clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA Odds: The Brooklyn Nets are not going to miss a beat

There is a lot to be excited about in Brooklyn

NBA: Preseason-Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a wild year since the start of the 2022-23 season for the Brooklyn Nets. They traded away superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to retool and move forward with much less star power and much more depth. They are built for the modern NBA, with a battalion of tall, defensive wings. After inheriting 32 wins from Durant and Irving, the Nets went just 13-15 the rest of the season and gave Philadelphia a fight in a first-round exit. With a healthy Ben Simmons, Brooklyn is ready to show the league that they don’t need Durant or Irving to have a playoff-caliber squad.

Brooklyn Nets (Over/Under 37.5 Wins)

Key Adds - Dennis Smith Jr., Lonne Walker IV

Key Losses - Yuta Watanabe, Patty Mills, Joe Harris

The Nets have one of the most intriguing teams in the league. Watching five guys rotate and close out and lock up opposing offenses in a seamless weave of defensive thread like they do is a thing of beauty. They have a lot of unique offensive players and the constant tease of Ben Simmons returning to All-Star form is fun to watch. Not only is it fun, but if Simmons is going to be healthy this year, they are going to be good.

Their offense revolves around Simmons’ ability to be a pivot and distribute to either side of the floor to allow for Spencer Dinwiddie and Mikal Bridges to attack. Putting Cam Johnson and Cam Thomas around them to create spacing makes for a very versatile offensive attack. Bridges’ ascension to a legitimate scorer last season was surprising but looked very sustainable. Him and Johnson are going to have to step into the 1-2 punch role to keep defenses on their toes. When they move the ball and utilize Simmons as a distributor and attacker in the middle, they’re at their best. Most nights, however, their defense is what is going to keep them in games.

The starters’ defensive prowess is documented and easy to see. However, the bench defense is what is going to make the difference this season. Dennis Smith Jr. is an underrated pickup, as he was very good in the absence of Lamelo Ball for Charlotte last year. He is one of the best defensive guards in the league. He is going to shore up the defense in non-starter minutes with Dorian Finney-Smith and eliminate any breathing room for opposing teams. It is going to be very hard to score on the Nets this year, and that alone is going to win them 10-15 games.

The key for Brooklyn is going to be not shooting themselves in the foot on offense. Their defense is going to be at the top of the league, but they have to capitalize on the other end to make it work. Jacque Vaughn has done a good job with all of the change and there is full faith that he will keep the ball rolling in Brooklyn with a full off-season to fine tune the deficiencies from the latter portion of 2022-23. If they keep the offense well-oiled, they are going to be a lower-half playoff team.

PREDICTION - Over 37.5 wins