New look Nets not living up to the hype


by Andrew Nappi, Staff Writer

Listed below, in bold, is my preseason prediction for the Brooklyn Nets that was published in the Glen Echo on October 1st 2013.  The text following is the harsh reality.

3. Brooklyn Nets 56-26

The new look Nets are one of the biggest question marks in the NBA. They have a first year coach in Jason Kidd who had one of the highest basketball IQ’s in NBA history during his Hall of Fame NBA career. The Nets are a championship caliber team with an all-star starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez. Off the bench the Nets have three point specialist Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, Andray Blatche and bad boy Reggie Evans. Only thing that will hold this team back from getting 60 plus wins is age. The Nets are the oldest team in the league. They will have to play a more half court style offence with this starting lineup and can look to play more full court offence with the second unit. Teams that have good half court defenses will give Brooklyn a lot of trouble. The time to win for Brooklyn is now. The sky is the limit for this Nets team. It’s a champion ship or bust mentality in Brooklyn.

As of Thursday January 2nd the Brooklyn Nets have a 13-21 record, are second place in the Atlantic Division and ninth place in the Eastern Conference. If my prediction were to come true, the Nets would have to play the remaining games with a 44-5 record.  The Nets would need to play with a winning percentage of about 90% for the rest of the season which would be the highest in NBA history.

Jason Kidd who is a first year head coach of the Nets, looks lost. Kevin Garnett who is the heart and soul of the team has been quoted saying how this is the most frustrating season of his hall of fame NBA career. Garnett has also been quoted saying that this Nets team has no offensive identity. It would not surprise anyone if the Nets pull the plug on Kidd. The only problem with firing Kidd is who will coach the team? There are no assistant coaches that would be good fit for Brooklyn.  So it looks like the Nets are stuck with Kidd for this season.

Injury problems have haunted the Nets the whole season. Brook Lopez who is the Nets best player will be out for the remainder of the season. Lopez suffered a broken foot in the overtime loss to Philadelphia on Friday December 20th.  The nets seem to be completely lost on the defensive end without Lopez. Andray Blatche has filled Lopez’s shoes on the offensive end of the floor but has struggled on the defensive end. Lopez is a 7 foot 290 pound center. Lopez clogs up the lain and makes it difficult for defenses to score points in the paint. Since Lopez went down with the injury, the nets have given up the most points in the paint in the NBA. Another problem without Lopez is rebounding. Brook Lopez is not known for his rebounding, however he is good at boxing out defenders and letting his teammates get the rebounds. Without Lopez in the lineup, the Nets rebounding numbers have drastically dropped.

One problem that seems to be back for the Nets from last season is having a poor third quarter. Last season the Nets were the worst third quarter team in the NBA out of the 16 playoff teams. This season, the Nets have only won two games when losing the third quarter.

It is time for the Nets to pull the plug on this season. One realistic move the Nets could do is trade Deron Williams. The proposed trade that Huston offered the Nets was Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin and draft picks for Deron Williams. This trade surfaced a couple of weeks ago and the Nets have done nothing with it. With this trade, the Nets could try and enter another long rebuilding period just like the one that they were in from 2007-2011.