Published: Mon, November 21, 2016
Sports | By Brett Lawson

THE NETS: KENNY ATKINSON GIVES SQUAD NEW DIRECTION

THE NETS: KENNY ATKINSON GIVES SQUAD NEW DIRECTION

Every NBA Coaching job is a good job. Or at least that is what everyone says. After all, there are only thirty spots available in the league. And if you can get a head coaching gig in the NBA, then you are definitely lucky. Though, looking at the basketball betting picks, a job with the Nets is probably nothing to be proud of.

Kenny Atkinson was supposed to have signed up for the worst job in the league when he chose to coach the Nets. However, people might have chosen to scoff at him a little too early because there is no team in the NBA that is quite as sunny as the Nets.

The Nets have one of the most deficient rosters you will find anywhere. In fact, not only do they have deficiencies, but they do not even have the tools or resources to resolve those deficiencies. 

They won’t even get to benefit from missing the playoffs as would normally happen, not when they owe next year’s pick outright to the Celtics. Kenny isn’t a fool. He knew very well the draft-pick challenge that he would face when General Manager Sean Marks brought him onboard.

Of course, that makes one wonder why he even took the job. He has not only admitted to understanding the problem before he took the job but, apparently, the team has never addressed it or even spoken about it. 

Maybe that says something about the Nets, that they have chosen to focus on the future and what they can do rather than what is missing. Kenny admitted what everyone is only starting to realize.

Coaching the Nets is an unbelievably fun experience; transforming the team into a squad that can compete favorably is a task that Kenny seems to have undertaken proudly. And he wants his team to simply focus on the competition.

Police identify slain San Antonio officer
Police say that the officer was fatally shot while writing a traffic ticket outside of police headquarters. Police are asking for assistance in identifying the man shown wearing a hat and walking in the photo.

The Nets are definitely something special this time around. The previous season, under Lionel Hollins, wasn’t very pleasant to them. They were very slow and their ranking was simply abysmal when it came to pace.

They had very few three-pointers to speak of; in other words, they were the opposite of what the NBA is supposed to be today. However, Kenny has clearly turned things around this year, at least with regards to the Nets’ style of play. 

They still have their weak spots, most of which are visible for everyone to see. The lack of depth is astounding. Jeremy Lin’s hamstring injury came at a bad time, exposing the Nets in ways they would have hoped to avoid.

The team has little in the way of trustworthy reserves. But, at the very least, they now have direction. They have crafted a team-oriented system that has seen their pace spike. You have perimeters shooters getting far more floor time than before, and the tempo has definitely risen.

For all intent and purpose, it looks like the Nets are actually catching up to the rest of the NBA. They will suffer because of the draft-pick purge. They are going to struggle to keep making progress.

But Kenny has proven that a revival for the team isn’t quite as impossible as most people presumed. 

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