I must say, this team is quite fascinating on paper. I think everyone’s curious to see how much that can translate to real life. This is the best starting lineup in the league, from one to five, but we still need to see the results. Deron Williams now has tons of weapons beside him. This is his team and he needs to show what he can make of all the team’s talent. And don’t forget about new head coach Jason Kidd. How will he handle all this talent that he once called his peers? Here is the Brooklyn Nets’ 2013-14 season preview:
Guards (A): Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Shaun Livingston, Jason Terry, T.Taylor/A.Anderson
In my opinion, the D-Will, Joe Johnson duo was somewhat disappointing last season. I feel like they didn’t play with a chip on their shoulders, like they had something to prove. I expect them to come in with a whole new mentality this season. Joe Johnson probably isn’t going to score 20 points per game anymore, but he has found his role as “Mr. Clutch.” I can’t stress enough how great an opportunity this is for Deron Williams. D-Will is such a gifted point guard with fantastic court vision. His game is very similar to his head coach Jason Kidd’s game, but without some intangibles and the solid defense. Williams is the one who must make this all work. Jason Terry will play his usual bench role and get buckets while the starters rest.
Forwards (A-): Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko, Reggie Evans, Mirza Teletovic
I’m really looking forward to seeing what an aged Pierce and Garnett bring to this Brooklyn team. I know they’ll bring hunger, basketball I.Q., talent, and competitive spirit. I just want to see how it all works out. It’s interesting that Pierce and K.G. were traded to Brooklyn together because I see them giving this team a whole new spirit. Although both are at the end of their career, they can still make great plays on the court. Garnett’s strong and intimidating defense will be present until the day he stops playing. Pierce still has the strength and coordination to back down his defender, take a few dribbles, and separate himself for that signature elbow jumper. Kirilenko off the bench is perfect as the three can rotate in and out. Kirilenko remains a great defender and he will not have to worry about doing much on offense. And then there’s Reggie Evans, who’s an offensive rebounding machine.
Centers (A-): Brook Lopez, Andray Blatche, Mason Plumlee
Brook Lopez will definitely remain a main option on offense. He and Deron Williams will probably create the biggest impact on offense. Lopez is highly talented on the offensive end and extremely difficult to stop with all his unorthodox post shots and jumpers. I don’t think Brook’s stats will be hurt that much by the arrival of other players because he’ll still be used as a dynamic offensive weapon, whether in the post or just outside of the painted area. Andray Blatche is a talented player who should give Brooklyn a big spark off the bench. Players in a 6th or 7th man role are important for helping to bring the team to a championship level.
Defense (B+): Brooklyn’s defense was somewhat inconsistent last season and that held them back from being a great team. The outlook should be very different this season with the emergence of Garnett and Kirilenko, who both change the game with their defensive impact. Kirilenko will really help the Nets’ perimeter defense and Garnett will provide another long body beside Lopez. K.G. knows how to use his length much better than Lopez does.
Shooting (A-): Let’s put it this way: all five starters are pretty good shooters. Williams is a pretty good shooter but now his job will be more of getting other shooters going and setting them up in the right spots. Joe Johnson has been a very good scorer and shooter for a while and his shots seem to always fall with the clock winding down. Pierce is very confident in his jumper and it isn’t hard for him to get off a shot with his ability to create separation. Garnett and Lopez also have the ability to stretch the floor. Jason Terry, arguably their best shooter, will come off the bench and catch the defense sleeping and then wake them up with a dagger three.
Experience (A): This new BK squad has no shortage of experience. Experience only helps and, ultimately, wins championships in this league.
Standing – 4th East: You’d think they’d be right behind Miami with the amount of praise I’ve given them. Pierce and Garnett’s age are a bit of a factor in not putting the Nets in the top three. Brooklyn has all the makings of a championship team; we just need to see the proof.
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