Chad Ford thinks the Nets will be the worst team in the East. John Hollinger thinks they won't make the playoffs with or without Carmelo Anthony, but they are the most pessimistic of the ten "experts" ESPN has consulted on the Eastern Conference. Three of the ten think the Nets will make the playoffs, with one predicting seventh place.
The leading optimist is Michael Wallace, who just joined ESPN from the Miami Herald. He, like Chris Broussard and Tim Legler, think the big difference is the Little General, Avery Johnson. Legler writes, "he knows how to coach defense, he knows how to coach talent. His relationship with Devin Harris is critical, and I think it will work. Avery is the kind of guy this team needs."