The Brooklyn Nets could be without Kyrie Irving for over half this season's games because of his refusal to get the covid 19 vaccine, and as Kevin Durant and James Harden move through the years still in their primes, what will this Brooklyn Nets season resemble? The NBA and its fans understand the potential of a Brooklyn Nets iteration of the latest impactful NBA big three, yet will such a thing ever materialize? Imagine the 40 and even 50 point quarters when the biggest three are all clicking. That would be such pretty basketball, yet as the Brooklyn Nets figure it all out, time must move forward, and if that's the case, here are three reasons why the Brooklyn Nets are better off without Kyrie Irving this season.
Kyrie Irving and the vaccination reality
Regardless of where you sit, states across the pro sports landscape are requiring arenas in their states to require vaccinations to attend large gatherings. As of now, those states are limited to New York and California, yet as winter approaches, look for other states to follow the aforementioned, and with that, how many other players besides Kyrie Irving in the NBA will have to sit out? Half of NBA teams are requiring fans to either be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test to attend games, so of course players will be under more scrutiny to get the shot.
How's this look for the NBA?
The NBA will take a public relations hit if Kyrie Irving, one of the best players in the NBA, does not get vaccinated. Personal feelings aside, the NBA is a private business, and it's up to Irving to judge himself accordingly. What seems off kilter is the vitriol pointed Irving's way because of his decision. Regardless of anyone's personal beliefs, he is entitled to his as well, and the NBA as a result could have a major moral battle on its hands. How will the Brooklyn Nets win without Kyrie Irving?
#3 James Harden and Kevin Durant remain healthy
If James Harden and Kevin Durant are healthy the entire NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets most likely will be running away with the Atlantic Division and closing in on the NBA's best record. The only issue with any of the biggest three is the injury prone tag, and if that is dispelled, the Brooklyn Nets could challenge the best record of all time in the NBA. The Brooklyn Nets will be that good offensively and underrated defensively. If you think that's hyperbole, watch how great Kevin Durant and James Harden feed off and work well with each other. The efficiency will be incredible to watch. Of course, the Brooklyn Nets are better off with an All-NBA caliber point guard on the floor, yet one less superstar means more spacing for the superstars left.
#2 The ball and the Beard
James Harden is best when the ball is in his hands and he either facilitates or creates plays for himself. He has an offensive advantage on most nights and because Kevin Durant can also create shots for himself, look for many of his assists finished off by Kevin Durant. As great a player as Kyrie Irving is, James Harden the point guard is just as effective and even more so if Kyrie Irving sits out as expected. James Harden and Kevin Durant are hungry to complete their mission, and if that must be done without Kyrie Irving next to them on the floor, so be it.
#1 Kevin Durant leads the NBA in scoring
We all know James Harden will get his in the Brooklyn Nets offense because the ball will be in his hands more than any other player, yet off his many assists, Kevin Durant will be at the end of those passes. We could see a career high year in three-point attempts by Kevin Durant (6.7 tries per in 2015) as the Brooklyn Nets look to outscore everyone in sight. Teams will scramble to defend both James Harden and Kevin Durant, and with Durant's length, he will be able to catch and shoot over every player in the NBA, so his point totals will also rise. The fire in Kevin Durant's eyes will be noticeable, and with all the drama swirling, the desire to get the season started has to be high. To win a championship, James Harden and Kevin Durant will have to be at their best, and the shoulder chips Kevin Durant carries to prove to the sports world that he can do it alone must be heavy. The Brooklyn Nets quite possibly will have two 30 points per game scorers this season, and with so much validation on the line, look for Kevin Durant to have one of his best years capped off by a scoring championship.
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Q. How many games will the Brooklyn Nets win if Kyrie sits out half the season?