Eddie Castro's Sports: It's a Brooklyn Thing

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The Nets’ Deron Williams drives on Toronto in opening game at the Barclays Center. Photo: Courtesy: Nets

The Brooklyn Nets finally made their team debut this past Saturday. The first scheduled game was suppose to be between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks, but had to be postponed due to Hurricane Sandy, the next game on the schedule was against the Toronto Raptors. I had the pleasure of being there and being part of Brooklyn history. The crowd was so pumped up and so were the players. This Nets team comes into this season with high expectations. There are even talks about the team having the capability to contend with the powerhouse teams in the Eastern Conference such as the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls, and the Boston Celtics. Saturday night was just the beginning of what could be an exciting season for fans of the Brooklyn Nets.

Coming into this season, it was unsure whether superstar point guard Deron Williams would re-sign with the Nets after playing nearly 40 games. Since owner Mikail Prokorov purchased the team in 2010, the Nets organization knew they were Brooklyn-bound, and they just hoped they could convince Williams to stay. Williams ended up re-signing with the Nets, and on Saturday night, he put his name in the record books by not only did Williams scored the first basket in Brooklyn Nets history, but by leading the franchise to its first ever regular-season victory at the Barclays Center. For his efforts, “D-Will” received the game ball from coach Avery Johnson. Williams ended the night with 19 points and 9 assists including 4 crucial free throws in the last 20 seconds, which sealed a 107-100 win for the team. It was a sold-out crowd and at the end of the night, the fans as well as myself showed our appreciation with chants of Brook-lyn!!! Brook-lyn!!!. When asked about the energy from the crowd Williams said ” I thought the crowd was great tonight, it was a great night capped off by a win, which is what we want.”

The Nets are currently in second place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 1-1. Although the season is still young, the East is fairly winnable in terms of the team grabbing up one of the eight seeds in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Consistency will be a big factor. Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez are key players that can take the load off of Williams and have the ability to be productive on a nightly basis for the team. However, as the old saying goes “If you want to be the man, you got to beat the man.” Right now the team that is considered the main man of all is the Miami Heat. Without  question it may come down to a situation where the Nets might find themselves in a first-round match up with LeBron James and the defending champions. Let’s not think too far  ahead now. Last year, the Nets were one of the worst teams in the NBA. The team finished the shortened-lockout season with a record of 22-44 (wins to losses) which put them dead last in their division. With a new arena, a new name, and a new city, it is an exciting time for Brooklynites and the team itself. We all hope that Saturday night’s historic win is just the beginning of a special season in Brooklyn.

Sports Notes:

(Basketball): The Nets begin a home-n- home match up with the Orlando Magic on Friday night. To the surprise of everyone, the Knicks have started off this year winning their first three games of the season. After beating up on the Sixers both at the Garden and in Philadelphia, they return home to play the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. (Football): After a disappointing loss to the Steelers at home, Eil Manning and the Giants look to get back on track before their bye week as they head to Ohio to play the Cincinnatti Bengals. The Jets find themselves in last place in the AFC East division. Coach Rex Ryan’s job appears to be at stake. Coming off their bye week, the team looks to snatch a victory in Seattle when they play the Seahawks.

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