Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Getting a leg up

Good news and bad news travels fast…As you probably already know, Richard Jefferson is doubtful for Game 2 tomorrow. The upside, for the moment, is there isn’t a sense that this is a major, major injury.

RJ’s MRI was A-OK (We love initial-based sentences). No tears (rhyming with bears, not beers). They’re calling it a bone bruise in his right ankle, rather than a sprained ankle. It’s tender, but feeling better by the hour.

The Nets basically are more willing to keep RJ out tomorrow than running the risk of having him out, or at lesser strength, down the line. If he plays Friday in Game 3, that would be four days of rest. (We used our fingers for the math).

At the same time, the Nets seem to be setting themselves up nicely as far as motivation goes. In other words, just when you thought they were about to promote themselves to ‘favorite’ status, RJ’s probable absence keeps them collared with the underdog tab.

“They’re going to respond well because everyone is going to count them out,” Jefferson said today. “I’m not saying I’m not playing. But if I am not able to go, everyone is going to count them out and say they don’t have a chance.”

XXX

Game 2 could be ugly for the Nets, because the Heat will have a much easier time defending them without Jefferson. If Nenad is back in foul trouble or Kidd is missing his shots, it’s going to be tough for the Nets to be greedy in the series because Vince Carter will get loaded up on.

Vince was rallying the troops for the task at hand.

“We believe in each other out here,” he said. “If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be the third seed in the Eastern Conference because there were rough times when people wrote us off and we lost three or four in a row and everybody said , ‘Oh, maybe the Nets aren’t as good as we thought they are.’ We did it together. We stuck together as a unit. We believed in everybody.”

Lamond Murray will likely get the start and the Nets bench gets thinner. Rookie AntoineWright and Zoran Planinic should see minutes.

XXX
Before the series, we spoke of John Thomas’ likely role as a folk hero, playing against Shaq in the second round after playing just the final two games with the Nets. The vet set some strong picks and got some good fouls in Game 1. The legend is growing.

“When he was in Atlanta, I thought he separated my shoulder a couple of times setting screens,” Carter said.

XXX

Shaq, who didn’t talk to reporters after Game 1, seemed in decent mood today. He credited the Nets for playing a “smart” game. Didn’t rail too much about the calls.

And then a reporter asked him if he had any phone calls last night.

“Yes, your mother.”

What did she say?

“Happy Father’s Day.”

2 Comments:

Blogger Greg J said...

Bob,
glad to hear that RJ's injury is not a fracture or broken tendon. One game missing is not too much.

So now is the chance for Lamond Murray to step up and produce. Wouldn't it be amazing to leave Miami with two wins?

Greg

8:02 PM  
Blogger Bob Considine said...

Hi Greg,

The Nets could actually start Jacque Vaughn in place of RJ, moving Vince to the three in the starting lineup...

Lamond has hit some big shots in the Nets' last two games, although he was 2-for-10 in Game 1... This is going to be a tough game for the Nets given the circumstances. I'd be very surprised if they pulled it out, but they'll still have homecourt advantage.

Enjoy the game, Greg!

Bob

9:31 PM  

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