The title of this article most likely made you feel amazed or think that it is not true. However, the idea of the Nets making the playoffs is not as far fetched as you may think. Sure they’re coming off of the worst record in the NBA last season, and yes they did just trade their leading scorer, but with coach Kenny Atkinson at the controls this roster may be able to pull off the “impossible”.
The Nets are bringing in a really unique roster with a mixture of both youth and veteran leadership. The acquisitions of Timofey Mozgov and DeMarre Carroll will help groom the Nets’ younger players such as Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, and Isaiah Whitehead.
A lot of things need to go right for this outcome to take place, but coach Atkinson proved last year that he can get his players to buy into the concept that they’re a team who will never back down from a challenge.
A Fresh Start for D’Angelo Russell
Of course this whole idea won’t happen without high quality production from Russell, but this situation seems too perfect for the young point guard to change the direction of his career. Russell is famous for having a rocky relationship with his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, but what isn’t talked about enough is his versatile skill set.
Russell is being given the keys to the Nets’ organization, and if he can make a significant impact in his first year in Brooklyn then maybe, just maybe, this idea of seeing the Nets play playoff basketball next season will happen.
Another Year Under Kenny Atkinson
While the Nets may have only won 20 games last year, the team maintained a positive mindset and a desire to make every game difficult for their opponent. The Nets have some key players returning next year, so knowing the offense/defense from last year will help make the transition easy for the new players.
You’ve heard it all over the news that the culture Sean Marks is creating in Brooklyn is changing the way players, coaches, and executives look at the franchise. Players want to win games for Brooklyn, not just to make money, but to show that their efforts are worth it.
If Marks and Atkinson can instill in the player’s minds that this is a playoff team, then you know for sure that the team will work as hard as they ever have. This isn’t the Spurs culture in Brooklyn, it’s the culture of Brooklyn making it seem like the infamous Celtics trade never happened.