A step in the right direction for Nets

nets400.jpgNEW YORK — The Nets looked like the old Nets last night, doing what they used to do to the Knicks before Jason Kidd decided he didn’t want to play here anymore.
When things were bad, those Nets always could count on a big win over the Knicks to lift their spirits and demoralize New York and their fans in their building. Actually, those Nets did it during good times, too.
But the Nets came into this game probably at their lowest, after four straight losses out West, after losing their point guard and leading scorer to a shoulder injury and after their energetic athletic backup big man was arrested and subsequently suspended two games by the team.
The timing for the Nets’ retro performance couldn’t have been better and fittingly it was Vince Carter who had another turn-back-the-clock night in a rousing 115-89 win over the Knicks that at least showed New Jersey has life.
The win meant the Nets are ahead of the Knicks again, by half a game. But, it’s a long road ahead with 14 to play because the Nets still have to leapfrog three teams to make the postseason.
The Nets are 2 games behind Chicago, the current holders of the East’s eighth and final playoff spot and their schedule turns brutal again with the next four games against the Heat, a home-and-home with the Cavaliers and Kobe Bryant’s lone Meadowlands appearance.
But the Nets needed this win, after that trip, after showing little heart or desire in Denver to close the winless journey. They played with pride. They played with passion. They made the Knicks look foolish, just like the old days.
“For us to come out and act like this and play together and compete on the glass because we took a beating on the glass on the road — it was just a great win for us,” Carter said.
As you would expect Carter was the leader, and he had to be with Devin Harris not even in the building because of his sprained left shoulder and strained deltoid. Carter picked the perfect time to put the Nets on his shoulders and take over the game and perhaps their season.
The Nets were down three to open the second and with seven Carter shot attempts and one foul shot, they suddenly led by three. It took 3:50 for Carter to score 17 points. That was more than every Knick but two had for the entire game.
When Carter was done the Nets were up 10 and they just kept building the lead as everyone followed their captain, who breathed energy into his team when it appeared their legs were a little wobbly.
“Looking at our guys I thought we looked a little but tired,” coach Lawrence Frank said. “Vince hits the transition three then he gets another three. Now he’s rolling.”
And so were the Nets.
Then it was rookies Brook Lopez and Chris Douglas-Roberts and then it was Keyon Dooling, who was subbing for Harris as a starter. Those three combined for 54 points and 23 assists.
The Nets are going to need big games from Carter and big production from others, especially while Harris is out. He’s expected to miss the next two games at least and when he comes back who knows if he’ll be as effective right away as he was before Marcus Camby took him out.

But, if the Nets play with this passion and urgency they’ll at least give themselves a chance. Still, they need help, lots of it, but they have to help themselves first and this was a step in that direction.
Al Iannazzone covers the Nets for The Record (Bergen County, N.J.).


  1. luousa@gmail.com

    Vince Carter is a great player. He is a team player!

    Vince Carter is not only a good player himself, but also a good organizer in the team and reliable player when the team needs. Not only he made scores, but also supported other teammates scores and serious in defense.

    The main reason that NETS losses in the WEST trip, was that NETS hurted Vince Carter before. There were many rumors that NETS wanted to trade Vince Carter, which definitely hurted Vince Carter and the whole team.

    Now the ONLY hope for NETS to go playoff, is to give the team on court to Vince Carter, who is the leader which NETS need, not anyone else.

  2. luousa@gmail.com

    NETS can win because of no Harris on court. Harris as individual has very good skills and talent, especially on one on one. But Harris is short and thin, he is not Michael Jordan.

    For a long time, NETS played Harris as the No.1 score maker, Harris can make very good statistic datas each game, but other team players did not have many chances, and NETS of course lost the most games.

    Carter is team player, he can make score. He also keeps watching other teammaters for open chances. He also can dunk and pass ball.

    If NETS want to play better, NETS should give more chances to LOPEZ, the inside center. It is too difficulty for a team to win through a short guard.

  3. chrisgarcia1107@yahoo.com

    honestly after watching last night and a couple o fthe losts ive noticed vince carters area of play and its so much different from when harris is on the court. i do believe carter plays much better with dolling at his left then harris…its sorta hard to combine a stat player with a great team player…the squad that is out there now is a squad carter is suited for


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