The Brooklyn Nets were one of the biggest stories in basketball at this time last year, a team that had spent like never before and believed it had built a title contender. They didn’t get close.
Assuming they stay healthy — and that’s a pretty big assumption given their medical history — the Nets will revolve around the quartet of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett.
A no-nonsense, old-school coach who speaks with intelligence and wit, Hollins brings with him a recipe that proved successful when he led Memphis to the 2013 Western Conference Finals.
LeBron and Melo are in play as free agents. Other stars like Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo may be trait bait. And the Nets will be watching it all unfold on social media, just like me.
Here’s my prediction as to who will and who will not be members of the Nets when the 2014-15 season tips off in late October.
In as fitting an ending as you could script for this season, the host Heat roared back from an eight-point deficit in the last three minutes to send the Nets back to Brooklyn for good, 96-94.
Since James, Wade and Chris Bosh became teammates, the Heat are 8-0 in home games that could end a series. Two of those wins came against Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett when they were wearing Boston green.
The cold truth is that these guys are limited in what they can be counted on to do night-in and night-out. And this series has proven that those limits make it awfully hard to take down a King.
Joe Johnson scored 19 points, Andray Blatche had career playoff highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets handed the Miami Heat their first loss this postseason, 104-90 on Saturday night in Game 3.
Deron Williams couldn’t score in the last game. Kevin Garnett has barely scored at all. And the Miami Heat keep proving that when it comes to constructing a super team, still nobody has done it better.
Tick, tick. Somewhere in Russia, Mikhail Prokhorov is sitting in some chamber in his mansion ready to dismantle his expensive American toy.
Miami knows Brooklyn will be tweaking something — maybe lots of somethings — before the teams meet Thursday night in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, with the Heat holding a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven matchup.
After taking some time to get my heart rate back to where it should be, I’m ready to dig into how the Nets can unseat the two-time defending champions.
The general lack of aggression. The poor decision-making. The failure to produce in the clutch. Not exactly what the Nets bargained for, huh?
If Brooklyn fails in this series against the Raptors, this nearly $200-million (including luxury taxes) team will go down as one of the most over-hyped compilations in NBA history.