The Brooklyn Nets this offseason, looks to bounce back from the many subtractions from last year’s team. The Nets look to build on their additions— such as new head coach Lionel Hollins and also veteran point guard Jarrett Jack.
The team lost one of the best leaders in NBA history Paul Pierce to the Washington Wizards and also former starter Shaun Livingston—leaving to go to the Golden State Warriors.
With the new arrival of Lionel Hollins, the team figures to play a different style of basketball—something similar to what we seen with coach Avery Johnson. Under Jason Kidd, the Nets thrived playing ‘’small ball.’’ The team was very effective in that system able to space to the floor and attack through the driving lanes. Defensively, team was able to switch pick and rolls from the point guard position through the power forward position. As a result, the team’s defense picked up later on in the season.
But Hollins sees the team being well-balanced and capable of playing both ways— big and small. Hollins was quoted saying “I see this group maybe being a little more versatile with more outside shooting, more ability to attack the paint with multiple ballhandlers.”
This change of basketball philosophy might propel Deron Williams to a quality season coming up. Lionel Hollins’s offense is based mostly on elbow extended pick and rolls and low post plays/action. This in theory might allow Williams to manipulate defenders on the block but still shoot from the outside.
Williams is set to make close $20,000,000 this coming season, and considering the circumstances —Williams certainly seems to be vastly overpaid. Under Kidd, Williams had one of his worst season statistically. He averaged 14.3 ppg, 6.1 apg, and 3.6 rpg— his worst since his rookie season. In a nutshell, this might be D-Will’s last opportunity to show the basketball world he is an elite point guard.
Joe Johnson had one of his best seasons a Brooklyn Net last year. His profile was raised immensely during the 2014 playoffs, where he averaged 21 points per game, which was a team high. No one can also forget his memorable Game 5 where he scored at will against LeBron,until the last 3o seconds of the game. When Joe Johnson is aggressive the team thrives completely. This year if the team wants to be a serious threat he will need to lead them in scoring and shot attempts.
Joe Johnson is set to make $23,000,000 this season. Making him and Deron Williams 2 of the top 10 highest paid players in the league.
One of the most riveting questions in Brooklyn, is how healthy will Brook Lopez be this coming season? If he remains healthy, the Nets will have their low post option back.
Before he was injured he averaged 23.8 ppg in just 17 games. With him back with the team, the Nets have a chance to be one of the best teams in league.
The small forward position is wide open for the Nets. Will the Nets target a free agent? –Or will they consider Alan Anderson and Andrei Kirilenko as starters. Kirilenko seems to be very confident about the team this year saying, ‘‘we intend seriously to compete for the NBA title.’’
Wow! Strong words but he might have a point. Andrei Kirilenko during his years at Utah was one of the best two-way players in the league. If he can contribute in that way, along with Lionel Hollins defensive schemes the team will be formidable defensively.
One of the biggest issues to ponder in Brooklyn is Kevin Garnett. Should Garnett be a starter anymore? Is he able to play more than 25 minutes a game? Is he now a bench player? Statistics and other variables point to the fact that most of his contributing to the team —might come from the bench this year, which isn’t all that bad. Coach Garnett?
Andray Blatche remains a free agent after denying the Nets offer of $1.43 millions dollars. The team now looks to add another big to the main rotation. Mason Plumlee seems to have earned a spot in the rotation for the long-term. As a rookie he contributed at a high level especially in the playoffs. He also had a dominant performance in the Orlando Summer League. Showing the franchise that he is capable of being a starter along with Brook Lopez.
Mirza Teletovic is also an option as starter. Having a ‘’Stretch 4’’ allows driving lanes for Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. D-Will would rather play with a big that can step out and shoot. Similar to Mehmet Okur years ago in Utah, when he had his best years as pro.
Top 3 Free Agents for the Nets to Target:
Greg Monroe- will be a great addition for the Nets. It would sure up the power forward position, which is unstable for the Nets currently. Even as a big he is able make plays for his teammates.
Al- Farouq Aminu- With the loss of Paul Pierce, the Nets will need add another wing that can score and defend. As of right now its just Andrei Kirilenko and Alan Anderson at the position. He will able to add some versatility on the perimeter.
Mike Scott- is a great shooter for a big. Deron Williams would benefit greatly from having on him on the floor. But how does he stack up against Mirza? Their shooting is very comparable. He is more athletic than Mirza and brings more energy. However, their defense is both streaky like their shooting.