Thursday, November 26, 2009

Go West, Life Is Peaceful There - 3PL, 11/19 to 11/26

Happy Thanksgiving, Nets fans! And, happy birthday to the most handsome Nets blogger: Me!

At this point, I think all Nets fans need to just go with the flow. Just sit back, and let the current take you away. Many people are under the impression that if a team plays enough games, they are "due" a win. Fact is: the other team wants to win, too. The NBA is not a charity. The losers, such as the Nets, will be beat into submission.

They are the 2008 Lions. Accept it, and let us move on to next season.

Record Needed To Avoid Being The Worst NBA Team Ever: 10-57 (0.149)

November 21st - vs. New York, 91-98 Loss

The Knicks are my least favorite team in the league. Not because of their personnel, but because of the way their fans and media treat them. There is a sense of entitlement, that the Knicks deserve to be a good team. They believe that they are on the same level as the Bulls, Lakers, and Celtics.

This is all complete bullshit. The last time the Knicks won a title, the NBA talent was being diluted by the ABA, and I was minus 10 years old. Nobody under 40 remembers them being a champion. When it comes to being a "storied franchise", they have accomplished just as much as the Nets. Don't believe me? Let's compare

An up-and-down decade? Both did this in the 80s.

A decade of suckitude? The Nets did this in the 90s, and the Knicks did this in the 00s.

A decade of dominance, marked by a few division titles and two Eastern Conference championships, but losing in the Finals both times? The Nets did this in the 00s, and the Knicks did this in the 90s. On a side note, I am much more impressed by the Nets playoff runs, as they never, ever choked. The Nets never lost a playoff series where they had home-court advantage. In fact, they won two great series as underdogs - the first round in 2007 versus Toronto, and the conference finals in 2003 versus Detroit. They could never match the choke artistry of the 1995 Knicks.

A number 1 draft pick expected to be the franchise savior, but just went on to be a disappointment? The Nets had two swings at this - Derrick Coleman and Kenyon Martin. The Knicks only had Patrick Ewing, but hung onto him way too long.

So, clearly, when you think about the Knicks, please just lump them in with the Nets. Or the dozens of other teams that have a similar history - like the Magic, Jazz, Mavericks, Trailblazers, etc.

November 24th - At Denver, 87-101 Loss

And so begins the Nets annual western road trip. More on it below. But, in this "recap", I have to talk about the Denver Nuggets a bit. I am strongly against rooting for two teams, but as I realized in the playoffs, I like the Denver Nuggets. I will crown them the official Slippery When Nets Second Favorite Team Award As Long As The Nets Are Not Competing With Them for 2010. The SWNSFTAALATNANCWT10 for short. And here are the reasons why:

- The Nets and Nuggets have no discernible rivalry as far as I can tell. Can anyone name a classic game these two teams have played? If you select a second favorite team, the first imperative is that they cannot be considered a rival in any sense. So that eliminates all division teams, most Eastern Conference teams, and definitely the Spurs and the Lakers.

- KEN-YON MAR-TIN! I still love this guy.

- Back when I started following basketball in the mid-90s, I gravitated toward Orlando. But, my second favorite team back then? The Seattle Supersonics. Shawn Kemp was my man (also born today!), but I enjoyed watching their chubby little coach. Said chubby coach is now on Denver, and, god bless him, still choking in the playoffs.

- The fourth and final reason for choosing the Nuggets: a franchise history very similar to the Nets. Both were ABA brethren, both have had Kiki come in and raze the franchise to the ground, both have had little postseason success until trading for a franchise point guard, etc. The parallels are eerie.

All this being said, I still rooted my heart out for the Nets to win this game. Unfortunately, I still have yet to figure out how to control events that I am not tangibly involved in.

November 25th - At Portland, 83-93 Loss

OK, back to the Nets' dreaded western road trip. It always happens during the Thanksgiving holiday, as the Izod Center is occupied by Disney On Ice.

Which brings up an interesting question: What will happen when the Nets move to Brooklyn (or, perhaps to the Prudential Center)? In a "normal" season, the Nets will start out pretty average, but then lose momentum with this trip. But, since Disney won't be kicking them out of the house, could the western trip be moved back to later in the season, allowing them to grow better as a team and gain more confidence? Could this change the dynamic of the Nets as we know it? I mean, the Nets have only won over 50 games once, and clearly, this western road trip is to blame. It is something to think about for the future.

Random Thought: I'm turning 25 today, and this will be the first year of my life where the Nets have less wins than my age.

On that note, enjoy the holidays, folks!

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