Brooklyn Nets 2017-2018 Season Preview

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 26: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets speaks to the media during his introductory press conference on June 26, 2017 at HSS Training Center in Brooklyn, New York. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 26: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets speaks to the media during his introductory press conference on June 26, 2017 at HSS Training Center in Brooklyn, New York. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets are ready to take the floor with a revamped roster for the 2017-2018 season.

Following two seasons in which Brooklyn had a combined record of 41-123, the Nets will look to compete for a playoff spot.

Offseason Review



  • Brook Lopez
  • Andrew Nicholson
  • Justin Hamilton
  • 2017 first-round pick (27th)

General manager Sean Marks did a wonderful job in his first offseason with Brooklyn. The first year general manager added an impressive amount of talent to the Nets roster.

The acquisitions of D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe and Jarrett Allen add a talented and youthful presence to Brooklyn, while Timofey Mozgov and DeMarre Carroll will serve as veteran leaders.

The loss of Brook Lopez will undoubtedly hurt Brooklyn this season. Lopez, the Nets all-time leading scorer, averaged 20.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.7 BPG for the Nets last season. The 9-year NBA veteran also added a new dimension to the Nets offense with the incorporation of his 3 point shot. However, the Nets will look to make up for Lopez’s scoring and three-point shooting with the offensive abilities of D’Angelo Russell and Allen Crabbe.

Projected Depth Chart

PG: Jeremy Lin, Spencer Dinwiddie, Isaiah Whitehead

SG: D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, Sean Kilpatrick

SF: Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll, Joe Harris

PF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Trevor Booker, Quincy Acy

C: Timofey Mozgov, Jarrett Allen, Tyler Zeller

The Nets will likely use numerous lineup combinations throughout the season. Brooklyn will look to play positionless basketball using its versatile roster.

The center position is one of the biggest questions heading into the season. Mozgov, Allen and Zeller will all compete for minutes. Mozgov will be the starter come opening night, but Allen could challenge for that role as the season goes on.

Dinwiddie and Whitehead will have to compete for minutes with a healthy Lin in the starting role. Same for LeVert and Kilpatrick with the acquisition of Russell.

Head coach Kenny Atkinson has implemented a pace and space offensive system that will take advantage of Brooklyn’s three-point shooters. This may lead to the Nets using a more athletic lineup with Hollis-Jefferson at center. Booker will get time off the bench at power forward. Carroll may also get some minutes at the four to add more outside shooting.

Player to Watch: D’Angelo Russell

The Brooklyn Nets need Russell to be the guy for them. Marks gave up his best player and took on an egregious salary in hopes that Russell could become an All-Star caliber player.

Russell averaged 15.6 PPG and 4.8 APG last season. Those numbers may be even higher coming into an expanded offensive role with the Nets

But how much Russell will handle the ball with Lin running the point? Brooklyn may play Lin and Russell interchangeably to maximize the skill set of both players.

However, Russell will likely see more open looks with Lin running the point. Lin will have opportunities to drive and kick coming off of the solid screens of Mozgov.

Crabbe, who shot 44.4% from three last season, will add another three-point shooter for opposing defenses to worry about, opening up space for Russell to operate.

The biggest question is: Will Russell demand the ball in crunch time? Every team needs a player who is not afraid to take the big shot late in the fourth quarter. Will Russell be that player for Brooklyn?

Russell could be the playmaker the Nets have been waiting for. The former second overall pick has an opportunity to mature and revitalize his career in Brooklyn.

Games to Watch

  • Oct. 27 @New York Knicks: With a new look Brooklyn team and the departure of Carmelo Anthony, who will be the face of New York basketball?
  • Nov. 3 @Los Angeles Lakers: Brook Lopez and Russell make their first appearances against their former teams. Brooklyn fans will feel odd watching Lopez in another uniform after all these years. It will be interesting to see how Lakers fans react to Russell’s return.
  • Nov. 19 vs. Golden State Warriors: The reigning NBA champions will travel to Brooklyn for the first of two matchups with the Nets. How will the Nets young players react to playing against the best? Will they look overmatched or come out fearless?
  • Feb. 2 vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Brook Lopez makes his return to Brooklyn for a matchup with the Nets. The Nets all-time leading scorer will likely receive a heartwarming ovation from Brooklyn fans.


Brooklyn should improve after acquiring several impact players. However, don’t underestimate the value Brook Lopez had to this Nets team.

Perimeter defense is a big weakness for Brooklyn. Russell, Crabbe and LeVert will need to improve in this area if the Nets want to win games. The lone defensive force for Brooklyn is Carroll. Atkinson will look for the 10-year NBA veteran to anchor the Nets defensively.

Another pressing issue is the frontcourt. The Nets are undersized and lack a shooting big man in a league that is evolving towards stretch bigs.

Hollis-Jefferson will be undersized at 6’7″ against most power forwards in the league and is a one-dimensional offensive player.Booker will add energy and hustle off the bench but is also slightly undersized.

Mozgov and Zeller are serviceable players, but their ceilings are not very high. Both can run the pick and roll and rebound but do not possess much offensive ability. The Nets will look for Allen to develop in his rookie year. The 19-year-old has incredible shot-blocking and finishing ability attributed to his massive 7’5″ inch wingspan.

Brooklyn’s strengths lie in its guard play and outside shooting. Lin and Russell should compliment each other well as both can drive to the basket and shoot from the outside. Crabbe will space the floor with his three-point shot and LeVert will use his lightning quick first step to blow by defenders.

Next: How well did the Nets do this past offseason?

There are plenty of new faces on this Brooklyn roster. If the right chemistry develops, the Nets should see improvement this season.


  • Record: 31-51
  • Standings: 11th in Eastern Conference
  • Leading Scorer: D’Angelo Russell (18.4 PPG)
  • Assists Leader: Jeremy Lin (6.2 APG)
  • Rebounding Leader: Timofey Mozgov (6.0 RPG)
  • Blocks leader: Timofey Mozgov (0.9 BPG)