Will the new Brooklyn Nets have a breakout season?
MARCUS HENRY Special to the AmNews | 10/5/2012, 4:51 p.m.
It's been a long time since the Nets were under any real pressure to win games. Not since the middle of the Jason Kidd era were the Nets expected to win games.
After a spirited effort over the last couple of years by General Manager Billy King that brought in the likes of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, there are no more excuses, and Nets coach Avery Johnson wants it that way.
"I've been waiting for this kind of pressure for two years. Where there's pressure on us to win," Johnson said at the Nets' media day. "Expectations are a lot higher. This is what we want. This is what we signed up for."
Williams said he can handle the pressure, too. "I feel like we can be a great team," he said. "I want to put that pressure on us to make the playoffs and do something in the playoffs."
But how fast can the team come together? Only six players from last season's team are still on the roster. That's nine new faces. Williams doesn't believe the Nets will have a problem getting on the same page offensively.
Said Williams, "Our veteran leadership is going to help. We have guys that are proven at this level. Last year we had a short camp. It was like coach was still teaching in May and April. This year we won't have that. We'll be able to put stuff in, and in five days everybody will have it."
Johnson, one of the many experienced veterans acquired in the offseason, is confident the Nets will come together quickly.
"This year, the sky's the limit for us," he said. "I think we've got a chance to win the whole thing this year. I'm not just saying that. I honestly believe it.