The Nets have been so dreadful this season you really can’t blame basketball fans in New Jersey for tuning them out and tuning in to watch re-runs of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”
Personally, it would be more entertaining to see some girl named Snooki from Poughkeepsie get punched in the face by a liquored up dude at a club in Seaside Heights than witness the Nets play at the Izod Center in East Rutherford.
We have a situation: the Nets are HOR-RI-BLE.
The crew that Nets GM and interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe has assembled on the court is more dysfunctional than having eight strangers living in the same house while filming a reality TV show for MTV.
The Nets are a woeful 4-40 for the season and are on pace to supplant the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers as the worst team in NBA history.
New Jersey has been so pitiful this season I began to toy with the idea of pitting the Nets against a very good college basketball team. It is a legitimate claim at this point, and an age-old question that could spark a lot of debate.
Here’s an interesting matchup: New Jersey Nets vs. Kentucky Wildcats. The worst team in the NBA vs. one of the best teams in college basketball. The game would be played at Rupp Arena in Lexington and it would have to be a 40-minute game.
A tale of the tape:
— The Wildcats are 19-1 and currently the No. 1 team in all the polls. They boast four players who average double figures in scoring. The Nets are 1-11 in January despite having six double-digit scorers.
— The Wildcats have two NBA-worthy forwards in Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins, who are both averaging 15 points per game. Cousins is a physical player and leads UK in rebounds with a 9.5 average. The Nets counter with 6-foot-11 forward Yi Jianlian and 7-foot center Brook Lopez, who leads New Jersey in points (19.0), rebounds (9.4), field goal percentage (49.7 percent) and blocks (2.0). Lopez should be able to handle any Wildcat in the paint. Edge goes to the Nets.
— In the backcourt, the Wildcats are led by freshman sensation John Wall, considered by many experts as a top-five pick in the NBA draft whenever he decides to leave Lexington. He could land in New Jersey if the Nets earn enough ping-pong balls. Wall has been so good this season this might be one position the Wildcats could have a small edge. A John Wall-Devin Harris showdown is worth the price of admission.
— Kentucky is coached by John Calipari, who was the head coach and executive vice president of basketball operations for the Nets from 1996-98. The Nets have Vandeweghe. This one is an easy call. The edge should go to Coach Cal.
So, in the end, which team would prevail in this hypothetical showdown, and more importantly what should the line be?
Las Vegas oddsmaker Jeff Stoneback said that, despite all of their struggles and atrocious record against the rest of the Association, the Nets are still better than any college team.
“The problem [Kentucky] will have is depth. Reserves on a NBA team are usually stars in college. It’s a whole new ballgame,” said Stoneback, who added that the Nets would be 10-point favorites and the over/under would be around 181.
“It might be close for a while and then the Nets would be able to pull away. It’d be fun to watch though,” Stoneback said.
There you have it Jersey fans. You may have the worst team in the NBA but at least you have the best team in college basketball. That deserves a Jersey Shore fist pump.
CALLING ALL ALL-STARS: The reserves for the 2010 NBA All-Star game will be announced Thursday and six players should be locks: Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Paul for the West, and Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and Rajon Rondo for the East. The rest of the roster slots are up for grabs.
Durant is the most deserving to go to Dallas and play in the main event. The former Texas stud is the leader of a young and explosive Thunder that has already surpassed last season’s win total. Durant is third in the NBA in scoring with a career-high 29.3 points per game.
SUN BURNED: Not all is well in Phoenix as the Suns have lost nine of their last 14 and have fallen to 26-21 for the season after winning 14 of their first 17 games.
The Arizona Republic recently reported that the Suns are entertaining offers for All-Star center Amare Stoudemire, who is in the final year of his contract and wants to play for a championship contender. Four teams were mentioned as possible destinations for Amare: Golden State, Minnesota, Cleveland and New Jersey.