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NBA.com - Nets, Blazers and Hawks likely to have biggest fall

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NBA.com's stable of scribes takes on the question of which teams are likely to have big falls next season. The Nets, along with the Trail Blazers and Hawks, are the leading candidates.

Of the seven writers, all put Portland at the top of their list, with four arguing Brooklyn will have the biggest drop in the east and the others picking Atlanta. More than one of the writers think the Nets drop will take them out of the playoffs for the first time in their Brooklyn tenure.

Fran Blinebury is the harshest, putting the Nets at the bottom of the East with the 76ers.

The Nets will be down there scraping the bottom of the East barrel with Philly. Portland won’t fall as far, but the drop will be harder for a team that looked like a rising contender two seasons ago before losing 4 of 5 starters over the summer.

John Schuhmann says the Nets will miss Deron Williams...

The Nets were the eight seed in the weaker conference and weren’t even that good. They had the point differential (minus-236 for the season) of a 31-win team, with a bunch of narrow wins and blowout losses. And though he had the worst season of his career, Brooklyn was a much better team when Deron Williams was running point than when Jarrett Jack (the new starter) was out there. Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez are quality players, but they need a real point guard to maximize their production.

Shaun Powell thinks the Nets will be better without D-Will... (or is he being sarcastic?)

While the Nets probably won’t fall much from winning 38 games a year ago, making the playoffs again as a 30-something-win team will be sketchy, even in the shoddy East. Just imagine how poor they’d be had they kept Deron Williams.

Steve Aschburner isn't so sure the Nets will miss the playoffs in the weak East.

In the East, the Brooklyn Nets could win 38 games again (or something close) and slip out of the playoffs with another sub-.500 record.

Of course, it's August 5 and the NBA schedule isn't even out yet. That's next week.  Meanwhile, Bleacher Report suggests that if the Nets could make one more big move, trading for Brandon Jennings or Patrick Beverley, they could "take the next step."

  • 5 NBA Teams That Can Take the Next Step with One More Deal: 4. Brooklyn Nets - Stephen Babb - Bleacher Report