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New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-09-04 News New Jersey Nets

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News » New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-09-04

New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-09-04

New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-09-04
Custer. The Titanic. The Hindenburg. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets.

Well, maybe the Nets are not doomed, not destined to crash and burn as so many suspect.

"I really think we'll do a lot better than people think," offered team president Rod Thorn regarding the dire forecasts for the Nets.

No one is suggesting a title but some, like center Brook Lopez, are talking about the playoffs.

"I definitely think we can make the playoffs," Lopez said, noting how all the dire forecasts had served to motivate the team. "It definitely does. We have young eager guys who are out here. Some a bit naive in that regard, they ignore the press and everything. They have a general idea of where we're supposed (to finish). We're coming together, we're expecting to play well."

The Nets have gathered early to go through voluntary workouts and to try to come together as a team. Attendance was impressive -- only three players (Tony Battie, Bobby Simmons, Sean Williams) failed to get in but there were assorted reasons, ranging from travel to moving family. And so the group that responded to the calls put out by Jarvis Hayes have seen elements that provide encouragement in their minds.

The 7-0 Lopez is more "toned." Rookie Terrence Williams has impressed everyone with his passing. Courtney Lee has brought elements of quickness and athleticism, perfect for an up-tempo style. Josh Boone has made jumpers. Yi also has impressed with some added bulk and an improved approach. Chris Douglas-Roberts has made big strides from his rookie season. Keyon Dooling and Rafer Alston supply quality point guard depth.

But of course, there are concerns.

"We are so young. The mental status of the team (can be fragile). If we lose a couple in a row, are we going to falter, or can we pull together?" Harris wondered.

"Some seasoning. We just need time," Hayes said. "This league is predicated on W's. We just need time to gel. We've got an All-Star point guard (Harris). I think we'll have an All-Star center this year in Brook. Great draft pick -- 'T-Will' showed great athleticism. He definitely can run the point, definitely has point guard skills. Courtney's a knockdown shooter/slasher. We have pieces. It's how quickly do we gel."

This is the first year is some time the Nets will be starting without a true, legitimate superstar of Hall of Fame caliber. There was Jason Kidd. There was Vince Carter. That's lacking this time.

"The guys know everybody is going to get a shot to do what they need to do," Harris said. "We don't have the consistent guys we had last year. Obviously, it was me and Vince carrying the majority of the scoring load. Now we're broken up a little bit more. Obviously, Brook is going to be expected to score a little bit more but we still need guys to make shots. I think there's strength in numbers. That's the best way to put it. The deeper we are, the better we can be."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 4, 2009


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