New York, New York: Put Up Or Shut Up For Rollercoaster Nets

Did anybody place a wager on the Brooklyn Nets to be participating in the NBA Play In Round at the beginning of the season?

If you did, you’re a genius and you would’ve been on an island all by yourself.

The Brooklyn Nets entered the season as one of the title favorites according to Vegas and NBA pundits.

After all, the only thing that derailed the team a season ago was injuries to Kyrie Irving and James Harden, right?

Well, the 2021-22 team has had plenty of adversity to deal with, not just injuries.

Drama has been the MO of this franchise over the last three seasons. It’s always something for this Brooklyn crew.

This year, the black cloud hovering over the franchise from game 1 was the vaccination status of Kyrie Irving.

As we know, Kyrie didn’t get the COVID vaccine, missed a good chunk of the season and only recently started playing in home games at the Barclays Center.

Irving’s vaccination status put the Nets in a very tough predicament.

It’s tough to win in the NBA without your best players and the Nets played plenty of games without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

In addition, they were forced to trade James Harden in late January because he was tired of being a Net. Why exactly? Who knows, but the big 3 from a season ago was down to 2.

To Durant and Irving’s credit, when they have been on the floor together, they’ve been spectacular to watch.

Durant is the best player in the league and Kyrie is probably in the top 15.

With those two on your roster, you are going to have a chance in any playoff series that you play.

After all, there’s a reason why the odds makers have the Nets listed as the third favorite to win the NBA title. That’s pretty remarkable considering they’re a part of the Play In Tournament.

The odds makers believe a team with Durant and Irving is dangerous and can beat anyone.

That is true, what’s also true is that the Nets roster as a team hasn’t come close to forming the same sort of chemistry and unison that you will see from some of the other contenders within the Eastern Conference.

After all, the Nets are discussing the idea of Ben Simmons playing a role in the postseason! The same Ben Simmons who has yet to appear in a game so far this year.

Despite their talent, I am skeptical that a team that developed very little chemistry throughout the regular season is just going to be able to turn it on to go and win an NBA title.

Go prove it.

It’s all in front of the Brooklyn Nets. Will this rollercoaster season end with a trip to the finals that was predicted by many at the start of the season?

Or will it be a script of a talented cast that just is not meant to be champions together…

This is a plot too Hollywood for Brooklyn.

You can listen to my podcast New York, New York every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday on the Ringer Podcast Network on Spotify & Apple Podcasts. You can also watch me nightly Sun/Thurs on Geico Sportsnight at 11 PM on SNY.

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