From the moment Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett joined a loaded Brooklyn Nets core that boasted Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, expectations surrounding Jason Kidd's veteran-laden squad skyrocketed to unthinkable levels.
Now whether being granted elite status was fair or not remains up for debate, but one thing became clear: The Nets didn't ascend up the Eastern Conference ranks the way they were expected to.
However, that didn't mean Brooklyn wasn't able to challenge early-season narratives surrounding the team's lack of cohesion and leadership when it was time to jockey for playoff position.
Over the course of a four-month stretch, the Nets emerged as one of the Association's feel-good stories as they adjusted to life without Lopez and implemented a fruitful new scheme that utilized the team's variety of versatile weapons in previously unseen ways.
Relative to expectations, the Nets undoubtedly came up short, losing in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in five games. But when you consider the way they rebounded late in the season, it's clear that the club may have laid the foundation for a prosperous second year under Kidd.
So what do the Nets need to do in order to ensure a deeper postseason run next year? Here's our primer for an offseason full of crucial decisions facing one of the league's most captivating squads.