Can you believe that the Brooklyn Nets are now the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference?
It’s true, even though the team was once considered an odds-on favorite to win the East and possibly the entire NBA season, they are now struggling to even make it into the postseason.
They are now 29-27 and have lost 11 straight games, a feat they haven’t accomplished in their modern era.
The Brooklyn Nets have lost 10 consecutive games.
The longest losing streak by a team to win the NBA title is 6.
That's not good.
— Moody (@EricNMoody) February 14, 2022
Why is this happening and should Nets fans be panicking right now?
Dealing Without Durant
It’s undeniable that Kevin Durant is the most important part of this Brooklyn team.
He is leading the team with an MVP-worthy average of 29.3 points per game.
But he’s far more than just a stats powerhouse: Durant also leads the team’s tempo, attitude, and play-style.
He’s the centerpiece that holds it all together.
And, right now, that centerpiece is gone.
Durant has been injured for weeks now and his absence marked the beginning of Brooklyn’s slip into the current rut they’re in.
Without Durant, the team has dipped in just about every way, both offensively and defensively.
There is no doubt that Brooklyn fans are counting down the seconds until Durant returns.
That’s because there is a major hope that Durant coming back will also bring with it the chance of making it to the Finals.
The Nets feel lost without Durant, partly because their other team leader isn’t able to be there all the time.
Only Some Irving
Kyrie Irving is a wonderful, best-of-the-best NBA player.
But he’s only able to play half the time and that is really hurting the Nets.
Because of his vaccine stance, Irving cannot play in any home games in Brooklyn (or at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks).
This means that the Nets are constantly losing – and gaining…and losing…and gaining – one of their best players.
This is bad because Irving is just so darn good when he’s on the floor.
— Overtime (@overtime) February 13, 2022
But it’s also bad for moments like the present: Durant is out with an injury, James Harden has been traded, and Irving can only play away games.
So now the Nets are even more lost because none of the Big Three that was promised are playing.
If he was playing in every game, Irving would add so much stability and strength to the lineup.
But with him being sometimes there and sometimes not, the team is floundering and without clear guidance.
No Energy Nets
If you have watched the Nets lately, you may have noticed that they look half-awake at times.
It’s true, Brooklyn has just been sleepy for many of the games during this epic losing streak.
The offense is lazy, the defense is lacking, everything is sloppier than it was before.
It just feels like the team is phoning in it and that is leading to bad plays and embarrassing losses.
The good news here is that this is something that can be turned around.
However, some people feel like the team is just biding its time until Durant returns and won’t really play with enthusiasm until they get their star player back.
But head coach Steve Nash needs to give this team a huge pep talk because they simply cannot contend for a title if they are playing like a bunch of high school seniors cruising through their last week of school.