The Brooklyn Nets are ready to begin the 2021-22 season for good reason. They are in prime position to win an NBA title. There are two top contenders and the Nets are one of them.
The Nets could have pulled off a title run last season, if it wasn’t for injuries and Durant’s foot being too big. However, the team is fully healthy and have made some nice additions. There is one thing missing from the team.
The Missing Piece
The piece missing is one of the members of their big three, Kyrie Irving. This has nothing to do with injuries or wanting out of Brooklyn. This is about the Covid vaccine, which Irving has not received yet.
Most of the players across the NBA have gotten it, but Irving is one of the few that have refused. His beliefs have been publicized and is standing firm on them. The issue is that he would not be allowed to play in the Nets’ home games without the vaccine.
He could have played in road games instead and just miss the home games. However, the Nets front office put a close to that idea. They are demanding he be available at all times rather than a part-timer.
The Nets are going to be without Kyrie for an unknown amount of time. For most teams, this would be the worst possible outcome to occur. However, the Nets might not need him for a chance to win it all.
James Harden to the Rescue
Some can make a case that Kyrie is the third best player out of the Nets big three. We all know Kevin Durant is the man and one of the best scorers this game has ever seen. Then there is the guy who can take over what Kyrie does.
That man is James Harden. For several years, we saw Harden as the primary ball handler with the Houston Rockets. He dictated everything for that team.
His shooting was impeccable, while facilitating at a high rate. He was a threat with the ball in his hands. On the Nets, he was playing the same role, but to a lesser extent.
Now with no Kyrie, Harden will have to get the ball in his hands a little more. That should not be an issue, as he is a triple double machine playing like that. He was an MVP candidate for about five years straight with the ball in his hands.
The Nets are Still a Superteam
No matter what happens with Kyrie, the Nets are a superteam. They still have two perennial MVP candidates, who can both go for 40 points on any given night. Most teams would love to have one all-time player, but the Nets have two.
The rest of the roster is just fine. Joe Harris is still around knocking down threes. They have a plethora of veteran bigs, such as Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Paul Millsap. The biggest concern will be the guard play, outside of Harden.
The Nets grabbed Patty Mills, who is obviously not on the level of Kyrie, but can shoot threes and not make mistakes. Cam Thomas is a rookie, but has scoring prowess. The Nets still have the roster to not have to worry about Kyrie and his whereabouts.