The Brooklyn Nets just added Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to their team, to go along with Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson. Now their starting five will be Williams, Johnson, Pierce, KG and Lopez. That’s a great lineup, but are they ready to contend for the NBA Finals just yet? I don’t think so, and here’s why.
Pierce and Garnett aren’t young anymore, to say the least. Pierce is 35 going on 36 in October, and KG is 37, which means their prime is over, and might only have one good year left, if that. They will still be strong role players, and can have a great few moments, but you can’t expect them to lead you to the NBA Finals like they could a few years ago. Rajon Rondo carried a majority of the load in 2011-12 when the Boston Celtics were a game away from the NBA Finals, when they lost in Game 7 to the Miami Heat.
Now, is Williams capable of doing the same thing? Absolutely, and add in Lopez and Johnson, and you’ve got a great team. Terry insists the Nets have the “formula” to beat the Heat in the playoffs, as he was a member of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks championship team that beat the Heat in the NBA Finals — the only team to beat LeBron James and the Heat’s “Big 3″ in a seven-game series. So, I would take Terry’s word for it that he has the formula, but can the Nets do the same as the Mavericks? Can they beat the Heat?
Before we even ask if the Nets can beat the Heat, I’m not sure they’re even the third best team in the East. A Chicago Bulls team with Derrick Rose coming back will be a force to be reckoned with. Rose didn’t play a game at all last season, and the Bulls were still able to get to the second round of the Playoffs, after beating the Nets in the first round. If last year’s Nets couldn’t beat a Rose-less Bulls team, lets calm down on calling them a legit threat to the Heat’s three-peat.
Plus, it takes time to gel, this team hasn’t played a second together. Not only that, they also have a rookie head coach in Jason Kidd, who doesn’t have any coaching experience whatsoever at the NBA level. Kidd will only be a few years older than some of his players. He is being thrown into the fire right away and expected to lead the Nets deep into the playoffs, and possibly to the NBA Finals. Hey, as long as he doesn’t get any phone calls during a game, he should be fine.
In conclusion, the Nets are a ways away from being a threat in the Eastern Conference. They have to fight Father Time, have to gel as a team and get used to a rookie head coach in Kidd. As James said after the NBA Finals, he can say this about the Brooklyn Nets as well: “I ain’t got no worries!”