5 Things Every Fan Needs to Know About the Brooklyn Nets for 2013-14 Season
There is a lot to be aware of this season if you are a Brooklyn Nets fan.
From championship hopes to vying with the Knicks for New York's affection, the 2013-14 season will provide some of the most memorable moments in Nets' history.
Will Deron Williams learn under Kidd and average at least 10 assists per game?
Let's take a look at what every Brooklyn fan needs to know about their team.
5. Dethroning the Knicks as New York's Team
When Mikhail Prokhorov bought the Nets in 2010, he guaranteed two things: winning a championship and converting Knicks fans into Nets fans.
Although New York can be fickle, the Knicks fan base is one of the most loyal and dedicated in all of sports.
It'll be difficult convincing those that stayed by their team after many debilitating performances, such as John Starks' 2-for-18 shooting night against the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals and Reggie Miller's eight points in 11 seconds. Not to mention the entire Isaiah Thomas era.
While Paul Pierce and company may release comments about New York becoming the Nets' town, quite frankly, it should be the least of everyone's concerns.
Nets' fans have a promising season ahead of them, and instead of worrying about where New York's affection resides, they should simply enjoy the year and be happy about a possible trip to the NBA Finals.
4. Brook Lopez Becoming Elite
Last season, Brook Lopez averaged 19.4 PPG with Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace in the front court.
This year, he has Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Garnett won't take 15 shots a game, but his presence in the lineup will open the paint for Lopez to post a career high in points.
Unlike Wallace and Evans, Pierce and Garnett possess excellent mid-range games, which limit the amount of double teams and attention the defense can give Lopez.
If Lopez averaged almost 20 points with two guys that were essentially mediocre on offense, he should emerge as the game's best scoring big man alongside two prolific players that defenses must focus on.
The only way Lopez doesn't set career scoring highs is if he shoots fewer than the 14.8 field goals per game he attempted in 2012-13.
3. Joe Johnson Shooting the Lights out
Joe Johnson had his worst shooting year from the field last season. Not since his days with the Phoenix Suns in 2002-03 had he shot 39.7 percent on 9.7 FGA.
Johnson took 14.6 shots per game from the field in 2012-13 with a 42.3 percent success rate.
With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, his field goal attempts should decrease by one to three shots per game. That drop may lead one to believe Johnson will score less and possibly post another sub-45 percent shooting line from the field, but that won't be the case.
The attention Pierce and Garnett will command should allow Johnson to float around the perimeter at times for wide open looks.
Since he won't need to force any overly-contested shots, his shooting percentage should rise and reach his career high of 47.1 percent.
2. Deron Williams Dishing Dimes
Aside from Deron Williams, the Nets have four starters capable of being the No. 1 option for their team.
Those weapons should lead to Williams breaking the 10 APG plane, something he hasn't reached since the initial 12 games he played for the Nets in 2010-11.
Studying under Jason Kidd should also improve Williams' already vast knowledge of the game.
Kidd isn't a future Hall of Fame coach like Jerry Sloan—not yet at least—but he is a future Hall of Fame point guard that has a plethora of advice Deron Williams will utilize.
Figuring Williams remains healthy throughout the 2013-14 season, he will add at least 20 points per game to the scoreboard by passing the ball to his teammates.
1. Andrei Kirilenko and the Sixth Man of the Year Award
It may be difficult for Andrei Kirilenko to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2013-14, but he will be in the running throughout the season, if he stays healthy.
Kirilenko is the kind of player that makes bad teams exciting and good teams outstanding. He's the ultimate glue guy, a coach's dream player. He does all the little things you can ask for. He isn't afraid to dive after loose balls, and he loves playing defense.
Kirilenko possesses great reflexes and an impeccable nose for the ball, which, coupled with his long arms, will lead to a few fast breaks per game initiated by the steals he'll pick up from blocked shots and playing the passing lanes.
His ability to run the floor will also help the Nets be lethal in transition, particularly when he runs the break with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and either Paul Pierce or Jason Terry, depending if Jason Kidd decides to use a small-ball lineup.
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