Hollinger's Team Forecast: New Jersey Nets

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New Jersey won its division and advanced to the second round of the playoffs, but despite those superficial successes, the season had the tinge of failure to it. Not the nightmarish failure of its rival across the Hudson, perhaps, but certainly less than had been hoped for when the season began.

The Nets got out of the gate very slowly, with a curious inability to defend 3-pointers being a huge problem, and were only 9-13 by mid-December. That was hardly the plan for a team hoping the combo of Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter would be enough to propel it back into Eastern Conference contention. A 10-game winning streak provided momentary calm, but the team still was limping along at 32-29 by early March. That's when another mammoth winning streak, this one 14 games, put the division race away for good. It was the longest streak in the NBA all season.