http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/5-on-5-110909/new-jersey-nets-offseason-questionsFact or Fiction: The Nets will make the playoffs next season.
Justin DeFeo, Nets Are Scorching: Fiction. Barring a "super" trade, the Nets aren't the eighth-best team in the Eastern Conference. A full season of Deron Williams and the addition of Marshon Brooks will lead to improvements, but this is still the group that won only 24 games last season. The Nets will remain in the playoff hunt until late in the season but ultimately fall short.
Devin Kharpertian, Nets Are Scorching: With what they have now, fiction. Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Anthony Morrow, Marshon Brooks and a crude cast of irrelevant cast-offs isn't going to cut it in a rapidly improving Eastern Conference. They've got a chance if they acquire a solid big man through free agency or trade (David West, Josh Smith and that big guy from Orlando are all candidates). Until then, they'll be lottery-bound again.
Mike Mazzeo, ESPN New York: Fact. If D-Will plays a healthy full season, Lopez progresses, Kris Humphries re-signs and plays like he did in 2010-11, Anthony Morrow continues to knock down 3-pointers, Travis Outlaw doesn't play like a 10th man and Marshon Brooks can score. That's a lot of ifs, but what the heck. The Prohkorov/King/Avery kool-aid tastes good.
Danny Savitzky, Nets Are Scorching: Fiction. Even a full season of Williams won't give the Nets superpowers.
Noam Schiller, Hardwood Paroxysm: Fact. The Nets will have to ward off the Knicks, Bucks, Pacers and Sixers for one of the final three playoff spots in the East. Of those four, none of the latter three has anything close to a player such as Deron Williams. In the weak East, I believe his presence for 82 games will be enough to sneak in.