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ESPN projects Brooklyn Nets at 30-52

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At least this time, they're not calling us "putrid."

ESPN is out with its bottom five projections in the Eastern Conference and have the Nets going 30-52, which would be their worst record in Brooklyn and keep them out of the playoffs for the first time since moving to Brooklyn.  The projection isn't accompanied by an explanation, but not long ago, two ESPN analysts, in conference predictoins, referred to the Nets as "putrid" and "likely lottery."

Such a finish would mean division rival Boston would wind up with a lottery pick, perhaps a high one, in the 2016 Draft which is seen as very good. The pick, of course, was dealt to the Celtics as part of the now catastrophic trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Not everyone on ESPN's NBA staff thinks the Nets will win 30.  Bradford Doolite, author of the "putrid" line, is sticking by his guns and his RPM measuring stick.  He thinks they'll win fewer than 30!  His assessment...

I've heard plenty from Brooklyn fans already who think I'm way off in my assessment of the Nets as putrid. Unfortunately for them, the RPM-based projections are even more pessimistic than I am. The summer forecast is for 30 wins and for the Nets to get to that total, they'd have to outperform their analytical projections more than any team in the league. The Nets come in just above Philly's poor offensive forecast, ranking 29th in the league.

SB Nation also offered an analysis of the East on Monday and the parent of NetsDaily was kinder and gentler, suggesting that the Nets could make the playoffs, but its not likely.

The Nets were lucky to make the playoffs last season and are now without Williams -- despite not being at the level he once was, he's still a solid NBA point guard. Depth is going to be an issue for Brooklyn, which will count on Shane Larkin as a backup to Jack. Despite making a run last season, it seems unlikely that the Nets willl return to the playoffs in 2016.

Of course, the games don't begin for another 71 days.  Still, while there has been a dramatic increase in youth and athleticism, the Nets have lost a lot of experience and there remain questions about the point guard rotation and the front court depth in particular.  They told us it would be a "bridge year."