It’s that point of yr!
With a promising preseason up to now, a season with prime hopes packed with a number of storylines is upon us. The NetsDay by day workforce got here in combination and assembled at their annual digital roundtable. Happy basketball to all!
Net Income: Ben Simmons. Forget all of the negatives, all of the questions, all of the Ben-bashing. When Ben Simmons is worked up and wholesome — and he positive seems like he’s — he’s an All-Star, an All-NBA variety, and a candidate for DPOY. We have noticed some snippets of what he can do within the preseason. We need to consider that there’s extra of that … and that it’ll paintings no longer simply with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving however with Yuta Watanabe and Nic Claxton as properly.
Tom Lorenzo: I’m continuously excited to get to look at Kevin Durant play; then again, this season I actually wish to see how Ben Simmons gels with this staff. He’s a plus-plus-playmaker and a plus-plus-defender (at his highest), so actually hoping we get to peer the most efficient of him this yr. IF he’s “back” then I will be able to legitimately see this staff make a run on the finals.
Brian Fleurantin: I’m maximum excited to look at Kevin Durant. He’s been the epitome of excellence ever since he set foot within the NBA all the ones years in the past, and getting to look at him in Brooklyn each recreation has been an exquisite revel in. Watching him get to his spots, adapt in actual time to the defenses thrown at him, and determine tactics to excel in spite of all of the power is implausible and one thing we shouldn’t take frivolously. On a egocentric notice, I’m hoping Durant breaks out the one-legged three-pointer extra ceaselessly. He did it a couple of instances remaining yr and I were given to look at Marine Johannes do all of it summer time lengthy with the New York Liberty within the WNBA, so I’m hoping one-legged threes grow to be a factor in Barclays Center all yr spherical.
I feel KD has so much to end up as he continues to ascertain himself in that high, peak, peak tier in NBA historical past and I believe remaining yr’s sweep will force him and the staff to be much more decided and targeted to reenter the elite ranks. I feel he’ll finish up having one of the vital highest seasons of his occupation in 22-23.
Chris Milholen: It’s very tricky to select a unmarried participant however I’d have to move with Ben Simmons right here (aka the most obvious solution). I’m very prime on a wholesome Simmons being built-in into this Nets staff as time passes, and I do consider he’s the important thing to the best possible possible for Brooklyn. I additionally are expecting Simmons can be DPOY.
Matt Brooks: Might be just a little of a zag, however I feel I’m going Kyrie Irving.
Look, I’m Mr. Narratives this season. I’m all in on guys on the lookout for redemption for no matter reason why. Maybe it’s simply reflective of one thing occurring in my existence, of a level of enlargement in my adventure, I don’t know. This is solely the yr I wish to see everybody, however particularly essentially the most maligned, be triumphant. Julius Randle, Russell Westbrook, James Harden. You identify it. If they’ve underperformed or been grew to become on by way of the loads, I’m in on them. I wish to watch them thrive.
The pendulum has swung up to now on Kyrie that now, people appear to be mitigating what he can do as a basketball participant. “He hasn’t had a good playoff series since 2016” is a commentary I’ve noticed reasonably ceaselessly on-line. I’m curious to peer how he responds.
Alec Sturm: The staff has preached that the drama from the offseason has in reality introduced the crowd nearer in combination and raised the extent of duty at the Nets. And on that notice, I’m maximum excited to peer the crowd as an entire now that they’re (supposedly) to be had and targeted at the on-court product, as a substitute of no matter off-court drama or harm is taking middle level.
Ajayi Browne: I’m maximum excited to look at Ben Simmons for the reason that former LSU product is a participant the Nets have by no means had sooner than. He can protect at a prime degree and facilitate as some degree guard if wanted at a peak of 6’10”. Simmons is an extraordinary case in relation to his shot variety too as he’s very cautious with it, taking pictures over 50% in each season he has performed in. Just seeing him again at the courtroom once more after lacking all of remaining yr and seeing how he’ll supplement this staff goes to be a laugh to look at.
Lucas Kaplan: If this query had mentioned “eager”, I’d have long past with Ben Simmons, each a just right participant and, most significantly, new. But it says “excited”, so I’m compelled to move with Kyrie Irving. I may no longer in all probability say anything else that hasn’t been mentioned about Irving, so I will be able to repeat what could be the one common reality about him: There had been only a few extra thrilling gamers to look at. In tactics each direct (never-ending YouTube highlights) and oblique (continuously in comparison to and mentioned with all-time greats), that giggly, incredulous feeling of looking at him play basketball can be his lasting legacy, even this is onerous to consider presently. He’s additionally in a freelance yr, simply having been swept by way of his former staff! He’s making an attempt on protection within the preseason!! Yeah, I’m excited.
Collin Helwig: This is hard, however I’ve to roll with Kyrie Irving in this one. Based on his contract state of affairs, it makes all of the sense on this planet for Irving to return out and have his highest season of his occupation up to now. Everything he’s mentioned during the last few weeks has pointed in that path, as has his play at the surface. It’s no longer too ceaselessly you notice multi-year All-Stars diving for unfastened balls and enjoying lock down protection right through video games that don’t topic, however we noticed that from Uncle Drew within the preseason. If we’re getting that now, believe what we’ll get when the common season pointers off. Aside from that, Irving is actually one of the vital extra a laugh gamers to look at in our league. He’s an artist with the ball in his hand and it was once tricky to move just about a complete yr with out seeing that. I feel in the event you’re a Nets fan or only a basketball fan normally you will have to be greater than excited to peer him for a complete season slate.
Net Income: I’m going with Cam Thomas. He has proven in each Summer League and preseason, a extra delicate recreation, no longer simply posting assists, however appearing some actual ability in playmaking whilst slowly, possibly imperceivably, getting higher on protection. Isiah Thomas didn’t examine him to Vinnie “the Microwave” Johnson, his dependable teammate at the Pistons championship groups, for not anything.
Tom Lorenzo: Moderna…I child! I imply, we want a wholesome Ben Simmons – however, that’s just a little out of “our hands,” proper? His frame is his frame. What we actually want as our secret weapon is an engaged Kyrie Irving. We know what we get with him when he’s at the courtroom, however we don’t actually know that he desires to be at the courtroom. At least no longer as ceaselessly as we’d like. If he performs 70 video games this season – bruh, what a miracle that might be.
Brian Fleurantin: I’ll cross with Nic Claxton. The bulk of the eye will rightfully cross to the Big 3, however Clax’s talent to offer protection to the rim, guard wings on switches, and so on can be completely very important to the staff’s plans. There isn’t a Los angelesMarcus Aldridge status in the way in which this time, so the entirety is about for Clax to make an enormous soar.
Chris Milholen: I’m going with Royce O’Neale right here. I used to be an enormous fan of this acquisition by way of Sean Marks and the Nets right through the offseason for a number of causes. Like Kevin Durant as soon as mentioned — It’s a wings league. His 3-and-D ability set and veteran revel in can pay volumes for Brooklyn, particularly when adversity moves. I do consider O’Neale has a significant probability of turning into a constant starter for this Nets staff.
Matt Brooks: Hmmmm, the area of interest basketball hipster in me desires to tip my fedora and choose Yuta Watanabe or one thing snobbish like that. Ben Simmons is more than likely the proper solution. I do assume his play utterly dictates the Nets ceiling.
But I’ll cross with one thing a bit of different. I feel the Nets schematic versatility may well be the name of the game weapon that will get them excessive this season. I be expecting there to be a substantial amount of experimentation within the common season—some just right, some dangerous—and this will have to carve out a gaggle that’s extremely versed in various different kinds of play on each ends of the ball. And given what number of different kinds and philosophies there are within the NBA, that versatility may pay primary dividends come postseason time.
Alec Sturm: Royce O’Neale, level clean. The acquisition went just a little underneath the radar making an allowance for it happened a minute after Kevin Durant industry request.
Ajayi Browne: Brooklyn’s “secret weapon” goes to be Joe Harris. Harris remains to be one of the vital league’s highest sharpshooters and he’s going to remind us of that this season. The Nets needed to settle in most effective having him for 14 video games remaining yr when he went down with an ankle harm. Having him in the market now could be going to play a key function on this offense attaining its true possible.
Lucas Kaplan: This query makes me call to mind Marcus Thornton that 12 months. Remember Marcus Thornton that 12 months? Nobody will ever be extra of a secret weapon than that. Anyway, up to I would really like to mention T.J. Warren, I will be able to’t. Too a lot is unknown with him, so, subsequently, too simple. He’s too secretive. I were given Joe Harris, who has equivalent inquiries to Warren, however scaled all the way down to the purpose I believe comfy selecting him. Harris was once ceaselessly mentioned as a sunk price this offseason, with Brooklyn doubtlessly taking a look to wage sell off him. Excuse me? He’s fantastic on protection, and one of the vital ten highest shooters on the earth. Simmons will go up one million photographs he possibly will have to have taken and it received’t topic as a result of they’ll result in Harris threes. He’s already achieved that, with JJ Redick in Philadelphia. Joe Harris is Brooklyn’s secret weapon this yr, but it surely shouldn’t be a secret.
Collin Helwig: Even after a couple of breakout video games as a rookie and two implausible summer time league runs, I nonetheless really feel like Cam Thomas is a reputation no longer mentioned sufficient outdoor of Brooklyn. Creating your personal shot is without doubt one of the maximum tricky issues to do as an NBA participant and Thomas already has that discovered. While maximum different possibilities want to building up their recreation piece by way of piece, Thomas is beginning off with a perfect chew of a basis by way of those scoring talents. Now, he most effective must spherical out the complementary facets of his recreation, the ones being passing and protecting. This summer time and preseason despite the fact that, Thomas flashed some growth as a facilitator and some hustle on the defensive finish, which is truthfully part of what’s required to be a perfect defender within the league as of late. Without a cemented backup level guard presently, there’s a trail towards large mins for Thomas and if he assists in keeping development. I don’t assume it’s too far-fetched to mention shall we see him reasonable round fifteen and 3 off the bench this yr.
Net Income: Chemistry, chemistry, chemistry. Can all of us simply get alongside? Chemistry can be glaring at the courtroom, much less so off-the-court. As a corollary when chemistry isn’t what it will have to be, is there a pace-setter (or leaders) who can right kind issues at the fly?
Tom Lorenzo: The off-the-court shenanigans. I would really like not anything greater than for this staff to only play basketball. My fear, despite the fact that, is that we received’t have the ability to center of attention on basketball and as a substitute can be speaking about “back page” sorts of issues some distance too ceaselessly.
Brian Fleurantin: The largest fear I’ve is well being. If everybody’s at one hundred pc, I feel they’ll be within the peak tier of the Eastern Conference. However, accidents have doomed the Nets for 6 years and working, so arms crossed on that entrance. I consider that everybody can be wholesome and to be had right through the season.
Chris Milholen: It’s well being. Simple as that. We all know that.
Matt Brooks: Health. Duh. Sorry, what a bland solution. But it’s well being. It’s at all times been well being with this staff. I’m hoping somebody else has a extra a laugh reaction to this.
Alec Sturm: The training, truthfully. Steve Nash is unproved because the lead guy, particularly with out stellar assistants flanked round him. Igor Kokoskov’s stellar offensive thoughts will have to assist with the creativity and implementation of the offensive units, however Nash will nonetheless want to earn admire in that locker after Durant reportedly referred to as for his activity over the summer time.
Ajayi Browne: Injuries are my largest fear for the Nets. Since shifting to Brooklyn in 2012, accidents had stood in the way in which of this franchise attaining the Conference Finals. These accidents have ceaselessly plagued the celebs at the Nets particularly. If Brooklyn may have a bit of good fortune this season and stay wholesome, ideally sooner than the playoffs, the league higher be careful.
Lucas Kaplan: Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was once the play?”
What’re’ya, kidding me? How are you able to ask that with a instantly face? My largest fear is the elephant within the room shuffles an inch, or sneezes, most likely, and the home collapses in on itself. Interpersonal warfare, accidents, a sinkhole underneath the Barclays Center opening up and swallowing everyone, I imply is anything else actually off the desk with this franchise? Heading into the season, the vibes really feel calm. Will that stay true for the period of time Brooklyn wishes? It hasn’t but, for this iteration of the Nets . If they begin, like, 5-9, how uneven are the waters going to be? Are you actually positive, for your middle of hearts, the boat received’t capsize?
Collin Helwig: My largest fear must be spacing — and by way of extension trainer Nash. Ben Simmons and Nic Claxton are the staff’s highest defenders personally (sorry Royce). Naturally, you wish to have the ones guys sharing the ground in combination for intensive runs. However, whilst you do this, you place two non-floor spacers at the courtroom without delay which is a cardinal sin in as of late’s NBA. Nash should convey his A-game this yr in balancing the protection the ones two observe with, taking pictures, and dimension by the use of his subsituations this season. I’m rooting for the fellow, however I haven’t noticed sufficient from him but to consider he’s up for that process.
Net Income: The million buck query. Actually, it’s the $200 million query. That’s more or less how a lot Joe Tsai can pay out in wage and luxurious taxes for the ones guys. First of all, it’s going to take a little time. Simmons is getting back from a yr off, for starters. And is the KD/Kyrie combine a closed circle? Can they let Ben be Ben? They are all unselfish which is a great factor, however we noticed remaining yr with James Harden that there are undercurrents that may stir the skin.
Tom Lorenzo: Here’s a great little plug for a “best case/worst case” preview that I wrote remaining week. Basically, I’m going into the season hoping to be pleasantly stunned.
Brian Fleurantin: For Durant, peak 5 in scoring, All Star starter, with an All NBA first staff look and peak 3 MVP end. For Irving, peak 10 in scoring, showing in a minimum of 70 video games, being named an All Star reserve, and a professional All NBA candidate. For Simmons, an All Star look, All NBA defensive staff, and showing in 65+ video games. I be expecting a very good season out of Ben and I feel NBA fanatics will come to understand what he brings to the desk and fear much less about what he can’t do.
Chris Milholen: Kevin Durant can be within the MVP dialog and I consider he’ll finally end up peak 3 in vote casting if he can keep wholesome. There’s one thing about him that has stuck my eye because the get started of coaching camp and what I’ve noticed within the preseason. I don’t wish to say he’s out to end up himself or the Nets however you’ll inform there’s an overly decided and hungry Durant. Scroll down for my sizzling tackle Kyrie Irving however I do be expecting him to have one of the vital highest, if no longer the most efficient, seasons of his NBA occupation. He turns out very locked in and making an allowance for it’s a freelance yr for him, he’ll be placing on a large number of field place of job showcases around the “82 tour dates.” For Ben Simmons (sure, I did say previous that I feel he’ll be DPOY), I be expecting him to be comfy with Brooklyn over the years. I don’t see him taking pictures ceaselessly however I see him being one of the vital highest passers within the recreation with all of the guns round him and be expecting him to be the glue to Brooklyn’s good fortune.
Matt Brooks: Kevin Durant can be within the working for MVP equipped he remains wholesome as a result of he’s Kevin Durant and that’s what occurs yearly. Kyrie Irving makes an All-NBA staff (possibly as prime as… *shudders*…2d staff? Am I gonna remorseful about that?) whilst enjoying balls to absolutely the wall right through a freelance yr. And Ben Simmons unearths himself in any case becoming right into a state of affairs that is smart for him, averaging one thing like 12/9/9 whilst being a finalist in Defensive Player of the Year vote casting. I’d examine him to Brooklyn’s model of Lamar Odom for the championship Lakers.
Alec Sturm: I feel Kevin Durant can be his standard celebrity self, appearing as much as play every and each recreation when he’s wholesome and giving it his all when he’s at the courtroom. KD is poised to as soon as once more end up himself as a top-5 participant within the NBA. I’m additionally anticipating a large yr for Kyrie Irving with a much-discussed loose company duration looking forward to him subsequent summer time. I wouldn’t be stunned in any respect to peer him take the soar to celebrity and even make some initial MVP noise and sneak into that dialog. As for Ben Simmons, I don’t see him attaining All-NBA (and more than likely no longer even All-Star) shape simply but in his first yr again, however I do be expecting his defensive play to have him within the DPOY dialog and for him to be a powerful ancillary piece for the Nets.
Ajayi Browne: I be expecting Kevin Durant to move in the market, have a occupation yr and make it within the peak 3 in MVP votes. It’s the easiest method to put this annoying offseason at the back of him and the Nets group. Watching his former staff win a championship will have to upload some additional motivation to just do that too. As for Kyrie Irving, I be expecting him to play greater than 60 video games. It’s no longer a secret, the Nets want their premier level guard in the market up to conceivable right through the common season. Playoff positioning is essential in going some distance within the postseason so if Irving can also be there for Brooklyn in this 82-game adventure, the sky’s the prohibit. Last however no longer least, I be expecting Ben Simmons to make a case for Defensive Player of the Year. If that suggests the three-time All-Star has to take at the toughest defensive task evening in and evening out then so be it. This will put on down opposing groups’ stars whilst making them paintings at the different finish once they’re dealing with Durant and Irving.
Lucas Kaplan: My expectation is that Irving simply outpaces the others, in the case of video games performed. I feel the contract yr motivation buzz is actual, and he has been considerably injured since his first yr in Brooklyn, instead of a rather unavoidable rolled ankle. Fair or no longer, I be expecting Simmons to kind of fit the have an effect on of his Philadelphia years with none of the All-Star buzz in a stacked Eastern Conference. But the ones two simply need to do their (admittedly large) portions. Because I be expecting Durant to will the staff to wins down the stretch of shut video games, as he did remaining season, when the Nets held the Eastern Conference’s first seed previous to his January harm.
In phrases of numbers:
Irving: 27/4/4 on 49/39/90
Durant: 28/7/5 50/40/89 (yep)
Simmons: 12/7/9 on 53/0/60
Collin Helwig: Barring any accidents, I be expecting to peer a cast season from 7-Eleven. Durant and Irving are each remarkable basketball gamers — there’s no preventing them from doing what they do, that means All-Star bids are at the manner on the very least. I feel Simmons will briefly flip from one of the vital recreation’s extra disliked gamers right into a cherished “prodigal son.” Everybody loves a comeback tale, and say what you wish to have about Ben’s taking pictures, however the different facets of his recreation are breathtaking. For an entire yr, he disadvantaged the arena of his lock down protection, flashy passes, and rim-wrecking behavior in transition. With them again on show, the NBA group can be extra appreciative than ever sooner than. I feel Simmons feeds off that and enjoys a cast season. If the Nets problem for a peak spot within the East he’ll end peak 3 for Defensive Player of the Year.
Net Income: Kyrie Irving realizes that this yr is it for him, for his legacy, and produces a impressive season. He isn’t simply on an expiring deal with the Nets, and isn’t simply on an expiring deal with Nike. He has to recuperate from a name this is so tarnished that he has grow to be the forgotten member of the brand new “Big Three.” He hasn’t ever gained a vote for MVP. This yr adjustments that.
Tom Lorenzo: Oh boy. Let’s cross with this: the Brooklyn Nets will end within the peak 10 this season in each Offensive Rating AND Defensive Rating.
Brian Fleurantin: Hot take for the Nets is that they end 3rd within the Eastern Conference. Hot take for a participant… I feel Claxton will shoot a minimum of 65 p.c from the loose throw line this season.
Chris Milholen: Kyrie Irving will play 60+ video games for the Brooklyn Nets this season, barring harm.
Matt Brooks: This take would’ve been an entire heck of much more sizzling a few days in the past, however I be expecting Royce O’Neale to take the beginning spot from Joe Harris although Joe does organize to get wholesome. For up to Joe has advanced defensively through the years, Royce simply provides extra in the case of physicality and positional versatility. Even on offense, Royce is extra adaptable—he’s a greater passer, he can run the occasional pick-and-roll to a few good fortune, and he’s a greater finisher in visitors. He’s only a extra well-rounded choice.
Alec Sturm: Joe Harris is moved by way of the industry cut-off date. I feel that his left foot and ankle will grow to be too tricky for the Nets to proceed to deal with and his hefty contract can be a very powerful piece to make a large industry occur to ensure that the Nets to herald the overall piece important to be a championship staff.
Ajayi Browne: Nic Claxton will win Most Improved Player. If he doesn’t step up this season and make that important soar, the Nets are going to fight. There’s not more Jarrett Allen, Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin or Los angelesMarcus Aldridge protecting Claxton again from being the #1 choice for this staff on the middle place. It’s time for him to include it and take his recreation to the following degree.
Lucas Kaplan: The that means of “hot take” has been utterly watered down. I hate when other folks solution questions like this with completely believable results. I had some prior solutions that didn’t really feel sizzling sufficient to me, like, “Markieff Morris isn’t a Net come playoff time” or “The Nets trade for Myles Turner.” So, as a substitute, I’ll cross with, “Yuta Watanabe eventually becomes Brooklyn’s closing center.” I without a doubt wouldn’t wager on it, however the roadmap is there. Morris has to appear utterly washed, the free-throw considerations with Simmons and Claxton need to grow to be overwhelming, and Watanabe has to stay hitting threes and end up he can muscle as much as larger gamers and be a paint presence, somewhat than just fly across the courtroom, which he already does.
Collin Helwig: As I mentioned sooner than, it’s all coming in combination for Irving to have the most efficient season of his occupation. With that during thoughts, I feel he’ll problem for the NBA’s MVP award. ScoopB tweeted about this being one in every of Irving’s targets a couple of months in the past, and once more, Irving’s play within the preseason coincided with that. Unfortunately despite the fact that, it’s my figuring out that reputation influences who wins the MVP award, and Irving is brief on that in relation to the mainstream media. For that reason why, I don’t assume he’ll win, however MVP-caliber play can be on show and create some buzz round him and the award on the very least.
Net Income: 53-29, yet another win than the Nets report for wins in a season. That will have to be the least we will hope for with this roster. I’m positive at this level in regards to the ultimate end result. So I will be able to say, I be expecting them to contend for a championship. Ah screw it. I be expecting them to win all of it. There, I mentioned it. Never mentioned it sooner than.
Tom Lorenzo: Again, I wrote about this remaining week however let’s cross with 51-31 and third within the East.
Brian Fleurantin: Record prediction: 52-30. Postseason end result: NBA Champions
Chris Milholen: I do know a large number of other folks have the Nets projected to win 50+ video games this season however I’m going to move with 48 wins this season. Despite profitable most effective 48 video games, (and this would possibly sound bizarre) however I be expecting Brooklyn to make the NBA Finals however arise quick to the Los Angeles Clippers. I see the NBA Finals going 7 video games.
Matt Brooks: 54 wins. A finals berth, and then a loss to the Clippers in, uhhhhh, 6? Because, guy, have you ever noticed how deep that LA roster is???? Luke Kennard, who led the league in three-point proportion remaining yr, is like, what, the tenth guy? Maybe 11 at the intensity chart?? I imply, what on earth!
Alec Sturm: 52-30 and a loss within the convention finals.
Ajayi Browne: Regular season report – 58-24 — Postseason end result: NBA Champions
Lucas Kaplan: The Brooklyn Nets cross 52-30 and are your Eastern Conference runners-up after dropping a tooth-and-nail sequence that is going the space in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers. Even eager about that excessive hypothetical, greater than six months away (and much more not likely now that I’ve predicted it) is cringe-worthy. Oof. What a blow that might be. Losing to that staff after a in large part a hit season, through which such a lot may have long past mistaken if no longer for a resilient, overwhelming choice of skill? That could be simply brutal. Oh properly. That’s my prediction.
Collin Helwig: I’ll take the Nets completing 3rd within the East at the back of the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers with a 51-31 report. I see this because the yr the 2019 offseason’s large winners money in despite the fact that, with the Nets and Los Angeles Clippers attaining the NBA Finals. However, I’ve the Clippers knocking off Brooklyn in six video games.
We are after all no longer the one native outlet peering into the crystals. Here’s a abstract of what the Nets beat writers are pondering going into Wednesday’s opener…