After being considered the favorites to win this year’s NBA championship, the Brooklyn Nets‘ season has ended with a meek whimper at the hands of the Boston Celtics.
The Nets didn’t even bother to make things interesting, as they went out in a four-game sweep.
There are many culprits for their demise, starting with Kyrie Irving‘s refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, resulting in him not being allowed to play in most of the team’s games in New York City, as well as Kevin Durant missing many games due to injury.
For the last couple of years, many basketball fans have been drooling over the Nets’ ultimate potential, but so far it’s been nothing more than “wait ’till next year” for them.
Should they, once again, be the favorites to win the world championship?
The Nets Seem To Have A Winning Core
An argument could be made that when healthy, Durant and Irving are pro basketball’s best duo.
Irving is a ridiculously skilled ball-handler, a great perimeter shooter and one of the game’s most clutch players.
Durant, meanwhile, is one of the purest shooters and smoothest players anyone has ever seen, and even at age 33, even a couple of years after tearing his Achilles, there has been no drop-off in his game.
Although he played poorly in the series versus the Celtics, he had a great regular season, averaging 29.9 points on 51.8 percent shooting and 38.3 percent from 3-point range, plus 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.
Seth Curry is dialed in 🎯
That's his 5th 3PM of the night pic.twitter.com/PHO3Xpx2pz
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 26, 2022
Center Andre Drummond, meanwhile, gives the Nets extra possessions as a great rebounder, and on occasion, he can protect the rim as well.
Also keep in mind that the Nets were without Joe Harris for much of this season.
Harris is a 6-foot-6 wing who, like Curry, is an outstanding shooter.
Happy Birthday Joe Harris 🎂
Throwback to Joe Harris TORCHING the Celtics in Game 2! pic.twitter.com/O9aJl405NU
— Brooklyn Netcast (@BrooklynNetcast) September 6, 2021
The Wild Card
But the question is what will happen with Simmons?
If he is healthy and committed to the team, his elite defense, combined with his deadly open court skills and athleticism, can help fuse everything together for Brooklyn.
But given his antics over the last 12 months, one has to wonder what will happen with him between now and training camp at the end of this summer.
Brooklyn Has Too Much Work To Do
Right now, the Milwaukee Bucks and possibly the Celtics have to be the favorites to win next year’s NBA title, along with the Golden State Warriors, who are starting to look like their best selves now that the elder Curry brother is healthy again.
A physically and emotionally healthy Simmons, even sans a jump shot, along with perhaps a new coaching staff that knows how to emphasize and coach defense, could elevate the Nets into that pantheon.
But for now, there are just too many question marks in the borough of Brooklyn.