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BUZZKILL II: Nets boast youth, athleticism, but in all the wrong places

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Every team thinks they can win in training camp (well, except for Philly) but reality dawns quickly when the real games begin With that in mind, we had Daniel LoGuidice take a look at the Nets "issues" last year. We called the series "BUZZKILL." So, here we are again ... and so is Daniel.

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Starting with the Thaddeus Young trade from last season, the Brooklyn Nets have made a conscious effort to get younger and more athletic and to a certain degree, they've done just that.  They've dispatched some of their older pieces and brought in some semi-exciting young talent.  However, there's just one caveat: all that young talent is in the form of limited rotation bench players ... at best.

Players like Markel Brown (43.5" max vertical), Shane Larkin (44") and Ryan Boatright (41") boast elite athleticism, but other than Larkin, they may not see significant playing time and Boatright may not make the team..  Even in the case of Larkin, he'll be in the rotation, but only as a back-up point guard.  Brown injected some life into the starting lineup last year, but he'll have to become more consistent in all facets of the game to get significant playing.

Then there's Thomas Robinson.  He's got some athleticism, and he's still young enough (24) to prove he can be a solid role player in the NBA, but he's got some issues, namely his inconsistency.  The Nets are Robinson's sixth NBA team in four years.  He simply hasn't been able to catch on with a team.  That might be due to his lackluster 5.1 PPG and and 4.8 RPG for his career.  He recently told Tim Bontemps that he's "tired of disrespect" and is poised to prove he's not a bust.  The jury is still out on this case.

Players like Wayne Ellington, Donald Sloan and Quincy Miller have been brought in, but do the Nets want to rely on names like that?  Brooklyn does have a potential savior in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.  He's got what the Nets are looking for, but he's unproven, especially on the offensive end.

The projected Nets starting lineup isn't inspiring in regards to youth and athleticism.  As it stands now, it seems like the starting rotation will consist of Young, Joe Johnson, Jarrett Jack, Brook Lopez and, to the ire of some Nets fans, Bojan Bogdanovic or Andrea Bargnani.  Sure, Young was a step in the right direction, but his most athletic days are behind him, as he's lost a step and so the question is does he still have elite athleticism.  His dunk numbers have dropped off dramatically, from 82 to 57 to less than 30 in past three years. Not to say his game hasn't improved, but his athleticism has dropped off..

Entering his 15th season, Joe Johnson is still an efficient scorer, but gets slower and older each year.  According to some metrics, Jack is one of the worst point guards in the league and as for Bargnani's dexterity, we'll just leave this here:

The Nets simply don't have youth and athleticism where it counts.  With the most athletic players in all likelihood relegated to the bench at the start of the season, this could be a tough, and quite frankly boring, season in Brooklyn.