Get your quick, cheap wins in now because KD and the Nets are coming into form.
The Nets are intriguing to watch but also very confusing. Since the trade, Brooklyn is 7-6 and 5-3 in the games the Big 3 have played together.
With Kevin Durant out at least 5 more games due to COVID-19 contact protocols, the Nets are heavily relying on Harden and Irving to pick up the slack.
Brooklyn Being Historically Electrifying
The Nets since the Harden trade:
122.6 offensive rating
– Best in league
– Would be the best of all time
119.9 defensive rating
– Worst in league
– Would be the worst of all time pic.twitter.com/B5EbhfuEzH
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 1, 2021
What you don’t want to do is get in a shootout with this Brooklyn Nets team; No lead is safe.
The best offense, the worst defense; The Nets are like Rocky, resilient, taking a punch or two to throw back a swift, debilitating counter.
Harden & Kyrie
Harden is reinventing himself into a traditional point guard. A pass-first, efficient scorer who can get to the rim as he pleases. Although, his reinvention does not just stop on offense. Thrown to the wolves, Harden is now the primary defender on the opposing team’s best player.
Already being one of the best post defenders in the NBA, Harden expands on his defensive abilities.
Kyrie, Harden, and KD are all outliers of the NBA world. All three possess the prowess to take over games in a blink of an eye, unconsciously scoring, dismantling defenses, snatching ankles, and the oppositions’ hearts.
Despite them both being elite, KD and Kyrie are still very different players. Free-spirited and open-minded, you can see how who Kyrie is off the court translates to his on the court play.
The artistry of “Kai” Irving is unmatched, as his moves can be copied, yet never feel the same once you have personally witnessed Kyrie perform them.
Unfortunately for Brooklyn, scoring is only one half of basketball.
Aside from the Nets being atrocious defensively, Kyrie and Harden’s chemistry is almost nonexistent. They do not know how to play with each other when Durant is not on the floor.
The Nets will go as far as Kevin Durant chooses to take them.
KD & His Move to Brooklyn
Has there ever been a more lethal assassin than KD?
Coming back like he never left, Durant has the Comeback Player of the Year Award in the bag; however, he’s aiming for much more.
“I’ve been second my whole life. I’m tired of being second. I’m not going to settle for that.”
That was a quote from Kevin Durant in his 2013 60 minutes interview with James Brown, and those words still resonate to this day. It’s as if these last 3-4 years ceased to exist; Durant is fixated on ending the best player narrative once and for all.
KD has heard what the masses have said about him cherry-picking to win titles during his Golden State tenure.
Leaving the Warriors was about more than just winning championships, Durant finally wants to feel validated as a championship player.
Durant sought to be the best person in the league on the world’s best team when he left the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 for the 73-9 Golden State Warriors, and he accomplished that.
There was no competitive match on the court during his Golden State tenure, aside from the 2018 Houston Rockets.
But after two championships added to his resume, and the Warriors picked to 3-peat the following year, Durant felt something missing inside.
And he wasn’t the only one.
KD 💀💀💀 pic.twitter.com/WkCbG8zLwk
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) May 17, 2020
From the beginning of his time with the Warriors, Kevin always felt on the outside.
While feeling like he was the team’s best player and leader, he quickly found out that he was not as accepted as he thought he was.
Kevin Durant & Draymond Green get into a heated exchange after Draymond failed to get a shot off at the end of regulation during the Warriors loss to the Clippers. pic.twitter.com/uYROz4bld1
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 13, 2018
Kevin’s choice to go to Brooklyn goes into his psyche of being a leader of his own team and around an organization and teammates that believe in him.
With Kyrie Irving coming back from his hiatus and James Harden being traded to the team, Kevin has to be the leader he always envisioned himself to be so that they can become a real title contender this postseason.
Brooklyn’s Lack of Depth
With Spencer Dinwiddie out for the season after his Torn ACL injury, the Nets depth they’ve been known for the past couple of years is now depleted.
As we all know, they will rely heavily on their Big Three; however, a few X-factors on the team can help push them to become NBA champions.
Money Man Harris is just happy to be in Brooklyn. After signing his four years, 75 million dollar extension, Joe Harris has shown up and is having his best season to date.
He is shooting 52 percent from the field, 50 percent from three, and has career highs in points and minutes per game. Joe Harris has never been on a team with this much spacing, and James Harden, the NBA league assist leader, has never played with a better shooter than Harris.
Harris is one of the biggest X-factors because of the off-ball movement he provides when Kyrie, KD, and Harden are on the floor.
Joe Harris tied his career high with 30 points and had a career high 8 threes tonight against the Wizards. The Nets lost 146-149. pic.twitter.com/si1A1gotcx
— Hoos In The NBA (@hoosinthenba) February 1, 2021
During Miami Heat’s championship run in the early 2010s, we saw a modern era version of three-superstar teams in their prime basketball years.
While they had three superstars that carried the load to get them to a championship, Glue Guy players like Ray Allen and Shane Battier were there to push them over the edge by being reliable in crunch time.
Joe Harris fits that role, as he is willing to do anything the team needs him to do: spot-up shooting, off-ball screening, and movement, hustle plays, etc.
As long as Harris stays healthy and efficient, they will have a chance in every game offensively.
When you think that a veteran player has finally reached their time to retire, they completely remake themselves into a player all his former teams wish they still had.
After the Utah Jazz cut him last year, his NBA future was looking very bleak.
However, when the small ball Houston Rockets needed his services he answered the call.
TELL 'EM UNC pic.twitter.com/poPJsrMrMa
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 28, 2021
Jeff Green shot 56 percent from the field, 35 percent from three, and averaged 19.7 points per 36 minutes, the highest per 36 he has ever had in his career.
Green then proceeded to show that his newfound talents were no fluke in the 2020 Bubble playoffs.
He shot 49.5 percent from the field and 42 percent from three, silencing critics and showing that he still belongs in this league.
Fast forward to this year; Jeff Green is having his best statistical year in field goal and three-point percentage, at 51 and 43 percent, respectively.
Surrounded by the offensive firepower Brooklyn offers, Jeff Green gives the Nets consistency they will need to make a deep run in the playoffs this year.
DeAndre the Giant is the lone traditional center remaining on the Brooklyn roster after Jarrett Allen was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While Jordan is not the same perennial all-star he used to be, he still is a formidable center.
DeAndre Jordan knows his role: catch lobs, rebound, and protect the paint.
Per Basketball-Reference, Jordan has never averaged less than a double-double each 36-minutes, as he is averaging 12 points and 12 rebounds per game this year.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 10, 2021
Depending on the match up. Head coach Steve Nash uses a small ball lineup with DeAndre serving as the backup 5.
However, DeAndre’s play will be essential for this team to make it through the Eastern Conference playoffs.
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