Woe is us.
ESPN, using all manner of analytics and surveys, offers a double-barreled look at the Nets as a team and as a franchise and finds both wanting. Actually, "disastrous" might be a better word.
The two stories, written by Mike Mazzeo, project the team's record, based on FiveThirtyEight.com's new CARMELO "Career-Arc Regression Model Estimator with Local Optimization" player projection system. According to FiveThirtyEight, a political and sports prognosticator, the Nets will wear a mere 25 games.
Basically, Mikhail Prokhorov may be better off tossing some loose millions into a fountain of hope rather than recklessly spending it on the Nets during their so-called "bridge year". In a time where advanced numbers and analytics claim they can predict players and teams' on-court success, hope seems to be the only thing Nets fans have to cling onto.
After being called "putrid", "pocket lint", and "the NBA's most boring team," the minimal expectations on the Nets continue to decrease in dramatic measure
Mazzeo, providing copy to go with the numbers, looks at all the Nets key players and offers this...
Missing the playoffs could prove to be a massive embarrassment, given that the Boston Celtics own Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick in 2016. Imagine if the Celtics scored the No. 1 overall selection out of the NBA draft lottery. Maybe it’s best not to. But here’s a potential reason for optimism: The Nets could have upwards of $40 million in cap space heading into next summer. At least that’s something, assuming an outside free agent wants to take their money.
The worst part of the Nets roster situation? Jarrett Jack, according to the CARMELO. "CARMELO thinks very poorly of Jarrett Jack, and the fact that he’ll be starting for the Nets is one sign that this will be a tough year for Brooklyn fans," writes Mazzeo.
If that wasn't bad enough, ESPN the Magazine has the Nets ranked as No. 111 in its list of 122 pro sports franchises, down 35 from last year ... and its roster at No. 120, two from the bottom. It's based on a survey of North American fans. San Antonio ranks No. 1. Only two NBA teams rank lower, the Nuggets at 119 and (thank God), the Knicks at No. 121. The Toronto Maple Leafs ranked dead last.
Almost everything, but it starts on the court, where the players are ranked 120th among 122 franchises in sports. Gone are Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the cornerstones of a would-be contending roster. Brook Lopez is back, but as the leader of a team that would likely land in the lottery if it hadn't given up multiple draft picks to acquire a fading KG and Pierce from Boston.
According to the survey --a polling of 1,014 sports fans across North America-- the Nets rank No. 106 in "fan relations;" 105 in "affordability" and 78 in "stadium experience." Their co-tenant, the Islanders, actually jumped 43 places in part because of their improvement on the ice --and their move from Nassau Coliseum which ranked 122 and dead last in 2014-2015.
After posting a triple-digit number five times in a six-year span, the Isles have their best ranking since coming in at No. 57 in our inaugural standings in 2003.
Read 'em and weep ... or whatever. Or you can watch Henry Abbott and David Thorpe discuss that the Nets could be the worst team in the world or NBA or something.
But not everyone in the punditry biz thinks all is lost ... nor are they all enamored of deep stats. Lang Whitaker of NBA.com thinks there's a possibility the Nets slip into the playoffs.
The Nets are trying to do that most difficult of tricks: rebuilding without bottoming out. It won't be easy, but then, in the Atlantic Division they may be able to remain competitive while they reboot.
- 2015-16 NBA Preview: Sorry, Nets Fans - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN
- Brooklyn Nets are No. 111 in Ultimate Standings - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN the Magazine
- 2015 Ultimate Standings: Spurs, Grizzlies lead NBA teams in annual rankings - Peter Keating - ESPN the Magazine
2015-16 NBA preview: Brooklyn Nets forecast (Video) - Henry Abbott, David Thorpe & Kevin Pelton - ESPN Insider
- Nets reshuffle deck, attempt to move into new direction - Lang Whitaker - NBA.com