But, Pierce and Garnett were brought to Brooklyn to instill a winning attitude. They have combined for 267 playoff games in their careers. The nine- man rotation Carlesimo used in last season's first-round playoff exit combined for 271. You can't ask for better playoff tutors than that.
Lopez emerged as an All-Star center last season. He averaged 19.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg and 2.1 bpg. That rebounding number is low, but Evans did the heavy lifting on the glass. Lopez is an incredibly skilled big man and is one of the top five centers in the league. He was the offensive focal point for Brooklyn and that shouldn't change, until the fourth quarter when Pierce and Williams take over.
BACKCOURT: Williams and Johnson combined for nine All-Star appearances before hitting Brooklyn. They never truly clicked in the backcourt last season, but Johnson battled a foot injury and Williams appeared to conflict with Avery Johnson.
Williams is still an elite point guard, although his scoring and assists numbers were down from the previous season. His shooting numbers were up and the scoring should've gone down with the emergence of Lopez.
"Personally, I just want to get back playing the way I'm capable of playing," Williams said on media day.
Johnson's stats were down across the board. He had the most trouble fitting into Brooklyn's new structure. What will it be like this season with two more All-Star starters and two stud bench players in Terry and Kirilenko?
BENCH: Speaking of those two, Kirilenko will probably head into the season as the favorite for Sixth Man of the Year. In Minnesota, he averaged 12.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.5 spg and 1.9 bpg. That's incredible production. It'll go down with less minutes, but to have such a valuable, versatile player off the bench is huge.
Terry had trouble fitting in with Boston, but he'll be fine spelling Williams and Johnson.
Evans is best suited for the second unit and his toughness will mean the Nets lose nothing in defense and rebounding from him when he takes Garnett's minutes.
Blatche was re-signed and was a great bench asset. He averaged double figures in both the regular season and the playoffs and even saw time with Lopez in a monster frontcourt.
Livingston is a capable backup for Williams and even Anderson scored double figures for the Toronto Raptors last season. He's a great shooter.
This unit is loaded.
COACHING: Kidd is the biggest wild-card in Brooklyn's title aspirations. Can he coach? Who knows, but, again, the Frank hiring was a shrewd first step.
Kidd will have the respect of his players and that's important. This is a veteran team that can police itself, especially Garnett, who will resume his role as enforcer.
Perhaps Kidd's tallest task will be to manage the personalities. All five starters and Kirilenko are former All-Stars. Terry can be a handful, same for Evans and Blatche. Again, Kidd will have to rely on these veterans to keep things on course.
The strategy will most likely come from Frank. Kidd will provide the presence. He's a champion and a Hall of Famer in wait. He will add to the aura of the Nets as legitimate contenders, although that won't happen until game three as he was suspended the first two for a DWI incident.
OUTLOOK: One of the first things Pierce did as a Net was to fan the flame of the rivalry with the New York Knicks. New York supremacy is not the only thing on the line - so is the Atlantic Division title.
The Eastern Conference is strong. The Heat are two-time NBA champions. The Pacers are going to be in the title mix and if Derrick Rose comes back to his old form, the Chicago Bulls will be terrors.
Brooklyn is part of that conversation now. Pierce and Garnett won't be around forever. In fact, this season could be the only one together at the Barclays Center.
This is an interesting blend of talent. It's littered with Hall of Famers and that has not traditionally worked. (See Lakers, Los Angeles, 2012-13 for proof.)
But Garnett and Pierce won't let ego rule. They went through a super team in Boston and won a title. They were the perfect two players to bring to a great team to make it elite.
The Atlantic Division title is a reasonable goal. Making the NBA Finals is possible, as well.
Prokhorov's huge financial gamble could really pay dividends.