Fans are starting to lose hope, and the question on everyone's mind is whether the Brooklyn Nets can win the 2022 NBA championship, given how shaky they've looked so far. Their performances have been far from dominant as they have struggled to go on a streak.
It has been a disappointingly slow start for the Brooklyn Nets, a team that had so much potential coming into the new season. They've fought hard for every win and are currently on a 2-3 run which is shocking from a team that was expected to dominate the league from tip-off.
Can the Brooklyn Nets still win the 2022 NBA championship?
It looks all gloomy now for the Brooklyn Nets, but they remain the favorites to win the championship, and they can deliver. By all standards, it has been a horrid start. However, things could turn around quickly as the Nets have the firepower to take down any team.
The Brooklyn Nets miss Kyrie Irving terribly, as things would have played out differently had he been on the floor. While that holds true, there's a lot of damage the Nets can do with the available players.
Without further ado, here are three reasons why the Brooklyn Nets remain favorites to win the 2022 championship despite a slow start to the season.
#1 James Harden is yet to hit top form
James Harden has been the least impressive player on the Brooklyn Nets team considering the caliber of player he is. In all five games played this season, he has not scored more than 20 points, and while he remains the assists leader on the team, Harden has given the ball away one too many times.
That said, this is significantly uncharacteristic of the three-time scoring champ because the last time he started a season so poorly in terms of scoring was in the 2011-12 season. However, he turned things around and won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award at the end of that campaign.
It is clear that he is not playing his best basketball, and that won't last for long. Harden has struggled with the new NBA rules as he is used to leaning into the defensive player while attempting a shot and getting the call.
Nonetheless, there are still a good number of basketball games to be played and Harden will undoubtedly find his form and shooting range. As things stand, the Brooklyn Nets are heavily reliant on Kevin Durant, but when Harden turns on the jets, things will get a lot easier for everyone on the offensive end.
#2 The Brooklyn Nets' defense is much improved
Defense was a major problem for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2020-21 NBA season, as they were one of the worst-ranked teams in defensive rating. But so far in the new season, their defense has been a lot better.
The Brooklyn Nets front office identified the problem and made moves to solve it in the 2021 NBA offseason. They brought in the versatile Paul Millsap and Patty Mills, who can be disruptive on the perimeter. Surprisingly, their offense has been hugely affected as they now rank 29th in offensive rating (100.8).
If Harden starts to perform at the level he's known for, the offense won't be a problem. But their improved defensive rating is a step in the right direction for the Brooklyn Nets towards contending for the championship.
#3 Patty Mills is a perfect fit
The Brooklyn Nets needed squad depth, and they went after Patty Mills in free agency. Mills has performed above and beyond every expectation set for him.
Given how the veteran guard has played so far, he could be a likely candidate for the 2022 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. Granted, it is too early to call, but Mills has been a bright spot for the Brooklyn Nets off the bench and has been a huge contributor to their victories so far in the 2021-22 season.
Mills is the third-best scorer on the team and is the best three-point shooter by a healthy margin. He averages 12.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists while shooting 51.6% from beyond the arc this season.
The Brooklyn Nets have all the necessary components to win the 2022 NBA title but are yet to find their rhythm. When they start firing on all cylinders, they will be unstoppable.