In anticipation of tonight’s Washington Wizards opener against the New Jersey Nets, Mike at JoeNetsfan.com was kind enough to answer a couple questions about their team. Enjoy.
1) Vince Carter is much maligned around the league….how confident are you in his ability to lead the team? Is he more interested in being an All-Star, or getting wins?
Here’s the deal on Vince – he means well. He’s not necessarily interested in being an All Star per se, and I think he recognizes the fact that he can’t do what he once did. Having said that, Vince is a great team player, but he really doesn’t want to be “the man” and because of that, the Nets will suffer from having all the pressure on Vince. As far as leading the team, well, he always deferred to perhaps the greatest leader in the NBA today – Jason Kidd. So we really don’t know what sort of leader he’ll be. He appears to be happy to work with the youngsters, he appears to relish the role of team leader, but I don’t think it will translate into anything more than his being a great cheerleader for the rookies. When the pressure’s on, Vince’s track record is only so-so. Let me clear up one thing for the record, though – he does play hurt, and he does try much harder than his rep would lead you to believe. I’ve watched him enough to feel confident saying that.
2) Will Devin Harris make the Mavs really kick themselves? Where does (or will) he rank among the Eastern Conference point guards?
Harris will make the Mavs kick themselves, if only because he’s about 100 years younger than Kidd, and he’ll be floating in the paint long after Kidd is gone. As far as a rank among E.C. PG’s, he’s a scoring point who needs to learn how to make his teammates better by passing the rock, so he’s probably right up there in the top 7 PG’s (let’s say Chauncey, Andre Miller, Gilbert Arenas, Jose Calderon, Mike Bibby, TJ Ford, Devin Harris, Rajon Rondo for the sake of argument. Harris might be better than Bibby or Ford at this point, but it’s too early to tell).
3) With so many inexperienced options, who is going to step up and be the man in the post for the Nets this year?
Brook Lopez will be the man in the middle. Perhaps not today, but he’ll get plenty of chances and by February he should be the man being counted on inside. Not to mention that he’ll be doing that for the next 10 years or so. He’s that talented.
Score and who for the Nets will get the most points, assists, and rebounds.
Opening night Wiz vs. Nets – call it Wiz 107, Net 92 – Carter will lead the team with 22 points, Lopez and Josh Boone will tie with 8 rebounds, and Harris and Carter will each have 5 assists. Sounds about right. Good luck tomorrow. You can quote me as Joe Netsfan.