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The Brooklyn Nets are a different team, but are they better?
That’s a question asked by the New York Post in a story previewing the Nets’ season.
Now, the Nets are indeed different — trading away Brook Lopez in a deal that landed them D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov. from the Los Angeles Lakers.
They also acquired DeMarre Carroll (Toronto Raptors) and Allen Crabbe (Portland Trail Blazers), and drafted Jarrett Allen (Texas).
Key holdovers include Jeremy Lin, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert.
So, is this Nets team better?
Not really, seem to say most national experts. Then again, the Nets don’t seem to care about that.
“Honestly, I’m not really paying too much attention [to pundits],” Lin said. “But my evaluation was always we’re pretty good. I’ve never thought anything otherwise, and I’ve never let anybody’s opinion tell me otherwise. At the end of the day it’s our job to figure things out, and prove that to everybody else.”
Second-year coach Kenny Atkinson added that despite the newness, things have been fairly cohesive.
“I’m pleased with how things have gone,” Atkinson said. “I’m pleased with how the new guys have integrated.”
The good news for the Nets is, outside of the top four or five teams, the Eastern Conference playoff seeds are typically up for grabs. The bad news is, they still seem to have a long way to go even with the makeover.
But as the Nets will tell you, all that matters is what happens between the lines.