Deron Williams may not have gotten a prolific inside scorer in the short NBA offseason, but he already has a pretty good product.
Teamed up with center Book Lopez, the Nets have a chance to have one of the best -- and underrated -- inside-outside scoring tandems in the Eastern Conference, and, with New Jersey making virtually no moves, that could be the dark horse.
Attendance, likely, won't be much higher than it has been in any of the past five seasons. After all, with the team one season away from moving to the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, many of the Nets fans have moved on to greener pastures.
What is a question mark, however, for Avery Johnson's team, is the production of their other three starting positions, and their play off the bench. Plainly enough, Lopez and Williams are going to need help around them, and, as of now, it's still a question as to who will be starting alongside them on Dec. 26 in Washington.
Last season, New Jersey received solid production from players like Anthony Morrow, Kris Humphries and Sasha Vujacic. Still, at best, all three of those players are better suited as role players. This season, they will be bringing in rookie MarShon Brooks from Providence and and second-year player Jameson Curry. Those players, despite their youth, will need to erase the recent history of struggling young players for the Nets, much like Chris Douglas-Roberts and Terrance Williams -- two promising players who fell on their face when they hit the big leagues.
The past three seasons, the Nets were built on two players: Lopez and Devin Harris. That combination could not deliver, despite the many chances they were given. Now, with Williams at the guard position for a full season, it's his turn to see if he can lead a team the way many people hope he can.
If the season is not a winning one, and things don't get turned around, don't expect Williams to be too quick to re-sign with the Nets, setting them back even further than where they started.
Simply put: there's a lot riding on the Nets in 2012.