After a crushing 99-93 lose to the Chicago Bulls in Game 7, the Nets’ inaugural season in Brooklyn has come to a close. While this was a devastating way for their season to end, they certainly still have hope for a bright future. Key pieces such as point guard Deron Williams, guard/forward Joe Johnson, forward Gerald Wallace and center Brook Lopez will all most likely be returning.
One who will not be returning, however, is former interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. On Sunday, just a day after the Nets were eliminated from the playoffs, it was announced they would not retain Carlesimo, who went 35-19 after taking over for Avery Johnson.
Some rumors for possible head coach replacements have included Phil Jackson, Larry Brown, Jeff Van Gundy and Stan Van Gundy. However, it doesn’t seem as though Stan Van Gundy has any interest.
The head coach vacancy is the not only issue the Nets need to worry about. Outside the core-four players mentioned above, the Nets lack depth. Besides Lopez, the Nets do not really have anyone in their frontcourt who can do damage inside. Kris Humphries is not a long-term solution, Reggie Evans, no matter how many rebounds he grabs, is just about useless on the offensive end of the floor and Andray Blatche’s future is in question as he is an unrestricted free agent.
As for their backcourt, MarShon Brooks, who will be entering his third year in the league next year lacks the defensive skills to stay on the floor, no matter how much of an offensive-talent he may be.
More than anything, the Brooklyn Nets need to become more of a mentally tough team, and need to find an identity. Teams who are mentally strong would not give up 14-point leads with just minutes left in a playoff game, like the Nets did in Game 4’s loss. They also lack an identity.
After leaving New Jersey and moving to Brooklyn, the Nets were supposed to leave their losing ways behind and start anew. While they did make the playoffs, something the franchise hasn’t accomplished since 2007, the depleted Bulls just made the Nets look like the same old Nets; letting them find ways to lose winnable games.
Sure, it will take some time to swallow what happened this past week. The Nets players truly believed they were the better team, and think they should be the ones in Miami right now. However, there is still a long way to go for the team that won just 22 games a season ago. But don’t be surprised if you hear Brooklyn’s name come playoff time next season…