Nets fans can hardly believe in this potential fairytale, but they are the clear favorites to bring NBA glory back to New York City.
The Brooklyn Nets kick-start their playoff run on Saturday night against the Boston Celtics. The Nets might not quite have the same franchise history or prestige as their opponents, but they are clear favorites to go the distance.
The Nets’ Dynamic Trio
The Nets being regarded as the favorites among all of the top US online bookies and basketball experts is all down to one reason. Or more accurately, three reasons - Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant have been on fire for the Nets this season.
It might be the trio’s first full season playing together, but each of them has brought to the table a wealth of experience and basketball success.
Kevin Durant is at the top of the pile in this respect, having two NBA Championships and a Finals MVP to his name from his time with the Golden State Warriors.
Kyle Irving won the NBA during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, is a seven-time All-Star and an Olympic gold medalists, having been a part of the winning Team USA at Rio 2016.
James Harden is the only one of the three not to have an NBA title to his name, but he was the league’s MVP back in 2018 and has ended the NBA season has the scoring champion on no less than three occasions.
Injuries - No Problem!
Calling Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant a trio is perhaps somewhat inaccurate. Due to injury, there have only been eight out of 72 regular season games where the three men have actually played together.
However the strength of their individual talents has been paramount to the Nets success - with one being able to fill the void when the other has been out. Had the three of them been less injury-plagued this season, who knows what level of frighteningly clossoal numbers we could’ve seen!
The Brooklyn Nets - Other Key Players This Season
To say that the Nets’ success throughout the 2020/21 NBA regular season has all been down to just three players does an injustice to some of their other key men.
Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, both of whom are All-Stars, have had a massive impact since joining the Nets. Joe Harris’ shooting talents have helped to grab vital points while Jeff Green has been solid in defense.
We also can’t look past the talents of coach Steve Nash, who joined the Nets ahead of the 2020/21 season and has done a stellar job in what has been a tough season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nash is himself an NBA Hall of Famer, two-time MVP and eight-time All-Star and represented Canada at international level.
The Nets Nearly Men - Time to Break the Curse
Being a franchise that started life in New Jersey, and has moved to New York and back again twice, the Nets don’t quite have the history and generational prestige of the Knicks. Yet, it is they who could very well bring basketball glory back to the Big Apple.
The Nets have come close in the past, as they lost consecutive NBA finals in 2002 and 2003. There’s a different air about the team and their momentum this time around though. Thanks to the veteran trio of Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant, the Nets are very much the choice of the neutral basketball fan, as well as Brooklyn natives.
It’s fair to say for most basketball fans, that if your team is not in the playoffs, you’re probably pulling for the Nets this year. If you’re not yet - you should be!
“It’s Like A Movie” - Nets Fan Keith McPherson
When speaking to BBC Sport, Keith McPherson, host of the Talkin' Nets podcast, said the current Nets status as playoff favorites is “like a movie” adding that “you have to pinch yourself to see if its real.”
He then went on to say that while Nets fans have high expectations of becoming NBA Champions, but won’t feel it’s the “end of the World” should they fail this time around. Rather than being a single shot at glory, McPherson is looking at this as “the beginning of a small dynasty”, adding that the Nets could become a competitive team for years to come.
Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.