Net According to Plan

by | Feb 25, 2022 | General | 0 comments

(Brooklyn Nets AP)

From going to NBA title favorites to now fighting to stay in contention for the play-in tournament, the Brooklyn Nets have had a torrid season. It has been an uphill task all season with only Kevin Durant putting up game-winning performances, with James Harden either not at his best or injured, and Kyrie Irving unable to play because of the vaccine mandate in the city. The Nets have lost 13 of their last 15 games, most recently blown out by twenty-three points by the Boston Celtics on the return to the regular season post-All-Star Game. Why are things not going according to plan?

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.

(USA Today Sports)
The two in the above picture (Kyrie Irving [left], and James Harden) have not made the journey much easier for the Steve Nash led team. With your best player out, you need the supporting cast to offer a sense of control, to show they are not 100% reliant on any single player. Irving has been barred from playing due to health and safety protocols in New York, more specifically a vaccination mandate. During the post-Durant run, Irving has featured in eleven of the eighteen games, being 1-10 during that span.

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?

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Well, I am 18 years old currently undergoing my Bachelors of Science in Media and communications. I'm currently in my first semester and I would like to be a sports analyst in the future. I am also from Jamaica. I would like to work at one of the biggest sports companies in the world (ESPN/SKY/BT) but everyone needs a start and I would love it if you were to give me that start.

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