City Sports Report

Health of Deron and Brook Key to 2014-2015 Nets

Deron Williams is all smiles after winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week (photo by Jazz Johnson)

As the Brooklyn Nets prepare for the 2014-2015 NBA season, they go into a year that has a lot of uncertainly to begin with.  The core of the team, point guard Deron Williams and center Brook Lopez, who played 64 and 17 games, respectively, last season, are both coming off of injuries.  Whether the two former All-Stars can remain healthy or not will go a long way into whether the Nets are a contender to win the Atlantic Division or whether they can even make the playoffs.  If the two once again combine for less than a full NBA season, the team will struggle to reach the playoffs.

With Paul Pierce gone, Joe Johnson will have more weight placed upon his broad shoulders, as he led the team in scoring a season ago, averaging 21.7 points per game, and also earning the name Joe Jesus, nailing numerous game-tying and game-winning baskets during the season.  Joe must put up similar numbers if the Nets are to remain competitive.

Kevin Garnett has certainly had an influence on the team off the court, with his work ethic and experience, but Garnett, who averaged 6.5 points per game, the lowest of his Hall-of-Fame career, and 6.6 rebounds per game, the second lowest total of his career, is very close to retirement.  Expecting those numbers to do anything but decrease would be overly optimistic.

Entering their third-year at Barclays Center, the Nets, who were outside favorites at winning a championship with the edition of the now-gone Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett a season ago, now enter the 2014-2015 as a team in the middle of the pack.  Health would certainly propel them to the top of that mid-level tier, but another season of injuries to their core could have this season in Brooklyn resembling many of the seasons past in New Jersey.

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