Are the Brooklyn Nets the Deepest Team in the NBA's Eastern Conference?
The question is, though, are they the deepest team in the Eastern Conference?
Brooklyn will be competing with the likes of the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and even the New York Knicks for that title, but placing just among the top four in the conference is a vast improvement from the team's standing last season.
To combat an Atlantic Division-worst 22-44 record, the Nets went out and traded for shooting guard Joe Johnson, while also signing a flurry of other players—Mirza Teletovic, C.J. Watson, Jerry Stackhouse, Tornike Shengelia, Andray Blatche and Josh Childress.
When you consider that they were also able to resign the trio of Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace and Deron Williams, while also extending center Brook Lopez, it's easy to see that head coach Avery Johnson has a much more complete squad than he did last season.
It gets even deeper when you take into account rookie Tyshawn Taylor and returning guard MarShon Brooks. Each figures to play a pretty prominent role with the team in the upcoming season.
Now, it's only fair to take a close look at the other top teams in the conference.
The Miami Heat, NBA Finals champions, have a very deep team themselves. Most of last season's championship team will be returning, but the team did go out and add two veteran jump-shooters in the offseason to solidify the perimeter.
Who's the deepest team in the Eastern Conference?
Both Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis will see important minutes in clutch situations this season, making head coach Eric Spoelstra's job a little bit easier.
Allen and Lewis will join the likes of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier as two of the bigger names on the team. Joel Anthony, Mike Miller, Norris Cole and James Jones are also very important to the team's success, albeit in smaller roles.
Allen may have jumped ship in Boston to go play for the Heat, but Doc Rivers will have another veteran shooter at his disposal this season. Jason Terry, the long-time Dallas Maverick, will be suiting up in green this season and will likely play a similar role for Boston that he played for Dallas.
Fab Melo, Kris Joseph and Courtney Lee are a few other new faces that stand to make a noticeable impact in Boston this season.
While the Celtics have gotten another year older, that doesn't change the fact that they are still a very deep basketball team.
Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo will be able to utilize every man on the roster to form a playoff-caliber team. Avery Bradley could potentially step up this season, turning himself into one of the premier shooting guards in the Eastern Conference.
While the New York Knicks may have made a mistake by not bringing back Jeremy Lin (we'll be able to tell early on if the decision has come back to bite them), the team still improved its depth this offseason.
The additions of Ronnie Brewer, Marcus Camby, Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd will provide the Knicks with a ton of veteran leadership.
There's no doubt that Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony will be the team's unsung leaders, but role players like J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Steve Novak will likely be the heart and soul of the team this season.
Shumpert, who shined late in the season, is a potential breakout candidate. Should he continue to improve, he makes the Knicks even more formidable depth-wise.
All things considered, many of the top teams in the Eastern Conference improved this offseason. The Nets made the biggest improvement of all teams, considering where they came from, but it's still too early to tell if their overall team record will reflect their flurry of transactions.
Brooklyn most definitely has the potential to be the deepest team in the conference. That all hinges on the play of foreign imports Shengelia and Teletovic, as well as recent signings Childress and Blatche. If those guys can play at the level that is expected of them, there's no reason to believe that the Nets won't be the deepest team in the Eastern Conference this season.
Who knows? They could even establish themselves as the deepest team in the entire NBA.
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