With a new roster, the Brooklyn Nets could struggle in the opening moments of the NBA season, echoing the importance of a strong run after the All-Star break.
The Eastern Conference was introduced to a relatively new term after LeBron James decided to take his talents to Hollywood; parity. There are now multiple teams that can conceivably represent the east in the NBA Finals next June. We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves here but with a hypothetical Kevin Durant return next spring, anything is possible for the Brooklyn Nets.
It’s likely the Nets struggle in the early part of next season, especially with a 5-game road trip looming in the opening weeks of the year. They do have a sense of continuity with integral members of last year’s team returning but for the most part, this is an altered roster.
Which means it’s going to take time to find a rhythm and a system that works and complements this new roster. The sooner, obviously, the better, but patience will need to be a virtue exercised by Nets faithful—let’s just hope we don’t see a start that mimicked last year’s horrendous beginning.
The east is up for grabs, but it’s also going to be competitive. Milwaukee and Philadelphia headline as the two dominant forces, with Toronto, Boston, and Indiana not far behind. It’s going to be a tall task to get home-court advantage in the opening round of next year’s playoffs, but not an impossible one.
A year ago, they went 12-10 after All-Star Weekend concluded; 42-40 overall. As mentioned, this is an altered roster from a season ago, but it’s also an upgraded one. Kyrie Irving should be up for a career year—barring any significant injuries—and with an ever-growing chip on his shoulder due to the negative attention he gets in the media, expect him to prove the naysayers incorrect and possibly emerge as an MVP candidate.
This is a team that won’t solely rely on the in-game theatrics of “Uncle Drew” either, an underrated aspect of this roster is their depth. They have the talent and personnel to be in the race for a top seed entering next year’s All-Star break and with a strong push after the festivities conclude and a potential return of Kevin Durant, 50 wins and third seed placement is within the realm of possibility.
A deep playoff run shouldn’t be the expectation next season, but if they finish the season out strong and are healthy come April, who knows? Optimism is healthy for the soul!