Starting Five: Play ball
October, 30, 2013
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Can they win it all?
It feels like the Brooklyn Nets, who open arguably the most highly-anticipated season in franchise history on Wednesday night in Cleveland, have been talking about a championship forever.
But that’s what happens when your franchise gets purchased by a Russian billionaire who declared three years ago that he wants a title by 2015. Or else he’s getting married.
Mikhail Prokhorov is going to end up spending $190 million or so on his 2013-14 roster, so the Nets better win.
GM Billy King, whose key offseason acquisitions this past summer included Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko, has said the team’s window is now. As in this season.
The Nets are old, yes. But they are also talented. Very talented. And deep.
Just look at their starting five -- Garnett, Pierce, Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. That’s 35 All-Star appearances. Add in AK-47, that’s 36.
There are questions: Can they stay healthy? Can Jason Kidd coach? Can they jell quickly? Can D-Will return to his elite point guard status? Can they compete with Miami?
How would you define success for the Nets? Is it a championship? A grind-it-out seven-game series with Indiana, Miami or Chicago in the second round? A trip to the Eastern Conference finals?
Let us know in the comments section below.
In case you missed it: D-Will will play Wednesday, just not 40 minutes. Kirilenko likely won’t. D-Will is ready for a fresh start. Kidd won’t be coaching. Lawrence Frank likely will be.
The 411: Ohm Youngmisuk will have you covered from Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night. I’ll be all over Twitter as well. Enjoy the game.