Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic had a busy summer. Bogdanovic represented Croatia in the Rio Olympics. Now, he contends that the team can make the playoffs this season.
The Brooklyn Nets have a completely different look going into the 2016-17 season. Gone are all the players from the Billy King regime (finally). In are a new coach, general manager, and a good mix of veterans and youth.
Overall, the Nets had a successful offseason, but most media publications doubt the team can perform as well as fans hope for. That’s why it might come as a surprise that Bojan Bogdanovic believes Brooklyn can make the playoffs this season.
Per Brian Lewis of the New York Post, this is what Bogdanovic stated about whether the Nets will make the playoffs.
"“I think we can. They can write what they want. … But we’re going to work hard to give it our best. When we get in a game, we have a chance to beat anybody. It’s going to be tough, but if we play like we practice, we have a chance.”"
With the acquisitions of Jeremy Lin, Trevor Booker, Luis Scola, and others, Brooklyn clearly has the veterans capable of turning the team around. Despite this, the Nets haven’t gotten much support from the media this offseason.
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Although the media has been skeptical of the team, fans couldn’t have hoped for a better offseason for a team like the Nets. For sure, Brooklyn is set to improve from the prior season. However, the playoffs still appear to be a while away. Despite this, Bogdanovic believes the Nets can achieve this feat, and he has clearly amped his game.
Bogdanovic displayed an impressive showing in Rio. The 27-year-old guard posted monstrous numbers that were unmatched by any Olympian in 20 years. He averaged 25.3 points per contest in the six games he played in. The Croatian enjoyed his time in the Olympics as well.
"“It was a great experience to be in Rio. … and to see all the great athletes like [Usain] Bolt and Serena Williams, to be in the same building with all my fellow athletes for Croatia. It was a great experience for all of us on the national team, because nobody expected us to even be in Rio."
Bogdanovic is entering his third season with the Nets. Last season, he averaged 11.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. The 6-foot-8 player has been used as a swingman for shooting guard and small forward, but his sharpshooting gives him the ability to excel at the two. He shot at 38.2 percent from long distance last year.
With Joe Johnson gone, Bogdanovic is a top candidate for the starting shooting guard role. If he can perform as well as he did in Rio, then Nets fans will certainly have a lot to look forward to.