The Morning Tip-Off: The Nets Win!
Every weekday morning, Brooklyn’s Finest will scour the interwebs for the best (and worst) of Nets coverage from the previous day (and night).
1. The Nets win! A 106-98 road win in Houston gives the Nets their first win of the season. Paul Mitchell recapped it from the Nets perspective here. In addition, our TrueHoop affiliated brethren at Red94 recapped the shocking results as well:
Ten players registered minutes for the Brooklyn Nets last night, and all but three of those players (Jarrett Jack, Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington) are 6’7 or taller. For all the knocks on Brooklyn (plodding pace, lack of offensive creativity, poor defense), they do tall very well. And it was that height that beat the Houston Rockets last night.
The Nets out-rebounded the Rockets 60 to 45, but the real problem was the 20 offensive rebounds Brooklyn managed to grab.
Mitchell Felker astutely points out the one advantage the Nets have against most opponents on a night to night basis, their size. The Nets murdered the Rockets on the boards while apparently employing the Thibodeau-era Chicago Bulls offensive strategy, follow your shot. I enjoyed Felker’s take on seeing the abnormality of Brook Lopez’ size and frame up close and in person as well.
2. Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York pointed to the defensive presence of the Brook Lopez-Thomas Robinson front line as the most important component of the Nets being able to close one out for once:
But mostly, it happened because Brook Lopez and Thomas Robinson made several game-defining plays on defense in crunch time, combining for five blocks and a steal in the fourth quarter alone.
Lopez, who didn’t score in the second half, had four of those five rejections in the final period, while Robinson had arguably his best two-minute stint as a pro, contributing a block, a steal and two baskets as the Nets out-executed the Rockets down the stretch.
The duo hadn’t shared all that much time on the court together previously, but Robinson has been playing hard off the bench and his activity was welcome for the Nets in crunch time last night.
3. Tim Bontemps of The New York Post wrote about how Brett Yormark, Nets’ CEO, is selling an optimistic future for the franchise:
The thing Yormark and the Nets are excited about, however, is the ability to sell the franchise at the top of free agency for the first time. Because of the various trades they have made over the past few years, they haven’t been able to go after a single big-name free agent since they moved to Brooklyn. That will change next summer — though it will also be a summer when virtually every team has cap room because of the influx of money from the new television contracts with ESPN and Turner Sports that kick in next season.
Even if next summer goes swimmingly, though, the Nets still have the next six months to get through — and, by the looks of things, it could be an awfully painful stretch for the team, and more importantly its fans.
Yormark has his work cut out for him selling optimism to Brooklyn Nets fans, but there’s no doubt that the team will have plenty of cap space to use in their attempt to lure big free agents. The free agent market may not be as robust as many NBA franchises are hoping considering every team in the NBA will have a large amount of money to spend.
But, the Nets have invested quite a lot in the move to Brooklyn, including the practice facilities, and envision that will be a strength when they are pitching a potential free agent. And there will be players available out there, don’t be fooled. However, the Nets will need to be smart about who they are throwing their money at to avoid being in the same situation they currently are 3 years from now.
See you tomorrow!