2010-11 NBA Team Preview: New Jersey Nets

| by Give Me The Rock

I’ve been holding out for the “Melo Deal” to fall through before rolling this out,  but from the looks of things neither Carmelo Anthony nor the Denver Nuggets appear nice enough to fit things into MY blogging itinerary.

How inconsiderate.

No worries. New Jersey is not likely going to be the NBA’s most pitiful team this season. Anymore. That alone, is something worth cheering about!

We, as all good role-players do, shall chug along and do our blue collar duties without question nor complaint.  Dang, did I just refer to myself collectively? Must need sleep. Besides, Patrick already gave you a quick look-see as to what their depth chart would be like assuming the aforementioned deal should rise from its sarcophagus, like an old and ugly mummy flick.

Frankly, all of this “Melo trade B.S.” is hurting the team right now, more than it is inspiring.

If it’s any consolation, for me at least, Anthony Morrow has been penciled in as the starting shooting guard. That at least saves me the future trouble of adjusting the ubiquitous:

Depth Chart

PG Devin Harris, Jordan Farmar

SG Anthony Morrow, Terrence Williams

SF Travis Outlaw, Stephen Graham, Quinton Ross, Damion James

PF Troy Murphy, Derrick Favors, Kris Humphries

C  Brook Lopez, Joe Smith, Johan Petro, Brian Zoubek

The Nets are really rubbing the grease on the word “New” ahead of the word “Jersey” this season.

What’s new? Hmmm… Owner, Coach, a truck load of new faces via off-season signings, and a slice of some MELO-dramatic pie.

Not everything new translates to something good. As far as the Nets are concerned, however, I’m leaning to believe that they’re headed for better and brighter things this season.

Front and Center

Brook Lopez – There really isn’t much to say here. He’s the hands down best, C-only eligible guy when you don’t feel like you want to punt FT%. And considering some half-insane experts out there believe that we’re about to experience one the toughest droughts at the five-spot in recent history, Brook’s value to fantasy owners only gets shinier as each C-eligible guy goes down with an injury. The Nets have loaded up on, well added more, three-point shooters. This is likely designed to spread out the defense a bit more for Brook to throw around his ever improving post-game in the shaded area. He’s a second round, early grab. No ifs or buts about it. What’s not to love? Back to back 82-games played seasons? His being primed for that “third year bump?” 20/10/1.9 is definitely not out of the question folks. Patrick and I have him at 14th overall. Nels, whose cat probably got run over by Bro-Lo in some freak accident, brings down his average by leaving him at 21. In fairness to Nels, Brook did finish last season at  23rd overall on our rater last season. Maybe he’s just not as bullish as we are.

Troy Murphy – Almost every season now, you get your rankings, you look at Murphy and you decide to downgrade the guy just because you fear his injury prone past. At the end of each season, however, Troy somehow seems (through per game averages) to exceed expectations. He’s where Nels really throws his mid-ball, man-crush weight around. He gives Troy only a slight downgrade at 27, which actually sounds fair considering Murphy actually finished 2010 at 20th overall. Patrick and I are less optimistic, as we have the fella at 37th and 31st respectively. That gives you, dear readers, 31.7 on our rankings. That as you can see is already fairly pessimistic. Troy will still likely score in the low teens, shoot about two treys a night, but might not be able to keep up his 10.2 rebound average from last season.

Derrick Favors – He was the Nets’ “big catch” on draft day as the picked him 3rd overall. Here’s what Jeff Eisenberg had to say in his analysis of Favors on that day.

This pick will be judged on whether or not Derrick Favors turns out to be a better pro than DeMarcus Cousins. Favors wasn’t as productive a low-post scorer or rebounder as Cousins in their lone year in college, but he also was hampered by a Georgia Tech backcourt that at times seemed to be allergic to making entry passes to him. His athleticism and upside are excellent and he’ll fit in nicely alongside center Brook Lopez in the Nets’ frontcourt. — Jeff Eisenberg

For now, GMTR has him cracking our Top 150 at 149.7, which puts him within range for a nice, comfortable seat on your fantasy team’s bench as you wait and see how he’ll do over the first couple of months of the regular season.

The Point Guard I Never Really Learned to Love

I liked Devin Harris for about a month and a half in the 2008-09 season. That was as far as that fantasy basketball fling went. Considering I just LOVE point guards, at times way too much, when it comes to fantasy hoops, I don’t know what it is exactly about Harris that turns me off. Is it his lack of threes? Is it his “OK” steals average (1.2 last season), considering he was once known as a defender during his Dallas days? In the end, I must admit that it’s his injury prone past. He’s played in an average of 66.5 games over the last couple of seasons. That being said, we at GMTR do believe that he’s capable of bouncing back this season. Until the uncertainty surrounding Harris’ possible departure from the team clears up, we’ll put a hold on further projections.

Don’t Sleep on ‘Em!

Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow, and Terrence Williams are all legitimate sleeper candidates. Outlaw is looking to bounce back from an injury-plagued season with the Trail Blazers and Clippers last year. Patrick and I really like him. He’s one of those guys who can quietly give you a little bit of everything. Speaking of “like,” I am actually higher on Morrow now that he’s with the Nets than if he ended up staying at Golden State. I’m looking to see him deliver a ton of threes and at impressive shooting percentages to complement ‘em to boot. T-Will has the potential to emerge as an all-around facilitator off the bench. In case you don’t draft him, you should do your due diligence and slap him on your watch list at least.

For Your 12-team Fantasy Basketball drafting guidance:

Brook Lopez – Early second, or you’ll miss out.

Troy Murphy – Round 3

Anthony Morrow – Round 7

Devin Harris – Round 7

Derrick Favors – Round 13

Travis Outlaw – Round 13. A must consider in 14-team leagues or deeper.

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