I have a bad feeling about the Nets but am still trying to figure out why. They have two top five players plus Kyrie, although James Harden is hurt and we have yet to hear how severe his hamstring pull is. Everyone is saying how great of a team the Bucks are, but the media says that every year. Then after the Bucks lose, analysts and reporters clamor to make excuses about their roster weaknesses.
To me, the Bucks are irrelevant in the championship conversation as I expect them to fall to the Nets as long as the Nets have Kevin Durant. The Philadelphia 76ers are likely done without Embiid and will lose to the Hawks. The Nuggets may beat the Suns, but I see this series as a toss-up.
Going into the postseason, the aforementioned teams seemed to be a lot more threatening to the Net’s efforts. Surprisingly, the Nets have been playing the defense of their lives in the playoffs so far. My question is, where did this defense come from?
We have seen players slack on defense before, but the Net’s poor defense this season has been “historic” at times according to viewers like Max Kellerman. With their revamped defense play, the Nets can defeat anyone.
The reason I am hesitant to crown them champions just yet is because I don’t know if they can keep it up. More than any offensive threat, the Nets’ defense is the key to victory. If the 76ers are healthy, the playoffs get interesting again. That seems unlikely, however.
Los Angeles Clippers
The last line of defense is the Clippers. With a focused Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, they should be the favorites to win. Mental breakdowns have reduced the anticipation of the Clippers finally being a great team. The one-on-one matchups are frustratingly exciting. A deadly weapon fans are overlooking is Rajon Rondo.
The Nets have an opportunity to win a title and make a lot of noise in the sports world. KD vs Kawhi, Harden vs Paul George and Kyrie vs ‘Playoff’ Rondo is something every basketball fan can enjoy, if not watch in awe. The Nets have a chance to be seen on par with the 2010’s Warriors. We’ll see what happens.