Tears turned to cheers as the team transformed from an embarrassing underachiever to a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.
After beginning the season at 10-21, the Nets went 34-17 after January 1, and they will head into the playoffs as the sixth seed with a 44-38 record. They'll take on the Toronto Raptors in the first round.
Injuries have played a prominent role in the Nets’ 2014 campaign; Brook Lopez’s season ended with a broken foot on Dec. 20, and Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko and Deron Williams have been hobbled by various injuries throughout the year as well.
Jason Kidd, winner of two Coach of the Month awards this season (January and March), also underwent a change. When Brooklyn started slow, it was the rookie coach who was viewed as the ultimate goat. But once the team got rolling after the New Year, J-Kidd became a hero.
The following slides contain final grades for every Nets player based on their performance in 2013-14. Grading is based on overall contribution to the team, with expectations and injuries being taken into account as well.
Before we get started, though, can I get the first “Brooooklyn” chant of the postseason?