In Las Vegas, the oddsmakers have joined the parade,
As Brian Lewis reports, “Their 25-1 odds of winning the title on June 17 — tied with the Nuggets for ninth-best according to BetOnline — dropped to 9-1, tied for third with the 76ers. The Bucks are 8-1, and the preseason favorite Lakers are 3-1.”
Of course, as Knicks fans can attest, those odds can change overnight.
So, Lewis wrote as well as about what scouts and NBA executives told him about their assessment of the team, which is closing on its final form. They were more skeptical, not knowing what Kevin Durant’s recovery and rehab schedule looks like.
“That’s clearly to me a playoff team. I’d be shocked if they don’t [qualify],” one Western Conference scout told The Post. “Can they get 50 wins? I don’t know about that. They could be high 40s, I would think. They don’t have a lot of weak spots on the roster. That’s a strong roster, a talented roster.
“You could play small with [Spencer] Dinwiddie, [Caris] LeVert and [Kyrie] Irving. … I’m not a betting man, but if 42 is the Over/Under, clearly go Over. Can they win two rounds? One round, probably. Can they get to the conference finals? That’s tough.”
Overall, Lewis reported that most of his sources put the Nets outside the top two in the East without Durant. With him?
“I’d say Milwaukee is definitively better without [the Nets having a healthy] KD, and Toronto if they keep Kawhi. But if they don’t, then the [Nets] are probably second-best in the conference, and the best when KD is back.”
“They’re a playoff team,” said a Western Conference exec who projected 47 wins. “The East is going to be worse, probably. Indiana is probably a little worse, losing two guys [Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic] and getting one [Malcolm Brogdon]. Toronto is losing Leonard, [or] it seems to be the case, we’ll know in a few days. If so, they’re clearly worse.
“Boston is worse. I wouldn’t count them out, but they’re clearly worse. Their chemistry may be better, but their talent isn’t, losing Kyrie [for Kemba Walker] and [Al Horford] for Enes Kanter. The Sixers are probably better, or as good.”
As the Nets 2019-20 slogan goes, “Bet on Brooklyn.”
- Scouts, execs don’t agree with Vegas when it comes to Nets - Brian Lewis - New York Post