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Brooklyn Nets: 66-1

As they watched Jason Kidd skip town for Milwaukee and Paul Pierce combine the Washington Wizards the Brooklyn Nets lost crucial figures from their bench and starting lineup that summer. Those reductions will change the makeup significantly, but not of Brooklyn for the worse. Kidd is replaced by lionel Hollins, and his seven seasons of head coaching experience must mesh with the Nets’ roster. At exactly the same time, Beckley Mason, in a piece for ESPN.com, raised some intriguing questions regarding the reputation Hollins built with the Memphis Grizzlies.
“Is what Tony Allen does something you can tutor?” he asked. “Is the way Marc Gasol moves 7’0″ and 260 pounds to stymie a point guard something anyone can learn?”
We’re about to learn.
We will also find out whether rookie import Bojan Bogdanovic can replicate Pierce’s production on the wing. And we find out if the time with Team USA in the FIBA Basketball World Cup of Mason Plumlee will lead to a large sophomore campaign Brook Lopez must conquer another setback with his surgically repaired foot, and Kevin Garnett has to prove he’s got enough juice made to contribute more than a handful of minutes per match. But with Joe Johnson and Deron Williams in Jarrett Jack and the backcourt substituting Shaun Livingston Brooklyn remains a squad that is savvy with a fair amount of ability if most of it is nearing its expiry date.
The playoffs are a realistic goal for the Nets, and in the event the 30-year-old Williams can stay healthy along with Lopez, a seed isn’t from the question.

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