The Brooklyn Nets are disappointed with the way that their season ended last season in the playoffs against the Miami Heat, and are entering a new era of basketball in 2014.
Jason Kidd was hired last offseason as their new head coach, but he left this offseason to go to Milwaukee to coach the Bucks. Lionel Hollins is the new sheriff in town now, and he will demand respect and effort out of each and every player on the Nets’ roster.
They are excited to have big man Brook Lopez back on the court after he missed the majority of last season due to injury, and he will have a major impact on their upcoming season.
Brooklyn still has a deep team with a lot of star power in the starting lineup, and will be a player in the Eastern Conference playoff race this season.
Lopez took to the media to talk about how he feels and the upcoming season.
“Like I said before, I’m not looking for any restrictions,” Lopez told ESPN New York and Newsday Friday. “I’m confident I’m gonna be able to go out there and be better than I’ve ever been. So from that standpoint, I think our timetables will be different.”
“We’re doing everything possible to make the transition as easy as possible, so we’re not immediately just pounding, pounding, pounding right away,” Lopez told Mike Mazzeo. “And I’m in good hands. We still have a lot of time left, and I’m confident when it comes to the outlook of the season. I’m very excited.”
Lopez was only able to play in 17 regular season games last season before going down with injury, which unfortunately has been a regular thing throughout his NBA career. He averaged 20.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game in those 17 games, and showed major improvement offensively and defending the rim. His rebounding numbers still need to go up for him to reach his full potential, but there are high hopes for him this coming year.
There aren’t many big men in the NBA that are as talented on the offensive end of the court as Lopez, and the Nets are going to be playing through him quite a bit this season. Hollins has a history of utilizing his big men in Memphis, and he will love having Lopez to work with assuming he stays healthy. The Nets also have threats on the perimeter in Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, who will take some of the pressure off of Lopez in the post.
It will be very intriguing to see how much the Nets use him this coming season, and whether or not he can remain healthy for the entire year. He is still one of the most polished offensive big men in the league, and is a very difficult player for opponents to defend. Expect to see a very good year from him if he stays healthy, and the Nets to play through him quite a bit.