Well, I did one of these last year, so I figured, why not do one again this year. If you want to see last year's, here
So here we go.....
Head Coach: Avery Johnson
Projected Opening Day Depth Chart
DeShawn Stevenson, Anthony Morrow, MarShon Brooks
Damion James, Shawne Williams
I will Break Down each position and how It improved or Worsened, I will rate it based in how i think it compares to the rest of the league by rating it from 1-10, 1 being terrible, 5 being average, and 10 being excellent. I will then explain how i think the roster will do as a whole, give my OPINION on their projected record.
PG: Well, the Nets made a surprising trade last year to acquire superstar Point Guard Deron Williams. He is the leader of this team and the catalyst of the offense. I expect a huge year from Deron. With Memo here in Jersey, I expect the lane to be open a lot more, leaving Deron room to drive and score. The teams success is heavily reliant on Deron. The Nets have to play well this year in order for him to re-sign. They bring back the same back-up they had last year, Jordan Farmar. He is a decent back up that can hit the three, and drive to the bucket on occasion. He doesnt serve as much purpose this year as he did last year. With D-Will there, the Nets no longer need that guy who can come in and play 20-25 minutes per game like they did with Devin Harris. Gaines will be that energy guy of the bench in the third wave of the rotation.
The Nets have a top 3 PG in the NBA, and one of the Best back-up's. They have arguably the best PG rotation in the NBA. The PG position will carry this team through the season, and Hopefully through the playoffs. They significantly improved at PG.
SG: The Nets signed defensive specialist DeShawn Stevenson to be the starting SG. He could be a really good piece to this team. All you need him to do is play Defense on the other teams best swing man and drain some open three's. They desperately needed some defense on the Wings, in was one of their major weaknesses last year. The first SG of the bench will be Anthony Morrow, a fan favorite. Morrow is a deadly three-point shooter, and thats all they need him for. He is out there to drain much needed threes that will be opened by Deron Williams penetration. MarShon Brooks, Swag, the Dreaded. The Nets first round pick, picked at #25 in the first round. This guy has a knack for scoring. He has a really good jump shot, and thats all I really see from him right now. In the first two pre-season games, I didnt see much defense. He will get his chance to produce.
This SG rotation isnt outstanding, but it gets the Job done. They got a lot better defensively, and added some three point shooting. They improved from last year, the position was weak outside of shooting last year. I think Stevenson and Morrow will receive a bulk of the minutes, and Brooks will get limited minutes.
SF: The Nets FINALLY dumped Travis Outlaw, that is an improvement in its own right. They didnt improve as I would've liked. Damion James is the starter, yikes. We havent seen enough of him to know his strength's and weaknesses. The Nets still need a lot of work at this spot if Damion James is the starter. The Nets also added former Knick Shawne Williams. I like this move, he is a nice scorer, a guy who can come in off the bench and give around 5-7 points a night. Shwane was a very good move for the bench.
Point blank, Damion James is the starter. He shouldn't be the starter on any NBA roster. Shawne Williams was a nice pickup, but not nearly enough. This was a glaring weakness going in to the off-season that wasnt addressed.
PF: In a move that I personally endorsed, the Nets re-signed Kris Humphries. This is a guy who had a breakthrough year last year, averaging a double-double. He brought solidification to the PF rotation last year. He is a great rebounder, has some electrifying blocks and dunks, and now with Deron Williams, will have some easy opportunities to score. The best part, they signed him to a one year deal, leaving cap flexibility. They also signed Shelden Williams to a vet minimum deal. Not an important move, just a backup to take up space. Dennis Horner is a feel good story. Called up from the D-League, he performed well in the two pre-season games he played.
I think the PF position will be a strong spot for the team this year, mainly because of Kris Humphries. He is a rebounding machine and a big bodied presence in the paint. The resigning of Humphries was vital after missing out on Tyson Chandler and Nene. Shelden Williams is a decent back up to take up space. Dennis Horner wont play much.
C: Lopez broke his foot, uh oh. The Nets are losing a top 5 Center in the NBA, that isnt good, at all. This also means the Nets cant trade for Dwight Howard until at least February. The Nets acquired a decent replacement. They traded for Mehmet Okur for a second round pick. I think he will help this team until Lopez returns. He is an excellent three point shooter and will spread the floor for D-Will's penetration to either dish out to an open shooter, score or draw a foul. Well, Petro is Petro.
Rating: 9 (upon Lopez's return)
When Lopez returns, this will be a great Center tandem. Okur will be the backup, you can argue that he can be a starter on some other teams. I look for Brook to imrprove on his rebounding and take the next step to being an All-Star. Memo is a really good backup on an expiring contract that should help this team.
Coaching: The Nets still have Avery Johnson, who I think is a really good coach. The also added PJ Carlesimo and Mario Elie, who should help a lot on defense.
The Nets definitely got MUCH better from the beginning of last year. They added a superstar and some solid pieces. For the first time in some years, the Nets are in a position to make the playoffs. Of course, the theme of this season will be the pursuit of Dwight Howard, much like last season which included the MeloDrama. I think the Nets will make the playoffs this year as a 7 or 8 seed, this is a competitive team mainly because of the addition of Deron Williams. I expect big things from the Nets this year.
My Prediction: 32-34, 3rd in Atlantic, 8th in Eastern Conference