Unlike Pau Gasol, Brook Lopez has the strength and the mass to hold his position in the low post. This means that the offense could always start with a pass into Lopez, who has his limitations, but can score and make appropriate passes. With the ball so close to the hoop, the defense is compelled to make major adjustments, which leads to other options being available.
Gerald Wallace is a slasher with 3-point range as well as a top-notch defender. In other words, he’s Scottie Pippen 2.0.
Deron Williams functions best in a “read” (as opposed to a patterned grind-it-out) offense that also demands spontaneity.
Plus, there’s no way D-Will will balk at any of Jackson’s demands.
If the triangle fails to generate a makeable shot and the shot clock is down to 5 or 6 seconds, it’s necessary to give the ball to a player (like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant) who can create his own shot.
While Joe Johnson isn’t in the same class as MJ or Kobe, he’s still extremely creative in one-on-one situations.
What the Nets do lack, though, is a power forward who can make a 15-foot jumper under minimum pressure.
Unfortunately, Kris Humphries can only hit do this on a consistent level if he’s alone in the gym. And, for all his ferocious defense and rebounding, Reggie Evans can’t shoot himself in the foot.
It says here that under Jackson’s tutelage, Andray Blatche would eventually make the grade.
What other attractions might the Nets offer?
Virtually unlimited money to procure suitable players. (Jackson already has sufficient funds to live comfortably for several incarnations.) A perpetually available limo for Jackson’s use. Attractive and interesting places to live in Brooklyn—the Heights, Park Slope, etc., Jackson’s familiarity with, and enjoyment of, all of the cultural possibilities of living in the metropolitan area.
And, above all, another chance to do what Jackson does best.
On the other hand, there are reasons why he might turn ultimately turn down this opportunity.
Does he want to live in a cold weather climate?
Would he have enough say in personnel decisions?
Given his past history of kidney stones (the last one he dubbed “Kobe Bryant” because it wouldn’t pass) and the Roto-Rooter procedure (angioplasty) done to his heart several years ago, would the passion and energy that he always brings to his coaching be detrimental to his health?
Overall, Phil Jackson’s return to the wonderful world of the NBA would be good for the team, for the league and for basketball fans of every persuasion.
Don’t count on it, but don’t rule it out, either.
Charley Rosen is an American author, columnist and former basketball coach. From 1983–1986, he was an assistant to Phil Jackson with the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association. He also served as head coach of the Patroons, as well as the CBA’s Rockford Lightning, Oklahoma City Cavalry and Savannah Spirits. A native of The Bronx, N.Y., the 71-year-old Rosen is the author of 16 books about basketball. He is known for his in-depth analysis and caustic views.
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