Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nets 2013-2014 vs. Lakers 2012-2013

The Brooklyn Nets off-season has received the most attention out of all the thirty teams in the NBA during the 2013 Summer. The Nets acquired two Hall of Fame players in power forward Kevin Garnett and small forward Paul Pierce. They additionally obtained sharpshooter Jason Terry, defensive stopper Andrei Kirilienko, backup point guard Shaun Livingston and backup shooting guard Alan Anderson. Lastly, they resigned their offensively efficient backup center Andray Blatche as well as drafted forward Mason Plumlee from Duke University. A year ago, it was the Los Angeles Lakers who were receiving the most praise about their off-season acquisitions. During the Summer of 2012, the Lakers traded for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. It appeared that this Laker team was destined for a finals run. As we all know the supposed super team in Los Angeles did not work. Nash spent much of the season injured, Howard was hurt and complaining, Gasol lost favor with Mike D'Antoni and Kobe was overworked and eventually tore his Achilles. The Lakers got swept in the first round of the playoffs to the Western Conference Champions, San Antonio Spurs. Fast forward back to where we currently stand and a lot NBA minds around the league are doubting the Nets for this upcoming year and are using the Lakers debacle from this past season as a reason for a Nets failure. Fortunately for the Nets, there are distinct differences between these two teams that separates them.

Between the two team's off-seasons' the Lakers clearly acquired the most talented player, Dwight Howard. In 2012 the Lakers also traded for Steve Nash, resigned Jordan Hill, Devin Ebanks and Jodie Meeks and acquired Earl Clark and Chris Duhon. After an incredibly talented starting lineup of Nash, Kobe, Artest, Gasol and Howard, the 2012-2013 Lakers were left with an incredibly weak bench. Jordan Hill, Jamison, Meeks and Clark are fine pieces, but they can't be your best four coming off the bench. Earl Clark averaged 2.7 points per game with Orlando in 2011-2012 and Jodie Meeks averaged only 8.4 points per game shooting less than 41%. Mitch Kupchak was not foolish to think that he could count on Jordan Hill and Antawn Jamison because they both had very solid 2011-2012 seasons, but the fact that the Lakers 8-12 were Clark, Meeks, Darius Morris, Chris Duhon, Josh McRoberts and Devin Ebanks, it should not have surprised anyone that their team finished the way they did.

The Nets 2013 off-season is similar to the Lakers of 2012 because they also acquired older talented players, in fact the legitimate pieces that the Nets are banking on are actually older. What makes the Nets off-season far superior to that of the Lakers is that they addressed all holes and filled out what looks to be a complete roster. In the 2012-2013 season the Nets were killed by their lack of efficiency at the small forward and power forward positions. Gerald Wallace had one of the worst offensive seasons in recent memories for a starting small forward. Although Reggie Evans had a solid year at power forward, it became clear in the playoffs that he is not an NBA starter. His lack of offensive talent meant that defenses could double team the Nets best player, Deron or Lopez, as seen in the Bulls series and leave Evans wide open. With Wallace and Evans on the floor, the Nets had no offensive movement and success because there were now two players on the floor who could not score. By acquiring Pierce and Garnett defenses will be unable to double team Lopez or Williams because Garnett and Pierce can hit shots. Moreover, by acquiring Pierce and Garnett the Nets acquired two other needs, players with a consistent shot and team leadership. The Nets seemed unable to make timely shots when it counted. Fortunately "The Truth" and "The Big Ticket" have complete offensive games and can hit the mid-range shots and Pierce can still stroke it from three. Pierce and Garnett will also change the culture in the clubhouse that was clearly lacking a leader or some voice through the past season. The addition of Kirilenko and the resigning of Blatche will allow the Nets hall of famers of Pierce and Garnett to have added rest. Kirilenko will also be able to be used as a small forward defensive stopper. This will be crucial as arguably the strongest position in the Eastern Conference is at small forward. Kirilenko will be able to guard the likes of Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Luol Deng, Josh Smith and even Rudy Gay. Shaun Livingston should be an upgrade over C.J. Watson who had a mediocre year with the Nets shooting less than 42% from the field. Jason Terry will also give the Nets shooting, veteran leadership and solid backup behind Joe Johnson who showed signs of fatigue and injury when he had plantar fasciitis in the playoffs.  Lastly, Mason Plumlee showed great skills and an NBA-ready body in the Summer League and newly acquired Alan Anderson is a very streaky shooter. Furthermore, what makes Anderson an even sweeter signing is that two of his best games of the season last year were against the Knicks scoring 35 points and 26 points.

This 2013-2014 Nets team will absolutely have their hiccups during the season, but don't expect an 8th seed and a first round sweep like the Lakers had. This team is too deep and has too much veteran leadership to fall that far. New coach Jason Kidd will be flexible in order to be able to win just like he was a player unlike the stubborn Lakers coach, Mike D'Antoni.

Share this post
  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Google+
  • Share to Stumble Upon
  • Share to Evernote
  • Share to Blogger
  • Share to Email
  • Share to Yahoo Messenger
  • More...


Post a Comment

Please be courteous to others when discussing your opinions. Swearing will not be tolerated.

Site Meter