NETS NEW FACES

Anthony Morrow, who has started until the middle of December, has been a valuable addition to the New Jersey Nets and is teaming very well with veteran Devin Harris in the backcourt. But at times during the first half of the season, they just did not click.

Take for example, against Indiana nothing seemed to be jelling in their last home game before press time. Both teams are playing under .500 basketball.

Because of their losses to Philadelphia, Detroit and Indiana, Head Coach Avery Johnson will be trying to change some things to make the team do better during the second half of the season.

Still Johnson said that Morrow is doing well offensively.

“We have to address the starting team and take a look at where we are,” said Johnson. “We have to get better and do whatever it takes. As for our starters we know it’ll still be Brook (Lopez) and Derrick (Favors). We need five guys in there.”

Morow missed 17 games between mid December and mid January. The setbacks proved to be very crucial. He suffered a strained hamstring, which certainly set him back. When he returned he continued to score in double figures in eight of 10 contests, including a loss against the Pacers, when he netted only 11 points.

Meanwhile, Favors, a first year forward with the Nets, will play in the rookie-sophomore game, which will be held this Saturday evening as part of the National Basketball Association all-star weekend, and be televised to the met area.

At times, Favors has been ‘on’ with his scoring and rebounding. And has impressed coach Johnson and his staff.

Favors was indeed excited about playing in the upcoming contest. “It’s a thrill and I’m happy to play (in such a game),” he went on. “I’ll play my best. That’s what I have to do. At 19, I’m one of the youngest players in the league,” said Favors.

The biggest adjustment that he had to make with the Nets from Georgia Tech where he was last year, to the pro game is the amount of travelling that he is doing.

Favors, his teammates and the rest of the players in the NBA are playing an 82-game schedule, more than double the amount of a college team.

“The guys have grown quite a bit, we’ve improved our home record, and we had a home stand, when we won four out of five games,” Johnson added. “We’ve made some progress with the way we played at home but not on the road…. And we have to get off to a better start.

“We have to all help each other, whether it be par on defense, pick and roll, and rebounding, because that’s the way we’re structured. We have to play team defense. I don’t have one lock down defenders inside or out,” said Johnson.

And veteran reserve center Johan Petro summed it up, “the way Devin (Harris, guard) goes we’ll go. Devin and Brook (Lopez) are our captain and co-captain. They should carry us. Right now it’s a little down for us. We’ll figure out how to make it work.”

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