The reconstructions of the East: this has ended Orlando and Brooklyn to a drought of years

Both teams came from seasons of less than 30 victories and have managed to qualify for the playoffs in the most competitive Eastern Conference of recent years.


LeBron James's march to the Los Angeles Lakers and the change of Conference he made for the first time in his career marked the opening of a new era in the East. Suddenly, opened a huge window of possibilities and there were many aspirants who wanted the crown. In this campaign we have seen how up to five teams have played the first positions of a fierce East and as the Bucks have finally been those who have taken the first place in their Conference.

Since, the fight has been even more lasts in the last positions that give access to the playoffs. From the sixth to the tenth place we have seen (and we continue to see) how many franchises try to take a place in the final phase. Nets, Magic, Pistons, Hornets and Heat are contesting the positions that give access to the qualifiers and in the last day, two of them have achieved their mathematical classification for the playoffs.

Han been Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets. Two groups in which no one believed convincingly at the beginning of the season and who had suffered from extremely poor years, but who have recovered in a masterly manner and have emerged as examples of a good short-term reconstruction, which has allowed them to pass from regular season of less than 30 victories to reach the final phase.

The most notorious example is probably the Magic, who will play the qualifying rounds for the first time since Dwight Howard left the team, back in 2012, to put course to the Lakers. The center has been very vilified in the years since, but in Orlando he established himself as one of the best players in the NBA at the hands of Stan Van Gundy and the influence he had on the team has been evident after his departure. Van Gundy himself went that same year, which did not have the same success in the Pistons years later but gave the Magic the best years of its recent history.

After these losses, came the journey through the desert. Jacque Vaughn was fired in his third season and replaced by James Borrego, who would end that season to be replaced by a Scott Skiles in which they had high hopes. He made the best season since the departure of Van Gundy (35-47) and was replaced by Frank Vogel, who came with a lot of credit from the Pacers but who would not hit the key either. In total, five seasons below 30 wins and one below 40 in 6 seasons.

Nobody had in these years with a team wounded in their pride, with little competitive capacity and with a franchise adrift that took little by the transfer of Howard beyond a Vucevic that in the long run has proven its worth and that in the In recent years he has let Víctor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Domantas Sabonis, Elfrid Payton or Mario Hezonja without getting solid pieces in exchange.

The arrival of Steve Clifford gave a new perspective to the team. Vucevic began (at last) to transfer his spectacular statistics to the team's game while reaching the top of his career (All Star this year) while was finding utility to Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross, this especially in the last part of the season. And that they have not been able to count on Mo Bamba, number 6 of the last draft and a diamond in the rough for the future (20 years and a height of 2'13) that was injured in January and that has only been able to play 47 games in its first year, but that may be cause for hope in the near future of the franchise.

The good run after the All Star, where they have won 14 of the 22 games played, and the good work they have done against direct rivals have allowed them qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2012 after beating the Celtics at the Boston Garden, something not everyone can boast.

A feat worthy of praise and a season of more than 40 wins that will allow them to contest the eliminatory ones by the title and to put the first stone of a project that counts on young people and that can last years. We will see how they develop in the final phase and if they can give some scare to those above, but for now can be proud of the achieved.

The Nets go from mortgaging to rebuild

The case of the Nets is not the same as that of the Magic, but that does not stop having less merit. Since Prokhorov became the owner, the Nets tried by all means to make a short-term project to achieve a ring that sells very expensive and does not understand of haste and impatience. The arrival of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in 2013 mortgaged some Nets who until recently were still paying the interests of that movement. Everything thatThey won the Celtics (blessed Danny Ainge) they lost in Brooklyn. Pierce and Garnett collided with age, Brook Lopez set course for more attractive projects and Joe Johnson and Deron Williams disappeared from the map.

Now it seems that they start to start, and they do it in a meritorious season in which they have shown a great collective game and where they have seen how many players stood out. Spencer Dinwiddie, Allen Crabbe, Jarret Allen, DeMaree Carroll ... and, of course, D'Angelo Russell, which has gone from being vilified by Magic Johnson to being missed in Los Angeles.

A great second half of the season and the strength of the team has given credit to Atkinson, who has been renewed and has taken one of the youngest NBA squads (only three players were born in the 80s) to the playoffs. They have gone from 28 to more than 40 victories and they are arriving with very good sensations to the final phase of the regular season.

Now the Nets, like the Magic, will receive the prize for their great season playing the final phase. For almost all players in both franchises the first experience in playoffs, and in it they can enjoy what they have achieved and be sure that they are on the right track in the face of a reconstruction that seems to be finally paying off.



Photos from as.com

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