When the L.A. Lakers created a “super team” comprised of Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant last year, most people had them stamped as a NBA finals contender right off of the bat. Injuries and overall bad chemistry derailed the Lakers and they only finished with the 7th seed in a tough Western conference.
This was far from the crowning of NBA champs at the beginning of the season. The Nets have assembled the same “star talent” in the form of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to go along with their already impressive starting line up which included Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams. There’s a bunch of factors that you can count in to why this team as constructed won’t have the same letdown that the Lakers did.
One of the first things that will factor in is personalities, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant’s personalities didn’t mesh together. I believe the Brooklyn Nets personalities will mesh together because they don’t have that guy who wants all of the fame and glory for himself. When you look at guys like Brook Lopez, he isn’t a guy that’s going to make a sports writer grin from ear to ear when you interview him because that isn’t his personality. Both Brook Lopez and Deron Williams are lead by example guys.
They will have the same personality if they win by 50 or lose by 50. Add in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and you have guys that know they’re veterans and will do what veterans do to make their team be the most successful. Who’s starting lineup would you rather have, L.A.’s last year of Nash, Kobe, Metta, Gasol and Howard or the Nets currently of Williams, Johnson,
Another thing that will factor in is the bench. The Brooklyn Nets signed Andrei Kirilenko somehow over the offseason by convincing him to take less money for the shot to win a championship. Pair that with rebounding guru Reggie Evans and rejuvenated Andray Blatche, and you have a formidable second unit. Not be lost in conversation is Jason Terry, who may have just needed a shot to the face in last years playoffs by J.R. Smith to finally find his shot that was missing the whole season. You compare that to the bench 0f the Lakers of last year, which included guys like Jodie Meeks, Chris Duhon and Jordan Hill and it’s easy to see that the Nets bench is way beyond what the Lakers was.
The key factor in all of this is injuries. This Nets team has had some injuries in the pre-season which might play a factor in the season, but the Nets are a deep enough team to outlast the injuries and the occasional nights off for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The Lakers of last year had a plethora of injuries as Steve Nash only played 50 games, Pau Gasol only played 42 games and Metta World Peace only playing in 66 games. If the Nets are careful with how much they play their older guys, they are in for more than the first round exit of the Lakers last year.
My prediction for the Nets is a mild one, while I believe they will win 50 games, I believe they will lose in the second round of the playoffs, to probably the Miami Heat but show that a team with this much talent and as many all-stars shouldn’t finish 7th in the conference.