Watchability!!! It’s the one hope of Nets fans. The theory goes: they may not win many games, but, oh, they will be so much more fun to watch! And besides, it’s Ian and Jim and Mike and Sarah and Ryan, etc.
Au contraire, says Zach Lowe. In his annual League Pass ranking of, well, watchability, he ranks your Brooklyn Nets dead last. Oh, he suggests that Jeremy Lin could make things fun, and Kenny Atkinson is likely to run an interesting offense, but bottom line, not enough talent...
I'm not proud of this, but I manipulated the rankings to shove the Nets into dead last. An annual perfect 10 in the League Pass Minutia category has spared Brooklyn the ignominy of the cellar too many times. Call it the Ian Eagle Corollary: Every five years, the holy rankings system will deduct at least two points from the Nets if such a deduction is required for accuracy. And so it shall be.
Ironically, Linsanity II: The Gentrification might produce appealing hoops -- even to those beyond Boston fans rooting against the Nets. Kenny Atkinson, the team's new head coach, worked with Lin in New York before spending four years in Atlanta under Budenholzer. Plop Lin back into a Mike D'Antoni-style pick-and-roll attack, mix in some Hawksy side-to-side action, and you might brew up something fun.
The Nets just don't have the personnel to make it potent. Brook Lopez is too slow to set a pick and dive inside for an alley-oop; he's an ambler who prefers to pop for jumpers, loft floaters from the midrange, and post up on both blocks. The Nets have ranked 21st or lower in pace in each of the past five seasons, and it's hard to run when Lopez is the fulcrum.
The Nets likely won't have the spacing to unclutter the lane for Lopez, anyway, especially if they start Rondae Hollis-Jefferson -- a tenacious, switchy defender whose bricky jumper is all pointy elbows. Still, it will be fun to watch Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough and the pups develop, and Luis Scola will be sonning fools with floppy-haired up-and-under moves until he dies. Lopez improved his passing last season, and worked a mean give-and-go with Shane Larkin; maybe he'll do the same with Lin.
Hit me with a Swamp Dragons alternate jersey, and I might consider lifting the Nets out of last.
Oh well, we’ll watch anyway. We have no choice.