The Brooklyn NETs will win the 2014 NBA Championship

Let me preface this by saying that all the ESPN experts were wrong in the fall of 2007, when I felt the same way about the 2008 NBA Champion 66-16 Celtics, who won by an average of over 10 ppg. The 2014 NETs should win a similar amount of games (if healthy). The naysayers refraining from support because they need to see the team gel have not been paying attention to the relevant players careers. The data supports it as well.

The NETs top 9 players, as a group, are possibly the best ever assembed.

Hollinger's PER is a measure that tends to emphasize offense, which is one reason I don't like it, although it is a good indication of offensive contributions.

NET PER is a much more severe statistic, that I prefer by a wide margin. NET PER is the difference between your PER and the PER of the man that you guarding each game. NET PER is very severe if LeBron is going off for 35 against you; however, if your man is going 2-12 you look great. Once you get to 500 minutes or so, NET PER is a reasonable estimate. There are only about 20 players that had NET PERs of +5.5 or better in 2013. Most NBA players have negative NET PERs, meaning they are getting outscored, outrebounded, making too many turnovers, fouls, etc.

NETs Players Rank/Rating from last year

Centers (75 Ranked)

Player / Hollinger Rank / Hollinger PER / NET PER

Brook Lopez / 2 / 24.8 / 9.7

Andray Blatche / 3 / 21.9 / 4.2

Power Forwards (104 Ranked)

Player / Hollinger Rank / Hollinger PER / NET PER

Kevin Garnett / 11 / 19.25 / 5.5 (19th best in NBA)

Andrei Kirilenko is rated as a small forward below, but the NETS have already said that they will play the 6'9 Kirilenko at PF as well (alongside Paul Pierce)

Andrei Kirilenko / 11 / 17.67 / 5.0

Reggie Evans / 62 / 12.8 / -1.3

Mirza Teletovic / 65 / 12.39 / -7.1

Small Forwards (93 Ranked)

Player / Hollinger Rank / Hollinger PER / NET PER

Paul Pierce / 5 / 19.1 / 5.5 (20th best in NBA)

Andrei Kirilenko / 11 / 17.67 / 5.0

Alan Anderson is ranked as a shooting guard, but the NETs might use the 6'6" Anderson against quicker, small forwards like if Tony Allen were played at Small Forward)

Alan Anderson / 45 / 12.6 / -2.3

Tornike Shengalia / 66 / 8.3 / -4.5

Shengalia is so far down the rotation that he might just as well ask for his release if he can sign with a team in Europe, which supposedly he is looking to do

Shooting Guards (92 Ranked)

Player / Hollinger Rank / Hollinger PER / NET PER

Joe Johnson / 23 / 14.1 / 5.2 (Joe's NET PER, with a PER of only 14.1, says that Joe Johnson is an INCREDIBLY GOOD defender)

Jason Terry / 42 / 12.8 / -1.2 (marginally outscored, out rebounded)

Alan Anderson / 45 / 12.6 / -2.3

Point Guards (105 Ranked)

Player / Hollinger Rank / Hollinger PER / NET PER

Deron Williams / 7 / 20.3 / 4.4

Shaun Livingston / 56 / 13.0 / 1.2

Tyshawn Taylor / 96 / 6.2 / -14.7 A NET PER of -14.7 means he is helping his team lose, quickly. Joe Johnson or Paul Pierce would be better distributors before putting Taylor on the court.

Bottom Line, the NETs have incredibly good depth with their Top 10 players. They can pick and choose between Lopez, Garnett, Pierce, Kirilenko and Blatche for who will finish games based on who is playing best that day. The front court will be awesome. There is room for one more player in the regular season front court rotation, who could get 10 minutes a game, but would probably not play in the playoffs. Teletovic and Shengalia are not close to the guys ahead of them. Teletovic may win out for his 3 point shot, Alan Anderson if quickness is needed.

The guard rotation is fine at SG, but the NETs really only have two point guards. In the playoffs, it won't matter if Deron and Livingston are healthy, but the NETs should consider a veteran point guard before using Taylor if there is an injury (heaven forbid) to Deron Williams or Shaun Livingston. This would of course mean trading Tyshawn Taylor for a bag of potato chips to open a roster spot for a veteran point guard.

Miami is the only team that approaches the NETs depth, and they are heavily dependent on LeBron, Wade and Bosh. Mike Miller's departure may be more than offset by Greg Oden's arrival, if healthy, but the mighty NETs even have that rotation covered.

The NETs have (among the 10 players who will likely play come playoff time):

7 Shooters (Pierce, Garnett, Deron, Lopez, Johnson, Terry, Kirilenko) Note that Kirilenko's ability to get to the free throw line raises his 50.9% field goal % to a true shooting % of 59%.

3 Post Players (Lopez, Blatche, Kirilenko)

3 Slashers (Pierce, Johnson, Livingston)

4 Outstanding Defensive Players (Joe Johnson, Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Garnett, Shaun Livingston)

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