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In ESPN's latest, Nets are "putrid," "likely lottery," down there with Philly

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN.com is a Nets fan's version of Dante's Inferno.  You know, "abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

It's another day, another couple of analyses that will make you wonder if the Nets will still be in the NBA by April. Both, one by Kevin Pelton, the other by Bradford Doolittle, argue that the Nets will be "likely lottery" (Pelton) or "putrid" (Doolittle).  So bad, they agree, that the Nets will battle the 76es for the Eastern Conference cellar.

Pelton, in ranking EC teams by tier, put Brooklyn and Philadelphia --and only them--  in the same category, "likely lottery." He suggests that any hope you have of the Nets matching their late season heroics come November is "a mirage."

The Nets' second-half surge was something of a mirage. While Brooklyn went 17-13 after adding Thaddeus Young, the team was outscored by 0.9 points per game. And that was with Deron Williams at point guard. The Nets outscored opponents by 1.6 points per 100 possessions with Williams on the court during the second half, per NBA.com/stats. Brooklyn was minus-6.0 points per 100 possessions after the break with replacement Jarrett Jack on the court. Gulp.

Doolittle is no more sanguine about the Nets' chances. He breaks each Eastern Conference roster into tiers: Elite, superstars, upper-tier starters, starters, second unit and deep reserves. Only Brook Lopez ranks in the top three categories, as an "upper tier starter."  It's going to be awful, he argues.

The more I look at it, the more I think the Nets will be truly putrid this season. But they do have Brook Lopez.

Worst part of all these breakdowns? You have to pay to read them. They're on ESPN Insider!