Well, we'll see about the Nets -- but I pretty much disagree altogether that they've gotten worse. I'd say instead that they are more likely to be better.
Ed Davis was a big loss, but Jordan makes up for that easily. Russell wasn't anywhere near as good as he's being made out to be. Kyrie is an enormous upgrade (with the risks you mention).
The depth they lost (Crabbe, Carroll, Dudley, R. H-J., Napier & Graham) were mostly extremely bad in the 7000 minutes they played. Moreover, they also added depth (Temple, Prince, Nwaba, Chandler). Plus Lavert only played 40 games last year, & Dinwiddie only 68.
Obviously, a bunch of things could affect their season, so we'll see. But simply from the POV of personnel changes & the guys they are getting back who missed a big number of games last year, I think they've improved pretty significantly.
If Kyrie has a good season & Jarrett Allen continues to improve the way he did from a good rookie year to a really really good year two, they could knock on the door of 50 wins pretty easily.
I would not be surprised to see them get past one or both of Boston & Philly.
Remember -- if you don't like the post above: blame Doc not me.