Nets Preview: Spanarkel on Most Improved Teams

10/25/2012 10:30 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Adding Ray Allen makes the NBA Champion Heat even more dangerous, says Jim Spanarkel.(AP)
While they may have differed on their reasons for the “improvement,” both Ian Eagle and Mike Fratello agreed earlier in our season series that the Nets are one of the most improved teams in the NBA.

Jim Spanarkel agrees as well, but while Fratello cited pure talent upgrade and Eagle credited the buzz created by it, Spanarkel says there’s a third key factor to consider when evaluating the Nets this season.

“With the personnel the Nets have right now, they have the ability to be very flexible,” Spanarkel said. “For example, even if Avery Johnson was to use, say, only eight players in the rotation, many of the guys are so multi-dimensional that he can find eight players to play 12 positions, so to speak.”

Outside of Brooklyn, many other teams have made major moves to position themselves for a run at the NBA Championship – and in Spanarkel’s mind, these three made the biggest splash.

No. 1: Los Angeles Lakers
“I think the dynamics of the Lakers getting Nash and Dwight Howard…even though they’ve been one of the top teams in the league of late, having Nash to control the tempo is a huge upgrade. Assuming both are healthy, that’s a stacked team.”

No. 2: Miami Heat
“I think Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen are going to help the Heat whole lot. Yes, they’re the defending champions, but in getting Lewis and Allen they improved from a quality standpoint in terms of their depth.”

No. 3: Golden State Warriors
“With Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut they have a nice inside-outside complement, and they’re deep on swing players. They may be an up-tempo team that may be able to surprise some people this year; they began making some moves last year, and added to what they did this summer, it’s a nice package.”

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