The Brooklyn Nets are definitely not looking like a team that can win an NBA championship.
In fact, the Nets aren’t even looking like a team that could win the Eastern Conference Finals – or even make it that far.
There is no doubt that this is one powerful squad – that’s what happens when you have three of the biggest names in the NBA on your payroll.
But because of injuries, team dysfunction, and a competitive league, the Nets have been falling apart lately.
Is it time to panic and throw in the towel or can the team turn it around?
Aches & Pains
Nets guard James Harden sat out on Saturday’s 110-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors – only days after missing Wednesday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets.
The injury sidelining him Saturday was a right-hand strain while he was absent on Wednesday because of left hamstring tightness.
Harden sitting out is another blow for the team that is experiencing a rash of injuries.
As we all know, star player Kevin Durant is expected to miss a few more weeks as he rehabs a sprained left MCL.
Then on Saturday night, the Nets lost LaMarcus Aldridge when he sprained his left ankle in the fourth quarter.
The Brooklyn Nets this year: pic.twitter.com/63pzVcfTYN
— Brooklyn Netcast (@BrooklynNetcast) January 31, 2022
It’s not that injuries are uncommon in the NBA – they’re not – but the Nets seem to be targeted by bad luck and are losing their best and their brightest talents when they need them most.
That puts it all on Kyrie Irving and, well, he’s got issues of his own.
Irving To The Rescue?
After months and months of being on the bench, Irving has returned and is looking much more like his regular self.
In his eight games with the team, the guard has put up 24.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.4 assists a game.
He created 32 points in the loss against the Warriors, which led the team.
— NBA (@NBA) January 30, 2022
Yes, Irving is finally bringing the power the team needs but he cannot carry the team on his own.
Without Durant and Harden, Irving doesn’t have a plethora of others to choose from.
After that, all the other players were in single digits.
This isn’t the sort of lineup that can win a Finals unless it’s totally healthy.
And a huge problem remains with Irving: remember that he can only play at away games because of his vaccination status.
That means that anything in Brooklyn is off-limits to him.
So what happens when the team returns to New York and Durant and Harden are still injured?
Who will lead the team then?
All of these problems aren’t too surprising because most of them existed last year.
Injuries sprung up like crazy in the postseason and it resulted in Durant pretty much playing on his own, carrying the team as best he could.
Surprise, surprise: it wasn’t enough.
The same thing is happening this year.
Injuries are hurting the team tremendously and it’s turning the Nets into a one-man show.
Right now, it just happens to be that the one man can’t even play all the games.NEXT: NBA World Reacts To Latest James Harden Rumor