(Brooklyn Nets AP)
Well, Joe Harris, a former 3-point contest winner is out for the season with an ankle injury. Harris was a nailed-on starter, and the Nets are missing the additional 15-20 points he puts up a game. Although playing only eleven games this season, he averaged 11.3 points, on 45% shooting from the field. Back to his previous accolade of winning the 3-point contest, he averages 46.6% from deep, which ranks him 1st in that category.
Kevin Durant has been overworked. Without his wingmen being consistently present or performing at a high enough level, and the role players not living up to that tag, Durant has been forced to take every shot. Now since he was ruled out with a sprained MCL on the 15th of January against the Pelicans, the decline has shown in the team’s results. Brooklyn have won 4 games during this period, losing a league-high 14 games, including 11 straight. This has been shocking.
Harden, who is no longer with the Nets, didn’t play like James Harden of the past. He has a new hamstring injury that he never used to have. You got to look at it from his perspective, I came here because Kyrie and KD said they could win a championship, and I am not getting any younger, want to win. I didn’t sign up for this. Maybe why he went to join MVP front-runner Joel Embiid in Philadelphia.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for Brooklyn though, to turn their season around. The vaccine mandate looks like it will be lifted so Kyrie will be available for home games, Durant is on his way back “feeling stronger” from his MCL sprain, and Ben Simmons is a Net. Simmons can’t shoot we know that, but in this team, his physique will be key in isolation when setting screens and points in the paint.
They also received Seth Curry and Andre Drummond in the Simmons-Harden trade so they got a shooter and a rebounding machine. When fully fit, the starting five could look like; PG Kyrie Irving, SG Seth Curry, F Kevin Durant, F Ben Simmons, and C Andre Drummond. This lineup seems dangerous but can they perform together? Could Steve Nash get the best out of them? Is he even good enough to do that?