Defense Will Be Ultimate Difference Maker For Brooklyn Nets

By Mike B. Ruiz
Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

Offensively, the new-look Brooklyn Nets are downright loaded. Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, Jason Terry and now, Andrei Kirilenko.

It doesn’t get much deeper than that.

But offense isn’t the end-all, be-all in the NBA. It never has been and never will be. For this team to live up to its sky-high expectations of dethroning the Miami Heat, new coach Jason Kidd will need to get them to play defense with the utmost discipline.

Luckily for the Nets, Garnett has been the defensive heart and soul of a completely made-over team that won a championship with all its new pieces in year one. That was in 2008 with Pierce, Ray Allen and the rest of the Boston Celtics.

Although he’s five years older than he was back then, Garnett still possesses the sort of energy and intensity necessary to be the vocal and physical leader of a tenacious defense.

It may be hard to believe considering all the talent on the roster, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the Nets have some struggles coming out of the gate. Their overall rotation figures to have somewhere between five and six fresh faces added to it.

Gelling together will initially seem as unnatural as that two-headed turtle that was born at the San Antonio Zoo the other day.

However, even if the Nets figure out how to share and play nice, defense will still be the thing, the only thing, that could elevate them from great to true title contender.

Because nobody ever said, “Offense wins championships.”

Mike B. Ruiz is a Brooklyn Nets writer for Follow him on Twitter @mikebruiz and “Like” him on Facebook.

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