The Nets' starting 5 is arguably the greatest starting 5 in the NBA! Let's analyze this.
Deron Williams when at his best is considered by many as the greatest point guard in the NBA and rightfully so. In his time in the NBA he's been the only point guard to average 20 points a game and 10 assists a game in the same season. When healthy he is the most balanced NBA point guard. He can score, defend and pass at a high rate. Last season we saw what he did after the All star break. He was healthy and was playing like the best point guard in the NBA from that point until the end of the season. He's a good defender and is big for his position. I expect him to be the best point guard in the league this coming season.
Brook Lopez is the best scoring center in the NBA and that includes players that aren't really centers but were playing the position because their team lacked production in that area. He can shoot the jumper as far as near the 3 point line which can make you wonder if the 3 point shot could eventually become part of his arsenal. He can attack the rim and finish through traffic and he's able to put the ball on the floor on occasion. Last season he improved defensively and became a factor near the rim and altered a lot of shots last season. He became one of the best shot blockers in the NBA and used his size and was good in anticipating. He showed signs last season that he was going to have a great rebounding season but then he fell of towards the midway point into the end of the season and that has a lot to do with Reggie Evans grabbing 11 boards a game in the starting line up. But this coming season with Kevin Garnett on the team he can return to the Brook Lopez from his 2nd season who averaged 8.7 rebounds. He has the size and strength to get to the point . No other team in the NBA has a center that can score the way Brook Lopez can and that's our advantage.
Joe Johnson didn't have the season that we expected and that he should have had last season. However, I believe that he still has a lot of game left and is capable of having one more all star type season. He still showed a lot of signs last season with his scoring and his ability to make clutch shots during the end of the game last season. Unfortunately he didn't mesh as fast as we would've like however this is a new season and an opportunity for him to be better than he was last season and I believe he will. I think with the line up we have he can easily average anywhere from 18-19 points a game because of the attention that the other 4 starters will receive. His defense is solid and his patented floater around the rim is a weapon that I expect to be utilized a lot this coming season.
Paul Pierce last season averaged 18.6 ppg, 6 rebounds and around 5 assists per game. He's still a big time player. He knows how to get himself to the free throw line and can just flat out score. He's still a threat behind the arc and is also a clutch player. He and Joe Johnson give us two closers at the end of games. His grittiness and championship pedigree will only benefit us going into the post season.
Kevin Garnett a very passionate player and great defender. His ability to still rebound and his the mid range jumper at a high level allows us to have a lot of floor spacing and a player who is capable of giving us 12-15 points a game. His toughness will hopefully rub off on everyone on the team especially Brook Lopez and turn this team into a team with heart and passion and a team that will not fold in the face of adversity.
Now let me discuss about the bench a little bit. Andray Blatche re-signing was absolutely critical for the Nets. He has shown last season that he has a great upside and can become an even better player going forward. He is a very skilled offensive player and gives the opposing player difficulties when they try to defend him. He's a good rebounder, defender and passer. His versatility makes it easier for the point guard because he also knows how to pass and set players up. He's also very consistent and shoots better than 50% from the field and he is a reliable scorer off the bench who can easily give you 15 points or better.
Jason Terry was probably considered a disappointment last season especially since he didn't score more when the celtics had all those other players out but he still can be a productive player. He still averaged 10 points a game and is still a good 3 point shooter. He can make big shots and is a professional. He has a tough attitude and will lift the players up on the court and when he's cheering off the bench.
Andrei Kirilenko could be the best signing off the bench for the Nets. He is a versatile player who can score, defend, pass, give you steals and block shots. He shot 50% from the field last season which is incredible and he still plays at a high level. He like Andray Blatche can set people up and can space the floor. He can easily score 10 points a game and rebound at a high rate off the bench.
Reggie Evans was a fan favorite last season. His energy and toughness is what the entire team should show every night. His ability to out rebound opposing players and his ability to grab double digit rebounds off the bench which he did in the beginning of last season is rare in the league.
Mirza Teletovic is the most interesting bench player to me. He was under used last season and showed some versatility. He competed defensively even though he needs work in that area and he also has some decent rebounding games. But his ability to shoot the 3 has to be taken advantage of this coming season. He's clearly a player that can give us 12 points or more off the bench on any given night and his floor spacing will benefit the other players.
Shaun Livingston had solid stats last season average 7.5 points and 3.3 assists but the 50% from the field is definitely huge. His consistency off the bench will be key.
Tyshaun Taylor and Tornike Shengelia both are energy players and each have a lot of potential. Even though probably won't be getting that much playing time this coming season, they definitely can contribute. We haven't seen enough of them to comment but they make our bench look really good.
Last but not least Mason Plumlee. I never heard of him before the draft but seeing him during the summer league gives me some reason to look forward to seeing how he can help the Nets. If he can give anywhere near what he has during the summer league for the Nets, then the Nets might have found a good back up center going forward.
Ok, to sum this all up. We have size on the team. The entire starting line up is big. The entire starting line up for the Nets can give you 15 points or better on any given night. All of them would require a double team on more than one occasion which will make this team difficult to defend. We have a combined total of 35 all star appearances in our starting line up. 36 if you include Andrei Kirilenko off the bench. We have 2 leaders in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who will instill toughness and heart into the Nets and put their imprint on players such as Brook Lopez and Deron Williams and help them become leaders. We have Championship Pedigree and a very good defensive team. We have every Skill set required to win a championship on this team. If the appropriate sacrifices are made, if every player plays for the team and if guys can stay consistent and healthy, then we have a shot at a championship this season.