Believing in the Brooklyn Nets

by Jenna

With the NBA season heading into the final stretches, it's important to look at where the Brooklyn Nets are and where they might end up. Currently they're in the playoff picture and fighting a divisional battle with in town rival, the New York Knicks. There's a good chance they will either win the division or at least end up with home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

However, there are a few things holding the Nets back, which could affect their spot in the playoffs. They were unable to land a key player before the NBA Trade Deadline, which could've given them a better chance to make a deep run through the playoffs. According to Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today, the Nets were unable to make a deal for Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks. They offered MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and a future draft pick, but it wasn't enough to make the deal happen.

Could the Lack of a Big Trade Hurt the Nets Chances?

Concern about whether the Nets needed piece to make the team really a contender are warranted, but this team is strong without any other pieces. Without a big trade deal, they may end up limping into the playoffs and losing quickly, however. Currently the backcourt is banged up and tired, which doesn't pair well with playing the majority of their final games on the road against tough opponents, such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.

With a big part of their team banged up, including Deron Williams dealing with inflammation in both ankles, it's unlikely they will make it to the NBA finals. However, Williams has played injured all year long and is averaging around 17 points a game. They need fresh legs to spark the team and one trade could've been exactly what they needed to make a run at the Eastern Conference Championship and potentially the Finals.

Some of the future of the Nets for this season lies in the hands of backup C.J. Watson and Marshon Brooks. With a banged up backcourt, Nets fans will most likely see less of Deron Williams and more of Watson and Brooks. Watson has already proven he's capable and Brooks has shown flashes of dominant scoring ability, but questions remain for both players like Brooks' lack of defensive effort.

If you plan to go see a Brooklyn Nets game before the end of the year, don't be surprised if you see action from both backup guards and from Deron Williams. Coach P.J. Carlesimo will need to use these fresh legs to spark the team and give Williams enough rest to remain effective. It will be interesting to see how Williams handles the grueling final stretches and any loss of playing time.

If the Nets continue consistent play then they should find themselves in the top half of the East and in a position where they can avoid the seemingly unbeatable Heat for a round or 2. If you haven't been to the Barclays Center you should make it a priority if you are a Nets or basketball. Heading to the Barclays is best by train so use javits center parking and head over to Brooklyn. New Yorkers should also prepare for home playoff games in the Barclays first season, it could be the home court advantage the Nets need to make a run.

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