The Brooklyn Nets must improve defensively in 2012-13 or they will not live up to the hype. Worse than that, they may not even make the postseason.
That’s not to say the Nets didn’t make improvements in the offseason. It’s just that there are only so many playoff slots to go around. And with only one of last year’s eight playoff berths guaranteed to open up – the one vacated by the Orlando Magic – the Nets will be looking to jump three teams and gain 13 games in the standings thanks essentially to the addition of Joe Johnson and return of Brook Lopez.
Is that enough?
Nets fans may need to temper their enthusiasm and approach the season with a cautious optimism.
As offensively potent as this team will be with Deron Williams and Johnson totaling 40 a night, a healthy Lopez adding another 20, a peaking Kris Humphries now a fourth or fifth option, a settled Gerald Wallace pouring in double-digits and capable guards MarShon Brooks and C.J. Watson coming off the bench, the Nets’ leaguewide-known defensive deficiencies will do them in unless they consider the five following steps to ensure an 83rd game.