The Nets don't have many expectations this upcoming season. So if their goal is to surprise people, who will stand in that starting lineup?
Starting lineups are so vital to a team's success in any sport. Focusing in on the Nets, it's a wonder who head coach Kenny Atkinson thinks are the best options for his starters. It's not like the Nets have championship potential anytime soon... Or playoff potential for that matter. Regardless, no group of players wants to sign their will and jump in a coffin for the sake of it. Brooklyn has proved they have a lot of heart and determination to get things done, even if it doesn't always turn into W's. However, with a newly designed roster, let's see what the Nets have in mind for the upcoming season.
Point Guard: Jeremy Lin
Those "Linsanity" days seem like a century ago, doesn't it? Nothing wrong with that. He's still a solid guard, with a well-rounded game. Problem is, his health was a complete mess last season. Lin only played 36 games for Brooklyn, and just couldn't get anything going for him. Still, the Nets didn't sign him to a three-year, $36 million dollar contract for nothing. There's little to no doubt he will still be the starting point guard for them. Question is, can his health hold up to the grind of an NBA season? Well, if not, he has someone backing him up.
Shooting Guard: D'Angelo Russell
That someone who could backup Jeremy Lin is the one and only D'Angelo Russell. Now, that's only if Lin gets hurt consistently. If that's not the case, then it's very possible Russell could play the 2 for Brooklyn. Standing at 6 foot 5 with a 7-foot wingspan, he definitely has the size and tools to be a shooting guard. What's also beneficial for the team is that he can be a playmaker. Someone who can handle the ball and pass well is a very good trait for a shooting guard. A lot of looks will be set on Russell this season. Considering the Nets are basically his team now, that added pressure and responsibility is something that draws attention.
Small Forward: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
This position is debatable because there are a few options that could happen. The Nets may want to go for an older veteran, like Quincy Acy or DeMarre Carroll. Or they may want to go for their young, sharpshooter Allen Crabbe. However, every team needs that lockdown defender on every roster. Hollis-Jefferson is exactly that guy, so starting him at the 3 would help out a lot. Another thing is that the Nets probably trust him very well. He has a good, positive attitude with a hard-working persona. Add to the fact he's a great rebounder, makes him a good choice for a starter.
Power Forward: Trevor Booker
This shouldn't be much of a surprise since he was their starting PF last season anyway. In that season, he averaged 10 points, 8 boards, and 1.1 steals per game. Decent numbers without a doubt. Booker has been in the league for 7 years now as well, so he could provide a solid veteran presence. He played well with Brook Lopez by his side. However, now that Lopez has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, who will Booker be paired up with now in the frontcourt?
Center: Timofey Mozgov
When Lopez was sent to the Lakers, Brooklyn got Russell and Timofey Mozgov back as part of the trade. Mozgov, most likely, will be the big man starting alongside Trevor Booker this upcoming season. He won't give you 20 and 10 every night, and he's not a vicious shot blocker. Still, Mozgov can grab some boards and get some easy buckets. Besides Lin, he's another player where his health could be a concern, so that's a wait and see type thing. There are currently two other centers on the team, which are Tyler Zeller and Jarrett Allen. Zeller himself seems like a backup C regardless, and Allen was just drafted this past summer. Maybe he could start in the future, but being only 19 years old, Allen could probably learn a couple things from Mozgov before that happens.
Overall, the Nets can prove a lot of people wrong if they play hard. Wins will be difficult to come by for them, but as long as the lineup stays tight, good things could peak in their path.