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Lopez, Johnson think the Nets can win a ring. This year.

Aug 24, 2012, 12:24 PM EDT

Deron Williams, Joe Johnson AP

I’m going to mock them a little for it. Some of you are going to mock them a lot for it in the comments and on twitter. It’s clear why.

But ask yourself this — do you want a key player on a good team to say they can’t win a ring this year? Do you want Joe Johnson to say “we really hope we can get home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and maybe advance to the second round, that would be a success?”

No, you want them to think ring. Even when they are not going to win it. And so Johnson and Brook Lopez of the Nets have said what they should, in separate interviews they both talked title.

Johnson has a good interview with Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated talking about how shocking rents are in New York, how he was playing NBA 2K12 when he was told about the trade, then he instantly traded himself on the game, and how he wants a ring.

That’s what we are shooting for — the ring. There’s no need to sell ourselves short. You talk about gelling and figuring it out, and I think we have the perfect pieces: a great point guard, a great center. I don’t think any of our positions are the same or overlap at all.

Lopez was on the other side of the globe — the Philippines — last week for an NBA event and when asked he told the Philippines Star that he thought the Nets were a title team.

“Obviously our main goal is no question the NBA championship. I think it is realistic for us. We’re already a good playoff team so with the addition of other pieces, we can target the ring,” said Lopez, who was recently re-signed by the Nets to a four-year deal.

The Nets have a good core — Johnson, Lopez, Deron Williams will be the leader, and Gerald Wallace. Also on the roster are Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Reggie Evans and I think people are going to like Mirza Teletovic’s game.

The Nets are going to be a fun to watch, a quality offense team, not a contender but good. They are going to put up a lot of points. But they are going to give up a lot of points too, and that end of the floor is the question. How good they are, how far they go will be about their defense. I see a respectable team that will be at best a four and more likely a five or six seed in the East.

But the Nets themselves, they see bigger things.

  1. cantonbound13 - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    And I believe I’m going to win the lottery tomorrow.

  2. icdogg - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    While I don’t happen to agree with him, in his position, it’s exactly how he should be thinking. Confidence only goes so far but if you don’t have it you’re in trouble before you start.

  3. chargersallday17 - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    LMAO @ cantonbound13

  4. doctorfootball - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I like the confidence but delusional is still delusional. They don’t have a single player on that team that plays good defense, and that includes Deron Williams. They’re a 7th or 8th seed at best. And they dont have much depth on that bench. Their big acquisiton, Joe Johnson, has never been a great player but he’s sure paid like one. Johnson is one of those guys that doesn’t make his teammates better. He plays for himself. Also, they have the softest center in the league.

    • moseskkim - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Joe Johnson doesnt deserve his contract. WHO CARES! Good for him, and its not like youre paying him. Nets owner is rolling in dough so stop worrying about his paycheck. As far as his game, JJ is a great scorer and good distributor and good defender. He can create his own shot and hasnt played with a great playmaker since Nash in PHX so DWILL will help. He played ISO all day cuz Hawks suck. They have way more talent on the nets right now. people need to stop bashing him. hes gonna be good for at least a couple more years.

      • borderline1988 - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        moseskkim:

        I agree – they’re not as bad as people make them out to be. Johnson and Williams is easily the best backcourt in the Eastern Conference, and Lopez can really score in the post. They will not have much trouble putting points up on the board.

        The issue is rebounding and rim protection. You have to understand that their interior defense will be terrible.

        They will win games, but the wins will usually be high-scoring ones/shootouts. That does not bode well for the playoffs. Teams like Chicago, Miami, Boston, and Indiana will grind them out to death. For instance, Indiana’s frontcourt will have dominate the Nets.

    • borderline1988 - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      I agree with you your points, just that Johnson and Wallace are both very good defenders. The issue is with their interior defense. Lopez and whoever plays the 4 position (Humphries?) will be really, really weak.
      Although, to be honest, I don’t know much about Teletovic – he may be able to do something about that..

    • therealhtj - Aug 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      Look any team can catch Detroit style luck where a key opposing player gets hurt in every series, and win a ring. Short of that, they should consider a 2nd round exit a fairly reasonable result.

  5. cakemixa - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Not happening, as my Wizards are the favorites to win it all this year. Wizards – #1 in the East. BOOK IT.

  6. miamatt - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Won’t happen, but that’s what they should be thinking. I don’t understand athletes who go into seasons on any level with “realistic” expectations. Why limit yourself?

  7. moseskkim - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Why not? They can. They have A LOT of talent. Many of the starters are injury prone but if they can stay healthy, I think they can win. U need key contributors and watching a lot of clipper games, reggie evans is gonna be big. You think lopez can’t rebound? evans will gobble everything along with wallace who’s a great rbder at the 3. As long as they gel, they CAN win. They wont, but can.

  8. dixx8ball - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    This just in….Williams and Lopez bought 10,000 cases of Cracker Jacks to find the rings they can say they won this coming year…

  9. heat256 - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    And I think Sofia Vergara is going to ask me to make sweet, sweet love to her.

  10. lakerluver - Aug 24, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    @heat256, hey, dude, Sofia Vergara’s MY woman!!…….I have a better chance of her and Beoncye asking me to participate in a ménage a trois then the Nets have of winning a ring next season.

  11. thenoblefacehumper - Aug 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/08/06/j-r-smith-sounds-like-blog-commenter-says-knicks-are-contenders/

    Kurt, you are some kind of hypocrite. When J.R. Smith says it, it’s “Um…no”. But Lopez and Johnson aren’t Knicks, so you don’t feel the need to bash them at any opportunity. This post will probably get deleted just like all my other ones pointing out your weird anti-Knicks thing. But don’t think people don’t notice.

  12. mojosmagic - Aug 24, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    The say yes, I say no, the Rusian tried, but his team still blows.

  13. dysraw1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    the Nets are gonna be scary good this season 4 or 5 barring injury WASH will be competitive as well 7 or 8 barring injury

  14. raidmagic - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    “We’re already a good playoff team so with the addition of other pieces, we can target the ring,” said Lopez,”

    Ummm you won 22 games last year and couldn’t even see the playoffs from where you were, what the hell are you talking about?

  15. omniusprime - Aug 25, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Brook Lopez was on the other side of reality saying out loud that the lowly Nets were title contenders. Since when has Lopez been anything but a second rate NBA player? Sorry the Nets are going to soak that Russian billionaire for a lot of money, tee hee. Just shows how ignorant pro athletes are and what liars they can be.

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