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The Brooklyn Nets were the center of attention this summer. The potential trade rumors of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving dominated the headlines. Many people thought the Net dynamic duo would part ways. However, that assumption has come to an end as Durant and Irving are running it back with the Brooklyn Nets.
With their return and the addition of Ben Simmons, the Nets have the potential to be a very good team this season. On a recent airing on First Take, Stephen A. Smith went as far as to say he has the Brooklyn Nets coming out of the East Conference.
“If healthy. KD, Kyrie, and Ben Simmons on the court together healthy, I’m going with Brooklyn,” Smith says. “I don’t care what the favorite is.”
Stephen A even took it a bit further about Kyrie Irving. He expects Irving to be a top-league MVP candidate. “I’ll go a step further,” says Smith. “I got Kyrie Irving as my top MVP candidate. I think Kyrie Irving is gonna put on a show this year. Everybody better brace themselves.”
Smith still has high expectations for the Nets this season, despite last season’s disaster. The Nets were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs last season.
For the Nets to be successful and avoid another disappointing season, Irving, Durant, and Simmons will have to show up. The Nets will only go as far as these three are willing to take them.
The Nets With A Healthy Irving, Durant, And Simmons Is Dangerous
Stephen A has always considered Kevin Durant the best player on the planet when healthy. He is arguably the best high-volume shooter the league has ever seen. Durant’s ability to score and the efficiency he does it sets him apart from others. He can literally give teams 35 points on just 12 shots.
Durant’s athleticism and length make it hard for players to guard him in the open court, where he can blow by defenders and outjump anybody. He also never shies away from the big shot moments. Remember when Durant hit deja vu like three’s in the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals as a Golden State Warrior? He helped propel the Warriors to back to back NBA Championships against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Nets will need to see this version of Durant this season in order for them to make a run in the playoffs.
What Will We See From Ben Simmons?
Perhaps the biggest mystery of the Brooklyn Nets is the two-way star Simmons. Simmons missed the 2021-2022 NBA season due to a back injury and mental health issues. He has since then undergone back surgery and says he is feeling incredible, which is a good sign for Nets fans. A question that looms in the air is will the Nets get the old Simmons or a new version of Simmons?
Simmons also brings a defensive presence the Nets have lacked for some time. He is a two-time all-defensive team player and the runner-up for Defensive Player of The Year in 2020-2021. Simmons can guard multiple positions and cause chaos with his height and length.
the Ben Simmons slander is crazy, yall must dont like defense in basketball cause he one of the best, and can pass and rebound https://t.co/UdGeNtcYtF — Youngin (@youngintripleog) September 16, 2022
On the offensive side is where Simmons needs to work on his game. The bulk of scoring comes from transition and him just being lightning fast. In a half-court setting is where he struggles. Simmons rarely takes jump shots, and he doesn’t shoot three-pointers. He is more of a facilitator, which is not a bad thing considering his teammates he is surrounded by.
What stands out the most is Simmons does not need the ball in his hands at all times to be productive. As opposed to having James Harden on the Nets.
The COVID-19 Mandate Is Over Look For Kyrie Irving To Ball Out
It’s easy to see why Stephen A has Irving as a top-league MVP candidate. His basketball skill level is second to none. He has the crazy ball-handling ability, and for his 6’2 stature, he finds ways to finish at the rim among the trees.
Kendrick Perkins, a retired NBA veteran, is now a sports analysts who considers Irving to be the most skilled player to ever play the game.
“[Kyrie Irving] is the most skilled player to ever play the game. … At 6-2 he has the complete offensive package. … There’s nothing you can do as far as scheme wise, double team, triple team to stop this young man!” —@KendrickPerkins 👀 pic.twitter.com/KgCofH3iCR — NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 16, 2022
Irving is a player who is not afraid of the spotlight as well. He thrives in big moments and wants to take the big shots. Now that the COVID-19 mandate in the NBA is over, Net fans can hope to see Irving in a lot more action this season. The box office superstar should have a huge impact on the offense for the Nets.
The Nets Role Players Are Lethal Shooters
The Nets have done a great job surrounding their stars with elite role players. They have Patty Mills, Seth Curry, and Joe Harris, all of which are some of the best shooters in the game. The ability of Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons to break down defenses, will create a lot of open looks for their knockdown shooters.