Probably the most troubling aspect of Dan Devine's season preview for Yahoo is that it's fair, balanced and comprehensive with no mention of like "putrid," "pocket lint," or "vanilla slowpokes" ... and yet Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie still winds up projecting the Nets at 23 wins.
He talks about how they made a successful playoff run, surprised some in the first round vs. Atlanta and changed their mindset, going less-is-more in the off-season, taking "low-cost flyers" on a number of players who haven't succeeded elsewhere. He calls the twin signings of Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, both 27, the extension of a "a beneficial partnership that saw Brooklyn average a stellar 108.5 points per 100 possessions, a top-three-caliber offensive efficiency mark, when they shared the floor last season."
BUT Devine is not high on the Nets point guard rotation. "[I]t doesn't seem likely Hollins will get even average point-guard play from the group of Jack, Larkin and Sloan." As for the defense, he notes the downside of the Lopez-Young pairing, pointing out they "allowed 105.4 points-per-100, a bottom-five defensive rating, thanks to a lack of rim protection."
So, after looking at best and worst case scenarios at the end of a very long preview, Devine doesn't project a record That role is left to his colleague at Yahoo, Kelly Dwyer, who goes with a 23-65 record.
Meanwhile, Adam Fromal at Bleacher Report thinks the Nets are only capable of a slightly better record, 30-52. He too offers positives but thinks at the end of the season, they will be stuck in a morass with the Knicks, Hornets, Magic and Pistons.
Should push come to shove, it's tough to see this team staying healthy enough for a single-digit finish. Even if it does avoid too many bruises and bandages, that will be because of extra minutes from the lackluster bench, which isn't exactly a positive.
Like a number of pundits, Fromal points to the fragility of Lopez's foot, but it should be noted that the Nets center played 59 straight games after being held out, as a precautionary measure, when he suffered a mid-foot sprain. Only three other centers in the East have played that many consecutive games without injury.
Fromal also thinks Bojan Bogdanovic will snap out of his funk.
So long as he gets a little time for rest and relaxation, Bogdanovic should tear through plenty of twine during his second campaign with the Nets. He's a tremendous sharpshooter who twice knocked down more than 40 percent of his looks during EuroLeague seasons while taking at least five attempts per game.
It should be noted that both Devine and Fromal hold out hope for the playoffs or close to that if all goes well, but neither think that's going to happen.
- BDL's 2015-16 NBA Season Previews: Brooklyn Nets - Dan Devine - Yahoo! Sports
- Everything You Need to Know About the Brooklyn Nets' 2015-16 NBA Season - Adam Fromal - Bleacher Report
- Brooklyn Nets - 2015 NBA Season Preview - SB Nation