Updated 12:17 PM EST, Fri, Jan 15, 2021

Brooklyn Nets Roster, Season 2014-2015 Predictions & News Update: Can the Starting Lineup Avoid Major Injuries?

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 "Fresh legs" is a term seldom used in Brooklyn these days. "Fresh" anything would be a welcomed sight to a Nets team starting four players over the age of 30.

Kevin Garnett missed 19 straight games with back spasms last season.  Andrei Kirilenko missed 25 for the same reason. Oft-injured point guard Deron Williams spent most of the summer resting surgically-repaired ankles, but that's nothing new to a player one ankle snap away from being dubbed the next Grant Hill; a Hall of Fame caliber talent cursed to fantasies of what could have been.

No amount of cortisone shots plasma therapy treatments can atone for Williams' brittle bones. Then again, no amount of mixing and matching can replace Williams.

Brooklyn's 35.7 field goals made per game were second worst among Eastern Conference teams. Only Miami attempted fewer shots. Yet the Nets still averaged 98.5 points per game, thanks to superior shooting from three-point land and Joe Johnson's impromptu leadership role.

Johnson posted 15.8 PPG and .401 shooting percentage from the field. When injuries to Garnett and Brook Lopez hamstrung scoring options in the front court, it was Johnson who spearheaded the team's "all-or-nothing" mentality from outside the arch. The burden to lead isn't solely on Johnson anymore. But it can be if Williams' ankles act up, Garnett's back spasms flare up, or an amalgam of an aging roster and rusty body parts ruin another season.

Garnett says he's healthy, but health is relative for a 19-year veteran whose career began while the Bullets still represented our nation's capital. That only means backup power forward Mirza Teletovic can expect extended playing time. Former Knicks center Jerome Jordan signed a training camp deal after spending last season with Virtus Bologna of the Italian League, though his lack of toughness and physicality has turned other NBA teams off.

The Nets signed Hamady N'Diaye to a similar deal only to announce his contract was void two days later after he failed a physical. In that light, signing Jordan would assuredly be a desperation move.

Paul Pierce-the only starter aside from Johnson to average over 28 minutes per game- is gone, taking an unlikely role in Washington. Kirilenko starts in lieu of Pierce while Serbian swingman Bojan Bogdanovic comes off the bench. Bogdanovic put up 21.2 PPG in the FIBA World Cup. He average 14.5 in leading Fenerbahce to a Turkish Basketball League championship. Bogdanovic is listed as a small forward on Brooklyn's depth chart but can expect considerable playing time behind Johnson.

If injuries don't kill the Nets', their first two months might. November and December include multiple meeting with Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Cleveland, and three with Chicago. A more accommodating schedule left the Nets with a 10-21 at the same point last year.

Expectations are still high for the NBA's most expensive club. Aside from Pierce's departure, the only difference between now and then is new head coach Lionel Hollins. Garnett, Lopez, Johnson, and Williams are still here. For Brooklyn's sake, hope the quartet spends more time with the coaching staff than the medical staff.

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