for reading!

12:53 PM  
Blogger Bob Considine said...

Sorry...I meant the pick came in the Kenyon Martin trade...not Kerry Kittles.

Where's an editor when you need one?!

12:58 PM  
Blogger Super John's Ghost said...

Sure, Vince Carter is a great all-around offensive talent, but as far as shooting from halfcourt, the all-time Net is Chris Morris. Of course, if he practiced from inside midcourt maybe he'd be recalled a little more fondly. By the way bob, I saw you on ESPN, too -- tv adds 10 pounds.

8:33 PM  
Blogger jaz-x said...

Hey Bob
Who cuts your hair ..its great
also you have great eyes...x

9:03 PM  
Blogger Bob Considine said...

It’s Saturday. Game 1 Eve.

Time to get geared up…The preview stuff is in. I’m about to head home with the Devils-Rangers crowd at the Meadowlands in my rearview mirror. If I’m not careful, I can see myself in the mirror and contemplate the extra 10 pounds of TV weight that Super John’s Ghost was kind enough to pronounce or my hair and eyes that Jaz-X so creepily pointed out.

On to basketball, mercifully. . .

Most of the talk here at practice today was about how slow the tempo will be in this series, which could make for some exciting finishes – if you can make it past 78-78.

“I don’t mind getting a little bloody,” Richard Jefferson said today of the impending defensive showdown.

“As long as we win, I wouldn’t care if it was butt ugly,” Cliff Robinson said. “It really doesn’t matter to me, as long as we come out on top.”

We often tease Lawrence Frank about “statement games,” but this one truly is . . . because the Nets now have to knuckle down defensively like they say can, like they know they can . . . but really haven’t for four quarters since the latter part of their 14-game winning streak.

XXX

You get the sense that Jason Kidd is a little more excited about the Nets’ long-term playoff prognosis than in 2002, 2003 or 2004 for one major reason – they can play much better in the half-court.

Back in the glory years, they were mostly runners-and-gunners and hoped for the best in the slow-it-down postseasons. Now it’s a much different story. When they’re on their offensive game, which is more often than not, they pay more attention to detail in the halfcourt and get the open shot quickly.

“I think this team thrives in the half-court more than the first three or four years I was here,” Kidd said. “Our offense used to be in the open court and we struggled in the halfcourt game. I think now we feel we can score in both situations of getting out in running when it presents itself and definitely in the half-court. We feel very comfortable.”

XXX

Speaking of Kidd….his son T.J. was here today playing a little one-on-one with Dad. The little guy won.

XXX

You’ll get two TV options for today’s game. If you want Marv and Mark, they’re on Channel 9 (when this whole MY9 thing start anyway?). If you want to go national, they’re on TNT.

Stuck in the car? Try WBBR (1130 AM).

Talk to ya Monday…

12:40 PM  
Blogger Greg J said...

Hi Bob, it was a relief to see the Nets driving to the basket more in game two. It's tough to take the hits underneath, but forcing the contact and living with the result, either a layup or free throws seems to get better results for the Nets.

This Anthony Johnson guy has been on fire! I always liked his enthuiasm when he played on the Nets, but I don't remember seeing him play this effectively.

take care,
Greg J

3:11 AM  

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