NBA Brooklyn Nets

5 Keys To Brooklyn Nets’ 2014 Title Hopes

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Brooklyn Nets: 2014 NBA Champs?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In order for the Brooklyn Nets to win a championship this year, many things will have to fall into place.

The bad news for the Nets is that that are playing in the same conference as the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers, who many think are favourites to win it all this year. If the Nets are to have a fighting chance in the playoffs, they will have to get much higher than the seventh or eighth seed in order to escape a first-round battle with either team.

The good news for the Nets are that they play in the same conference as the injury-prone Chicago Bulls, undersized Atlanta Hawks, and the not-yet-ready to compete Charlotte Bobcats. Another great reason the Nets are in position to make a title run is their schedule for the remainder of the season. It consists of teams that are struggling to keep their heads above water.

The Nets' biggest struggles this season have been health and team chemistry. Their health issues have improved, except for the loss of All-Star center Brook Lopez. When he went down, it took a while for the team to find their identity. Once they did, however, they took flight and haven't looked back since. Their chemistry issues have been answered as the team has finally bought into Jason Kidd's rotation and his defensive approach.

The Nets are a team that has the look of a champion. They have the experience, the leadership and they have a coach who has been in the trenches before and knows what buttons to push to get the best out of his players come crunch time.

Here are my five keys to the Nets' 2014 title hopes.

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5. Jason Kidd

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

A rookie head coach by all standards should not lead his team to a championship his first year right? What people fail to realize is that Kidd is not your normal rookie coach. He has been here before, and if I'm a player fighting for a ring, then I want a leader who has the knowledge and guts to make the tough call when need be.

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4. Luck

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets, just like any team in the NBA, needs some luck to go their way as well. Maybe an injury or two to a few of the other contending teams' top players. If a lower seed was to upset Miami or Indiana, maybe that will help the Nets' chances. We have seen inferior teams get on a run at the end of the season and carry it over to the playoffs, so who is to say the Nets can't be this year's team?

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3. Defense

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. The Nets have improved their defense with their small-ball lineup and also have a nice size and quickness advantage with their second unit. Their shot-blocking needs to improve, but they have the rebounders and quick hands that make opposing teams leery about being lazy with their passes.

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2. Kevin Garnett

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When Garnett is focused and rested, he still can shut down players and provide solid scoring from the post. He is a playoff veteran and understands what it takes to get his team over the top.

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1. Deron Williams

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The Nets start and end with their floor general. If Williams decide he wants to reestablish himself as one of the top point guards in the league, then the playoffs are the time for him to do so. With his scoring and defensive ability. there really is not another point guard in the league that can guard him when he is focused and determined to lead his team to victory.