The Brooklyn Nets are in trouble to start the NBA season, as they fell to 1-4 after losing to the inferior Dallas Mavericks, 129-125, in overtime on Thursday.
Kevin Durant helped carry the Nets with 37 points on 12-of-21 shooting, but it wasn’t enough.
Former NBA star and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas says that Durant simply isn’t the dominant player he used to be, and that the points he scores don’t have the same impact they used to have.
Isiah Thomas says Kevin Durant’s dominance is ‘not there anymore’
“He used to get 30 and that meant he dominated the game. Now his 30 is just 30.”
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) October 27, 2022
Durant has been one of the game’s best players for years, and over the last few years, one could make an argument that he has been the best in the world.
But he is 34 now, and he has suffered some significant injuries in recent years, including a torn Achilles in 2019.
Statistically, he is off to a tremendous start this year, averaging 33.2 points on 53.4 percent shooting and 1.8 blocked shots per game, but it hasn’t seemed to make much of an impact on Brooklyn.
Durant’s 3-point shooting, which has long been a staple for him, is down to 33.3 percent on the year, and he’s grabbing just 4.4 rebounds per game compared to 7.4 last year.
Even if one agrees with Thomas, the simple fact is that Durant simply isn’t to blame for the Nets’ woes.
Rather, it’s their defense, which has been downright terrible.
They rank dead-last in defensive rating, and they’ve given up at least 129 points three times in their five games to start the season.
Defense has been the bone of contention for the Nets ever since Durant and Kyrie Irving arrived, and there is absolutely no indication they will ever turn the corner in that department.