The Brooklyn Nets dropped a potential playoff preview game against the Chicago Bulls on national TV Thursday, raising questions about the team’s chances of winning in the postseason. Looking at their roster, it is safe to assume that the Nets are indeed constructed to win games in a playoff series.
Most successful playoff teams have similar key ingredients: solid guard play, reboundng, defense, solid bench play and a go-to guy. The Nets essentially have all of the above on their roster, except one.
Point guard Deron Williams has found his game over the second half of the season and is averaging over 21 points (21.9) and seven assists (7.7) since the All-Star break. His back court running mate Joe Johnson may not be the star he was with the Atlanta Hawks but he is still capable of scoring 20 points on any given night as well as creating and knocking down a big shot in isolation situations.
The Nets also have arguably the NBA‘s best rebounder in Reggie Evans, who has been on an absolute tear on the boards lately. Forward Gerald Wallace can’t seem to score much at all, but he is still a plus wing defender. Also, center Brook Lopez leads all NBA centers in scoring.
The only area where the Nets are lacking is their bench. Reserve guard Marshon Brooks hasn’t gotten the minutes many were expecting him to, so his production has been inconsistent this season. C.J. Watson is a wild card but his .415 shooting percentage leaves much to be desired. Andray Blatche has been solid, but it’s still unknown how he will perform in a playoff setting. Kris Humphries has been relegated to mop up duty in head coach P.J. Carlesimo‘s rotation.
Overall, the Nets have enough assembled talent to compete and possibly win a playoff series, depending on the match up. Given the franchise’s recent history before moving to Brooklyn, a few playoff wins so soon should be viewed as progress rather than disappointment.