By Steve Lichtenstein
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The Nets will try to complete off their 4-recreation preseason slate undefeated once they face the 76ers on Wednesday on the renovated Nassau Coliseum.
Since Brooklyn completed with an NBA-worst 20-sixty two report final season, any type of success can have a tendency to steer towards irrational exuberance. My recommendation? Don’t get sucked in. Outcomes from these exhibitions not solely don’t rely, they can’t be extrapolated into the video games that may. Two victories over the stunningly terrible Knicks and one over a Miami squad that couldn’t shoot straight shouldn’t alter anybody’s expectations for this season.
The Nets’ fundamental mission this preseason ought to be to reply a boatload of questions surrounding their revamped roster. Coach Kenny Atkinson will in all probability have at the very least three new starters on opening night time. The remainder of the rotation is anyone’s guess. Atkinson has talked about that he might go together with eleven gamers incomes minutes in each recreation, a frightening process for those who’re making an attempt to win.
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Right here’s how I might break it down:
Atkinson has put forth the identical starters in all three exhibitions — D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin within the backcourt, Timofey Mozgov at middle, DeMarre Carroll because the “three-and-D” wing, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at a slicing-edge “slash-4” place.
These starters have began, nicely, not all that nicely. It was actually been the Nets’ deep and aggressive bench that allowed them to tug away from groups that weren’t too involved with these video games’ outcomes.
The reason being apparent. With two poor perimeter shooters in Mozgov and Hollis-Jefferson on the ground, Lin and Russell can’t be all that they are often. Each are combo guards who wish to drive the lane. However they’re additionally primarily probers versus pure-velocity rim attackers like John Wall or Russell Westbrook. The added congestion from the suboptimal flooring spacing typically results in extra turnovers and harder shot choice.
After a summer time enjoying at EuroBasket throughout which Mozgov stated that he wasn’t allowed to shoot three-pointers, he has been testing his vary this preseason. He has hit on two of three three-level makes an attempt, which is just too small a pattern measurement to make…