Eddie Castro’s Sports: THE NEW GUNS

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If you are a Brooklyn Nets fan, you must feel like its Christmas in July. The Nets have been very active this off-season and are poised to get back to the playoffs and contend for an NBA championship. Around this time last year, many Brooklynites where wondering if then-free agent center Dwight Howard would find his way into a black and white uniform. This year, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has made some blockbuster moves. The first move he made was hiring former player Jason Kidd as head coach, then in what may be one of the biggest moves in the franchises’ existence, the team acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry, in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and three future first-round picks ( 2014, 2016, and 2018.). This deal not only makes the Nets a better contending team in the Eastern Conference, but with Pierce’s ability to score the ball and Garnett’s intense defense, the Nets can very well be a big threat to the 2-time defending champs the Miami Heat. The team also boosted up their bench a bit, signing Shaun Livingston, Andrei Kirilenko as well as re-signing Andray Blatche.

It’s all smiles in Brooklyn, however a lot has to go right for the Nets to not only be an exciting team, but to be able to get past the first round of the playoffs. Jason Kidd will probably be a first ballot Hall Of Famer. With his superb basketball IQ, he can not only help, point guard Deron Williams be a better player, but make everyone else around him better as well. The downside of it is Kidd having players on the current roster that he either played with or against during his playing career. The respect factor comes into play in him being able to get the players to adapt to his coaching. You also have to put into play that Kidd has had no coaching experience after retiring as a player in June. There are certain egos that he will have to deal with such as a personality like a Kevin Garnett who we know is a very emotional player. We also have to look into the health of Garnett and if he and Pierce can still be productive players. Garnett is 37 and Pierce is 35 both are towards the end of their careers.

Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. How does that sound as a starting lineup? If all goes well, it could be a very competitive and dangerous one. Nets management has made it clear, they want to win now!!! Can Garnett stay healthy? Can Pierce play aside Joe Johnson? Many have forgotten that the two were teammates briefly in 2001. Johnson was actually drafted 10th overall by the Boston Celtics. He was then traded to the Phoenix Suns. How will Kidd adapt from player to coach? He’ll have some help from Lawrence Frank who was hired as an assistant by Kidd and coached him from 2003-2008 when the team made 2 NBA Finals appearance as the then New Jersey Nets. If the new additions can stay healthy as well as the other big time players and role players this could very well be the year Brooklyn goes far and never looks back. The team will officially introduce Garnett, Pierce, and Terry this afternoon at the Barclays’ Center.

Sports Notes:

(Basketball) Knicks find Peace. That’s right! The basketballer Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest has signed a 2-year deal with his hometown team the New York Knicks after being waived by the Lakers early last week.  (Baseball) Baseball’s second half begins. Mets phenom pitcher Matt Harvey looks to gain more confidence from starting the All-Star game in his home ball park of Citi Field. Harvey became the first Mets pitcher to start an All-Star game since Dwight “Doc” Gooden did so in 1988. The Mets open up a 3-game set at home against the Phillies. The Yankees have dipped into fourth place in the AL East division. With Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and perhaps Alex Rodriguez expected to return from injury, the Bronx Bombers look to get things together as they begin the second half of the season in Boston against the Red Sox.

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