5 Keys to a Successful Brooklyn Nets Debut
For years, the idea of the Nets moving from New Jersey to Brooklyn has been toyed with, but it wasn't until 2009 when Mikhail Prokhorov bought the team and supplied the necessary funding to build the Barclays Center.
It will be a telling 2012-2013 season for the Nets and in order to be successful, they need a few things in order to get it done. Here are five of the most important factors that will determine the immediate future for the franchise.
Establish Interest with Good Play
The fans in Brooklyn are already stoked. They're ready to have a team to call their own and they're ready to be there for them. However, one of the keys is to keep them excited and give them a reason to be there.
The posted a 22-44 record in a shortened 2011-2012 season and showed flashes of solid play. Signing Kris Humphries proved to be a good move as he led the team in rebounds with 11.0 and 1.19 blocks per game.
These two need to come up big again this season, but will also need help from the likes of Brooks Lopez and Gerald Wallace.
Establishing solid play and giving fans hope that they can be competitive will provide them with the strong fanbase that they need from the outset.
Leadership from Jerry Stackhouse
Signing veteran shooting guard Jerry Stackhouse on July 11, 2012, the Nets provided themselves with leadership and a veteran presence from the 17-year NBA star.
A team with a young core, and especially in a new city, needs a guy like Stackhouse to provide them with that veteran shoulder both on and off the court.
Stackhouse has had solid and steady field-goal and three-point percentage numbers, so fans can be certain that he'll continue contributing on the court, especially in key situations.
Any team with a veteran on their team, especially with a group of young guns like the Nets, will always benefit from the experience and seasoned play that Stackhouse can provide.
Kris Humphries Must Continue to Be Valuable
Kris Humphries has been an important part of the Nets franchise.
During his breakout season in 2011, Humphries averaged a double-double in both points and rebounds. His play subsequently earned him a one-year contract with the Nets in December 2011, where he again contributed greatly on the hardwood.
Humphries is a big key to the Nets defense. Signed to a fresh two-year deal, it is now time for him to establish himself as someone that both players and fans can rely on for the win.
Reignite Their Rivalry with the Knicks
The Nets and Knicks have been cross-town rivals for years; however, now that the Nets are in Brooklyn, it's time for them be cross-borough rivals.
They have met each other for a total of three times in the playoffs, with the Knicks winning two of those meetings.
The Brooklyn fans not only need their team to be competitive, they also need a sense of team pride and something to talk about with Knicks fans.
Sports is always fun when fans of different teams talk to each other and jockey for bragging rights. Nothing beats a rivalry.
A better season overall by the Nets would be just the way to spark the feud between the two teams, especially since the Knicks are under pressure to be a better playoff contender in 2012-2013.
Deron Williams Needs to Be Deron Williams
Deron Williams is the face of franchise, no question. So, it's a pretty simply equation.
If Deron Williams continues to be who he is, a high scoring powerhouse who happens to be the Nets captain, the Nets will have a chance to improve and be competitive.
There is no reason Williams cannot establish himself as a dominant Nets captain and the face of the team like Jason Kidd did in the early 2000s.
With the team in a new city, Deron Williams's legacy can be established this season if he continues playing at a high level and leads his team to the playoffs and beyond.