Is the Nets’ biggest threat themselves?
By Matthew Skilton
In recent weeks, the Brooklyn Nets have added Allstar talent with the likes of Blake Griffin and Lamarcus Aldridge, but issues are still arising that can give other teams a chance at winning it all.
Injuries are a huge worry for the Nets and if they fail to make a deep playoff run it may be because they lack consistent availability of their stars. The deadly trio of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have only played 186 minutes together this season, as we now head into the final stretch of the regular season.
Durant has missed almost half the season, that being 32 games, while Irving has missed 15 games and Harden with 17. Despite adding Aldridge and Griffin to help their already stacked offence, the Nets need their star trio to be fit and firing to have any chance of making it out of the Eastern Conference, especially when they can potentially meet Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
Ever since the Nets juggernaut was created; questions have arisen about their defence. Over the 38 games since the James Harden trade, the team has ranked 27th in defence and if they’re to win the championship, it’ll put them in the history books as the worst defensive team to ever win the NBA title. Additionally, the last team to win a title where they were ranked outside the top 15 in defence was the Miami Heat in 2006, which shows how rare it is for poor defensive teams to take the crown.
With the playoffs being a lot more physical, it may prove a problem with both these two issues arising. More physicality can bring more inconsistent line-ups through injury and so on but, relying on your core three stars - no matter how talented – to flat-out outscore opponents every night is a tough ask. Only time will tell if Brooklyn can solve these issues and if they do they just may go down in history.