After what was an unprecedented and unpredictable season, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2019-20 campaign ended in a way that many predicted throughout most of the year. They got bounced in the first round of the playoffs. However, this was largely due to the team’s two biggest stars sitting out with injuries in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but nonetheless this season was eye opening.
Before the season was suspended Brooklyn was 30-34 and had to deal with a plethora of personnel changes (including at the head coaching position) from October to March. Irving was in and out of the lineup before being sidelined just 20 games in with his new team after suffering a shoulder injury that would require season-ending surgery. DeAndre Jordan and Caris LeVert missed some games due to injury and lastly KD hadn’t played a game all year long due to his Achilles injury that he suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals. To top it all off Kenny Atkinson was fired right before the season suspension despite being a big part of the reason the team was progressing since he took over in 2016.
Jacque Vaughn then took over and was impressive to say the least. He led the Nets to a 7-3 record the rest of the regular season (including going 5-3 in the bubble). As you could tell from the way that they played under his leadership the Nets showed fight in each and every game. As you might imagine that’s refreshing considering what Vaughn had to work with. For the majority of his time as interim coach he had to compete without KD, Kyrie, DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chandler, Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince and Nicolas Claxton.
Despite all of that, the Nets got exactly what they needed from this season, which is to see how dangerous this team can be when at full strength with stars and crucial role players, having only the crucial role players this year.
Dinwiddie is definitely someone the Nets need because he held the PG position down when Kyrie was out, which was the majority of the year. He averaged 20.6 PPG and 6.8 APG.
Caris LeVert is another one of those pieces and will arguably be the third option on offense as he averaged 18.7 PPG on 42% FG shooting. He even went off for a career-high 51 points this season.
Lastly, Joe Harris, is now an unrestricted free agent and is a big piece of any success that this team experienced this year, and arguably can be an x-factor going forward on a title run. He averaged 14.5 PPG on 48.6% FG shooting and he shot 42.4% from behind the arc. Therefore, the Nets need to make it their priority to resign him. Although Harris is only one of nine Nets players that are newly free agents, he’s the only one who was on a multi-year contract with Brooklyn, so this is something that needs to get done sooner rather than later. If he chooses to test free agency, there will certainly be many teams who want his services.
Is an NBA Finals appearance a guarantee for next season if they keep all their current pieces this offseason? No, but if they want a chance that should be a big priority.
/ 12 hours ago
Ah! The legendary days of former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson are funny...