When the season began, the Brooklyn Nets were predicted to be perhaps the best team in all the NBA.
On Wednesday night, that same team lost its sixth straight game against a struggling Sacramento Kings squad.
Brooklyn lost to the Kings on Wednesday, marking their 6th straight loss.
The Nets have just a 1.5 game cushion separating them from the Play-In Tournament. pic.twitter.com/5thO05XHaz
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 3, 2022
The Nets have some of the biggest talents in the league but they are really struggling lately.
They had their fair share of issues with him but it’s no surprise that Brooklyn has collapsed now that they have lost one of their star players, Kevin Durant.
Does this mean that Durant is the leader of the team?
More importantly, can they survive without him?
No Drama Durant
However, that idea never translated to reality well.
Because of injuries, Irving’s vaccination status, and surprisingly tough competition, the team has never been as good as many had hoped.
They have shown moments of brilliance and true promise but they have never fully become the reliable powerhouse that NBA analysts expected.
But it can’t be denied that the team is at its best when Durant is.
Durant is a natural leader, whether he likes it or not.
He is quiet and generally avoids drama (although he’s been known to stir the pot on Twitter) and likes to stick to playing the game the best he can.
That’s the exact sort of leader the team needs.
When Durant is in good shape, he has the ability to make plays and assist and contribute on both sides of the floor.
The rest of the team just falls in line behind him.
You sometimes see that with Irving but it doesn’t last.
He’s been such a non-presence for so long that the Nets have officially become Durant’s team in his absence.
As for Harden, he has become a much stronger supporting player while in Brooklyn.
Even he defers to Durant.
He has also been wildly inconsistent at times – in the loss to the Kings he put up just four points.
We’re in the fourth quarter and James Harden has… *checks notes*…
Nets losing to the Kings. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/z1KH0yPCyr
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) February 3, 2022
Plus, there are now rumors that Harden wants to head to greener pastures, preferably in Philadelphia.
This once again stresses the fact that Durant is in charge of Brooklyn – and that’s for the best.
Durant is currently out with an MCL injury and the team has buckled under the pressure of losing him.
In the nine games since Durant was sidelined, the team has gone two-of-seven and has fallen to the sixth seed in the East.
If that isn’t a sign of Durant’s dominance for his team, what is?
While Durant is definitely the man leading his team, it must be noted that he needs a full, healthy, capable squad around him to win.
Last year’s season was ended when Durant carried the entire team on his shoulders against the Milwaukee Bucks.
In the end, it wasn’t enough.
That’s because even a leader needs a group of guys to lead…otherwise he’s just standing alone.