Brooklyn Nets: Realistic Expectations for the New-Look Nets in 2012-13
The Brooklyn Nets have had a lot to be excited for this offseason. They added Joe Johnson, retained Deron Williams and most importantly moved into their new home in Brooklyn.
In the midst of all of the enthusiasm, a lot of bold things have been said about the Nets and just how well they are going to perform this season.
Because of that, somebody needs to set forth some realistic expectations for these new look Nets, and preferably someone not rooting for them to win it all.
Since I fit that qualification and am currently available, this article will go through the top five realistic expectations out of the Brooklyn Nets and its players.
The Nets Will Win Around 48-50 Games
Winning around 48-50 games in the regular season isn't bad at all for the Nets. In fact, its a pretty huge step up from last season when they only won 33 percent of their games, or the 2010-11 season when they won 24 total.
Some people may dispute this slide, but Brooklyn has not had enough time together to jump into the season and immediately start dominating. It even took the Heat the better part of their first season to get things together, and they have a much more talented group of players.
Also, they do not have quite as much talent as many have been hyping them up to have. Deron Williams is great but the rest are either old or injury prone.
48-50 wins should earn the Nets a No. 4 or 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, which Brooklyn fans should be pretty happy about.
Deron Williams Will Have Another All-Star Season
Deron Williams will definitely make it to the All-Star game next season.
He is coming off a summer playing with Team USA in the London Olympics, which should help grow his game. Also, his team upgraded the talent around him which should allow Deron to post even better numbers than last year.
Williams scoring numbers may drop a little next season, but his shooting percentage will go up. Last year he made only 40.7 percent
of his shots, which is pretty bad. Having to force fewer shots per game in order to make up for a bad offense should help that a lot.
Finally, Deron should see his assists go up again after averaging a mere 8.7 per game last season, the worst since his rookie year. He will definitely benefit from having Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez to pass the ball to more this season.
Although there is a lot of competition among guards in the East, Deron Williams should have no problem finding a spot on the All-Star roster.
MarShon Brooks Will Emerge as a Legitimate 6th Man of the Year Contender
Last season, MarShon Brooks averaged 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in just under 30 minutes a contest.
In doing so, Brooks proved himself as an able scorer in the NBA.
Once Joe Johnson arrived from Atlanta, MarShon's sixth man role was solidified and he immediately became a candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
James Harden, the Sixth Man of the Year, averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists last year. That was just two years removed from his rookie campaign in which he contributed 12.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists, numbers shockingly similar to Brooks last season.
Its obvious that MarShon will not be the playmaker that Harden is, but he is still a dynamic scorer. There is a good chance that Brooks will be in the running for Sixth Man of the Year in the 2012-13 season.
Brook Lopez Will Average 16 Points and 7 Rebounds Per Game
At this point, its tough to rely on Brook Lopez for anything.
The big man missed all but five games last season and averaged an amazing 3.6 rebounds per game.
Still, he has proven that he can score at the NBA level by boasting a 17.4 points per game career average. That makes 16 points per game a pretty reasonable number to expect.
The problem comes with rebounding, but there are two main reasons that he should be able to grab seven boards per game.
First, he has proven that he can rebound well in the NBA with his first two seasons. In both years he grabbed over eight boards per game.
Secondly, he is surrounded by average rebounders. Besides Kris Humphries, none of the starters next to him are really going to take away from his rebound totals.
It won't be easy for Lopez to average seven boards a game, but he will be able to do it while scoring 16 points per game.
The Brooklyn Nets Will Lose in the Second Round of the Playoffs
This point will definitely have detractors on both sides saying that the Nets are either good enough to get to the NBA Finals or that they will lose in the first round.
Still, the Nets should be good enough next season to win their first round matchup, but won't be able to handle one of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference.
The rationale behind this decision is simple. They have a top point guard in the league, a young center who should put up good numbers this year and a solid group of role players around them.
A team built like the Nets should be able to take out weaker Eastern Conference opponents.
There are two reasons that they could fail to make it past round one. The first is an injury to any of their key players which seems simple enough.
The second is falling into one of the last three playoff spots, something that could happen if the Nets aren't able to get it together early in the season. Brooklyn simply isn't good enough yet to stack up against the likes of the Heat or Celtics.
This should be a successful season for the new Brooklyn Nets, but won't end in a championship.