Predictions

Danny Small — Editor-in-Chief

Final Record: 39-43
Eastern Conference Finish: 8
Team MVP: D’Angelo Russell
NBA Awards, (if any): None

Perhaps I’m too high on Brooklyn this year, but they are my sleeper pick to make the playoffs this year. Let’s be honest, the East is so weak this year, the Nets don’t even need to reach .500 to qualify for a likely four-game sweep at the hands of the Celtics or the Raptors. The Nets will shoot a lot of threes this year and if guys like Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, and Spencer Dinwiddie shoot well, the Nets will have enough offensive firepower to survive.

Furthermore, the pick and roll combination of D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen could become a deadly matchup for opposing teams. Russell’s ability to score in a variety of ways combined with Allen’s rim-running athleticism should make for some exciting basketball this season.

Matt Brooks — Contributor

Final Record: 26-56
Eastern Conference Finish: 12
Team MVP: D’Angelo Russell
NBA Awards, (if any): None

The Brooklyn Nets prove to be one of the most surprising teams of the 2018-2019 season, as they spend the first month playing .500 basketball. After finishing second in the 2017-2018 NBA season in terms of team three-point frequency, the Nets continue to toss up threes at an astounding rate. The off-season additions of Shabazz Napier, Treveon Graham, and Jared Dudley are the difference makers between this year’s team and last season’s bottom-feeder. All three players are excellent long-range shooters, and they bolster an already capable roster of three-point marksmen in Joe Harris, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carrol, and Caris LeVert. The team is so successful from three-point land that they even gain some early season buzz as a sleeper pick for the eight-seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Unfortunately, their lack of off-the-dribble playmaking and non-existent fourth-quarter spark catches up to them and they regress to the mean. By April, the Nets are in full tank mode given that they have the prospect of a lottery pick for the first time since 2013. The Nets finish with a bottom-six record in the entire league and a land a draft pick in the six-to-eight range. Kenny Atkinson continues to be one of the brightest young minds in the league, and thanks to the Nets’ early-season success, he gets his first taste of mainstream media recognition. The Nets enter the off-season holding a great draft pick as well as a boatload of cap space to spend on a strong free agent class.

Louis Sklenarik — Contributor

Final Record: 35-47
Eastern Conference Finish: 10
Team MVP: D’Angelo Russell
NBA Awards, (if any): None

Zach Cronin — Contributor


Final Record: 29-53
Eastern Conference Finish: 11
Team MVP: D’Angelo Russell
NBA Awards, (if any): None

Will the Brooklyn Nets make the postseason? No. Will they be fun to watch? Yes. For teams that are near the cellar of their respective conference, being entertaining helps numb the impending pain. The storylines are going to revolve around the development of the core, namely D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen. Russell and LeVert and also Spencer Dinwiddie will be responsible for creating a sizeable amount of offense, whether it’s from scoring themselves or setting up others. Joe Harris, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Treveon Graham are just three guys who will benefit, and offseason addition Jared Dudley will help keep the Nets’ three-point barrage respectable.

I was a bit hesitant to predict 29 wins for Brooklyn. It’d be a massive improvement over last year, but the team still does have some cavernous holes. The defense is putrid. The inability to close out games will linger. It’s going to be a struggle watching the young guys throw the ball around like it’s covered in butter. What’s paramount, however, are the strides that everyone makes. And it’s not far-fetched to believe that one of the NBA’s most undervalued cores will create their share of highlights.


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