Zach Lowe, late of Sports Illustrated and now toiling for Grantland, offers his pre-season predictions by breaking the league into chunks: "The Real Contenders" (4), "Punchers Chance" (1), "Dreaming of a Puncher's Chance" (2), "Exciting Upside, Too Many Questions" (4), "Solid Playoff Team, but What's the Plan?" (3), "Dreaming of No. 8 in the East — and a Much-Needed Leap" (4), "The Sneaky Good Team, in Their Way" (1), "In the League's Most Exciting Race … for No. 8 in the West" (3), "In the Lottery, With Comfort" (4), and "In the Lottery, Defined by Uncertainty" (4).
There are folks around the league actually projecting this team to miss the playoffs. It's a minority view, and one with which I disagree, but it's out there. We have no idea if this capped-out-in-perpetuity bunch can stop anyone, or if it will get reliable bench play from someone outside C.J. Watson and MarShon Brooks. Mirza Teletovic holds promise, and the Nets have other guys who can sop up minutes, but they're not guys you really want sopping up minutes.
Really? Who are these "folks?" We'd like to talk with them, engage them in a friendly Brooklyn conversation. That aside, Lowe also notes that the Nets biggest issue remains it internal defense, with Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries the biggest question.
- Who are the NBA's top title contenders this season? And who's trailing the pack? - Zach Lowe - Grantland