The Brooklyn Nets have had arguably the busiest offseason in Nets franchise history, bringing in multiple players to help a core roster that already includes Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson.
The additions of former Boston Celtics superstars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett weren’t enough for Brooklyn. Aside from hiring rookie coach and former Net Jason Kidd to lead the team, the Nets also re-signed backup center Andray Blatche, agreed to terms with guard Shaun Livingston and forward Andrei Kirilenko and obtained shooter Jason Terry in the Boston deal.
Brooklyn’s active offseason has some throwing around the “championship” word in connection with the Nets and although I’m one of the biggest Nets fans out there, I’m here to put that kind of talk to rest.
For one, it’s hard to ask a slew of new players to mold together and succeed in winning an NBA title in their first season together (hello, 2011 Miami Heat).
Secondly, Pierce and Garnett aren’t exactly spring chickens. I’m all for dumping Gerald Wallace’s gaudy contract and bringing in talents like Pierce and Garnett because I think they still have plenty left in the tank, but there’s a lot more that goes into an NBA championship than just pure talent.
The entire team will have to stay healthy and that’s not a given, especially since Williams, Johnson and Garnett all missed significant time last season due to injury. I should also mention that Lopez will enter this season coming off of his third foot surgery.
Also going against the Nets is the competition in the Eastern Conference.
There’s obviously the Miami Heat—who are undoubtedly the favorites to win the title again this season—but the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls each pose serious threats to Brooklyn’s title hopes in 2013-14.
I think the Nets have the talent to win the Atlantic Division and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but I don’t see Brooklyn beating the Heat in a seven-game series to move onto the NBA Finals—as long as LeBron James is leading Miami, that is.
That said, us Nets fans should be absolutely thrilled for the NBA season to start. This should be the most competitive season for the Nets since 2004-05 when they finished first in the Atlantic Division.