Nets set sights on championship

Expectations are high at the start of the basketball season for the Brooklyn Nets.

It’s pre-season and the exhibition games have yet to start as the Caribbean Life is going to press, but the players on the Nets have already talked about taking the National Basketball Association championship. Is it at all possible?

First and the most important step for these Nets is to win their Conference, and in the process to get pass the Miami Heat, led by all-star forward Lebron James, who certainly knows the ins and outs of a title, and his teammates. It’ll take a lot of hard work for the Nets to claim the crown.

Remember, the Knicks are also in the same conference, and, they, too have improved during the off season. The Knicks’ chances are all in the hands of all-star veteran Carmelo Anthony and company.

Look what the Nets have! They seem to be loaded.

They have depth at every position. They have all the ingredients to go deep in the second season, better known as the playoffs.

Three new players to the Nets all have playoff experience-Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. And all eyes should be on Garnett, who can certainly score. He is an 18-year-veteran but getting up ‘there’ in years and in age.

Their strengths lie in all around scoring, both inside and outside, rebounding, and as a coach would say ‘the most important aspect of a game is defense. Pre-season reports say that they possess more than a decent team. They have a good mixture of youth and veterans, are solid across the board, and possess a decent bench. The bench is just as important as the starters.

One concern that is a possibility, according to this reporter, is the ability of a new head coach and, in fact, a former NBA all-star guard, who never was in this position before. Can Jason Kidd step right in from a player last year to a head coaching position. Can he handle this pressure? Most observers and basketball followers believe that he could.

Nets’ management gave Kidd the job and believed that he is capable of dong it as first-year head mentor. But remember, when Kidd set those plays up and scored when needed to be almost perfect at what he did with the New Jersey Nets, he and his teammates were coached by Lawrence Frank.

Now it’s reverse, Frank is back again, but this time as one of six assistant coaches while the former NBA veteran guard is ‘the boss,’ on the bench and on the court during the games.

“’All’ roads lead to them (Miami),” said eight-year veteran guard Shaun Livingston. “It’ll take a lot to (win it all). We got to see how fast we can play together.”

The Nets must get off to a good start, and highlighting their schedule will be games against division rival the Knicks. That’s where the crowd will be cheering both teams on.

“It’ll be a rivalry,” said Livingston. “The media will dig it up. As players, we have to go out and ‘play.’ Guys will talk and that’s part of a game. Rivalry games have it a little bit more at stake-bragging rights. We’ll be playing for higher seeds. It’ll be an important game for us.”

Chemistry and (good) health are keys to a winning season and a possible title. This upcoming season, which starts toward the end of the month, could be a big one in the history of the Nets’ franchise. The Brooklyn Nets have championship expectations.

Unless something breaks or develops during pre-season, the starters should be Brook Lopez at center, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce up front, and guards Joe Johnson and Deron Williams in the backcourt.

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