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Friday, August 23, 2013
Summer Forecast: Nets fourth in East

By Mike Mazzeo

The Brooklyn Nets are the fourth-likeliest Eastern Conference team to advance to the NBA Finals, according to a panel of 215 ESPN analysts.

The Heat were the runaway favorites to fourpeat as East champs, followed by the Pacers and Bulls.

We’ve already discussed all four of these teams on the blog in detail.

Essentially, the Nets, Pacers and Bulls have to hope the Heat are more vulnerable than they were last season because of the uncertainty surrounding Dwyane Wade's health. Playoff seeding could be interesting if Miami decides to sit Wade occasionally or limit his minutes during the year.

The Nets plan to do the same with Kevin Garnett and perhaps Paul Pierce. Andrei Kirilenko, a huge signing in terms of the depth and starting experience he brings to the table, hasn’t played more than 67 games since the 2008-09 season (he played all of 2011-12 in Russia).

The Bulls have to make sure Derrick Rose stays healthy after missing all of the past season.

For these teams, managing minutes and making sure players stay healthy will likely be more important than securing seeding.

Do you think Miami will win the East again? What are your thoughts on Brooklyn’s chances of dethroning the Heat? Let us know in the comments section below.