Brooklyn Nets: 3 Under the radar matchups next season

Caris LeVert Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Caris LeVert Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Jarrett Allen Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

January 14 vs. Utah Jazz

It is up for debate who had the strongest offseason across the NBA landscape this summer. But more often than not two of the teams towards the top of the discussion are Utah and Brooklyn.

After a few years of relative continuity, the Jazz decided to take a couple of big swings to add an offensive dimension to their roster than could vault them towards the top of the West. Ricky Rubio was replaced by Mike Conley, while Derrick Favors departed and Bojan Bogdanovic signed a four-year deal.

The backcourt battle in this one is a fascinating one. Veteran point guards with vast playoff experience square off in Conley and Irving, while two young off-guards with bright futures face-off between Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert. Whichever pair can better contain the other may hold the upper hand in this game.

Former Net Bojan Bogdanovic also makes a return visit to Brooklyn. Bogdanovic played 55 games under Kenny Atkinson in which he raised his scoring average, before being traded for a future first at the deadline from Washington.

That pick turned into Jarrett Allen, who in this contest will have an intriguing matchup with Rudy Gobert. Gobert is a player Allen can aspire to model in his ability to cover ground, block shots, and be the linchpin of a top tier defense.

Finally, this game kicks off an extremely challenging five-game stretch for Brooklyn: following the game against the Jazz, the Nets face-off with the 76ers, the Bucks, Philly again, and then LeBron and the Lakers. Five games against top competition from both conferences will be a great measuring stick for Kenny’s squad around the midway point in the schedule.

This matchup with Utah will be a great test for Brooklyn on the offensive side especially. By January the new faces, especially Irving, will have had enough reps together to hopefully have settled comfortably into their roles within the offense. And what better way to test that out than playing against Quin Snyder’s squad which has ranked top three in defensive efficiency the last three seasons.