Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Off to Indy

It’s on to the Hoosier State for the series.

The Nets were good as they’ve ever been on the road this season, finishing at 20-21. Indiana is one of the tougher places for a visiting team to play. Not as difficult as Detroit or Sacramento or San Antonio, but more intimidating than Dallas or Miami.

Although it was four years ago, the Nets can draw upon Game 3 of their first-round series against Indiana - which was an 85-84 win for the Nets at Conseco that often gets overshadowed because of the unforgettable theater that was Game 5.

As a memory refresher, the Nets went into hostile territory needing to steal a game in the best-of-5 series. Reggie Miller’s 3-pointer with 34 seconds left put the grips on New Jersey. But Keith Van Horn grabbed a big offensive rebound and it got to Kerry Kittles, who hit perhaps the biggest trey of his career with 22.5 seconds left for the deciding basket.

Miller then came off a downscreen and missed a wide-open three, as hearts skipped a beat on the Nets bench.

“That’s the only thing I can remember, because I was the one who got screened,” Jason Kidd recalled.

Regardless, That win got the Nets started in terms of believing they could win on the road. They would do so in Charlotte and Boston later that postseason; in Milwaukee, Boston, Detroit and San Antonio in 2003.

Nets went long today at practice before flying out. . . Jermaine O’Neal, and his lack or production, has been a popular topic.

O’Neal has been in grave foul trouble in both games, averaging just 13.5 points on .364 shooting for the series thus far.

O’Neal didn’t mean to take credit away from New Jersey in Game 2, but he kind of did, saying how the Nets flop so much defensively.

The Nets, predictably, were not sympathetic.

“If that’s how he feels, he’s entitled to his opinion,” Cliff Robinson said. “But that doesn’t change how we’re going to play him. We’re going to play him hard and fight him for position. He’ll just have to make adjustments himself.”

No definitive word out of Indiana yet, regarding Peja Stojakovic status in Game 3. But Rick Carlisle said Peja’s sore right knee was not a big deal. The Nets are counting on him playing, even if he didn’t practice today and Indiana is calling him questionable for tomorrow.

Stephen Jackson is an added story. He has a sore right thumb and did not practice today. But Carlisle expects him to play.

Stats to note after the first two games: The Nets are shooting 3-for-30 from 3-point range. That’s 10 percent, if you’re scoring at home. Kidd and Robinson are both 0-for-5 from long range. The Nets will hope for the law of averages to get back in their favor, but they’re not relying on it.

“Regardless of how bad we’re shooting from the 3-point line, we’re still in games,” Vince Carter said. “It will make us a tougher team once we do hit 3-pointers. It’s the little things like that we can’t worry about. Our effort and us playing hard are what matters right now.”

An FYI, Kidd, Carter and Jefferson are featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine this week. Chris Broussard wrote it and did a great job. Give it a look.


Blogger bballfreak said...

Great blog Bob! I was looking for some info about the 02 Pacers-Nets series! Thanks.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Bob Considine said...

Thanks for reading mr. freak.

It was a great series and probably set the course for the future of the franchise.


9:22 PM  
Blogger bballfreak said...

I believe that series also put Kidd at the elite level. He was a very good PG before that but he became a immortal when he went shot for shot with Reggie Miller in that game 5 in my opinion. Too bad we will never see that Kidd again. That Kidd was a pleasure to watch.

3:19 PM  

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