You won’t get any solace from the Westgate Sports Book’s over/under win totals for the 2016-17 NBA season, out Tuesday. Westgate sets the Nets projected win number at 20.5, worst in the NBA by four games.
As the ever helpful Matt Moore of CBS Sports writes, "Remember, these odds are influenced by expected action and designed to get equal money, so it's not a pure reflection of what oddsmakers believe will occur."
The over/under number and other tales of projected woe were tossed at Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson Tuesday at their press conference in Brooklyn. How do they and the team feel about it all. Is is bulletin board material, as one writer asked.
"I don't think we look at is as bulletin board material," Marks said. "I mean, you've read probably a couple of pieces that some of our guys have said that they don't agree with those odds and that's great. That's exactly what we want ... that's the competitor in them."
Atkinson said he’s just too busy with preparing the team for the season to pay attention to all the negativity ... although no doubt the players have.
"I think those guys are aware of it, so as a coach I don't think I need to be putting stuff up in the locker room and motivating them that way," Atkinson said.
And to be fair, a number of players have already dismissed the punditry, telling fans and the media that the Nets will be better than expected. Bojan Bogdanovic, the high scorer in the Rio Olympics, has already predicted a playoff run. Sean Kilpatrick has been cheerleading the fans as well.
Indeed, Marks and Atkinson singled out those two players at their presser. Atkinson noting how everyone, including his teammates, respect what Bogdanovic did, not just at the Olympics, where his scoring total was the highest in 20 years, but getting tiny Croatia into the Olympics with a win over Italy in Italy.
Kilpatrick, Marks added, has surprised with his conditioning work, slimming down and toning up, as he put it.
Now the question is whether the Nets can win more than 20.5 games this season. They won 21 last season and admit to be in slow rebuild.
"Well, it depends on what your definition of slow is," Marks said when asked if Mikhail Prokhorov is on board. "Our owners know exactly what the expectations are, so they're 100 percent on board. They've been on board all summer long."