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Well, here we are!! Yet another year of Nets basketball. After not living up to the hype that surrounded them last season, Nets fans are praying that their team can buck the trend of underachieving and pull off the unthinkable; a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. Wait! We mean a trip to the NBA Finals. Hold on!! We mean capturing the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship. Yeah. That’s the one!!
After finishing second place in the east with an impressive 48 wins in 2020-21, the Nets regressed in 2021-22. Even though they recorded 44 wins and barely scraped their way into the postseason, they were quickly dispatched by the Boston Celtics in a first-round sweep. This totally fits the team’s MO.
Since relocating to Brooklyn a decade ago, the Nets have earned a playoff spot seven times. All but two of those runs were snuffed out in the opening round. The other two campaigns ended in the second round. It’s been pretty grim since they made back-to-back appearances in the finals in 2002 and 2003. Of course, they lost both times.
But, this is a new season and that comes with renewed hope. While the fanbase has lofty expectations for their team, let’s take a look at how the bookmakers think the Nets will fare this year.
Well, as optimistic Nets fans say: The 47th time’s a charm. Bookmakers, on the other hand, don’t seem to be as confident. Most NBA bookmakers opened Brooklyn’s odds of winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy at about +600. As we get within a couple of weeks of the regular season, most bookies have them listed at +700 or higher.
Of course, a lot of this can be attributed to the fact that the Eastern Conference is steeped in talent. Boston, Milwaukee, Philly, and Miami are all poised to provide plenty of competition. We should also consider that the Nets simply don’t have a history of performing well at crunch time. Still, if the Nets have ever had a legitimate chance of glory, this is as good a year as any. Here are the odds to win the NBA title in 2023.
|Golden State Warriors||+600||New Orleans Pelicans||+4000|
|Boston Celtics||+650||Atlanta Hawks||+4500|
|Milwaukee Bucks||+650||Chicago Bulls||+6000|
|L.A. Clippers||+700||Portland Trailblazers||+8000|
|Brooklyn Nets||+700||N.Y. Knicks||+10000|
|Phoenix Suns||+900||Charlotte Hornets||+15000|
|L.A. Lakers||+1200||Detroit Pistons||+25000|
|Miami Heat||+1400||Utah Jazz||+25000|
|Philadelphia 76ers||+1400||Washington Wizards||+30000|
|Denver Nuggets||+1700||Indiana Pacers||+30000|
|Dallas Mavericks||+2000||Sacramento Kings||+40000|
|Memphis Grizzlies||+2200||San Antonio Spurs||+40000|
|Toronto Raptors||+2800||Houston Rockets||+50000|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||+3300||Orlando Magic||+50000|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||+3300||Oklahoma City Thunder||+50000|
They aren’t the forerunners, but the Brooklyn Nets are certainly garnering an awful lot of respect from bookmakers who currently have them listed at +333 to win the Eastern Conference. That ranks them as the third-biggest favorite in the category behind Boston and Milwaukee who are +275 and +300 respectively. It seems that quite a few NBA futures bettors have taken the bait as the Nets’ opening odds of +650 have been cut nearly in half.
Again, one of the most significant aspects of the Nets that scares futures bettors is the team’s historical inability to win in the playoffs. This is a team that has advanced to the Eastern Conference Final just twice in its existence. However, as mentioned earlier: If the Nets ever had a shot a postseason glory, this year is as good as any. Let’s check out the odds to win the Eastern Conference.
With Boston and Philadelphia in the mix of legitimate contenders, the battler for the Atlantic should be quite entertaining. Again, bookmakers are favoring the Celtics at +135 while the Sixers are set at +300. The Nets fall in the middle of those two contenders at +200. So, can Brooklyn find a way to gain six or seven wins on the Celtics this year while keeping a step ahead of Philly? It’s not out of the question. It’s just that at +200, there isn’t a whole lot of value there. Here are the odds to win the Atlantic Division this season.
|New York Knicks||+6000|
The bookmakers expect a few teams to win at least 50 games this season. A lofty goal to say the least. These teams include the Celtics, Warriors, Clippers, Bucks, Sixers, Suns, and our protagonists, the Brooklyn Nets.
Considering how the Nets franchise has won 50+ games in a season just once, this is a tough win total to bite on. Not only will they need to dominate the also-rans, but they will have to steal their share of wins from their main competitors. A tall order indeed. Let’s look at the win totals for the league’s top contenders.
|Golden State Warriors||51.5|
|2020-21||48-24||Lost Second Round|
|2019-20||35-37||Lost First Round|
|2018-19||42-40||Lost First Round|
|2014-15||38-44||Lost First Round|
|2013-14||44-38||Lost Second Round|
|2012-13||49-33||Lost First Round|
|2006-07||41-41||Lost Second Round|
|2005-06||49-33||Lost Second Round|
|2004-05||42-40||Lost First Round|
|2003-04||47-35||Lost Second Round|
|2002-03||49-33||Lost NBA Finals|
|2001-02||52-30||Lost NBA Finals|