The Brooklyn Nets have an arsenal of new players at their disposal this upcoming season. It’s safe to say that new Nets coach, Kenny Atkinson, will have fun trying to figure out how these guys work. The 2016-17 Nets team vaguely resembles the 2013-14 Memphis Grizzlies.
If there’s one phrase that we’ve heard quite a lot this offseason from the Brooklyn Nets front office and players, it’s “Brooklyn Grit.” Of course, they have their promotional slogan, “We came to play,” but we haven’t heard that phrase thrown around nearly as much as we’ve heard guys like Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks say “Brooklyn Grit.”
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“Brooklyn Grit” seems like a perfect way to describe this Nets team, as we’re entering the first year of Sean Mark’s rebuild. The phrase also suits gritty players like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brook Lopez, as well as rookies Isaiah Whitehead and Caris LeVert. But is Coach Atkinson’s style of play going to represent the grit that he keeps talking about?
The last very good “Grit and Grind” team in the NBA was the 2013-14 Memphis Grizzlies, who were coached by Dave Joerger. Does Brooklyn have a chance to become a similar team to what Memphis put out on the floor that year? Maybe, but from what it sounds like, Atkinson would like to have his team be more of a running team, and one that can get out on the fast break and flat out score the basketball. Atkinson certainly has players that can play and adjust to either a gritty or running style of basketball, so it’ll be interesting to see which direction he will go in during his first season in Brooklyn.
As far as “Grit and Grind” goes, the Nets have very similar players and pieces to the one that Memphis had during the 2013-14 season. Many of the guys show similarities to one player or another on that roster and can possibly play a similar role to one of those guys from Memphis, if Atkinson chooses to lead the team in that direction come October.