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John Schuhmann: Game 7 a "referendum" on Brooklyn Nets' first season

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The NBA.com writer takes a look at what's at stake tonight in Brooklyn

USA TODAY Sports

John Schuhmann doesn't delve much into deep stats, his specialty, but instead takes an analytical look at how the Nets positives and negatives will be examined in the harsh light of a Game 7.

Playing against an injury-strewn Bulls club, Schuhmann essentially says the Nets should win. If they do, it will justify a lot of what they did in the off-season, including spending $139 million on Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson, who he describes as "both on the wrong side of 30 and who both had disappointing seasons." Whether Billy King spent Mikhail Prokhorov's money wisely will be answered, at least in the short term, Saturday.

P.J. Carlesimo has little to gain and a lot of lose if the Bulls win, Schuhmann argues. "It’s supposed to be the coach’s job to make the most of his team’s talent. This team hasn’t done that. The offense has been inconsistent and the defense has been mediocre, at best." He also cites the lack of development.

For Deron Williams, it's not an issue of talent, but leadership. "Talent has never been a question with Williams," he writes. "Leadership, however, has. To win a Game 7 against a resilient opponent, the Nets will need a leader on the floor."

Schuhmann also examines questions related to the Nets defense, Brook Lopez and significantly, team culture. "The Nets, however, haven’t established anything other than a willingness to spend money. There’s a lot of culture outside the Barclays Center, but not necessarily in the locker room," he notes.