Monday , Dec , 15 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Do Carter and Harris Spell Playoffs for Nets?

Do Carter and Harris Spell Playoffs for Nets?It may not be the most traditional in terms of winning in the NBA, but coach Lawrence Frank hopes his stellar back court of Vince Carter and Devin Harris can be enough to guide the Nets into the playoffs.

The Nets, often picked over the summer to win no more than 30 games, will seek their 12th win of the season tonight in Toronto. The November 21st clash in Canada between the Nets and Raptors evolved into what will be called one of the best games of the year in the NBA, while also proclaiming Harris and Carter as a lethal duo.

Vince Carter telling Raptor fans to let sleeping dogs lie…

For many Jersey fans, that game may have opened up the eyes towards shifting expectations for the better. The return in the Kidd trade, Devin Harris, scored 30 that night, and for the season is averaging 24.1ppg.

Add Vince Carter’s 22.2 ppg average, and you have a two headed monster.

Initially, it would put New Jersey among the upper echelon teams in scoring. A mark that certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.

In the past three games, the Nets have looked like a completely different club. Word gets around the NBA pretty quick, teams make adjustments. Most notably on Devin Harris.

Devin went to work on his perimeter shooting over the summer. He’s shown lots of growth not only in set jump shots, but with his ability to jab his opponent to the basket to set the wide open pull up. It’s a shot that Devin had to improve if he wanted to have a compliment to his blazing speed.

All this changes the way opposing teams guard him. Now defenders meet him near the half court line, with four anxious defenders waiting to help. When Harris gets into the lane to set up a pull up, teams bang him around, preferring to make him uncomfortable where Devin usually feels most comfortable.

The solution? The same answer to how Vince Carter is guarded..have the other guys ready to shoot, and shoot well.

In the past three games, it’s been the exact opposite. Three strait losses, six strait quarters of 20 points or less. Why? Guys aren’t hitting shots. Teams will dare guys like Dooling, Simmons, and Ryan Anderson to make open shots. All this bringing up the main question:

Are the Nets a team that can score, and score enough for a post season birth? Or are the Nets the team that can’t put the ball in the ocean, like recent years?

New Jersey has lots of new parts, but with having Vince Carter and Devin Harris in the back court, it should be able to take loads of pressure off of the other guys. Additionally, If the Nets have a serious commitment to the playoffs, they should take steps on the defensive end. A renewed defensive prowess could be the deciding factor in believing you don’t have to score every time down the court.

Prediction: 7th place/Eastern Conference