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Brooklyn Nets – Anatomy of a Facelift

   Brooklyn Nets – Anatomy of a Facelift

August 15, 2019

brooklyn nets

After spending three years (2015-2018) as one of the NBA Eastern Conference’s doormats, the Brooklyn Nets have been making great strides over the last two years to bring pro basketball respectability back to New York City. It couldn’t come at a better time as the New York Knicks seem to be floundering as an organization with no real direction.

None of this is going to be lost on sports gamblers who can already score a future book bet on the Nets to win the 2019-2020 NBA Championship at around 50-1 with online sports books located throughout the world. While 50-1 might not sound like the Nets haven’t much of a chance according to online bookmakers, context presents a clearer picture. The only three Eastern Conference teams rated higher are the Milwaukee Bucks (6-1), Philadelphia 76ers (8-1) and the Boston Celtics (25-1).

To make positive changes in the NBA a team has to do two things: bring in better talent and spend money to get that talent in the door. For the three losing seasons beginning in 2015, the Nets went 69-177. The first step was to bring in a low-profile head coach in the person of Kenny Atkinson. He joined the Nets in 2016 under team owner Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire who moved the team from New Jersey in 2012. He entered with little pressure and the promise of time and talent to turn the team around.

Bringing in the Affordable Talent

The next step in the facelift process was to bring in affordable talent. During the 2018-19 seasons, several key players made clear they could play at the highest level. Two players in particular gave Nets fans a little something to look forward to in the coming seasons. That would be SG Spencer Dinwiddie, who was able to come off the bench in 2018-19 and ignite the Net’s second unit to the tune of 16.8 PPG, and F Caris LeVert, who has shown good steady improvement during his three years in the NBA. He finished last season with 13.7 PPG average despite missing 40 games mid-season due to injury.

Spending Money

The free agent class of 2019 was arguably one of the most talent-ridden classes in NBA history. Thanks to team ownership, the Nets were huge players in the free agent market right out of the gate. Within days of free agency opening, the Nets scored three big name veterans to come in and make the team immediate contenders. The first name to fall was SF Kevin Durant. Through his arrival will be delayed while he recovers from an Achilles injury, Durant will be bringing his career average of 27 PPG with him when he does arrive.

While waiting, the Nets will depend heavily on G Kyrie Irving, who is coming over from the Celtics. Already an NBA champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Irving comes to the Nets sporting 22.2 PPG over his 8-year career. The third piece of the new three-headed monster will be rebounding specialist C DeAndre Jordon, who has been one of the NBA’s top rebounders over the last seven seasons.

The talent is in place.

News Flash – It was just announced that Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Co-founder and Chinese entrepreneur Joseph Tsai will reportedly by the 51% of the Nets he doesn’t already own.

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