Start here: The Brooklyn Nets won 21 games last year. They lost 61. Will they win more than 2 out of every 8 games they play this year? Depends on if they play like they did in the first preseason game against the Celtics (then yes) or the second one (then no). New coach Kenny Atkinson will rely on new point guard Jeremy Lin, the most famous first-time regular starter in the basketball universe, to guide the Nets to, say, 3 wins in 8. That’s a big improvement actually, and it’s what rational fans are hoping to see. That and season-long improvement, which gets harder as a losing campaign drags on.
Lin knows the Nets will have to make up for a lack of end-to-end talent with determination and drive. It becomes a problem only when more talented teams exhibit the same. But Lin has seen determination work wonders, so he has faith. Here’s his assessment going into the season via the New York Post:
“We’re going to have to be blue-collar, just nitty-gritty, physical. We just have to be scrappy. We’re not the most talented. That’s not a knock on anyone. It’s also not a surprise. We’re not the most talented. But it’s never just been about pure talent, and we’ve seem that many times, over and over again in the history of the game.”