“Simply watch how our squad comes out of this All-Star Break,” – Kyrie Irving
And watch I did, as a result of I’m not one to make a fuss. And because the All-Star Break ended and this prophetic warning to all who dare traverse a basketball court docket, the Nets have gone 1-5.
Their one win was on the highway in opposition to the Milwaukee Bucks, that means it was one of many video games Kyrie Irving was allowed to play in since he nonetheless isn’t vaccinated (but he actually actually cares about profitable. Belief me). They received by three factors and their losses because the All-Star Break have included a few blowouts, one in opposition to the Celtics and the opposite a 36-point loss in opposition to the Raptors. Each have been at house the place wins come simpler for many groups.
On Sunday they performed on the Celtics once more, this time in Boston so Irving may play. And as an added bonus, Kevin Durant lastly returned from harm. They very practically had their full roster and misplaced anyway. Granted, it took a 54-point efficiency from Jayson Tatum for the Celtics to tug it out, however regardless, the Nets hold dropping. That loss dropped them beneath .500 and into what is actually a three-way tie for eighth place within the Jap Convention.
For the reason that Nets assembled this tremendous group, it’s been a group of “what ifs.” What in the event that they have been wholesome? What if the New York Metropolis mayor eliminates the vaccine mandate? What if Ben Simmons performs a basketball recreation? This group will in all probability nonetheless be the betting favourite to win the East when the playoffs come round however I’m sick of the hypotheticals. I’m solely going to consider this group can win a championship once I really see it.
I acknowledge that on paper they’ve one of the formidable rosters in latest reminiscence, however we simply haven’t gotten to see them at full power. Sunday was simply the fourth time Irving and Durant performed collectively all season.
It’s truthfully scary: the considered Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Jam
es Harden Ben Simmons all on the court docket on the similar time. Who would have the ability to cease three of essentially the most prolific scorers in league historical past two of essentially the most prolific scorers in league historical past and one other participant who has been recognized to shoot the ball on occasion once they’re all wholesome?
However there’s simply an excessive amount of working in opposition to them. Their latest losses at house have uncovered their lack of depth. Ben Simmons hasn’t performed in an NBA recreation in practically a yr so who is aware of what he’ll appear to be? Kevin Durant has performed in 72 regular-season video games within the final three seasons, which makes him harm inclined although seemingly nobody thinks of him that approach. It’s trying an increasing number of seemingly that Irving shall be allowed to play house video games quickly, however that’s removed from assured.
1,000,000 issues have to go proper for this group to achieve success and it’s simply more likely that no less than one factor will go fallacious and derail them. After they misplaced in final yr’s playoffs, their Massive 3 have been barely on the ground collectively as they took turns being injured. “But when they have been wholesome?” Properly they weren’t.
The Nets entrance workplace assembled a group of Durant, a 7-footer coming off of an achilles harm, Irving, who has some harm historical past and can be a loon, and Harden, who was out of practice and doesn’t carry out nicely within the playoffs. They knew there was an opportunity this mess may occur, so nobody ought to’ve made excuses for them. Now Harden is gone, changed by Simmons, whose issues as a participant are plentiful, so don’t make excuses for them once they get eradicated this yr.