NBA: Brooklyn Nets either make Finals or fail early in playoffs, say analysts
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The arrival of superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, as well as head coach Steve Nash to the Brooklyn Nets have made fans of the squad optimistic regarding the 2021 NBA season.
The one-two punch is seen to lead the Nets to a better finish this season. NBA’s panel of expert writers believe that the squad has potential to make the Finals, but in another scenario, they might just be another middle-of-the-pack contender in the Eastern Conference.
Writers Shaun Powell and Michael Wright feel that while the ceiling is making the conference or NBA Finals because of the star duo, Brooklyn will finish as either the 5th or 6th seed if they cannot provide more support.
“The ceiling for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving is definitely the NBA Finals because the East lacks a superteam — actually, the Lakers are the only superteam in the NBA — and the feeling is those stars can coexist. However, if the support help in Brooklyn falters or struggles to connect with those two, then the Nets are just another top-five East team,” writes Powell.
“As good as those two are, the Nets are probably the sixth seed in the East. But the fun part of that is Durant and Irving are talented enough to take Brooklyn all the way to the conference finals. That’s not exactly a hot take. Both dazzled in the preseason opener, and I’m really not buying into concerns about whether the partnership can work throughout the season because of the solid coaching staff and front office in Brooklyn,” argues Wright.
Contenders like the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat are all poised to make good runs as well in the East.
Steve Aschburner even added: “Based on their fragile egos and injury histories, I’m inclined to say this Brooklyn initiative won’t survive the Eastern Conference semifinals.”
But John Schuhmann also thinks Durant can impact the game defensively a lot, leading to think that something as big as winning title is “not out of the question.”
“…The Nets’ first preseason game was as much a reminder of how much of a force he can be defensively. So the ceiling is obviously high, and the Nets have a lot of solid players around their two stars. If it all comes together, a championship isn’t out of the question.”
Sekou Smith adds he thinks the duo can take Brooklyn all the way to the last dance if both players stay healthy.
“Call me crazy, but I think the Nets could make The Finals with KD and Kyrie. We’re talking about two of the league’s most talented players with championships already under their belts. Durant’s a two-time Finals MVP. And Kyrie hit the biggest shot in Cavaliers history as he helped them fight back from 3-1 down to shock the 73-win Warriors in 2016. I’m not suggesting the Nets have everything in place for this team to scale those heights this season. But they certainly can if a bunch of things fall their way and KD and Kyrie are healthy and leading the way.”
Needless to say, the pressure is big and expectations are high for Brooklyn given the changes in the team’s composition, and it is a matter of going out there and proving they have what it takes to make the next level.