Oct 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Randy Foye (2) controls the ball while being defended by Boston Celtics forward Ben Bentil (50) and guard R.J. Hunter (28) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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With seven days until the Brooklyn Nets season, now is the time to wrap up final predictions. Here is the best case scenario for this years Nets team.
The Brooklyn Nets are predicted to finish dead last in the standings this season. With a 1-4 record so far in preseason it is hard to say the Nets can improve in just seven days. Keeping the media’s predictions and their current 1-4 preseason record in mind they might be better than many would expect.
Just as anything in life the Nets need to grow. This team has been put together in one summer and they will need more time to build chemistry. However, if that chemistry comes together quick, the team could surpass expectations. This team by far has the least amount of talent of any team in the NBA. But talent is not always everything. Of course talent helps, but coaching and chemistry have a huge impact on a team’s performance. For the Nets, there are multiple ways they could perform better than expected.
Oct 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) controls the ball as Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) defends during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
It goes without saying that when Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez start to play more minutes, the Nets will compete in games longer. In the preseason no player has played more than 29 minutes on any given night.
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Once this changes the rotation will thin out and the better players will be on the floor more consistently. This will put the Nets best talent on the floor more often and keep games close.
Oct 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson directs his team on the court during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
As mentioned before, talent does not win alone. The Nets’ talent will not win them any games alone this season. That is why coaching and chemistry is so important for this team. Kenny Atkinson is a rookie head coach, but he has been in the league for quite some time now. What he does as head coach will have a big impact on the team. He will need to keep a positive attitude around the team and make sure the team stays committed to his game plan. If he does those two things, he will have done everything he needs to for the Nets.
Atkinson is not the only one with a big role for this team. Lopez and Lin need to step up and be team leaders. These two are without a doubt the Nets’ two best players as of right now. They will need to help keep the locker room together and make sure everyone follows their lead. Trevor Booker has also been very talkative on and off the court. He is the perfect player to project his voice. He is a guy who works hard and gives 110 percent when he is on the floor. Booker is far from the best player on the team, but he is a guy that is not afraid to give a little tough love. This will be needed to keep the team motivated and fired up to prove themselves.
These two things will be a huge part of the Nets’ success going forward. If either one falls apart, so will the team.
Oct 11, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters (11) shoots over Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
A Playoff Birth
That’s right, a playoff birth. It will not come easy for the Nets. First off, they would have to play to the best of their abilities and maybe make one or two trades during the season to make a playoff push. They would also need to stay healthy. If the Nets can stay in the playoff hunt up to all-star break, Sean Marks could try to push to add some more talent before the trade deadline.
With all that said, the Nets will not finish above .500 this season. They would have to just barely sneak into the playoffs. Meaning the Nets could be competing with another losing team for the eighth seed at the end of the season. Considering this has happened plenty of times in the past, it is not impossible, but the Nets would need a lot of things to go their way.
The East is much better than it has been in the past. That means two or more teams with losing records trying to get into the playoffs is far-fetched. Injuries are a part of the game though. If a team that was expected to make the playoffs catches the injury bug, it opens up an opportunity for another team. If the Nets find a way to hang around at the end of the season they could make a serious push for the final playoff spot. Even if the Nets were to make the playoffs they would get swept in the first round. This is an absolutely best case scenario for a team with such little talent.