Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn Nets’

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After the blockbuster trade that sent future hall of famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets, the general reaction was very mixed. Some felt that this deal was a steal for the Nets, making them instant championship contenders. Others felt that this was an absolute disaster for the Nets, due to the fact that they gave up three first round picks. However, feelings toward the Celtics were pretty much unanimous. It was clear that the Celtics were going to enter rebuilding mode and analysts felt they were off to a good start with this move. While it is incredibly early in the year, the doubters of the trade have had their assumptions proven correct. Lets break down the Brooklyn Nets early troubles and look ahead to the future.

Old and Slow

A common criticism of the new Nets was that they would be old and slow. This has proven to be quite true. The Nets are being forced to play half court offense and have been awful on the fast break. Younger teams have had their way with the Nets. Take a game where they played the Orlando Magic. The leading candidate in the Andrew Wiggins lottery obliterated the Nets 107-86. In this game, Victor Oladipo, Aaron Afflalo, and Nikola Vucevic all torched their counter parts on both ends of the floor. Oladipo in particular used his speed and athleticism to beat Joe Johnson, Shaun Livingston, and Paul Pierce on multiple occasions. While Oladipo shows promise, he’s still a rookie. What’s going to happen when the Nets play more seasoned veterans like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and cross-town rival Carmelo Anthony? All of these stars feast on fast break opportunities and it seems like they will have a full plate against the Nets.

A Kidd Coaching

Bringing in a head coach fresh off of playing his last year in the NBA as a player is a massive gamble with a high ceiling. Crossing sports, take a look at Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals. He had been the team’s catcher for many years and when he wanted to become a coach St. Louis brought him. In three years as a manager, Matheny has led the Cards to Two World Series Appearances. Jason Kidd has not shown the same promise. Kidd has looked lost late in games, struggled with defensive assignment, and has been abysmal when it comes to time management. Kidd has had an interesting approach when it comes to managing player’s minutes. The Nets have 8 players averaging 20 minutes a night. This is an experiment that could prove a huge payoff come late in the season, or crash and burn massively.

Not Enough Versatility

If you look at Brooklyn’s starting five, they have five players who fit their positions. The problem is, at this point, they are all shells of their former selves. Garnett is completely broken down and may not make it through his contract. Pierce and Johnson are shooters who can play a little bit of on ball defense. Lopez is a scorer but isn’t strong enough to play on defense. Then there is Deron Williams. While he showed flashes of being the All Star PG that the Nets acquired, there has been something off this year. It may be the injured foot or it may just be the possibility that he’s past his prime. The issues get worse when the 2nd unit is just a lesser version of the starting five. Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Jason Terry, and Mason Plumlee are just carbon copies of their starting counterparts. The one thing the Nets need more than anything is a bruising center like Brenden Haywood to make up for the weakness of Brook Lopez.

It needs to be noted that Brooklyn has only played six games this season. Growing pains are expected for a unit as new as this, but that is no excuse. This team looks slow, weak, and old. They wont be able to keep up with teams like the Pacers Heat, and Bulls with this current play.

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With Tip-Off fast approaching here’s an in-depth look at the league, Team by Team.

Boston Celtics

 

Where They Have Been:

One of the most storied franchises in any sport, the Boston Celtics took a big step back when they traded future hall of famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. In return, the Celtics received a package of expiring contracts and three first round picks in 2014,2016, and 2018. The trade was met with criticism for the Celtics’ lack of loyalty, but analysts have commended both teams on working out a fair deal. Going forward, Boston may be facing a subpar year ahead of them.

Who They Have: Starters

The Celtics opening day starting five will consist of SG turned PG Avery Bradley, SG Courtney Lee, SF Jeff Green, PF Brandon Bass, and C Kris Humphries. Bradley (who is playing for injured PG Rajon Rondo) is terrific defender, but is still lacking a bit on the offense side. Lee is a good shooter, particularly from three, but doesn’t contribute much else. Green is a solid 15 PPG and 5RPG guy who will also give you solid play on defense, particularly in the middle. Bass and Humphries are both Power Forwards who are lacking defensive prowess.  Humphries has been a disappointing player ever since his short-lived marriage with fame whore Kim Kardashian.

Who They Have: Bench

The Celtics surprisingly have a nice mix of veteran leadership and young potential on their bench. Gerald Wallace and Keith Bogans (both came over from the trade) have good leadership qualities in them. In particular, Wallace recently called out his teammates for playing with a lack of heart. While upper management was not a fan of this, the decision voice his displeasure could end up paying dividends for Boston. As far as the young guys, PF Jarred Sullinger and SG Jordan Crawford and Marshon Brooks have shown flashes in the true NBA talent on both sides of the floor in their young careers. In addition, the Celtics 1st round draft pick, Kelly Olynyk, can provide some much needed size on the floor for the Celtics.

What to Expect:

The addition of Brad Stevens was both shocking and smart for Boston, but there’s only so much he can do with a roster that just lacks talent. The future of this team is looking bright, but this season may be a little darker than Celtics fans are used to.

Final Record:

30-52