It has been a long time since the Nets have experienced any form of success on the basketball court. For the last four years, they have finished with a record below .500, and for every year over the last sixteen years, they have finished with a sub-50 win record. This is an undoubtedly pitch-black time in the franchise’s history, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With an exciting young core, an up-and-coming coach and a front office that is no longer the worst in the league (what’s up, GarPax?), there is an obvious sense of optimism from Nets fans. And with the season only a few days away, there are actually a number of legitimate reasons to go to Barclay’s Arena. Here’s three.
New Back-court Duo
The first reason is their new look back-court pairing of Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell. Both players play with a ton of quickness and have the ability to excite crowds with their flash and high basketball IQ. It’ll also be handy to have two guards who can finish at the rim and space and floor. While it may take some time for the two ball-dominant guards to gel, they are no doubt going to be a fun and intriguing duo to watch.
The second reason is the rookie Jarrett Allen, a lottery-caliber player who fell into the Nets lap at pick 22. While he may not be the most offensively polished player in the draft class, his athleticism and defensive ability is well above average. If he can rebound and block shots in the same manner and regularity as he did in college (8.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks as well as a number of SCTop10’s, including this ferocious dunk against West Virginia.), he can quickly groom himself into a cult hero in Brooklyn.
The third reason is actually something that Nets fans curse; the fact that Brooklyn, yet again, don’t have their first-round draft pick this year. In fact, the Nets have not had their own first-round draft pick since 2013. Why is this a good thing? Because even if this team gets to February or March and has only notched up wins in the teens, there will be a distinct lack of tanking. This is also good because, unlike every year since 2013, this team actually has talented and fun players. Granted, that talent is either young or unproven, but being able to watch guys with so much potential like D’Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, or even a player who could take s big step this year in Caris LeVert certainly trumps having to watch guys like K.J McDaniels, Andrew Nicholson or Justin Hamilton like in years past.
While it may still be another twelve months because the Nets can really start to get excited, the worst of the “Celtics Trade” era should officially be over. Now it’s time for Nets fans to go to the arena and cheer on their young squad. The wins may not be there just yet, but as GM Shaun Marks will tell you, it’s all a work in progress.