Although the initial reaction to the Nets' loss of Paul Pierce was that it consigned them to the lottery, little by little there's been some revision in certain quarters. Not much but it's a start.
On Tuesday, Isiah Thomas tweeted out his predictions for the top of the East under the NBA TV
.@FrankieFromDade Cavs, Knicks, Wizards, Nets -Isaiah #Seat140— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 15, 2014
The Knicks? Well, they did do a lot for him.
And on ESPN the day before, Chris Broussard (!) mentioned the Nets, along with the Bulls, Cavaliers and Pacers, as his favorites.
"Dont forget Brooklyn's got Brook Lopez coming back even though they lost Paul Pierce," he reminded P.J. Carlesimo (who one would assume remembers Barclays Center). "Lionel Hollins is tremendous coach, especially with veterans. So I think they'll be better."
Carlesimo likes the Nets but notes "The players have been there, but you've got a new coach ... again."
Of course, the East seems to change daily. On Tuesday night, Lance Stephenson agreed to a three-year, $27 millin deal with the Charlotte Hornets ... depriving the Pacers of one of their more reliable players.