NBA Team Preview: Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets are heading into this season as the heavy favorites to win it all, as they’re led by two former MVPs Kevin Durant and James Harden.
However, they’ll be without Kyrie Irving for the foreseeable future, as him being unvaccinated against COVID-19 makes him unavailable for all home games this upcoming season. General manager Sean Marks also had no desire for Irving to simply be a “part-time” player, so the only way Irving can rejoin his team in the immediate future is for him to get vaccinated, which doesn’t seem like it will happen any time soon.
With Durant and Harden in the fold, the Nets still show promise as a potential champion by the season’s end.
The Nets added former All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap to this current group of guys as well as Patty Mills, James Johnson and Jevon Carter.
Aldridge provides the Nets as an automatic threat to score inside or in the mid-range. Millsap can also help stretch the floor at the forward position and provide excellent defense in the post or out on the wings, something the Nets struggled with last season.
Mills will be vital in filling in for Irving this season, as he can help replicate some of the 3-point shooting and shot creation that Irving brings to the table. However, Mills alone won’t solve all of those problems.
Johnson and Carter could help bring a new defensive identity to this squad as well, as both aren’t afraid to get into the skin of the opposing players.
The Nets are also fortunate that Blake Griffin chose to re-sign with them, as he will continue to be a playmaking presence out on the wings while giving you some scoring and hustle plays.
Jeff Green will be a huge loss for this squad, as he brought great 3-point shooting and a threat to drive when lanes open up. He thrived as a sneaky scoring option next to the “Big 3,” and that will be hard to replicate.
Durant and Harden are going to have to be more prepared to carry a bigger load than they initially thought now that Irving is out of the fold for the foreseeable future.
Durant is an easy bucket. All he needs is a little space and the ball will find its way into the basket.
Harden will likely have to revert to his old self with the Houston Rockets, as he’s going to have to look for more opportunities to score while continuing to run the show as the primary ball-handler.
2021-2022 Win total, Divisional/Conference Odds, Odds to win Title
The Nets are projected to win 56.5 games this season, but it’s unclear if Irving is factored into that number. If Irving’s absence is factored, and the Nets can somehow get him back into the fold, then we could see them winning north of 60 games. If you’re looking to place an online sports bet on this, make sure to factor Irving into the equation.
The Nets are also favored to win the Eastern Conference with -125 odds, which would mean they’re also heavily favored to win the Atlantic Division. The Milwaukee Bucks pose as their biggest threat on NBA Betting Lines for the conference title.
As things currently stand, the Nets have +240 odds to win the NBA Finals next season, with the Los Angeles Lakers sitting with the second-best odds at +400. With KD establishing himself as the best player in the game today, you gotta love the Nets’ chances to finish the deal this season.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.