Dwyane Wade, on the Nets, "Brooklyn has done something unprecedented, to put five All-Star players on the floor."— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) August 16, 2013
...And Andrei Kirilenko off the bench, too.
Somewhat lost in all that's been written about the Nets off-season is all that All-Star talent has to be led. Deron Williams needs to have a big season, needs to replicate or go beyond what he did after the All-Star Game if Brooklyn is going to be a serious contender. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have both talked about the need for Williams to return to the form he showed in Utah. Bill SImmons has wondered if a "moody" and "sulky" D-Will is up to the task.
Chris Broussard writes that Williams must be included in the MVP mix, even if only as dark-horse candidate because of the return of the "Utah D-Will" and the addition of all that talent. The prospect that the Nets could win 55 games "compelled a couple of assistants and executives to say Williams could challenge for MVP.," he writes in a story on MVP candidates.
He quotes one Western Conference executive on the possibility: "I still think D-Will is one of top three point guards in this league," the executive said. "I think he was worn out from playing in the Olympics last year. That's a lot tougher on the smaller guys than on the big guys. So I think D-Will will have a bounce-back year. And if the Nets are as good as they claim they'll be, he's got to be in the MVP conversation."
- NBA - Broussard on dark-horse MVP candidates for 2013-14 - Chris Broussard - ESPN Insider