BK’s Finest 2014-2015 season predictions

10 different members of our Brooklyn’s Finest staff have come up with their quick predictions on how the Nets will do this season. Ranging from 82-0 to 0-82, here are the quick hitting forecasts for the upcoming season.

David Vertsberger: 82-0. The Nets are going to be this year’s surprise team and will avoid losing all season. That, or win 40 games and slide into the eighth seed.

Paul Mitchell: 43-39. The team actually outperformed its expected win-loss record by six games last season, and Coach Kidd’s small-ball tactics helped the Nets overcome the season-ending injury to Brook Lopez. Brook will have a bigger role under new head coach Lionel Hollins, and if he stays healthy will have every opportunity to re-establish himself as the best offensive center in the game. The wings will be okay without Paul Pierce, and “seven-time All-Star” Joe Johnson will again be a thing this season. The overall talent is too deep to fall out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture without a significant injury to a starting player, and Brooklyn’s 14th-ranked offense and 20th-ranked defense should switch under Hollins.

Josh Koebert: 0-82 Because I feel someone needs to be the sobering yin to Verts’ raging yang. Either that or injuries (I see you Brook) will limit a team that has a number of talented players and an easy road to the playoffs (LOL, EASTERN CONFERENCE) and they’ll limp their way to a bottom seed before becoming the first round of cannon fodder for The LeBron James Redemption Experience (featuring Kyrie on the drums and Kevin on bass). 45 win ceiling, 35 win floor in the latter scenario.

John Mazlish: 37-45. Like Paul said the Nets significantly outperformed their point differential last year as their play more resembled a 38 win team than the 44 wins they ended up with. Losing Shaun Livingston’s defense and Paul Pierce’s flexibility in small ball lineups will hurt this team on both ends of the floor, and the return of Brook Lopez will cramp spacing on the offensive end. Lopez’s return will still have it’s benefits, but the Nets will not improve over their level of play from last year, and the slightly better Eastern conference is enough to dock the team “one” loss.

Brian McNichols: 48-34 — Lopez and Williams are healthier, but not totally healthy. Lopez is excellent when he plays, but he still misses 25-30 games. Deron plays better than last year, but still looks hesitant. The higher win totals are due to the new, ball-movement-rich offense, an increased defensive effort, and the emergence of outside shooting from Johnson, Teletovic, and Bogdonavic. What ultimately holds the team back is their slips into Iso Joe offense and the continued depletion of Garnett and Kirilenko.

Kenny Garner: 45-37. I think the Nets will surprise a lot if people and finish anywhere from 4-6. This is a talented roster with three former All-Stars. Deron Williams has looked impressive in the preseason and it looks like he will thrive in Lionel Hollins’ motion offense. Bojan Bogdanovic is a darkhorse ROY candidate and will fill in nicely for Pierce. The big question for the Nets is how much they will get from Brook Lopez. Lopez is already hurt which is obviously not a good sign. However, if Lopez can stay on the floor the Nets have the chance to build a top offense. Lopez has shown in the preseason that he still is an elite offensive center.

Nick Huth: 45-37. Lionel Hollins will get enough out of the slightly improved Nets bench to give the team a chance to feast against lesser foes in the Eastern Conference and make the playoffs. Brook Lopez will have every opportunity to thrive on the court if he can stay healthier than last season, and Brooklyn’s best lineups will come with Teletovic spreading the floor and giving Lopez room to work down low. The loss of Paul Pierce will not truly be felt until the playoffs, with players like Jarrett Jack, Andrei Kirilenko and Alan Anderson doing enough to fill the void. Or Lopez will get hurt and the team will struggle, as Kevin Garnett tries to anchor a team that he no longer has the ability to.

Jeremy Briggs: 42-40. Injuries are more than likely, and I don’t see small ball lineup options that can be as effective as some of the ones that were deployed last season. The departure of Shaun Livingston will be felt and Jarrett Jack 20 footers won’t remedy that loss. Ultimately though, a better start to the season than last year and an only moderately improved eastern conference will make a playoff spot attainable.

Brady Jennings: 41-41. If Lopez somehow played 90% of the season healthy I would say 46 or 47 wins.  I’ve always liked Lionel Hollins a lot and I’m interested to see what he can do with this team. The Nets are frustrating because when D-Will and Joe Johnson are on, they’re two of the better players at their positions. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case. I think Plumlee will continue to grow as a player in this league, and will be very effective if/when Lopez goes out with an injury, or as some have said, gets traded. Also Bogdanovic should be a fun player to watch. I see the Nets as a playoff team but think CLE, CHI, TOR, CHA, WAS, ATL, MIA, in that order, are all better than Brooklyn.

Jonah Jordan: 43-39 and you could talk me into going lower. Deron Williams is playing on two bum ankles and Brook Lopez seems destined to be this generation’s Yao Ming. Being in the eastern conference is this team’s saving grace. Lionel Hollins and Kevin Garnett are either going to love one another or kill one another. This season could get disastrous quickly.

Jack Moore: 40-42. The Nets lost key players Paul Pierce, Marcus Thornton, and Shaun Livingston this offseason and unfortunately Sergey Karasev, Jarrett Jack, and Bojan Bogdonovic won’t make up for it. With the new addition of Lionel Hollins, we will definitely see big lineups including Lopez/Plumlee and Lopez/Garnett.  The guard rotation will sadly stay the same with Williams (along with his bad ankles) and Joe Johnson.  The small forward position is still up in the air but I think it will ultimately fall to Mirza Teletovic. Unfortunately with all the changes with the team, Brooklyn will struggle out of the gate once again and will compete for one of the bottom playoff seeds. Hopefully I am wrong and they will live up to the Brooklyn’s Finest moniker.

Austin Reynolds: 41-41. With the departures of Shaun Livingston and Paul Pierce the Nets lose a lot of depth from a team that won 44 games a season ago. Lionel Hollins will get the team to play hard every night and Brook Lopez SHOULD (knock on wood) be healthier this year, but ultimately I don’t think it’ll be enough for this team to make an improvement over last season. Luckily for Brooklyn, a weak Eastern conference should make sure they still make it into the playoffs as a seven or eight seed.