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Previews Kinder, Gentler...Like Avery

Basketball Prospectus so far is the kindest of the season previews for the Nets and their fans, boldly predicting the playoffs, something neither Avery Johnson nor Billy King would do when talking to Reggie Miller. 

Now comes a spate of previews, from John Schuhmann at, Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated and Brian Mahoney of AP.  None of them put the Nets in the playoffs, but the two who do predict move them up to third (Thomsen) and fourth (Mahoney).

Schuhmann thinks a "kinder, gentler" Johnson could be the difference. He writes says the coach loves his team and as a result, "I don't scream nearly as much during practices or games as I did in my first stint. There are times when I get riled up, but not consistently."