The new-look Brooklyn Nets have basically all the makings of a championship team. The only component they may be lacking is experience playing together. Obviously, Pierce and K.G. have mastered each other’s game. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson now have one year together and that also goes for center Brook Lopez. The question is: how long will it take for Brooklyn to gel together as an entire unit?
Don’t get me wrong; it’s definitely going to take a good chunk of games to figure each other out. For some players, the biggest change might be the system they’re playing in. For others such as Williams, it might be getting used to his teammates’ habits and favorite areas to catch the ball in.
Regardless of how many and what adjustments each player needs to make, they all have to be on the same page when it comes playoff time. There are no excuses when it comes to the game of basketball. Ask the Miami Heat. They’ll tell you. Even they were disappointed in settling for Eastern Conference Champions in their first year together (2011).
Do you think the Miami Heat are just going to take it easy on Brooklyn because of their sympathy for the newly-constructed team? Please…get out of here. Eastern Conference contenders such as Miami, Indiana, and Chicago are going to hit Brooklyn in every weak spot they can find.
This is clearly a different Brooklyn Nets team than last year. They have added champions and proven players in Pierce, Garnett, and Jason Terry. However, don’t just turn on your T.V. and expect to be immediately impressed as a Nets fan. It’s going to take time. Just because they have different players on their roster doesn’t necessarily mean they are sure to be a completely different team.
Don’t take this article the wrong way because I’m not trying to downplay the Brooklyn Nets. I’m just trying to be a motivator. The Nets arguably have the most talented roster in the league from one to 12. Not only do they have a dynamite starting lineup, but they also have three high-quality bench players.
One of those bench players is Jason Terry, possibly the ultimate sixth-man of this generation. Another is defensive specialist Andrei Kirilenko. The third is big man Andray Blatche who had a solid season last year. All three will be crucial in order for Brooklyn to make a deep playoff run.
There is one negative that really bothered me about Brooklyn last year. They had a very efficient regular season but they didn’t show any hunger in the postseason. On the other hand, the opposing Chicago Bulls always play like they’re the most desperate team in the league. They treated the game like it was a life-or-death situation without Derrick Rose.
Brook Lopez averaged 22 points and seven and a half rebounds in the series. Although he played extremely well, there was no comparing his energy with Joakim Noah’s. Noah will win by any means necessary. That’s just the nature of Noah’s game and he exposed Lopez because of it.
Brooklyn most definitely needed help at the forward positions last year. I think it’s safe to say Pierce and Garnett will take care of that. Although both of them are near the end of their careers, they still have a lot left in them. The two want another ring just as much as anyone else in the league. There won’t be as much pressure on them on offense with Williams running the point.
That brings me to the most important topic: Deron Williams. Earlier this summer, Jason Terry said he sees Williams being in the MVP conversation. I can’t say I don’t agree with that. Williams should be an MVP candidate with all the talent around him. He has fantastic abilities as a point guard and he needs to be able to utilize them this year.
Not to forget Joe Johnson, who is one of the most clutch players in the game today. Johnson gets buckets as well as almost anyone in the league when he puts his mind to it. I’m sure we’ll continue to see him make clutch shots this year.
To wrap it up, the Brooklyn Nets have the pieces. Mikhail Prokhorov and Billy King did their job and put an outstanding group together. I don’t want to hear any talking. Just show us the money, Brooklyn.
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