Tom Lafe is a 6-foot-5 sports world insider with a middling high school basketball career who believes the Nets will be driven by the success of the team’s big men.
Will it be from the inside out, or from the outside in?
No, it’s not what Charles Barkley used to ask himself while eating Oreos on the bench.
It’s the simple question that will determine the fate of the Nets this season.
Coach Avery Johnson praised Nets big man Brook Lopez after the squad’s opening night victory over the Toronto Raptors, saying the offense got the job done by going through the Brooklyn center, who made strong moves around the hoop and found open shooters outside. Lopez put up a team-high 27 points, including a clutch three-point play with 59 seconds left that all but put the game out of reach for the Raptors and incited the crowd of 17,732 to erupt into chants of, “Brooook-lynn! Brooook-lynn!”
But in their disappointing second game, that inside out approach got away from the Nets. Ball movement seemingly came to a halt late in the third and fourth quarters as the Timberwolves overcame a 22-point deficit to win.
For the Nets to win, the back court needs to keep ball in motion — not hold it on the perimeter.
And the rest of the big guys will need to step their game up as well.
Twitter star Kris Humphries — who remains for famous for his short-lived marriage with Kim Kardashian than his on-court exploits — has gotten just as much face time as Deron Williams, but he is only seeing the floor for a bit more than 20 minutes per game after averaging nearly 35 last season.
Saturday against Toronto, Humphries spent more time on the bench than off it as coach Johnson often opted to go smaller with the more versatile Gerald Wallace defending the Raptors’ forwards.
With Wallace out of Monday’s lineup due to an ankle sprain, Humphries saw just a bit more action.
The team needs his size and rebounding abilities in the paint, but so far his biggest contribution has been coining the “Brooook-lynn!” chant, which he credited to his Twitter account.
At least the borough’s hoops fans can thank the key offseason signing for that much.