Deron Williams is leaving New Jersey next year. There is no doubt about that. Whether it will be Brooklyn or someplace else is another question. But Williams is going to be very happy to be out of New Jersey and his team’s temporary home in Newark.
The last two years, the Nets have played their home games at the Prudential Center having moved out of the Izod Center in the Meadowlands hoping a downtown, newly-built arena would be a more profitable home for the Nets (the Nets were last in attendance in their final year in the Meadowlands).
The time in the Prudential Center has not been much better. Record-wise, the Nets are still at the bottom of the league. Attendance-wise, the team is still at the bottom of the league.
This franchise cannot wait to move to Brooklyn and into the insanely state-of-the-art Barclays Arena.
Williams will be looking forward to avoiding the trips into Newark too. Williams told Tim Bontemps of the New York Daily News this weekend that he equivocally hates the Nets’ temporary home.
“I don’t like this arena one bit,” Williams said after the Nets lost to the Thunder, 84-74, at Prudential Center. “But, it’s a good thing it’s not our arena next year. Even last year, it just doesn’t feel like our home arena. I don’t know why. It just doesn’t feel like it.
“It just doesn’t have good vision. The depth perception is not there.”
NBA stadiums are weird to shoot in. It is a stadium, after all and not a typical gym. There is not a wall set as the backdrop behind the basket. There are rows and rows of people. It sometimes makes the basket feel further back than it is. Of course, I was some guy pulled out of the crowd at the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis when I shot free throws in an NBA arena. These are professionals. They should be able to adjust.
And it is not like other teams have not had to deal with the same problems.
New Jersey is 21-27 at home the last two seasons, according to Basketball-Reference. The Nets are averaging 99.0 points per game and shooting approximately 44 percent from the floor. Their full season averages for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 season is 100.2 points per game and approximately 44 percent. Not much different.
Seems like Deron Williams is looking for an excuse for a sub-.500 record at home.
It is pretty clear though that the Nets are somewhat nomads. They still do not hold practices or shootarounds in the Prudential Center facility and they are not the main tenant — it is the Devils’ building. Avery Johnson admitted that familiarity with the building might have something to do with the team’s struggles.
Mostly, it just seems Williams and the Nets want to move to Brooklyn and use up that cap room ASAP.