Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images
If any of their starting five go down, the Brooklyn Nets will never win the 2013-14 title.
The Brooklyn Nets are old. Like the New York Knicks in 2012-13, who couldn’t get past the energetic and exuberant Indiana Pacers in Round 2, the Nets are now “the league’s oldest starting lineup,” informs Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post.
The NBA is filled with teams built on young talent. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard aren’t even 30 yet. The Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are all founded on young superstars.
Even the Knicks are younger, and where it counts (Anthony, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert).
Brooklyn’s two guaranteed Hall of Famers—Pierce and Garnett—are a few years from the other side of 35. Joe Johnson is an old 32. Brook Lopez (25) is the only major player under the age of 29, unless you include Andray Blatche (27).
The Nets also have a cornucopia of nagging injuries, any one of which can wind up blowing up in their faces.
Sports Illustrated’s Rob Mahoney puts it succinctly, saying, “As devastating as a freak injury can be to a team’s prospects in a single season, it’s the chronic ailments that ruin careers and derail contenders…”
We’ve already covered Deron Williams’ ankles.
How about Brook Lopez’s foot starting up again? Mahoney continues, “…The Nets can only hope they aren’t dealing with just that in the latest complication with the right foot of center Brook Lopez.”
Lopez had his right foot (which kept him out of 2011-12) operated on for a third time after last season.
Joe Johnson also has foot issues—he was “bothered by plantar fasciitis in his left foot during the second half of the regular season and the playoffs,” per ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo.
Garnett missed 14 games in 2012-13 and has been at least 10 games short each of the past six seasons.
That’s four of five starters with injury risks, any one of which could torpedo a shot at the title.