The Brooklyn Nets definitely fell short of expectations in the 2012-2013 NBA season, even though they made the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Though that’s a success by the measure of most teams in the league, it can’t really be quantified that way for a team as rich in talent as the Nets were this past season.
The Nets boasted three potential All-Stars in their starting lineup with Deron Williams at the point guard, Joe Johnson at the two guard, and Brook Lopez at the center position. With those three players, the Nets should have been in the top two or three in the East, on paper at least.
However, one of the biggest problems with this team, other than their lack of depth and consistent play from complimentary players, is the simple fact that the Nets’ core group of guys seemed complacent at times. Though it’s hard to gauge these types of things, there were definitely times where it seemed like Brooklyn’s stars, Williams in particular, didn’t care if their team won or lost.
The general assumption is that a lot of those negative emotions stemmed from their interim head coach, P.J. Carlisemo. Now that Carlisemo is out, though, they are currently searching for a new head coach, preferably someone who light a fire under this Nets team.
That’s why they are making the right move in reaching out to Jeff Van Gundy.
Van Gundy is currently employed as an analyst for ESPN and hasn’t coached since 2007 with the Houston Rockets. However, he does have nine years of head coaching experience and a history of success in the league, missing the playoffs and finishing under .500 just once. He also brought the 1998-1999 New York Knicks to the NBA Finals, even if it was a strike-shortened season.
One thing that Van Gundy did as a coach was maximize the potential of his teams and demand players to give it all they have. Though he may not be the best tactician in the world, his style is exactly what the Nets need going forward, If he ends up landing in Brooklyn, it would be the best thing for the franchise.