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 guys' backs."
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
An opposing team's scout sizes up the Nets
I'm a little
cautious in my view of the Nets because they're getting old-- Vince Carter will
be 31 in January and Jason Kidd turns 35 in March--and because of all their
injuries in recent years, including to Richard Jefferson and Nenad Krstic last
season. . . . Carter settled for too many jumpers last year and didn't attack
the basket enough, which stagnated their half-court offense. He might be more
aggressive if he has his full complement of teammates. . . . They can find ways
to increase Jefferson's productivity without disrupting the harmony of Kidd and
Carter, because as those two erode physically, there may be more room for
Jefferson to score. It's still big for them that they have three players who
can get you 25 any night. . . . People are hot or cold on Jamaal Magloire, but
I think he'll help them. He can rebound, and he's going to push and shove to
get to the ball in garbage situations. If they get scoring from Krstic and that
garbage mentality from Magloire, they'll be better off than they were last
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.