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NBA: Brooklyn Nets season preview

Brooklyn Nets endured a difficult season last term as they had to come through the play-in tournament to reach the playoffs before being swept by Boston Celtics in the first round.

Kyrie Irving was limited to just 29 appearances in the regular season and Kevin Durant also saw his game time limited by injury issues.

The major talking point of the campaign was James Harden's move to Philadelphia 76ers - breaking up the Nets' big three before they had a chance to impress - and Ben Simmons didn't feature at all after heading in the opposite direction as part of that trade.

Brooklyn go into the 2022-23 season among the teams fancied to go all the way, but after a summer of turmoi they have plenty of questions to answer.

WhatNBA Season 2022/23
WhereUSA, Canada, Mexico, France
WhenOctober 18th 2022 - June 2023
How to watchSky Sports, NBA Pass, bet365 Sports Live Streaming
OddsGS Warriors +600, MIL Bucks +650, BOS Celtics +650, LA Clippers +650, BKN Nets +700

Durant and Irving's commitment a concern

The biggest story in the league during the offseason revolved around Nets superstars Durant and Irving as both requested moves away from the organization/organization.

Ultimately, no team was able to put together a package that even looked like tempting Brooklyn into trading either star as owner Joseph Tsai stood firm.

There were reports that Durant issued an ultimatum to the team along the lines of he would stick with the team if coach Steve Nash is replaced - but Nash is still in charge of the first team.

If Durant and Irving can put any issues to one side and perform to the best of their ability then the Nets will have one of the best offenses in the NBA but if there are underlying tensions that may well impact on their chances.

Simmons adds a new dimension

Simmons sat out the entirety of last season after initially refusing to play for the Sixers but if the Nets can get the best out of the Australian guard/forward he could prove to be an excellent addition.

Durant and Irving are excellent attacking players and when Harden was playing for the team their offense, on paper, looked superb. However, that team was unbalanced and Simmons is a brilliant defender who should help on that side of the court.

The point guard isn't a prolific scorer and averaged just 14.3 points-per-game in the 2020-21 season with Philadelphia, but if Durant and Irving are scoring heavily that shouldn't be a major concern.

Essentially, a team with Durant, Irving and Simmons has great potential but after failed trade requests and a whole season without playing it remains to be seen as to whether or not they can find their best form in the season ahead.

More to the Nets than their new big three

The Nets headlines may revolve around Durant, Irving and Simmons but they have plenty of quality within their squad and in terms of strength in depth this has the potential to be the best Brooklyn team we have seen since they put together a 'super team'.

Durant and Simmons will probably be the starting forwards, meaning a change in position for the latter who largely operated as the point guard at Philly.

Irving should take the point guard role with either Joe Harris or Seth Curry his backcourt partner and Nic Claxton looks likely to start at center.

Patty Mills, T.J. Warren, Day'Ron Sharpe, Cam Thomas and others provide further options from the bench, while Simmons' ability to play in nearly every position gives coach Nash plenty of scope to make changes to his tactics and line-up.

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How the season starts

Brooklyn start the season with a pair of home games against New Orleans Pelicans and then Toronto Raptors.

The Nets then face two road games as they head to Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks before they return to the Barclays Center with a home game against Dallas Mavericks and back-to-back games with Indiana Pacers.

The first five games of the season are all against teams who reached the playoffs last season and they should give an indication of how competitive the Nets will be this season - and whether any of their offseason issues are having any kind of impact on court.

Brooklyn Nets 2022-23 expectations

A team containing Durant, Irving and Simmons should always have big ambitions and if they are all committed to the cause the Nets should be genuine championship contenders.

Brooklyn may have lost in four games to the Celtics in the first round last season, but all of those games were close - Boston's biggest margin of victory in those games was seven points - and the Nets had injury issues to contend with, so they remain a serious threat.

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