Three Bold Predictions for the Nets’ 2020-2021 Seasonby Garrett Brooks December 17, 2020 0 comments
The Brooklyn Nets enter the 2020-2021 NBA season with high expectations and several unknowns. The Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving era is set to begin well over a year after the two Allstars announced they’d be signing with the Nets. The long wait is about to pay off as the team is among the most talented groups in the NBA.
Well, the hope is it pays off. There are fair questions to be asked until proven otherwise. How will the star duo coexist? Is Steve Nash ready to coach this team, considering the expectations? What kind of trade(s) will happen?
There are also things that can not be overlooked. Such as how talented they are, and how good their one-two punch is. A healthy Durant and Irving rank behind very few tandems in the NBA. Besides LeBron James and Anthony Davis, there’s an argument to be made for Brooklyn’s duo over any other pairing.
Here are three bold predictions for the Nets season, and why they’ll come to fruition.
Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert Both Finish the Season on the Nets
Everyone has heard the rumors, repeatedly, that James Harden prefers joining the Nets. The part that continuously gets overlooked is that the Nets trade package is not overwhelming in any way. The primary names linked to a potential deal have been Dinwiddie and LeVert. I am confidently predicting they will both finish the season in Brooklyn.
Harden’s contract isn’t close enough to expiring for him to truly force the Rockets hand. Most importantly, the package the Nets can build doesn’t make sense for Houston. Two good players that will help them not become a terrible team by trading Harden doesn’t really help long term. Instead, it’s a way to become a decent team that can’t truly contend for years to come.
The Nets don’t have the top of the line asset(s) needed to tempt Houston, at least not until Harden gets closer to his contract expiring. Things are getting messier by the day in Houston, which means something can change quickly at any time.
Besides Harden, it’s tough to see the value the Nets could get for either of LeVert or Dinwiddie. Especially when they’ll be key parts in the team keeping the offense rolling all regular season To move either, the assumption is it would be for defense. That makes sense obviously.
It isn’t best for the regular season, though. The Nets won’t have to ask for heroics from KD and Kyrie all year to win games. That’s a huge benefit for a contending team that’s stars have injury histories as the Brooklyn duo does.
Bruce Brown‘s Defense Leads to a Key Spot in the Rotation
With the previously discussed players joined by the likes of Joe Harris and Landry Shamet, the Nets are going to struggle defensively. Fortunately for them, they are deep with offensive players that can score the ball enough to get wins all regular season. Especially behind two of the top scorers in the game today in Irving and Durant.
That’s where sneaky good addition Brett Brown comes into play. Brown is the kind of player who wants to guard opponents’ best scorers. This will be a valued skillset by the coaching staff. All that offense is great, but Brown will be the guy that’s asked to go handle the business on the defensive side. I expect him to really emerge this year given his improved circumstances.
Further, his emergence will give the team more flexibility in keeping Dinwiddie and LeVert. If Brown doesn’t emerge, that alone could make all three of these predictions go out the window. Given what he showed in Detroit, where he was surrounded by a bottom end roster, and the roster he’s joining, Brown is set for a big year and crucial role. Lock him in as someone that one year from now people will say ‘Wow what a steal’. He fits perfectly.
The Nets Represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals
Finally, the most important thing when it’s all said and done. The Nets will represent the eastern conference in the NBA finals. The biggest threat to that is their own health.
Yes, even though the Bucks, Heat, and Celtics are all lurking in the east, the Nets will make it to the NBA finals. Year one of KD and Kyrie, first-year coach in Nash, and a loaded NBA at the top. The long hiatus we experienced this NBA season seems to of made people forget exactly how good Durant is. Not just good, great. Unguardable.
If he gets back to where he was pre-injury, all that’s left to do is stay on the same page with Kyrie. Kyrie can get a bucket like few others as well, and them sharing that in the playoffs will be lethal. Remember, the game slows down and changes in the playoffs. That’s why the Nets will get away with their defensive issues when it matters.
They have two isolation players that are second to none. Their ability to get tough, halfcourt buckets will carry the Nets along with a shortened rotation. Their two centers combining to protect the rim, along with KD and Brown’s perimeter abilities will be enough to get them the stops required.
This prediction is ambitious. That being said, not considering them as good as anyone outside the Lakers is also ambitious. If things go smoothly, the Nets could be on a crash course with Los Angeles in the NBA finals.