Anybody trying to make heads or tails of the Brooklyn Nets' championship prospects will have to wait until opening night in Cleveland on Oct. 30.
Those tuning into any preseason game, including Wednesday night's snoozer against the Boston Celtics, may not recognize many of the names taking the floor. Luckily, those same players will not grace the floor during the regular season. How the players that do appear in the black and white fare remains a mystery.
Head coach Jason Kidd steadfastly opted for the path of least resistance this preseason. His motto: Don't get anyone injured and don't put any miles on potentially weak legs. That's a satisfying option in small doses.
But at some point, 5-on-5 in practice can't be enough. Just like the NFL preseason, all players needs reps, not just the ones fighting for a roster position.
Kidd's tender care with the roster leaves the Nets' chemistry a legitimate question heading into the season. Not to mention Deron Williams' ankle injury continues to linger.
At the very least, the Nets will teach some people a few lessons not explored since the formation of the Miami Heat. Can a roster filled with A-names but serious questions win a title?
Nothing displayed to this point will answer that question.
Tyshawn Taylor grabbed headlines with his emergence and subsequent ankle injury earlier in the preseason. He even added 15 points Tuesday. But if Taylor makes waves for the Nets in the regular season, Billy King is in trouble.
The same goes for Chris Johnson, Jorge Gutierrez, and Mason Plumlee, players not even likely to make the Nets roster. They stole the show.
Even if players like Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans, and Mirza Teletovic play a role other than 5-to-6 minute spells, the Nets are in trouble.
At their core, the Nets need eight guys to play really well. Aside from the starting five, Shaun Livingston, Jason Terry (who returned Tuesday), and Andrei Kirilenko can potentially change some outcomes.
Kirilenko's defense and Terry's timely shotmaking will come in handy regularly. Livingston, on the other hand, will fill-in for the oft-injured Williams.
The rest of the players are mere bit players.
Even if Blatche and Evans play 20 to 25 minutes a night, the coaches shouldn't rely on them to score major points or grab the deciding rebounds during crunch-time.
That's why Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett grace the roster.
Until Oct. 30, though, Nets fans must wait to see those two play extended minutes together.