Jeremy Lin does not feel demotivated about early predictions tagging the Brooklyn Nets as the worst team heading into the 2016-17 NBA season. The starting point guard said that they will keep on playing the hardest to earn respectability and prove their critics wrong.
Lin Remains Optimistic
Lin told the New York Post at Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play that he already expected the dire predictions for the Nets because of the team's 21-61 record last season. However, he added that that he is not much of a bulletin-board player. He stressed that the team is more focused on earning their way back to respectability in the upcoming season.
The 28-year-old NBA star said that they will just play harder to win more games. He stressed the best chance for the Nets to succeed is to be the team that played the hardest. "At the end of the day, it's how hard we play," Lin stated.
Lin's comments came just days after he was snubbed by Sports Illustrated's Top 100 NBA Players of 2017 despite having an impressive record last season. According to Rob Mahoney of SI, Lin made major contributions to the Charlotte Hornets' success last season but there are other NBA players who made bigger impact than him.
Brook Lopez is the only player of the Nets who made it to the annual list. The 28-year-old center settled in the 38th spot for two years in a row.
The Worst NBA Season for the Nets?
Jorge Sierra of Hoops Hype predicted the Nets to be the worst team in the 2016-17 NBA season. He projected that the team will settle fifth in the Atlantic Division and 15th in the Eastern Conference.
Sierra acknowledged that the Nets' new coach Kenny Atkinson has a reputation for honing young talent. He also commended Lin for being a dynamic player at the point guard position. However, he pointed out that the roster lacks star players and depth.
The ESPN Forecast panel also ranked the Nets as the least promising team on their 2016-17 Eastern Conference standings. The panel projected the Nets to have lesser wins next season despite the presence of Lin and Lopez in the team.
Vahan Shakhpazyan of 12Up made the same prediction that the Nets will make the worst record in the league in the upcoming season. He stated that the team is in a full-blown rebuilding process and it will take time before the roster will deliver.
Shakhpazyan also added that the Nets are not talented enough and they will most likely end up as the worst offensive team. He said that the team could drop from their 26th rank in three-pointers last year to 30th this upcoming season. He also predicted Lin to fail in living up to expectations.