Around this time last year, there was little, if any talk about the Brooklyn Nets and their upcoming season. Small stories of Deron Williams and Brook Lopez floated around, but ultimately, there were no big expectations for the Nets.
A year later, it’s funny how the tables have turned. To be honest, saying the “tables have turned” would be an understatement. The Nets have had one of the best off-seasons in the NBA, picking up All-Star Joe Johnson, successfully re-signing Deron Williams, getting Brook Lopez back to full strength, and adding a whole lot of depth to their once dull roster. Not to mention, the Nets have silently signed Mirza Teletovic, one of the most talented Euroleague players to recent date.
The Nets could not have chosen a better time to stack their roster, with Chicago Bulls‘ leader Derrick Rose bound to miss most of the 2012-2013 NBA season, and with one of the Boston Celtics‘ “Big Three” taking his talents to South Beach.
The Nets have one of the deepest rosters in the league and it’s hard to imagine them settling for anything less than the fifth seed in the east. Essentially, the Nets’ only competition in the East (in no particular order) are the Miami Heat, who will most likely take the first seed, the Indiana Pacers, the New York Knicks, the Celtics, and the Bulls. As mentioned before, with Rose and Allen absent from their teams, the Nets’ quest for success because a bit easier.
The Bulls, who tied for first place in the whole NBA last year, have to overcome a difficult hurdle this upcoming season, with MVP point guard Derrick Rose out for most of the season and key backup C.J Watson gone from the team. If the Nets learn to play well together quickly, the Bulls may be good enough to end up with a better record than the Bulls this season.
The Celtics, who, despite losing All-Star Ray Allen, are one of the most talented teams in the league. However, it cannot be overlooked that the Celtics are aging. The day is quickly approaching when future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will not be able to play at an elite level anymore. Both in their late 30′s, it is hard to see the Celtics going anywhere if those two begin to slow down, no matter how terrifically Rajon Rondo plays.
With the Bulls and the Celtics easily surpassable, the Nets find themselves only with the Heat, Pacers, and Knicks as competition. This may be quite a bold prediction, but the Nets should not fall anywhere worse than fourth seed this year in the East.