A Story – and a Nets Game Preview

Published: March 7, 2008

One of Abraham Lincoln's favorite stories was about Ethan Allen, a Revolutionary War Hero, who visited England after the war had been won.

Ethan and the new United States were the butt of many jokes by the English proprietors of the boarding house he was staying at, and they tried to rile him up by obtaining a portrait of George Washington and hanging it on the wall of the outhouse.  After a couple days had passed and Ethan had said nothing about it, the owner stopped him and asked him with a smirk what he thought about it.

Ethan responded and said he "thought it was a good place for the picture, since nothing would make an Englishman shit so quickly as the sight of George Washington."

. . .

. . .

What does that have to do with basketball or the Nets? Nothing at all – I just thought I'd share.

Game Preview!
Nets(26-35) at Hornets(41-19)
Off Efficiency: Nets 99.8(25th), Hornets 108.1 (7th)
Def Efficiency: Nets 104.8(20th), Hornets 102.3(7th)
Other Bloggers: Joe NetsFan

The Nets are one of those bubble playoff teams in the East that have a chance of getting into the playoffs despite sucking horribly.  They stand 9 games under .500, sport a -4.9 point differential, an 11-18 road record, have lost 3 in a row, including one to the Grizzlies, and their winning percentage is worse than Ryan Bowen's shooting percentage.

Where do they stand?  8th seed in the East, and a tasty snack in the first round for the Celtics.

The Hornets are trying to build on wins over New York and Atlanta and get another winning streak going.  They definately need this win with the Texas Trio plus LA coming up over the four games after the Nets game.  That's going to be a tough stretch and the Hornets need to pad that win column a little.

David West probably will not be playing this game, and Bonzi is again a question mark.  Former Hornet Bostjan Nachbar has been Day to Day for a week, and so is new Nets addition Desagana Diop.

Positional Analysis
Devin Harris v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Devin is fast.   Very fast.  He's a Tony Parker mold point guard with good scoring instincts but mediocre floor vision – so expect a few kickouts, but most a lot of drives to the hoop.  Paul is very fast too, or so I hear. 

SG: Vince Carter v Morris Peterson
Advantage: Nets
So which Vince will show up in New Orleans?  Vince who wants to prove he's good without Kidd, or Vince who doesn't give a damn any longer.  If the former shows up, this advantage swings wildly to the Nets.  If the latter, then Morris just has to play decent defense and this becomes a wash.

SF: Richard Jefferson v Peja Stojakovic
Advantage: Hornets
Despite Richard Jefferson's elevation to a member of "The Big Three" in New Jersey, he's strictly a  so-so scorer.  He no longer rebounds the ball, plays poor defense, and turns the ball over almost as often as he passes off for an assist.  Other than a solid shooting percentage, his contributions are barely average.  Sound like Stojakovic? Yeah – except that Stojakovic doesn't turn the ball over, tries on defense, and his deep percentages make Richard Jefferson look like Rasual Butler.

PF: Josh Boone v Ryan Bowen
Advantage: Nets
Boone is a tall youngster who does well in limited minutes.  However, he's probably a worse shooter than Tyson Chandler, and isn't a huge energy guy.  Bowen is liquid energy and won't make his life easy.  I'd almost go with an Even here.

C: Nenad Krstic v Tyson Chandler
Advantage: Hornets
Nenad is Zydrunas Ilgauskas lite.  What does that mean?  He likes the fourteen foot jumpshot, will rebound a little, block a few shots because he's really, really tall, and lumber around the court with the grace of a hippo.  I guarantee Tyson will beat him down the court several times for easy baskets and lobs.

The Nets have a decent backup point guard in Marcus Williams, and a pogo stick foul machine in Sean Williams with loads of potential and little realization of that potential.   They also have a good post defender in Diop, and Stromile Swift, he of the immense athletic gifts and the Basketball IQ of a snail.  A stupid snail.

The Hornets have their hot and cold bench going, but since we only need one solid scorer off our bench to win games, I think I'll take the risk that one of those guys are going to do something and pick them as the better group.

Hornets win 110-95.

Oh, and in case you're interested, that story at the beginning of my post came from a book about Lincoln I'm reading called Team of Rivals by Doris Kearn Goodwin.  Good read.

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