It’s a new city for the Nets, along with a revamped squad, could this be what the doctor ordered for this playoff hopeful team in 2012-2013?
Key Additions: Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans, C.J. Watson, Josh Childress; re-signed Kris Humphries and Deron Williams
Key Losses: Gerald Green, DeShawn Stevenson, Anthony Morrow
Projected Starting Lineup: Brook Lopez (C), Kris Humphries (PF), Gerald Wallace (SF), Joe Johnson (SG), Deron Williams (PG)
Deron Williams has to bring ‘it’ this year, no excuses. He needs to prove to the league — and to fans — why he is a top five point guard. He’s an all-around player, high basketball IQ, offensive versatility, strong, athletic, and has tremendous leadership skills. He is the point guard of the people and with Joe Johnson at the two, there are no excuses for him to perform at a mediocre level.
Joe Johnson has to learn — first and foremost — that he won’t get the ball every. single. time. I’m sure there’s been some chatter about that as soon as he was Brooklyn bound. He will get his ISO plays, but it’s the fact that he will have to adjust his skill set to use his offensive gifts, as well as his defensiveness at the opportune times.
If Brook Lopez is like he was pre-injury, the offensive center will be a third-option on offense for the Nets. However, he has been injury prone in past seasons. It’s less about his rebounding — Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, and Johnson make up the differential — but rather his health this season. Outside of Andray Blatche, Lopez is the only player with ‘height’ (others are 6’9″ and below) which could make some matchups difficult.
Expectations: Coming off of a ridiculous 22-44 2011-2012 season, anything less than playoffs should be a disappointment to fans. The Eastern Conference is weak, and to be perfectly honest, they should aspire to make the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Record Prediction: 46-36 They could finish as high as a 4th seed team and could dip down to being a 7th seed team, but I believe this team may just snag homecourt advantage if health is kept throughout the 82-game season.