The Brooklyn Nets are up next in The Dunkyard’s NBA season preview.
Last season by the numbers
- Record: 21-61 (28th)
- Offensive rating: 103.2 (27th).
- Defensive rating: 110.9 (29th)
- Pace: 95.2 (19th)
- True shooting: 52.7% (23rd)
- Turnover rate: 13.1% (16th)
- Offensive rebounding: 24.1% (15th)
- Defensive rebounding: 75.7% (19th)
- Highest PER*: 21.7 (Brook Lopez)
(*) – minimum 1,000 minutes.
At a glance
(Converts the above rankings into a rating out of 10).
Brooklyn did some things at an average level (rebounding, ball handling) and everything else poorly – which was reflected in their 21-61 record.
There really isn’t much point going into any serious detail about how, why and where it went wrong for them as it’s all a product of some of the worst basketball team management since the Ted Stepien era in Cleveland. At this stage, you can’t rule out that we’ll soon have a Prokarov Rule sometime in the future.
Reasons to be optimistic
I was going to say Willie Reed. In his 39 games and 426 minutes, Reed posted a very solid PER of 19.2. This included very impressive rebound and blocked shot rates, together with a true shooting percentage of 57.9%. However, Miami managed to snap him up on a 2 year $2.1m contract. I guess he was out of the Brooklyn’s budget.
Sean Kilpatrick was also very good in his 31 games and 616 minutes last season, posting a PER of 15.6 (16th out of 77 shooting guards). So far, he has followed it up with his summer league play. If he can replicate or even build on this over the course of a whole season, then the Nets will stink just that little bit less. Not bad for a 10 day contract pickup from the D-league.
Caris LeVert also has potential. If his ankles can hold up to the rigours of the pro game, he might prove solid value. Brooklyn will certainly be hoping so: they gave up Thaddeus Young to get him.
That aside, it’s only another three years until Brooklyn gets it’s very own un-traded and un-swapped draft pick in 2019. So there’s that too. In the meantime, Jeremy Lin will hopefully put a few extra bums on seats and improve on Brooklyn’s abysmal 27th attendance ranking. Yes, I’m clutching at straws.
Reasons not to be
Anthony Bennett is on the roster.
Things will get a lot worse on the court before they get better.
In case you’ve forgotten some of the details, let’s go over this again: the Nets traded their 2014, 2016 and 2018 first round draft picks, plus the right to swap first round picks in 2017, to Boston in exchange for Garnett, Pierce and Jason Terry (with the usual ancillary pupu filling up the rest). So far it’s cost them James Young (no. 17 in 2014) and Jaylen Brown, who Boston took with the third pick in this year’s draft… and there’s another two more years of this to go.
The hilarious thing is that Danny Ainge wasn’t even looking to trade Garnett and Pierce at the time:
“I wasn’t really trying to trade Kevin and Paul,” says Ainge when asked about the deal that currently makes Boston’s future twice as bright. “I had sort of resigned myself to the fact that Kevin and Paul would remain Celtics and retire as Celtics. There really hadn’t been much momentum, or even tempting opportunities to move them, until Brooklyn came along and made an offer. It sort of came up last minute, right before the draft.”
On top of this, the Nets also:
- traded away Derrick Favors to Utah in the Deron Williams trade; AND
- acquired Gerald Wallace in exchange for their top-3 protected first round draft pick (it ended up being no. 6) in the 2012 draft – which turned into the small matter of DAMIAN FREAKING LILLARD.
Major Ins: Jeremy Lin, Randy Foye, Luis Scola, Chase Budinger, Anthony Bennett (!).
Major Outs: Thaddeus Young, Willie Reed.
The Dunkyard’s recommended ‘death’ lineup
PS: this was really hard to fill.
This team is one Brook Lopez foot injury away from having Jeremy Lin as their best player. Read that sentence again. If you’re one of Brooklyn’s 43 fans, that thought is frightening.
Having gutted the team of draft picks and any player with a semblance of trade value, owner Mikhail Prokhorov has created the worst Russian disaster since Chernobyl. Barring the miracle of Anthony Bennett turning into the new Larry Johnson there will be more noise from Oscar Pistorius’ guest bathroom than will be emanating from the Barclays Centre this season.
Forecast record: 15-67
There’s no way to sugar coat this: Brooklyn is going to stink and stink worse than before. This is what happens when you don’t take your medicine.