Krstic's return will make the revamped frontcourt whole.
In 2006-07 Jason Kidd joined Oscar Robertson (five times) and Magic Johnson (twice) as the only players to average more than nine assists and eight rebounds in the same season. Kidd also had a career-high 12 triple doubles.
Record: 41-41 (6th in East) Points scored: 97.6 (15th in NBA) Points allowed: 98.3 (13th) Coach: Lawrence Frank (fifth season with Nets)
A healthy big man is needed to balance the vaunted perimeter attack
No one was more miserable than Nenad Krstic. At least not in the Nets'
training camp. During a recent practice, the 7-foot center trudged off the
floor, head down, and collapsed into a cushioned folding chair. Krstic's
frustration was not borne out of playing poorly in the spirited scrimmage that
had just ended, nor was it a result of fatigue from running the series of wind
sprints that followed. He was upset because he wasn't able to participate in
The staff is closely monitoring Krstic as he comes back from a torn left ACL.
Before the Dec. 22 injury Krstic, 24, was averaging a career-high 16.4
points. "I was playing well," he says. "When I heard my knee pop, it was like
the end of the world."
Well, it was the end of Krstic's season and the beginning of a long
rehabilitation process -- one that was derailed for five weeks after he sprained
his left knee in early July. "If I hadn't done that," says Krstic. "I would be
playing at full speed right now." Krstic began scrimmaging again in early
October, but even then his minutes were limited.
When Krstic does return, he will be part of a new-look frontcourt. New Jersey
drafted athletic power forward Sean Williams out of Boston College and, after
free agent Mikki Moore left for Sacramento, signed former All-Star center Jamaal
Magloire to a one-year contract. "Jamaal brings toughness and physicality in the
middle," says coach Lawrence Frank. "He's a big brother type who will have the
Frank hopes Krstic will be one of those guys sooner rather than later; in the
two-plus seasons before Krstic's injury the Nets were 79-46 when he scored in
double figures. But the team will play it safe. "We're not going to bring him
back," says Frank, "until we're sure he's not susceptible to another
injury." -- Chris Mannix