For Nets, this can be pretty much as good because it will get after NBA playoff exit

For Nets, this can be pretty much as good because it will get after NBA playoff exit

Kevin Durant was by no means the Warriors “bus rider” that Charles Barkley tried making him out to be. Durant was the perfect participant and two-time Finals MVP on these Golden State groups that gained back-to-back titles, to not point out a determine who ranks larger on the all-time greats record than Barkley does. That would make KD the designated “bus driver,” even when Stephen Curry reigns because the best exterior shooter of all time.

So Durant took the struggle to Barkley on Instagram, and his visible retorts had been good for some laughs to open an offseason that was supposed to begin in June and began as an alternative on a Monday evening in late April, when the Nets had been swept out of the NBA playoffs earlier than the NHL playoffs even started. So it’s all on the Rangers now — after the Nets, Knicks, Islanders and Devils have been put to mattress — earlier than the Yankees and Buck Showalter’s Mets take sole possession of the town and declare simply how critical they’re about successful New York’s first championship among the many 4 main professional sports activities in additional than 10 years.

But man, earlier than everybody scurries away from the 20-car pileup that was the native basketball season, the Nets’ first-round meltdown must be positioned in a big-picture context. This was their second, their time to make an actual mark within the market. They had two wholesome future Hall of Famers, and an opportunity to turn into the primary metropolitan space franchise to win all of it for the reason that Giants beat the Belichicks and Bradys out of a second Super Bowl on Feb. 5, 2012.

Kyrie Irving, right, talks to Kevin Durant during the fourth quarter of Sunday's Game Four against the Celtics.
Kyrie Irving, proper, talks to Kevin Durant through the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Game Four in opposition to the Celtics.
Steve Nash's job as head coach of the Nets is likely safe.
Steve Nash’s job as head coach of the Nets is probably going protected.

Instead of constructing a critical run on the metropolis’s first NBA championship in practically a half-century, the Nets grew to become the one crew out of 16 playoff members to fail to win a single recreation. If they used to name the Brooklyn Dodgers “Bums” again within the day, what ought to they name the Brooklyn Nets now?

Delusional could be a place to begin, given the way in which they talked about all of the adversity they confronted this season — as if a lot of that adversity was created by some unseen pressure, somewhat than by the Nets themselves. “All of those things off the floor play a role in what happens on the floor as well,” coach Steve Nash mentioned.

Right. And if Kyrie Irving had determined to get vaccinated for the sake of his teammates, and if the Nets had completed a greater job of managing James Harden, and in the event that they hadn’t anticipated to get one thing significant from Ben Simmons, nicely, possibly they’d nonetheless be on the ground taking part in, somewhat than off the ground speaking.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving during the Nets' 109-103 loss to the Celtics in Game 3 of their first-round series.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving through the Nets’ 109-103 loss to the Celtics in Game 3 of their first-round collection.

But the Nets acted as in the event that they had been the one NBA crew that needed to take care of accidents and COVID-19, they usually had an extended record of excuses on the prepared after getting humiliated by Boston, a crew that clearly isn’t constructed on excuses. Robert Williams III was on the market Monday evening guarding Durant on the perimeter and giving the Celtics every thing he had for 14 minutes, two nights after he gave them 16 minutes and fewer than a month after he had surgical procedure on a torn meniscus in his knee. Meanwhile, Simmons was fairly actually nowhere to be discovered.

The newest Nets plan seems to be easy: Bring again everybody, together with Nash, and profit from the addition of Simmons and the return of Joe Harris. Never thoughts that the final time Harris was seen within the playoffs, he was recognized as a chief offender within the seven-game loss to the Bucks final June. And by no means thoughts that there’s no assure Simmons will probably be previous his bodily and psychological challenges six months from now, not after sitting out for the previous 10 months.

Irving? With no vaccine mandate anticipated to be in play subsequent season, the Nets will seemingly signal him to a profitable extension and hope in opposition to hope they get 70 video games a come out of him, a quantity he has hit thrice in his profession. Irving will most likely discover a option to miss a ton of time, as a result of that’s what he does. He disappears whereas competing groups are doing all that regular-season bonding that the Nets by no means prioritize.

Monday evening, the purpose guard mentioned that his plans with Durant embody “managing this franchise together” alongside proprietor Joe Tsai and basic supervisor Sean Marks. Irving shouldn’t have mentioned it, identical to he shouldn’t have mentioned within the fall of 2020 that he didn’t actually see the Nets having a head coach. But he positive as hell mentioned it, although Nets administration seeks and values Durant’s opinion greater than it does Irving’s, and it grew to become a factor.

Tsai didn’t reply to a request from The Post for touch upon this supposed co-management construction, and on the general state of his franchise. But with Durant and Irving getting older in a league that retains getting youthful, leaner, meaner and extra athletic, it’s fairly potential Tsai simply noticed the perfect shot he’ll ever get at a title go up in flames.

Long a neighborhood afterthought with (surprisingly sufficient) appreciable nationwide enchantment, the Nets didn’t look or act notably devastated within the hour after the finished sweep. But on condition that the Knicks and so many different New York groups have been down for therefore lengthy, the Nets ought to have been devastated.

The metropolis was theirs for the taking, and would possibly by no means be once more.

Source hyperlink


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.