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2020-2021 NBA Preview – Brooklyn Nets

Nets Moving Up as Durant Joins Nets

Our Brooklyn Nets preview 2020 – 2021 observes that in five of this team’s last six seasons, they have posted losing records. In that time, their highest finish in the Atlantic Division has been third. They’ve done that once. All other seasons, the Nets were either fourth or fifth in the division. Last season, they were 35-37, finishing fourth in the Atlantic and seventh in the Eastern Conference. That was good enough to earn them a playoff spot. In the first-round of the playoffs, the Toronto Raptors took out the Nets in four games.

Brooklyn Nets Preview 2020 – 2021 – Stats

When it came to scoring, the Nets were in the middle of the pack, as they averaged 111.8 per game (16th). They were also in mid-range in assists with 24.5 per game (15th). However, their field-goal success rate of 44.8% was subpar, as they ranked 24th in that category. At 34.3%, Brooklyn was 26th in three-point attempts, while the team’s free-throw rate of 74.5% ranked 25th.

Brooklyn also had issues on defense. The Nets allowed opponents 112.3 PPG (19th), giving them a PF/PA differential of minus 0.5. They held opponent shooters to a low field-goal rate of 44.6% (5th), while their three-point D was respectable with opponents hitting 35.0% (9th). Interesting note on rebounding. Brooklyn snagged 47.9 RPG, which ranked second in the league. They allowed opponents 45.9 RPG. That ranked 22nd. It left the Nets with a rebounding differential of +2.0, which is better than most in the league. Their rebounding differential was the seventh-best in the NBA.

Brooklyn Roster

Power forward Kevin Durant joins the Nets, offering an immediate upgrade in the paint. At the same time, Kyrie Irving returns for his second season with Brooklyn. Shooting guard Caris LeVert rounds out a fine backcourt, while center Jarrett Allen, who’s shown continued improvement, is sound around the rim. If anything, the weak point on this team, both at the starting spot and in backup roles, is small forward. Starter Joe Harris will provide fine scoring skills, but is not strong on defense.

Brooklyn Nets Preview – Backcourt

Last year, veteran point guard Kyrie Irving came to Brooklyn via Boston. Playing in 20 games for the Nets, Irving put up the stats one would expect of him. He averaged 27.4 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 5.4 RPG. Irving shot 47.8% from the floor, 39.4% from downtown, and 92.2% from the foul line. Joining him at shooting guard, Caris LeVert returns for his fourth NBA season. Last year was LeVert’s best in terms of stats, as he averaged 29.6 MPG, 18.7 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 4.2 RPG. Additionally, he completed 42.5% of his shots from the field and 36.4% of his threes. Together, Irving and LeVert are a solid combo. Note, the point averaged 1.4 SPG while the shooter was good for 1.2 SPG.

Nets Preview – Frontcourt

Another longtime NBA veteran, power forward Kevin Durant, anchors the paint. Durant, who spent the last three seasons with the Golden State Warriors, is a top-notch two-way player. Over the course of the dozen seasons he’s played in the NBA, Durant’s been a strong and steady force. Consequently, he should have a big impact on the Brooklyn frontcourt and this team’s fortunes. A 52.1% field-goal shooter last season, the power forward averaged 26.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 5.9 APG. A solid shooter from virtually anywhere, last season Durant had a success rate of 35.3% from downtown, which was lower than his usual 38.1%. He was good on 88.5% of his attempts from the charity stripe. He also averaged 1.1 BPG.

Last season, center Jarrett Allen saw his productivity improve in what was his third NBA year. Allen averaged 11.1 PPG and 9.6 RPG while shooting 64.9% from the floor. The 6-11 big man posted 1.4 BPG. Joe Harris, who starts his fifth season with the Nets at small forward, can pop shots in from the front and back courts. Last year, he connected on 42.4% of his threes and 48.6% of his field goals while averaging 14.5 PPG. Harris averaged 4.3 RPG and 2.1 APG. Our Brooklyn Nets preview 2020 – 2021 finds that this is a fine frontcourt.

Nets Bench

The eight other players projected to provide relief to the starters include point guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Tyler Johnson and shooting guards Bruce Brown and Landry Shamet. Dinwiddie, a six-year NBA vet, stepped up last season when Irving couldn’t play. He averaged 31.2 MPG and scored 20.6 PPG while making 6.8 APG. Johnson, who’s played eight seasons in the NBA, split his time last season between Brooklyn and Phoenix. With the Nets, for whom he played eight games, Johnson averaged 12.0 PPG and 3,0 APG. He’s a sound backup. SGs Brown (8.9 PPG, 44.3 FG%, 34.4 3PT%) and Shamet (9.3 PPG, 40.4 FG%, 37.5 3PT%) are reliable. Note, Brown’s a better playmaker and defender.

In the paint, it’s DeAndre Jordan backing up Allen and Taurean Prince comes in for Durant. Jeff Green is the third man at both center and power forward. Jordan is in his second season with the Nets and 14th in the NBA. Last season, over 22.0 MPG, he hit for 8.3 points and 10.0 rebounds. Prior to coming to Brooklyn last season, PF Prince played three years in Atlanta. In his first season with Brooklyn, where he averaged 29.0 MPG, Prince hit for 12.1 PPG while grabbing 6.0 RPG. Over his first five NBA seasons, Green’s played with four teams. He’s back with the Nets for his second year. He’ll provide about 18 MPG, offering all-around accurate shooting skills. Landry Shamet, who comes from the LA Clippers, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who played with Brooklyn last season, provide adequate back up at small forward.

Brooklyn Nets Preview 2020 – 2021 – Coaching

Our Brooklyn Nets preview 2020 – 2021 wonders how former NBA superstar Steve Nash will do as Brooklyn’s new head coach. Nash, a former league MVP and All-Star who primarily played with the Phoenix Suns, was a gifted and versatile point guard. This is his first NBA coaching opportunity. What he will bring to the team as a coach is unclear. However, if Nash embraces the same qualities as coach that he did as a player, he’ll emphasize hard work, dedication, and uncompromising commitment to excelling in each game. Look for the rookie head coach to espouse offense and fast transitions off of defense. That may or may not bode well for a Nets team that last year executed well on offense but had issues defensively.

Brooklyn – Pluses and Minuses

  • Adding Durant to frontcourt is huge
  • Strong rebounding chops
  • Opponent field-goal percentage fairly low
  • Poor PF/PA differential
  • Offensive shooting percentages subpar
  • Defense allowed too many points

Brooklyn Nets Preview 2020 – 2021 – Final Word

Our Brooklyn Nets preview 2020 – 2021 likes this team a lot. First, they have two superstars, Irving and Durant. Although both have spent many years in the league, the star point guard and power forward are still both productive. Plus, the rest of the core is certainly better-than-average and possesses the potential to excel. The players coming off the bench will provide productive backup. The one weak spot on this team is at small forward. However, that position should be adequately manned. How will Nash do as a first-time NBA coach? That is the big question. Still, we envision this version of the Brooklyn Nets moving up in the NBA Atlantic Division and finishing third.

Brooklyn Nets Projection – 45-27 Third-Place, Atlantic Division

pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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