And what, exactly, do we now know about the fresh-looking, high-powered, and totally stunning Brooklyn Nets?
Not a damn thing.
Exciting nets Double the overtime loss to me Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night – their first match with the trio KD-Beard-Kyrie playing together – tells absolutely nothing. The same was true for the previous two games that featured winning Harden and Durant games, including the mega match against Milwaukee BucksIrving stayed out of the house for personal reasons.
If you think, reasonably, that the Big Three of the Nets are overwhelmingly talented to doubt, there’s a lot on hand to bolster your position. Harden and KD started 2-0 together, and Kyrie’s comeback and whatever wrinkles to iron out still required a doubling of extra soil time, and those three were (mostly) exceptional together.
Durant was a 12 of 25 to 38 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Irving dropped 37. Harden scored another hat-trick, scoring 21-10-12 nights.
That’s 96 points in between. Scary stuff.
But if, like me, you have more doubt than confidence how this drink from the stars gets mixed together in the end, you can stare your eyes and still see what worries you. Harden misses some big shots, on cue, over stretch. This trio, Keri in particular, sometimes plays one-to-one basketball as if there were no other two worlds players – they thought it might be, a sign of potential rifts in the future. And of course, a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers with a fraction of the talent of the Nets.
Brooklyn is the NBA’s hottest team, and what will ultimately become – and how it will ultimately be judged – in the qualifiers months from now remains the Rorschach Test. Three games in Harden’s tenure in Brooklyn (2-1), one game in Irving’s comeback (0-1), still the nets as you thought it was a week ago when the deal collapsed.
Their common talent is beyond doubt. Sometimes watching KD, Harden, KD, Irving, KD, Irving and Harden – all possible combinations – was a glamorous basketball featuring a host of amazingly talented stars. Nevertheless, Nets’ defense, toughness, and ability to win matches the hard way remain open questions, one that was emphasized Wednesday night in particular in that 147-135 loss by the former Internet that was recently abandoned. Jarrett Allen. Allen’s 12-11 double-double doesn’t tell the full story. He made big shots, crucial rebounds and big chunks from the fourth quarter and those extra times were the most important player in time on the floor of this side of Colin Sexton.
He also emphasized who he is, in the front court, he can be an effective part of what the curling needs out of the three-group to score.
It’s a long and difficult process to join multiple stars for one team, a fact that is reinforced when it happens mid-season – especially with one of those stars knocking out of his former team due to an ugly divorce, and another leaving for a prolonged stretch of personal, obscure reasons that certainly seem to include outright opposition. Towards his coach.
Take 2010-11 Miami Heat. when LeBron James And the Chris Bush Arrived to join Dwayne Wade That year, the Big Three – perhaps the best talent compared to these Big Three – started 9-8. You covered that team, and it was nothing but anxiety, turmoil and frustration for much of that season. However, the trio ended with great success in the coming years.
Beginnings can be misleading. Both ways. Take on Harden’s history with the stars he insisted on playing with.
In 2017, he wanted Chris Paul With him in Houston, and as was almost always the case with MissilesHe got what he wanted. They had a great start. They won their first 14 matches together. They were running and running and frightened. But the story did not end in glory, nor did it end in harmony.
So Harden got what he wanted again: CP3, an old friend and former MVP colleague, came out Russell Westbrook at. Again, a great start: this time the start of 11-3 and the feeling that all skeptics, who are tired of successfully coexisting with two stars with a high usage rate, need to reset their thinking. However, this tale also ended badly and sharply.
So here we are. Harden has what he wants again. He, KD and Irving are the most talented NBA trio since the Miami big team, on paper at least, and as with many things in the NBA, the joy of some games now equates to no kind of guarantee of what to follow.
The loss to Cleveland isn’t proof that skeptics of this version of the Brooklyn Nets know what we’re talking about. But once they go on a sharp winning streak – and they will – this similar fact does not give a guarantee of what their playoffs will follow.
The Nets are talented. The Nets are filled with stars who struggle to get along, stay happy, or win – often all three – with the other stars. Nets is the hottest team in basketball but is the biggest question mark. And the networks, whatever happens in the coming weeks and months, are just starting to reveal themselves.
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