The Brooklyn Nets are the best team in the NBA by individual quality. Anyone would choose them as the main candidates to win the ring, but they are 8th in the Eastern Conference and have lost 10 out of their last 15 games. Does this mean that they will not be good enough in the Playoffs? Do they have the required talent?
It is true that Steve Nash does not contribute at all from the bench. The strategy plays are just based on screens so Durant and Irving can make easy baskets. The starting five rotation consists of putting together as much individual quality as possible so the attack works out properly while in defense he turns on the autopilot mode during the regular season as many other teams do. All these facts support the idea that the coach figure is not as relevant as in other franchises.
Injuries have really depleted the team, as they have not stopped adding names to the list. The most recent ones are Goran Dragic and Seth Curry and then Ben Simmons in a trade for James Harden to Philadelphia. This way, the Nets get rid of a Harden that forced this trade and who they should not miss at all in exchange for the unknown of Simmons.
The player has not participated in any game yet so far this season due to mental issues that he is currently dealing with. Maybe he might start stepping back into the team’s dynamic shortly in order to be available for the last part of the season. The Nets would certainly add a great defender that can help to stop the stars opponents if he manages to get back on shape.
The controversial aspects have surrounded Kyrie Irving during the entire season. However, he proved that he is still a special player by the time he came back to the courts. His 25.9 points and 5.4 assists in 18 games and great recent performances like his 50 points against the Hornets support him.
Even though it might sound counterproductive, losing the home advantage is favorable for the Nets. Kyrie Irving is not allowed to play in New York for not being vaccinated, which would hinder a seven game series where he would miss the most part of it.
Heads and tails:
They suffered a lot against the Celtics, which are now into a good streak. Tatum did whatever he wanted and ended up with 54 points. The easiness that he faced in order to find easy marks offensively was something to worry about towards the Playoffs. Brooklyn was a chaos without control destined to let their stats solve it all. Despite all this, and at half pace, they almost beat a very good team, as the final score was just 120-126 for Boston.
Their last game against the Philadelphia 76ers showed that they are the best team in the NBA if they get focused. The morbid was clear with the reunion with Harden and the booing to Simmons, who did not play but travelled with the team. Irving really took Harden out of the game on 1vs1. Joel Embiid, a firm candidate for the MVP this season, found himself left alone to face the threat against a Brooklyn Nets that performed at a very high level. 129-100.
We must still see if this team is able to make it to the end of the season at 100% shape and healthy. In that case, we will check out if there is any other team that can stop the perfect chaos of the Brooklyn Nets.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Twitter @BrooklynNets.