New Jersey Nets Midseason Awards
The Nets this year have done better than any analyst thought they would be able to. Most season previews had the Nets winning only around fifteen to twenty games.
Guess what... they already have 19 (as of Jan. 15, 2009) and are competing night in and night out.
With rising star Devin Harris and established veteran leader Vince Carter leading the charge, all of the sudden it is not so "out there" to believe that the Nets will make the playoffs.
With Lawrence Frank's new Dribble Drive Offense, these young Nets are looking to make a push for the postseason in the second half.
Most Injured Player
Swift was expected to have a big impact on the team this year. With the Nets apparent lack of depth at the center position at the beggining of the season, Swift was seen as a viable option at center.
Swift however had been out until late November with a back injury. In returning to the team, Swift showed promise scoring 3.8 and grabbing 2.2 boards per game, while averaging about 10 minutes.
Stromile is out yet again with an ankle sprain endured on December 10th.
Sixth Man Award
Keyon Dooling has been a very productive player off the bench for the Nets. He has often been a sparkplug for the sometimes sluggish offense.
With Dooling, Frank has had flexibility with his roster playing both Dooling and Harris while giving VC a rest.
Dooling stepped in for Devin Harris when he was injured, and Dooling this season has averaged 9.5 ppg while shooting 45% from the field.
Where'd You Go? Award
Sean Williams was drafted in the first round last year and seen as a possible solution to the PF problem. He showed great promise last season when he started 29 games and averaged 17.5 mpg, 5.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, and 1.5 bpg.
However, this year he had poor shot selection and made many mental mistakes, quickly moving himself farther away from the scorers table. He averaged only 1.6 ppg and 2.1 rpg shooting only 33% before being assigned to the D-League affiliate Colorado 14er's.
Rookie of the Year Award
The most surprising pickup for the Nets this year may have been Brook Lopez. No draft experts thought that he would fall to the Nets all the way at the tenth pick.
The Nets took advantage of their good fortune and drafted the athletic 7 footer (something the Nets have lacked the last few years).
He first got his chance starting when Josh Boone went down with a high ankle sprain. He has not disappointed averaging 10.8 ppg and 8.2 rpg.
Most Improved Player
No surprise here, as Devin Harris has drastically improved since Lawrence Frank handed him the keys to their new Dribble Drive Offense.
His numbers have jumped drastically and has been a catalyst to the Nets overachieving season.
Harris 2007 - 14.9 ppg / 2.8 rpg / 5.9 apg
Harris 2008 - 22.7 ppg / 3.2 rpg / 6.5 apg
Most Valuable Player
Vince Carter has been the most consistent and most important player to the Nets so far this year. He is the captain of this young team and has conducted himself as a leader throughout the season.
It was close between him and Devin, but Vince comes out on top. He has been able to get it done on both sides of the floor this year.
If his shot isnt working for him, he is so versatile that he is able to become a playmaker and dish out the assists.
The roster flexibility he gives to this roster is also key to the Nets success,as he plays point guard, shooting guard, and small forward.