The New Jersey Nets finally relocated to Brooklyn this year, the post-Jason Kidd-era stench having ruined the Meadowlands forever. Russian Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov fought long and hard and lost the summer’s Dwight Howard sweepstakes.
Prokhorov, realizing he couldn’t move into the plush confines of Barclays Center with nothing to sell, still found plenty of players to throw money at.
The Nets ended up re-signing their own big ticket players Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace, while trading for Joe Johnson’s Atlanta bank-breaking contract and keeping Kris Humphries by handing him a 2-year deal worth 24 million.
All this spending to surround their reluctant choice at center, Brook Lopez, but really just to have a product worth hyping.
(Did you know Brooklyn is also home to many musicians? No? A sampling…)
The Nets probable starting lineup:
PG Deron Williams
SG Joe Johnson
SF Keith Bogans
PF Kris Humphries
C Brook Lopez
The Brooklyn Nets debuted Saturday with a 107-100 win over the Toronto Raptors. They did not emerge unscathed, as Gerald Wallace will miss tonight’s tilt against the Wolves with a sprained ankle. They weren’t the only debut Saturday night…
If that’s not ridiculous enough, try google image searching “Brooklyn Knight” without the safety on. Anyway, the entrance music probably should have been more like…
Brooklyn’s other mascot is also a minority owner…
The Timberwolves can take solace that Kyle Lowry hung 28/8/8 with 3 steals and a block on Deron Williams and the Nets the night before he destroyed Luke Ridnour’s (individual) and the Wolves’s (collective) psyche in Toronto. The guy is just out for blood and feasting. A little more concerning would be Brandon Roy’s first egg laid in a Wolves uniform, Pek’s general lack of touches, and the team more than doubling the number of turnovers they committed in their first game (11 to 24).
J.J. Barea is quite questionable after suffering a slight concussion by Dante Cunningham’s foot. Glaring need for perimeter scoring? Check.
The Wolves probable starting lineup:
PG Luke Ridnour
SG Brandon Roy
SF Andrei Kirilenko
PF Derrick Williams
C Nikola Pekovic
Derrick Williams seems to be at least trying to be aggressive on the floor — rebounding and on defense, in particular. It was notable that Coach Adelman pulled the reins quickly after Williams hoisted a long, contested, heat-checking jumper after nailing a 3 from the wing in the third quarter with the shot clock winding down.
Other positive trends were Alexei Shved recovering from some comically bad early miscues and turning in a few nice assists, a couple trips to the free throw line, and the first made 3 of his career. Garbage time is made for such inexperienced players learning what they can and can’t get away with while playing through the nerves Shved obviously is feeling.
In other news, if you think handing AK47 a two-year deal worth 20 million was extravagant. Compare his blur of selfless activity to that of Humphries, check the price tag, and rejoice.
There is one defensive presence in Brooklyn’s entire lineup, and he will be on the bench tonight. Crash’s absence leaves an opportunity for the front line to exploit. Let’s watch Roy bounce back, Pek tear Lopez to shreds, and Shved and Kirilenko stick it to their fellow countryman.
Topics: Alexey Shved, Andrei Kirilenko, Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets, Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, Gerald Wallace, J.J. Barea, Joe Johnson, Minnesota Timberwolves, Nets, Nikola Pekovic, Timberwolves, Wolves