1997–98 New Jersey Nets season

The 1997–98 New Jersey Nets season was the Nets' 31st season in the National Basketball Association, and 22nd season in East Rutherford, New Jersey.[1] During the off-season, the Nets acquired rookie Keith Van Horn from the Philadelphia 76ers, who drafted him with the second pick in the 1997 NBA draft, then signed free agent Sherman Douglas on the first day of the regular season. The Nets had a new look and a new logo. A youth movement began to pay off as the Nets made the playoffs by finishing third in the Atlantic Division with a 43–39 record, as Van Horn shook off an early season injury to lead the team in scoring with 19.7 points per game, while being selected to the All-Rookie First Team. However, in the first round of the playoffs, the Nets were given a quick exit by the Chicago Bulls in three straight games.[2] Following the season, Douglas signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Clippers and Xavier McDaniel retired.

1997–98 New Jersey Nets season
Head coachJohn Calipari
ArenaContinental Airlines Arena
Results
Record43–39 (.524)
PlaceDivision: 3rd (Atlantic)
Conference: 8th (Eastern)
Playoff finishFirst Round
(Lost to Bulls 0–3)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
TelevisionSportsChannel New York, WPXN
RadioWOR
< 1996–97 1998–99 >

The Nets new logo and home uniforms lasted until 2012, while the road jerseys lasted until 2009.

Off-seasonEdit

NBA DraftEdit

Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
1 7 Tim Thomas (traded to Philadelphia) SF   United States Villanova
1 21 Anthony Parker (from L.A. Lakers) SG   United States Bradley

RosterEdit

New Jersey Nets roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
PF 45   Cage, Michael   6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 224 lb (102 kg) San Diego State
PG 10   Cassell, Sam   6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Florida State
PG 20   Douglas, Sherman 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Syracuse
SF 11   Evans, Brian 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Indiana
PF 15   Gatling, Chris 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Old Dominion
SF 13   Gill, Kendall 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Illinois
C 54   Haley, Jack 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 240 lb (109 kg) UCLA
SG 12   Harris, Lucious 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Long Beach State
SG 30   Kittles, Kerry 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 179 lb (81 kg) Villanova
PF 24   MacLean, Don 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 235 lb (107 kg) UCLA
C 2   Seikaly, Rony 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Syracuse
PF 44   Van Horn, Keith 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Utah
PF 42   Vaughn, David 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) Memphis
C 55   Williams, Jayson 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) St. John's
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  •   Injured

Regular seasonEdit

The Nets began the season by winning their first four games, and maintained a winning record through all 82 games for the first time in the franchise's NBA history. The Nets clinched a playoff berth with a victory over the Detroit Pistons on the final day of the season. It was the Nets first postseason appearance since 1994, and the season brought excitement back to the Meadowlands. The heart and soul of the Nets was center Jayson Williams, who averaged 13.6 rebounds, (2nd in the NBA), and 12.9 points per game.[3] Williams became the first Net to appear in an All-Star Game since 1994.[3] After missing the first 17 games of the season due to injury, rookie Keith Van Horn quickly acclimated himself to the NBA game and led the Nets in scoring at 19.7 points per game.[3] Another strong presence in the frontcourt was forward Kendall Gill, who averaged 13.4 points per game.

The Nets backcourt consisted of Sam Cassell and Kerry Kittles in the backcourt. Cassell ranked second on the team in scoring, behind Van Horn at 19.6 ppg, and led the Nets in assists with 8.0 apg.[3] Kittles was in his second NBA season, and was third on the team in scoring with 17.2 ppg. The Nets bench included Sherman Douglas (8.0 ppg, 4.0 apg) and Chris Gatling (11.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg). Late in the season, the Nets added depth with the trade for Rony Seikaly, who joined the Nets in a five-player trade with the Orlando Magic on Feb. 19. Seikaly played in only nine games for New Jersey, because of a nagging injury to his right foot.

Season standingsEdit

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Miami Heat 55 27 .671 30-11 25–16 18–6
x-New York Knicks 43 39 .524 12 28–13 15–26 13–11
x-New Jersey Nets 43 39 .524 12 26–15 17–24 12–12
Washington Wizards 42 40 .512 13 24–17 18–23 12–13
Orlando Magic 41 41 .500 14 24–17 17–24 11–13
Boston Celtics 36 46 .439 19 24–17 12–29 12–23
Philadelphia 76ers 31 51 .378 24 19–22 12–29 7–17
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Chicago Bulls 62 20 .756
2 y-Miami Heat 55 27 .671 7
3 x-Indiana Pacers 58 24 .707 4
4 x-Charlotte Hornets 51 31 .622 11
5 x-Atlanta Hawks 50 32 .610 12
6 x-Cleveland Cavaliers 47 35 .573 15
7 x-New York Knicks 43 39 .524 19
8 x-New Jersey Nets 43 39 .524 19
9 Washington Wizards 42 40 .512 20
10 Orlando Magic 41 41 .500 21
11 Detroit Pistons 37 45 .451 25
12 Boston Celtics 36 46 .439 26
12 Milwaukee Bucks 36 46 .439 26
14 Philadelphia 76ers 31 51 .378 31
15 Toronto Raptors 16 66 .195 46

Record vs. opponentsEdit

1997-98 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS CHA CHI CLE DAL DEN DET GSW HOU IND LAC LAL MIA MIL MIN NJN NYK ORL PHI PHO POR SAC SAS SEA TOR UTA VAN WAS
Atlanta 2–1 4–0 1–3 4–0 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–0 0–2 1–3 3–1 0–2 1–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 4–0 0–2 2–0 4–0
Boston 1–2 1–2 1–3 1–3 1–1 1–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 0–4 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–2 1–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–0 0–2 2–0 3–2
Charlotte 0–4 2–1 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 3–1 1–1 2–2 1–3 3–1 2–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 1–1 2–0 2–2
Chicago 3–1 3–1 3–1 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 2–1 4–0 1–1 4–0 4–0 3–1 2–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 4–0 0–2 2–0 3–1
Cleveland 0–4 3–1 2–2 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–2 2–0 3–1 1–2 2–2 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 3–1 1–1 2–0 1–2
Dallas 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–1 0–2 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–3 0–4 0–2 0–2 2–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–4 0–4 0–4 0–4 2–2 1–1 0–4 4–0 1–1
Denver 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–3 0–2 1–3 0–4 0–2 2–2 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–3 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 2–2 1–3 0–4 0–4 0–2 0–4 1–3 1–1
Detroit 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–3 1–3 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–0 0–2 1–2 2–2 0–2 2–2 2–2 1–2 3–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 4–0 0–2 0–2 2–2
Golden State 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 3–1 3–1 0–2 1–3 0–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 0–2 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–4 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 0–4 1–3 0–2
Houston 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 4–0 4–0 1–1 3–1 1–1 4–0 1–3 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–3 4–0 2–2 1–3 2–0 0–4 3–1 1–1
Indiana 3–1 4–0 1–3 2–2 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 0–2 3–1 4–0 2–0 2–1 2–1 3–1 4–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 4–0 1–1 2–0 4–0
L.A. Clippers 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 3–1 2–2 0–2 3–1 0–4 0–2 0–4 0–2 0–2 0–4 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–4 0–4 3–1 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–3 1–3 0–2
L.A. Lakers 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 4–0 2–0 3–1 3–1 2–0 4–0 1–1 2–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–2 2–2 4–0 4–0 1–3 2–0 3–1 4–0 1–1
Miami 3–1 4–0 1–3 1–2 3–1 2–0 2–0 2–1 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–1 3–1 1–1 3–1 2–2 3–1 4–0 0–2 2–0 2–0 0–2 0–2 4–0 1–1 2–0 2–2
Milwaukee 1–3 2–2 1–3 0–4 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–0 0–2 1–3 1–1 0–4 3–1 2–1 2–2 0–2 2–0 2–0 0–2 1–1 3–1 0–2 1–1 1–2
Minnesota 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–2 3–1 2–0 4–0 3–1 0–2 4–0 0–4 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 2–0 3–1 1–3 3–1 1–3 1–3 1–1 1–3 4–0 0–2
New Jersey 2–1 2–2 2–2 0–4 1–3 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–2 1–1 1–1 1–3 4–0 0–2 2–2 3–1 3–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 3–1 0–2 2–0 1–3
New York 2–2 2–2 3–1 0–4 2–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–2 2–0 1–1 2–2 1–3 1–1 2–2 4–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 0–2 2–0 1–3
Orlando 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–1 1–1 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–1 1–3 1–2 2–0 1–3 0–4 4–0 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 1–1 3–1 0–2 2–0 3–1
Philadelphia 1–3 1–3 1–2 1–2 1–3 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–1 0–4 1–1 2–0 0–4 2–2 0–2 1–3 2–2 0–4 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 2–2 0–2 2–0 3–1
Phoenix 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 4–0 4–0 1–1 4–0 3–1 1–1 4–0 2–2 2–0 2–0 1–3 1–1 0–2 2–0 1–1 2–2 3–1 3–1 2–2 2–0 1–3 4–0 1–1
Portland 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 4–0 2–2 2–0 3–1 3–1 1–1 4–0 2–2 0–2 0–2 3–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–2 3–1 2–2 0–4 2–0 3–1 2–2 1–1
Sacramento 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 4–0 3–1 1–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 1–3 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–3 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–3 1–3 0–4 1–3 1–1 2–2 2–2 1–1
San Antonio 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 2–0 4–0 4–0 1–1 3–1 2–2 2–0 3–1 0–4 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–2 4–0 2–2 2–0 1–3 4–0 1–1
Seattle 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 4–0 2–0 3–1 3–1 2–0 4–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 4–0 3–1 2–2 2–0 2–2 4–0 1–1
Toronto 0–4 0–3 0–4 0–4 1–3 1–1 2–0 0–4 2–0 0–2 0–4 1–1 0–2 0–4 1–3 1–1 1–3 1–3 1–3 2–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–3
Utah 2–0 2–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 4–0 4–0 2–0 4–0 4–0 1–1 3–1 1–3 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–0 4–0 0–2
Vancouver 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 3–1 2–0 3–1 1–3 0–2 3–1 0–4 0–2 1–1 0–4 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 2–2 2–2 0–4 0–4 1–1 0–4 1–1
Washington 0–4 2–3 2–2 1–3 2–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–0 1–1 2–2 2–1 2–0 3–1 3–1 1–3 1–3 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–0 2–0 1–1

ScheduleEdit

Game Date Opponent Result Nets points Opponents Record Streak Notes
1 Fri, Oct 31, 1997 Indiana Pacers Win 97 95 1-0 Won 1
2 Sat, Nov 1, 1997 @ Milwaukee Bucks Win (OT) 113 109 2-0 Won 2
3 Wed, Nov 5, 1997 Golden State Warriors Win 112 96 3-0 Won 3
4 Fri, Nov 7, 1997 Miami Heat Win 99 87 4-0 Won 4

[4]

PlayoffsEdit

Injuries would become a problem in the playoffs for the Nets. In Game 1 against Chicago, Cassell nursed a strained groin and Williams played despite a broken thumb. Williams would manage to get 21 rebounds in the game.[3] The Nets forced overtime at the United Center before falling by a score of 96-93. The Bulls ultimately swept the series, but the Nets' effort suggested that the team had a bright future.

East First RoundEdit

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) New Jersey Nets Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Bulls and Nets.

Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(CHI-NJN)

Venue Box score Television
1* April 24 Chicago 96 New Jersey 93 1-0 United Center, Chicago 1 TNT 8:00et
2 April 26 Chicago 96 New Jersey 91 2-0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 2 NBC 5:30et
3 April 29 New Jersey 101 Chicago 116 3-0 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey 3 TNT 7:00et
Chicago wins series 3–0

Player statsEdit

Note: GP= Games played; MIN= Minutes; STL= Steals; REB = Rebounds; AST = Assists; BLK = Blocks; PTS = Points

Player GP MIN STL REB AST BLK PTS

Awards, Records and HonorsEdit

ReferencesEdit