Nets want to win now
Going out in the first round of the playoffs last season to a Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls riddled with injuries left a bad taste in the mouth for Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
His itchy trigger finger already well established through his firing of head coach Avery Johnson in December after a 3-10 streak, the eccentric Russian oligarch expected better for his team's maiden voyage in the hipster capital of the world.
So all the pieces were set for the blockbuster deal that came this off-season as the team brought in aging superstars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce along with Jason Terry from the Celtics.
Prokhorov wants to win and he wants to do it now.
The expectation now is that his new acquisitions will be enough to push the Nets over the top in their quest for the NBA Title in 2013-14.
Who's In/Who's Out
Key Additions: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, Alan Anderson, Shaun Livingston, Mason Plumlee, Jason Kidd (coach)
Key Losses: Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Damion James
There are few teams in the NBA who could have offered new head coach Jason Kidd an easier transition from the court to the bench and
Simply put – on paper, this team is very, very good and very, very deep. Even at their advanced ages, the additions of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce as complimentary pieces to an existing core of Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson could be a masterstroke by general manager Billy King.
The Nets are all in
2nd fiddle in New York
Flirting With .500
Embrace the rebuild
This could get ugly
Garnett is 37 and not nearly as physical as he used to be, but he still commands respect from every single player on the court and remains one of the premier defenders in the NBA. Garnett's presence here is two-fold, as he will also be expected to mentor Lopez to help the young All-Star's game to continue to emerge.
Pierce, who will split time with other new addition Andrei Kirilenko, still has gas in the tank and should thrive under limited playing time in the hopes of conserving him for the team's playoff run.
On top of the Nets' impressive starting five, their bench is filled with guys who can contribute in Reggie Evans, Andray Blatche, Alan Anderson and Shaun Livingston. While his best days are long behind him, the presence of Jason Terry could prove invaluable down the stretch.
The Not So Goods
Kidd is likely going to get outcoached on many nights, especially early on. The Nets legend needs to be prepared for that and can't let that fluster him, even if Prokhorov starts breathing down his neck, as he is apt to do with his coaches.
Kidd will need to do a good job of keeping egos in check and getting guys playing time. A roster like this is a nice problem to have in most respects, but keeping everybody happy and finding enough minutes will be a challenge.
The biggest challenge in that respect will, of course, be Williams. The three-time All-Star point guard is notoriously moody to the point where he's developing a "coach-killer" label thanks to his involvement of the departures of both Johnson last season and Jerry Sloane in his final year in Utah.
Williams really turned it on after the All-Star break last year and did appear to be significantly more motivated as the season went on, but his temperamental nature will be something to monitor over the course of the year.
A lack of team speed, age in certain areas and egos clashing could be big hindrances for the Nets in 2013-14, but if they can get past those, the ceiling is very high for Brooklyn.
What To Expect
The Nets are on a mission to win it all this season and they are one of only a few teams with a legitimate chance of actually doing it. And with the advanced age of many of their stars, the window to win is probably this season and next only.
That's a lot of pressure, but the Nets are well equipped to handle it. Expect them to establish themselves as the best team in New York this season and finish top-3 in the East. The question then becomes can they beat the likes of Miami and/or Chicago in a seven game series?
If they can't, there is going to be one upset Russian billionaire.