2018-2019 Off the Glass Team Preview Series: Brooklyn Nets
The 2018-2019 NBA season starts October 16th and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Brooklyn Nets.
2017-2018 Record: 28-54, 5th in the Atlantic Division
Season Recap: Improvements all-round for the team out in BK. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, and to a lesser extent, D’Angelo Russell, all showed major improvements last season.
Coach Kenny and Sean Marks continued to make their mark on the franchise on and off the court as they head the long process back to championship contention. Injuries to key players at certain times hurt the Nets and forced Atkinson to dig into his toolbox in getting the best out of the squad. Injuries and poor officiating cost the team a few extra wins, but a successful season still nonetheless.
Key Losses: Timofey Mozgov (C); Jeremy Lin (PG); Isaiah Whitehead (PG); Jahlil Okafor (C)
Key Additions: Shabazz Napier (PG); Kenneth Faried (PF); Jared Dudley (SF/PF); Ed Davis (PF/C); Treveon Graham (SG/SF)
Player to Watch: D’Angelo Russell (PG)
Preview: The Nets are starting to garner some buzz after a much heralded off season. The additions made by Marks and the front office leave the team with an outside shot at competing for an 8th seed. Once a weak point of the team, their depth is now a weapon. Brooklyn will hold no fears if injuries and player management were to befall them throughout the season.
With so many players on the roster looking to prove themselves, the season ahead will be one to watch for reasons more than one. For the Nets to truly contend, they’ll need for Russell to take the next step and see continued development from the team’s under 25s. Free agency will be an obvious storyline to play out through the year but also watch for former Most Improved candidate, Spencer Dinwiddie, as a sneaky 6th Man of the Year contender.
Worst Case Scenario: The Nets young brigade stagnates and there’s no progress in the win-loss column. Another below 30-win season would be a speed bump in the team’s road back to relevance.
Best Case Scenario: D’Lo becomes an All-Star, the offense and defense take a jump that jolts the team into the playoff race. Additionally, Jarrett Allen solidifies his status as an up and coming star.
2018-2019 Prediction: 34-48; 4th in the Atlantic Division