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Is it turnaround time for the Brooklyn Nets?

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

The worst part of the schedule is over. December --and even January-- offer opportunities with homestands and perhaps health.  Brook Lopez is back and dominant. Kevin Garnett is starting to play the way the Nets had hoped and Deron Williams gets his ankle re-evaluated Monday, meaning he could be returning soon as well.  And Mirza Teletovic has used the opportunities presented him.

That all sounds good, but the Nets are still only 5-12, the biggest disappointment in the NBA (outside of Manhattan.) And they face the Nuggets Tuesday, the kind of young, athletic team that has blown them out repeatedly.

There's no doubt November was rough, with 11 of 17 games on the road.  As Andrew Keh writes in the New York Times, "Over 30 days last month, the Nets took 16 flights, spent 12 nights sleeping in hotel beds and played 10 games at opposing arenas."

Lopez's return after seven missed games is the biggest cause of hope, that and Jason Kidd's decision to ride him in the fourth quarter vs. the Grizzlies.  In fact, a number of moves by Kidd are being praised, like giving Teletovic and Mason Plumlee confidence.  But it doesn't end there. Other than the bad game vs. Houston, Joe Johnson has looked like the star of the Hawks, unafraid to take on the responsibilities.

Can the Nets capitalize on all these opportunities ... or will they continue to be a mystery?  We should know by week's end when the first homestand --and the first game in the Battle of the Boroughs-- is complete.