The Brooklyn Nets as soon as once more took excessive spot within the Japanese Convention Wednesday evening, because the return of Kevin Durant and their throttling of the New Orleans Pelicans helped snatch the East’s finest document away from the rival Philadelphia 76ers.
Not solely are Doc Rivers and the 76ers as proficient and deep because the Nets, however they current a really attention-grabbing stylistic problem. Whereas the Nets prefer to play as quick as potential and make the most of their velocity on offense, Philly is extra content material with banging down low within the publish with huge males like Joel Embiid or the switchblade often known as level guard Ben Simmons.
Whereas the Milwaukee Bucks are nonetheless as deadly as even given the presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brooklyn and Philadelphia seem like the 2 finest groups on this convention, and the pair seem like hurtling in the direction of an explosive confrontation in a hypothetical convention finals matchup.
The 76ers will give the Nets loads of bother given their dimension and the star energy of Embiid, however these three stats show that the Nets may even have an edge.
The Brooklyn Nets have the sting over the 76ers as a consequence of these three stats.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 07: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Picture by Elsa/Getty Photos)
No. 3: Brooklyn has dominated with out Kevin Durant
On another workforce through which Durant performed in simply 20 of the primary 52 video games in any given 12 months, which may’ve been sufficient to derail the season. Not solely have the Nets survived their stretch with out KD, however they’ve thrived, posting a 23-9 mark in video games the place Durant hasn’t performed. Profitable 72% of video games with out KD exhibits how good Kyrie Irving and James Harden have been.
Harden has taken residence Convention Participant of the Month honors, whereas Irving averaged 28.3 factors per sport on 50% capturing since February 10. The Nets are removed from only a two-man present, because the depth that detractors claimed was non-existent after the Harden commerce has saved the day many instances over.
The Brooklyn Nets had been taking part in effectively with simply Kyrie Irving and James Harden.
Joe Harris and Jeff Inexperienced stay two of one of the best shooters within the league at their place, Bruce Brown has emerged as a singular two-way standout given his physicality, and middle Nicolas Claxton is beginning to seem like a long-term piece Brooklyn can lean on.
With Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge apparently becoming the Nets like a glove, Brooklyn now has much more choices to lean on in case one among their three superstars is unable to go well with up. The Nets went from laughably shallow to some of the diversified offensive assaults within the league, and that may serve them effectively in the summertime.