Denver Nuggets at New Jersey Nets Pregame Q & A

I was fortunate enough to exchange questions and answers prior to tonight’s conflagration between the undefeated Denver Nuggets and the defeated New Jersey Nets with Mark Ginocchio of the TrueHoop Network Nets blog, Nets are Scorching.  You can check out Mark’s responses to my riveting questions below and I implore you to head on over to Nets are Scorching to read my responses to his well though out inquiries.

RMC: With the Nets in rebuilding mode do you like the young talent they are amassing or are all their hopes of turning things around contingent on LeBron signing on to make the move to Brooklyn?

Mark: I think, overall, the Nets have some interesting young players in their stead, but they still seem to lack a true star, which may, or may not come next year via free agency depending on the odds of guys like LeBron or Chris Bosh leaving town. Devin Harris had a breakout year last season, but he gets injured a lot, and I wonder if that will ultimately affect him from taking it to the next level. Brook Lopez shows a lot of promise, but with more defenders targeting him now, I’m starting to see what guys like John Hollinger were trying to temper the enthusiasm of Nets fans. I think Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams will be very nice complimentary pieces down the road. I still don’t know what to make of Chris Douglas-Roberts. He seems to need the ball a lot to be effective.
RMC: It can be painful to cheer for a struggling team, but tell the RMC readers who may not know how likeable some of these guys are (by the way in case you were wondering, I am not referring to Sean Williams).
Mark: Well Brook Lopez may be one of the most likeable players in the NBA. This is a guy who has no shame about dressing up for Halloween or showing up at Comic Con, though I still don’t understand why he won’t join Twitter (he said he rather do “real” writing). Terrence Williams may be unselfish to a fault, which is something you like to see in a young player. Chris Douglas-Roberts has a chip on his shoulder, but also has a certain toughness and meaness thata lot of players lack. And believe it or not, I’ve really enjoyed seeing what a healthier Eduardo Najera brings to the table. You guys would probably know better than I, but he really does do a lot of the “little things,” that I think make up for his talent-level.
RMC: Coming off an outing where the Nets only managed to score 27 second half points is there any hope they can score enough points to beat a team like Denver? What are the odds the Nets beat the Nuggets by 44 as they did last season?
Mark: Well, never say never in the NBA, but with no Devin Harris, and it appears, no Yi Jianlian for Wednesday night, I don’t know if the Nets will be able to score 44 points in a half, no less have a margin of victory by that level. Nets fans should have known from the onset that with no Vince Carter, putting the ball in the hoop was going to be a problem. Now, with all of these injuries, a big problem may have become an insurmountable one.
RMC: So far this season the Nuggets’ two biggest weaknesses have been defensive rebounding and transition defense. Are the Nets capable of taking advantage of either one of those weaknesses?
Mark: Well, the Nets got killed on the boards against Charlotte Wednesday night, so I wouldn’t worry too much on that end. They’re two best rebounders are Brook Lopez and Yi – and that’s not saying much when you include Yi in the conversation. (Editor’s Note:  It has since been announced Yi will be out indefinitely with a knee sprain.) As for transition D, the Nets do have some quick wings that can run the floor, so maybe they can steal a few points there, but I would hate to see the Nets get into a shootout with the Nuggets because that’s just not going to end pretty.
I would like to offer a big thank you to Mark for taking the time to provide his insights and I hope everybody enjoys tonight’s game, except for Nets fans.  The Nuggets owe them a thumping to make up for last season’s 114-70 drubbing.
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