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What are the best and worst case scenarios for the Brooklyn Nets this season?

Welcome to our part of SB Nation’s preseason previews. You can access all 30 ‘best and worst’ scenarios here.

Brooklyn Nets v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

It’s almost that time again; time for Brooklyn Nets fans to feel cautiously optimistic about a season that most likely will have plenty of hurdles (i.e. sleepless nights) and can almost certainly not go as planned. The biggest question though is whether or not those hurdles and pivots are insurmountable as they try (try!!!) to bring home an NBA Championship this season.

With that, we are happy to bring you a Cautious Man’s Guide to your 2022-23 Brooklyn Nets.

What’s the ‘Best Case’ scenario for the Nets this season?

Here we go: the trio of Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant play 60+ games together in the regular season.

I can hear the “yeah, but what matters is that they’re healthy during the playoffs” folk rumbling in the peanut gallery, but personally I believe that rhythm is going to matter a lot for this team (aka “reps”). When has it ever worked out, in the history of the NBA, where a team had a weird-o “what even are we” regular season and then miraculously got their sh*t together and went on the win the title? We need not take the regular season for granted - it feels like an imperative that these three play 60+ games together. Because, ALSO, the Nets need to assess what this team is going to look like beyond this season. Does this trio even work? Are they a championship-caliber “super team” or do they only work on paper?

The end result is that, yes, they make a deep run in the playoffs, win a title (potentially) and we get our answer; but if they play together in the regular season and get ousted in the first...second round of the playoffs will we have our answer? Or while we enter the 2023 offseason with the nightmarish “let’s run it back and see what happens next year” scenario? /Shudders

What’s the ‘Worst Case’ scenario for your team this season?

Simple: Ben Simmons misses significant time with a back injury, Kyrie Irving decides he doesn’t want to play much during the regular season, and Kevin Durant enters the summer of 2023 with an irreversible trade demand being potentially (potentially!) less valuable than he was this past summer.

I honestly don’t think the three of them playing a healthy 60+ games together and them losing in the second round of the playoffs is a terrible scenario. It’s not great. But it gives you a nice framework and understanding of what this team is, what they have, and what they need going forward.

What’s the ‘Most Likely’ scenario for your team this season?

Honestly? I think they claw their way through the regular season, barely make the playoffs and become a “sneaky pick” to come out of the East when playoff time rolls around. That’s what my head is telling me. My heart? Everything works out, more or less, and they flourish in the regular season and come playoff time they really turn it on... but, again, that’s going to come down to getting reps in the regular season. They can’t coast into the playoffs.

What are you most excited for going into this season?

Kevin Durant’s Twitter account. Ben Simmons showing up regularly on US Weekly. Annnnd Kyrie Irving’s Instagram account.

But, also, getting to see Kevin Durant play every night. No joke, he’s one of the all-time greatest players this game has ever seen, and I LOVE getting to watch him play. It’s like watching NBA history unfold in realtime.

Also, I’m sneakily excited as well to see what Nic Claxton develops into this season. We’ve seen flashes of the talent being there, but this season he’ll get to start alongside two of the top playmakers in the league and one of the best scorers in the history of the game, and get reps alongside two of the most efficient 3-point shooters this game has ever seen; can he/will he take advantage of the open looks? Can’t wait to find out.

Predict your team’s win/loss record for the season.

I’m a hopeless optimist. Let’s go with 51-31. Ugh. This is so hard to predict.

Predict your team’s conference seeding.

I think they’re a significant Sixers or Celtics injury away from being the 3rd seed in the East.

Key Roster Additions: Markieff Morris, Royce O’Neale, Edmond Sumner, T.J. Warren, Ben Simmons (kinda...since he technically didn’t play last season)

Key Roster Losses: LaMarcus Aldridge, Bruce Brown, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Goran Dragic

Last season’s team record: 44-38

Last season’s conference ranking: 7th in the East

Last season’s offensive and defensive rating: 114.69 ORtg (11th), 113.93 DRtg (20th)

Alright, let’s hear your predictions below.