As the All-Star break approaches, this is the perfect time to reflect on the season of the Brooklyn Nets. This article is the mid-season report on the Brooklyn Nets. To put the season into context, GM Sean Marks asked fans not to judge this season solely on wins and losses.
Brooklyn Nets Mid-season Report
Addressing the Elephant in the Room
Unfortunately, the Brooklyn Nets have won only 9 games this season as opposed to losing 38. Thirty-eight losses are a huge number of losses. It leads the league. There are flaws on areas of the court. Talent is badly lacking. Daylight seems an eternity away. The losses of this season will not even be rewarded by the draft as the Boston Celtics has rights to swap first round picks with the Nets. Not to mention, next season’s pick also belongs to the Celtics. Thank you, Billy King.
The clichés are numerous. The hatred online is there for all to see. Basketball nerd nation has been savage and unapologetic. Judgement is evident and apparent. Losing hurts so the Nets’ family is deeply wounded.
The Brooklyn Brigade, a group of Nets die-hard fans, have been supportive of this team and loud online.
Can't overstate how GREAT it felt to watch our Nets dig deep on defense & make intelligent plays when it mattered pic.twitter.com/3DRTN1pp14
— The Brooklyn Brigade (@BrooklynBrigade) October 29, 2016
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 3, 2016
There is Good News
Peering deeper into the work put in by the all of the Nets front office and coaching staff, one quickly notices progress. During this tumultuous season, the Nets have been competitive throughout. Losses have been frequent but the team leads the league in pace which translates in an uptick in scoring.
Head coach Kenny Atkinson continues to turn water into wine. Working tirelessly on instilling his vision of what this team should play like, is challenging. Players are buying in to his philosophy. Veterans respect and appreciate Atkinson’s approach as evidenced by Randy Foye stating,
“The way that Coach is putting us in position to be successful has just been a fun brand of basketball. It’s something he talked about from the beginning. It’s just been cool. You kind of saw glimpses, but now we’re really starting to see it. I said to Isaiah, ‘Seeing is believing.’
“You saw what happened [against the Pelicans] when you share the ball. You start believing…”
The rewards in the statistics column have been slow in coming as the Nets won their maiden game of 2017 weeks ago. Furthermore a closer look at that victory revealed a few things. The team was away from home, taking on west All-Star starter Anthony Davis and his New Orleans Pelicans. Most noteworthy, Davis is the only player in the league to be in the top ten in both points and rebounds per contest. None of that mattered as the Nets scored 143 points in regulation time. Seven players were in double figures paced by center Brook Lopez and swing-man Bojan Bogdanovic. Each scored 23 points.
Lopez continues to lead from the front. He has been the consummate professional throughout while more importantly he’s been healthy. Rumors continue to circulate about the Nets trying to trade him. However he is committed to playing and improving with the Nets.
“I enjoy what I do. You have to in order to be in the same situation for so long,’’ said Lopez. “I enjoy coming in and seeing the guys every day, seeing this group of people, I really want to see something special built here.”
Boston Celtics have waived RJ Hunter, source told ESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) October 24, 2016
— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) January 6, 2017
This therefore is evidence of Marks looking ahead. Hunter is a pure shooter that has admittedly struggled in the NBA thus far. This move is a low risk, potentially high reward proposition as shooters often take a while to adjust. Furthermore, Hunter may yet blossom into a deadly player once given the opportunity to develop.
Consequently the second half commences post the all-star break, the losses may mount in the statistical standings but the growth will be undeniable.