Nets Finals Bound with Harden By John Brecko
In his first game wearing a Brooklyn Nets jersey, James Harden made sure it was a productive one with a triple-double, scoring 32 points, and leading in rebounds as assists with 14 and 12.
After just one game with Harden, the combination of him and Kevin Durant looks lethal in not just Brooklyn, but New York as a whole. The addition of these two players has shown that Brooklyn is truly the team to beat in that state, even the Knicks having a considerably better year in the 2020-2021 season.
If this continues, the Nets going to NBA Finals may be inveitible. However, I believe there are teams that will take exception to that in their conference.
Those three teams that may take exception to the Nets going to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2003 are the current top three seeds in the Eastern Conference. Those teams are the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Milwaukee Bucks still have Giannis Antetokounmpo, even if they were knocked out of the playoffs last seasons in the conference semifinals by the Miami Heat.
To be fair to the Bucks the season was interrupted due to covid and as the winter goes by, basketball in 2021 seems less and less likely to be interrupted by the pandemic.
However, as the season continues, we will find out if Giannis will need help against teams like the Lakers and the Nets that have multiple all-stars on them.
The Celtics are in first place with an 8-4 record at the moment. However, they did lose to the Knicks in their most recent game by 30 points. They have beaten teams such as the Bucks, the Raptors and even got revenge on the Miami Heat for knocking them out of the playoffs.
Whether or not they recover from their debacle against the Knicks when they play the 76ers tomorrow night remains to be seen, but based on their performances, especially in their games decided by ten points or less this season (they are 5-2).
On the other hand, the 76ers have an opportunity to avenge being knocked out of the playoffs by the Celtics in their next two games on Wednesday and Friday. Joel Embiid is averaging 25 points and 11.5 rebounds per game and put up 45 points in a game against the Miami Heat less than a week ago.
If Embiid continues to dominate, the Celtics may have trouble and so may other teams later on this season. If the 6ers continue to play well as a team, they may make it back to the conference finals, just like they did two years ago.
These are just three teams that have already proven that they can compete with any team in the NBA before and all of them are more than capable of proving that again. The difference may be Kyrie Irving, who has not been on the court much due to personal issues. If Kyrie can move past his personal issues, he may be able to win his first championship since 2016 when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Durant may be able to win a championship without the splash brothers and Draymond Green on his team. James Harden may be able to win the only thing in the NBA, which is also a championship.
Either way, the 2021 NBA season, despite not beginning until December is already shaping up to be exciting with many stories coming out of the early part of the season.
If the Brooklyn Nets needed one more piece to make it to the NBA Finals, the most valuable player of the 2017-2018 NBA season may be the exact piece they needed after singing a dynamic duo like KD and Kyrie.