Kevin Durant had 42, Kyrie Irving 39, and James Harden 23 as the Brooklyn Nets pushed the Boston Celtics to the brink of elimination Sunday night.
The Nets set a new franchise playoff record for points with 141 in the win. Jayson Tatum dropped in 40 points, but Brooklyn held down the rest of Boston supporting cast in the contest. Once again Steve Nash's bench was not a major factor in the scoring column outside of Bruce Brown who produced 14 points. Brooklyn's offensive fireworks were on full display Sunday night at TD garden with the Celtics needing a win in Game 5 on Tuesday night to avoid going home for the remainder of the playoffs.
Aside from extended garbage minutes in Game 2, Steve Nash has kept his bench rotation short and leaned heavily on James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to shoulder the lion's share of the minutes and scoring punch.
DeAndre Jordan has yet to play a single minute and backup point guard Mike James has just eight minutes for the entire series. Kudos to Steve Nash for sticking to his guns and going with his big dogs, but the Nets are going to need to develop the confidence of their bench if they hope to go deep into the playoffs. The Big Three needs time to develop chemistry together, but the energy and scrappiness of the bench is what carried Brooklyn through the majority of the regular season without its top players fully healthy. Look for Nash to possibly toy with his rotations in an effort too late to spark under his team and escape Boston with a win in Game 4.
Kyrie Irving hasn't played well since Game 1 When he scored 29 points in a Nets victory. Irving went 6 for 12 in Game 2 with 16 points and just 6 of 17 for 15 points in Game 3. Prior to making the trip to Boston, Irving expressed concerns over potentially prejudice behavior from fans and Beantown upon his arrival. None of that transpired, but Irving looked out of sorts and not his normally aggressive self offensively. He was also responsible for guarding Jayson Tatum on several switches throughout the game without much success. If The Nets are hoping to return home to Brooklyn with the chance to close out the series, Irving is going to need to pick up the scoring load and shake out of the funk he's been in the last two games.
Top to bottom, the Brooklyn Nets are a better team than the Boston Celtics. That's undisputable. Better star power, better supporting cast, and a better chance of winning the Eastern Conference.
However, they were bested in Game 3 due to one major disadvantage they have in this series. Coaching. Steve Nash is coaching in his first playoff series and it showed. Meanwhile, Brad Stevens kept things simple and put the ball in his best player's hands time and time again. Jayson Tatum went for 50 points, something he's done multiple times throughout his career. Nash waited far too long to force action away from Tatum on defense. The Nets constantly switched, which left Kyrie Irving on an island against Tatum and the results were predictable. If Nash and company are hoping to avoid a dogfight in Game 4, they'll need to adjust their coverage schemes against Tatum. Perhaps losing this game will expose some of the ways teams will attack them if they advance later in the playoffs and force them to face adversity before taking on the Eastern Conference heavyweights.
The Brooklyn Nets lost their first game of the 2021 NBA playoffs at TD Garden in Game 3 on Friday night . Jayson Tatum's 50 points led the way for Boston while James Harden carried the scoring load for Brooklyn with 41, while Durant added 39.
The Nets jumped out to an early 19-4 advantage and appeared on their way to a 3-0 series lead, but the Celtics came back to retake the lead at 33-32 at the end of the first quarter. Kyrie Irving had only 16 points and looked gunshy and ineffective until key moments in the fourth quarter. The two teams will do battle again on Sunday in Beantown as Brooklyn will look to bounce back from the setback.
Old fashioned pride and grit likely won't get an undermanned and so far underwhelming Boston Celtics squad facing the Eastern Conference juggernaut Brooklyn Nets. Through two games, Boston has been thoroughly outplayed, overmatched and manhandled by Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. The old Boston Garden had a mystique and aura that would rattle opposing teams, but those days are gone. TD Garden will be packed to the brim, or at least to the fullest capacity allowed, but barring the Nets team bus running out of gas on the way to the arena, the Celtics are almost assuredly heading to a 0-3 series deficit.
Unfortunately, unruly fan behavior has become pervasive in all sports and something that most want eradicated. It's easier said than done, however. Fill rabid sports fans with alcohol and a frenzied playoff atmosphere crazy things happen. Two particularly despicable incidents took place this week, one in Philadelphia with a Sixers fan pouring popcorn on Wizards guard Russell Westbrook as he exited into the tunnel with an ankle injury and another at Madison Square Garden as a Knicks fan allegedly spit on Hawks guard Trae Young.


It's not to say that fans are always on their best behavior in Brooklyn, but it's seldom reported that incidents like the ones that took place in the New York and Philadelphia. Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving raised eyebrows when he commented on prejudices players have experienced when playing in Boston. As arenas expand to full capacity and fans that have been either quarantined or confined to their house without live sports, it's important to understand that these lionized athletes are humans too. The focus of the media's attention should be on the sport taking place on the court and not the actions of fans in the stands.
The Brooklyn Nets will be without small forward Jeff Green for the remainder of their first round series with the Boston Celtics, according to head coach Steve Nash.
Green left Tuesday's Game 3 with the injury and did not return. Diagnosed with a strained plantar fascia, Green will be reevaluated in 10 days. 68 games with Brooklyn, Green averaged 11 points per game and shot a blistering 41.2 percent from 3-point range. Green was originally drafted by the Celtics with the number 5 overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft and was later traded to Seattle.
What better way is there for Kyrie Irving to pour salt into Celtic fan wounds than to win the next two games at TD Garden? Not letting the series return to Brooklyn for a Game 4 and sweeping his former team in its own building would be the best response to the vitriol he's received from fans in Beantown.
No matter how belligerent Boston sports fans can be, Irving can rise above the noise and send the Celtics and their fans home for good. A win in Game 3 inches the Nets closer to a sweep, but in all likelihood, Boston's spirit would be broken with a third straight playoff loss to Brooklyn. The Celtics have lost all five meetings with the Nets this year and nine straight playoff games to them overall.
The regular season was a record-setting campaign for the Brooklyn Nets, and now James Harden just added his name to the NBA record books yet again. Harden surpassed Reggie Miller with his 321st made 3-pointer in his NBA playoff career. Harden has been a dynamic playmaker for the Nets and while he's regarded as one of the most lethal outside shooters, his focus in Brooklyn has been involving teammates and putting Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and the rest of the supporting cast in the best position to score.
The Nets guard trails Manu Ginobili by three made shots from beyond the arc for fifth on the list, and he will have an opportunity to tie or surpass him on Friday night in game three against Boston.
The Brooklyn Nets made quick work of the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night as they jumped out to a 40 to 26 first quarter advantage and never looked back. Kevin Durant finished with 26, Joe Harris 25, James Harden 20, and Kyrie Irving 15. The Nets were not short on offensive firepower and took it to the Celtics from the opening tip. The Nets have now won nine straight playoff games against the Boston Celtics and Game 3 tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. on Friday at Garden.
When the Nets signed Blake Griffin after he was bought out by the Detroit Pistons, they didn't know what version of the former high flyer they were getting.
Griffin had not dunked in an NBA game since 2019 and in his Nets debut was set up beautifully by Harden and the regular season for his first dunk and nearly two years. On Tuesday night in Game 2 against Boston, Griffin had a pair of electrifying dunks in the third quarter with the nets burying the Celtics in the second half.
Brooklyn Nets small forward Jeff Green left the second quarter of Game 2 with a bruised left foot and did not return to action The Nets had the game well in control in the second half but green status remains uncertain for the rest for Game 3 and the rest of the series.
The Brooklyn Nets are made quick work of the Boston Celtics in the first half of Game 2 as the Nets hold a 71-47 advantage. Joe Harris set the franchise record for threes made in a half. Harris finish the half with 22, Kevin Durant with 12, Harden with 10, and Irving with 8.
The Brookly Nets went 16 of 25 from the field including six of nine from three-point range to grab a 40 to 26 first quarter advantage.
Clearly, the Nets are over the early jitters they experienced in Game 1.

Steve Nash will be sending out the identical starting lineup for Game 2 against Boston as he did in the opener of the series. The usual suspects: Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Joe Harris, Kevin Durant, and Blake Griffin will be the starting five for the Nets. <\p>

Brooklyn is hoping to avoid a second straight slow start with the potentially lethal offensive lineup. It's very unlikely Then that's will have another off-shooting night in the first half.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Bernstein
Celtics fans remember it like it was yesterday and Nets fans were hoping they would forget, but May 25, 2003, will live in infamy in the battle between Atlantic Division foes. New Jersey was crusing in the second half of Game 3 of the 2002 Eastern Conference with a 25-point advantage in Boston and well on its way to a 2-1 series edge over the Celtics.

Leadig 74-59 with under a minute to play in the third quarter, many anticipated that the final frame would be extended garbage time with each team's starters getting rest on the bench.

Instead, Boston staged a comeback of historic proportions, storming back to outscore the Nets 41-16 in the fourth quarter and clinch the biggest comeback in NBA playoff history, at the time. Jason Kidd's Cinderella Nets encountered their first sign of adversity in the midst of a magical run and instead of folding after an embarrassing defeat, they rebounded in Game 4 to escape Boston with a win after Paul Pierce missed potential game tying free throws in the closing seconds.

The New Jersey Nets won both Games 5 and 6 to end Boston's season and clinch the franchise's first ever NBA Finals berth, the first of two consecutive. This year's Nets are not anticipating any catastrophic blown leads in the series with the Celtics, a series in which they're heavily favored, but the painful memory for fans in the New York Metropolitan area is a constant reminder of what the great Yogi Berra exclaimed, "It ain't over, till it's over!' Since the Nets monumental collapse in Game 3 of 2002 the Eastern Conference Finals, they've gone 8-0 against the Celtics including a convincing Game 1 victory this year with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden combining for 82-points.

The 2020-2021 Nets are not the beloved underdogs like the Kidd-led teams of the early-2000s, in fact just the opposite, but long-time fans of the franchise are still cautiously optimistic that this year's title-favored Nets will deliver on that promise.
The track record for teams coming back from being down 0-2 to win a series is not very encouraging. Throughout NBA history, the 27-399 overall mark for teams in that situation tells the whole story.
Surprisingly, the Boston Celtics made two such comebacks in their playoff history, ousting Chicago in 2017 in the first round and the Lakers in the 1969 NBA finals after going down 2-0. As Kevin Garnett taught Celtics fans 13 years ago, "Anything is possible." Well, especially if a former Celtic great is the GM that netted you KG, but that's a story for another day. The fact of the matter is, Brooklyn's talent is overwhelming and for the Celtics, Game 2 represents their chance to stabilize the series and at least give the Nets something to think about heading to Beantown.
It might not have looked like it in the first half of Game 1 against the Boston Celtics, but the Brooklyn Nets finish the 2020-2021 regular season with the most efficient offense in the history of the league. Scoring 117.3 points per 100 possessions, the Nets were otherworldly as an offensive force. James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant appeared to be pressing early on with Barclays Center bubbling with excitement and enthusiasm. Now that Brooklyn's big three have their first playoff game under their belts, and ninth game overall playing together, Steve Nash is hoping that the offensive brilliance that was on display in limited action together will continue in Game 2 to help the Nets create separation in the series.
The Brooklyn Nets played some of their worst offensive basketball of the season and Boston came out shooting the lights out in Game 1. The Nets withstood Celtic haymaker after haymaker before picking themselves of the mat, dusting themselves off and fighting back in the second half.
Brooklyn's defense was stingy and allowed the team to climb out of a 32-20 first half hole and flip the script in the second half. James Harden admitted that playing in front of 13,000-plus fans wasn't something he was used to and early playoff jitters played a factor. For first time all year, the nets used a starting five of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Harden, Joe Harris, and Blake Griffin. Steve Nash hopes his team works out the kinks in the lineup as it looks to go up 2-0 in the series.
The Nets shot under 42 percent from the field and 24 percent from 3-point range, but still managed to overcome a poor shooting night to clinch a Game 1 victory.
Kevin Durant had 32, Kyrie Irving 29 and James Harden 22 to push the Nets to a 1+0 series advantage. Brooklyn got all it could handle defensively from Brad Stevens in the first half, but the talent just overwhelmed Boston. Game 2 is set for Tuesday night at 7:30pm.
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The Brooklyn Nets put on one of their worst shooting performances of the season going 1 of 12 from beyond the arc, but somehow only trail the Boston Celtics by six points at halftime. Steve Nash will need to make some offensive adjustments if he hopes the Nets can rebound and avoid a Game 1 upset.
The Brooklyn Nets announced the team's starting five and sharpshooter Joe Harris will start at forward, while Blake Griffin will start at center. The other three positions in the lineup are pretty self explanatory.
The Nets have soldout Game 1 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, much to the chagrin of Knicks fans and Nets detractors. Brooklyn used offer code "HARDEN" to give vaccinated fans 50 percent off playoff tickets. With fan capacity expanded to 33 percent, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant and company will look to capitalize on the home court advantage against the pesky Celtics.
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Three fifths of the Nets starting lineup is already decided with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden in Brooklyn, but who will Steve Nash send out to compliment them for the opening tip? The most likely candidates are Blake Griffin and Jeff Green, who would complete the ideal small ball lineup for the Nets. Boston doesn't have a prototypical center to dump the ball down to inside and the Nets can get away with starting Griffin at the five. The playoffs are all about adjustments, so expect Nash and Brad Stevens to try and mix and match different lineup combinations to try and take advantage of any mismatches on the court. Game 1 tip is set for 8pm on Saturday.
Kyrie Irving is arguably the most polarizing player in the NBA. Often criticized for using his platform as a pulpit for his political, social and religious beliefs, Irving is a man that marches to the beat of his own drum. Whether you agree with him or not, the Nets point guard is not shy in expressing how he feels about just about every topic under the sun. Irving's opinionated nature is part of who he is. He's a passionate individual who won't conform to any standards that aren't his own. It's why his departure from Boston was such a messy divorce. Irving had big dreams of following in the footsteps of many Celtic greats and delivering another championship to the storied franchise.
Instead, things went sideways and he left the organization as one of the most disliked and perhaps misunderstood players in recent memory. Both Boston and Irving turned the page as he was the impetus for Kevin Durant joining him in Brooklyn, a franchise he used to follow in New Jersey as a child. Delivering a championship to the team he always admired and saw knock on the doorstep of with Jason Kidd has always struck a chord with Irving. Now, the Nets have their best ever chance at a ring with sportsbooks across the country listing them as the favorites too win the title. Irving has stayed true to himself throughout his journey, but after leaving big promises unfulfilled in Boston, the current Nets floor general has a chance to do something no player in franchise history has been able to do, win the Larry O'Brien trophy. He can be one team's ultimate villain and another team's savior all wrapped into one.
James Harden insists that the upcoming playoff run with the Brooklyn Nets is not all about stats. While the wins will take precedent over any individual accomplishments, it's hard to ignore that Harden's career scoring average against the Celtics is among the worst of any teams he's faced.
Only the Clippers, Rockets, and Bulls held Harden below the 22.3 points per game threshold he posted in 23 regular season meetings with Boston. It's not to say that Brad Stevens has Harden's number, but it's worth noting that the scoring prowess that is typically on display from the Nets guard was somewhat held in check. Harden has taken on more of a facilitator role with Brooklyn with his assist numbers through the roof and scoring numbers taking a slight hit. Boston doesn't want Harden to beat them single-handedly, but as long as he's orchestrating the offense, keeping him in check alongside two other superstars will be a difficult task.
The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will get underway Saturday at 8PM at Barclays Center with as many as 33 percent of the arena's capacity permitted in the building. Brooklyn isn't looking past its first round opponent, even without Jaylen Brown as the Celtics second-star alongside Jayson Tatum. With Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Evan Fournier and plenty of scoring punch to go along with the the superb coaching of Brad Stevens, the Nets' Big three's first taste of playoff basketball as a complete trio together should make for a compelling matchup. Most pundits don't expect the series to go beyond five games, but the Celtics have shown to be a gritty, disciplined team, and while short-handed can pose a challenge to the talent-laden Nets.
On May 19, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo approved an increase in fan capacity from 20 percent to 33 percent to the delight of sports fans throughout the state. The Nets promotion aims to reward vaccinated fans with a special code "HARDEN" to cover half the cost of their tickets. As the world slowly moves toward a sense of normalcy, the return of fans in large numbers to stadiums and arenas across the country is a major development. No, James Harden will not be sending fans a check to cover half their costs, but the unique marketing offer at least gives fans an incentive to watching the team they love and the sport they love in person.
Join Rick Laughland of Nets Insider and Randy Zellea of Backsportspage for a look ahead at the opening round playoff matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics that begins Saturday, May 22 at 8pm. Join Randy Zellea of Back Sports Page and Rick Laughland of Nets Insider as they cover every era of Nets basketball from Teaneck, New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York. Zellea worked within the Nets pubic relations department during the Nets back to back NBA finals run with Jason Kidd leading the charge, while Laughland covered the team during it's transition to Brooklyn including the shortlived KG, Paul Pierce era. With stories going back over twenty seasons covering the team professionally and as fans of the franchise, the Nets Insider podcast is a can't miss show for Nets fans ages 2-102.
The Brooklyn Nets are closer to an NBA championship than the Boston Celtics, much closer. That's not opinion, that's fact. When the Nets dealt valuable, unprotected draft capital to Boston for two over the hill future Hall of Famers, Celtics fans refused to let Billy King and the Nets live it down.
The next six-plus years was littered with Celtic fan commentary bashing that Nets regime and mocking the future of the team. Brooklyn was heading down a fruitless path and after cutting bait with King in 2016, Sean Marks made all the right moves to rebuild the team's culture and identity. The groundwork laid by Marks paved the way for the historic free agency period that saw Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant join forces in Brooklyn. A disgruntled James Harden wiggled his way out of Houston upon seeing what the Nets were building with two of his closest off the court friends and thus the current Nets Big Three era was born.
Kyrie Irving's unceremonious departure from the Celtics didn't settle well with fans of the Green and White. A trade with Cleveland that was met with so much promise and anticipation ended with bitter disappointment and a less than enthused version of Irving looking disinterested in basketball at times in Boston.
Signing with his childhood team, the Nets, has somewhat reinvigorated the enigmatic point guard's zest for the game, but he's still had episodes and instances this season of putting basketball on the backburner for short periods of time. Now on the verge of the franchise's best opportunity to win its first NBA title, the Nets have a chance to make the nightmarish trade orchestrated by Billy King is 2014 that saw unprotected draft picks fly out the door for aging stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce just a distant memory. Celtics fans will be subjected to inspired and likely devastating play by their former savior and Brooklyn has a chance to flip the script by making Boston the butt of its jokes for once.
The Brooklyn Nets won't have an easy path through the Eastern Conference as they'll tangle with the Boston Celtics starting this Saturday at Barclays Center in the first round.
Boston has made three conference finals in the last four seasons and is not a typical first round opponent for the two-seeded Nets. The Celtics stumbled into the play-in tournament and Jaylen Brown's season-ending wrist injury was yet another blow to a disappointing campaign for the Nets' Atlantic division rival. Brooklyn is getting healthy at the right time, but they can be sure that Brad Stevens will make life difficult for the Nets' stars to shine brightest as their bench play will go a long way in determining the outcome of the series. The Nets won all three regular season meetings with Boston without their three stars playing together, but the coaching advantage is clearly in the Celtics corner.
If you listen to sports talk radio or peruse a local newspaper or website in the New York market, you'd think the New York Knicks were the favorites to win the Larry O'Brien trophy. Instead, that distinction goes to the Brooklyn Nets. As local media outlets fawn over the Knicks' first playoff appearance since 2013, Tom Thibodeau will never have to buy a meal again in the Big Apple after the job he's done with the previously happless franchise. Steve Nash earns little respect for inheriting a loaded squad, while remarkably Sean Marks has not been listed as the favorite for NBA executive of the year. The Nets are a long, long way from reaching the popularity of the Knicks, and that's no more evident than by the fact their historic season has been overshadowed by the Renaissance taking place at MSG. The trio of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden will not live down anything short of winning a title this season as detractors are wishing and praying for the other shoe to drop. As both franchises prepare for the start of the 2021 playoffs, the Knicks are a cute feel good story to local media in New York, but as far as the national media landscape, the Nets will draw the most fan interest and intrigue in the weeks to follow.
Social media shoutouts do a mind and body right and both Kevin Durant and James Harden weren't shy in letting the world know just how special Kyrie Irving's achievement of a 50-40-90 season statline exactly is. In 74 games played over two seasons with the Nets, Irving is also the franchise leader in points per game at 27.0.
While Durant was the talk of the town during last year's free agency frenzy and Harden during this year's trade deadline, Irving has compiled a historic season with regard to not only the franchise, but the league overall. Meanwhile, Brooklyn will be resting up and await the winner of Tuesday night's play-in game between the Celtics and Wizards.
Only eight players in NBA history have ever shot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line in a single season, and Kyrie Irving's 2020-2021 campaign was good enough to join that elite company. Brooklyn's point guard-turned shooting guard, has quietly enjoyed a historic year in only his second season with the franchise.
Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden have been rewriting all the Nets record books, but the stat that Nets fans young and old care about most is postseason success. Brooklyn will await the winner of the Boston versus Washington seventh versus eighth seed matchup as part of the NBA's play-in tournament. Again, the Nets superstars are stuffing the statsheet, but the real measure of this group's success will lie in whether it can deliver the franchise's first NBA championship.
The last time The Nets boasted a winning percentage over .600, Jason Kidd was running point and the team would clinch its first of back-to-back NBA finals appearances. At a record of 50-32 back in 2001-2002, that .634 winning percentage held up for nearly 20 seasons.
Now, with their big three only playing eight games as a complete unit, and Steve Nash using 38 different starting lineups, the Nets clinched a 48-24 record and .666 winning percentage for the season. The NBA regular season was shortened from 82 games to 72 games and the Nets still reached unprecedented heights by climbing to 24 games over .500 for the first time in their NBA franchise history.
In their ABA days, led by Julius Erving, the Nets went 55-29 in both the 1973-1974 season and 1975-1976 season and in both those campaigns they won the ABA finals. In 1974-1975, the Nets went a franchise-best 58-26, but fell short in the first round of the playoffs to the Spirits of St. Louis
The Nets have A
ll-Star caliber talent throughout their lineup and on Sunday against Cleveland, they made a fastbreak highlight that rivaled anything fans have seen in the All-Star game over the past few decades. It takes quite a bit to get a two-time champion and two-time NBA finals MVP giddy, but after the monster slammer, Durant was juiced upon finding the beautiful feed off the backboard from Mike James. There will be plenty more big playoff moments ahead, but the second quarter run out started by Blake Griffin's behind the back pass will be in the running for highlight of the year in the NBA.
If the Brooklyn Nets hope to clinch the No. 2 seed in the East, they'll have to do so without James Harden. The Nets star guard won't play in the second half of back to back games as Sean Marks, Steve Nash and company play the long game and leave no healing injuries to chance. Brooklyn still has a chance to hold down the two spot, but the Bucks would need to lose to the Bulls to assure the Nets stay at No. 2
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant will lead the charge for Brooklyn and they'll need to be on point to carry the team into the playoffs riding a five game win streak.
In just 36 games played, James Harden has collected 12 triple-doubles and another on Sunday against Cleveland in the regular season finale would set a new Nets all-time single season franchise record. Jason Kidd notched 12 triple-doubles during the 2006-2007 campaign and then accomplished the same feat the following season. Kidd played in a different era with the Nets Big three alongside Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson, but the NBA's emphasis was still on post play and hard nosed defense at that time. During his two franchise record-setting seasons Kidd play in 80 games each compared to Harden's only 36 games played this year. Kidd never had the caliber of supporting cast that Harden holds claim to, but then again Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have only played alongside him in eight total contests. With the most prolific collection of talent the Nets have ever had, Harden has been an absolute game-changer and a triple-double Sunday would be another accolade added to his storied, yet underappreciated NBA career.
The Brooklyn Nets are overloaded with lethal perimeter shooters, but not a single player on the team nor the entire league is as accurate as Joe Harris. Nets head coach Steve Nash revealed that Harris will be sidelined with a gluteal strain until the playoffs start. The Nets are overloaded with lethal perimeter shooters, but not a single player on the team nor in the entire league is as accurate as Joe Harris.
Harris is shooting a scorching hot 47.5 percent from beyond the arc. One of the few remaining players from the Kenny Atkinson era in Brooklyn, Harris has garnered recognition and praise from teammates both current and former for his selfless attitude and sound fundamental play. If Brooklyn hopes to come out on top in the NBA playoffs, Harris will need to be front and center.
Two-thirds of the Nets big three gave the Bulls all they could handle in the first half with Kyrie Irving dropping 20 points, and James Harden 3 points on just three field goal attempts to go along with 5 assists and 4 rebounds, but Kevin Durant could not buy a basket going 2-for-11 in the first 24 minutes of action from the field.
The Nets talent is so overwhelmingly good that they are equipped to overcome an off game from one of their three stars. Durant had open looks throughout the first two quarters of play, so his struggles are more attributed to his own shooting woes than an issue with the continuity of the offense as a whole. Brooklyn's offense did sputter in the early moments of Saturday's matinee as it went down 12-0 to start the game. The Nets need to win this game to maintain a slight edge over Milwaukee record wise for the No. 2 seed in the East.
For only the eighth time third year, the Nets will see Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden take the court together. Brooklyn's head coach expressed optimism that the long awaited day will finally arrive this weekend.
With only two games left in the regular season, the Nets won't simply use the games as a tune-up, but rather to stave up Milwaukee, who is hot in their tail chasing the two seed. Brooklyn hopes of leapfrogging Philadelphia for the top spot in the east were dashed with the Sixers win over Orlando on Friday night. Brooklyn's three superstars are undoubtedly the most prolific scoring punch an NBA team has showcased possibly ever, but they've been unable to stay healthy at the same time. For the Nets top players to be back healthy in time for the playoffs will make fans body and with something on the line in the final two contests, things are about to be very compelling in Brooklyn.
Any combination of a Nets loss or a Philadelphia victory in either of the final two games of the NBA regular season will assure the Sixers the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets have no margin for error as they will have to win against Chicago and Cleveland and hope that Orlando steals consecutive games against Philadelphia. The Sixers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Brooklyn, so even if they finish with identical records, Philadelphia would hold on to home court advantage throughout the Eastern bracket.
With the CDC issuing brand new guidelines about social gatherings and mass wearing indoors and outdoors for vaccinated individuals, States may slowly allow for venues to increase fan capacity across the NBA and other sport leagues. Home court advantage is not necessarily as impactful as it's been a non-pandemic years, but it nonetheless can be a determining factor in a close series, especially if fans are allowed to begin filling arenas in time for the playoffs.
The only thing keeping James Harden from his second career-MVP award is the fact that he's only played in 35 games with the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn is 28-7 in games when Harden is in the lineup. The nine-time All-Star, three-time scoring champ and six-time All-NBA first teamer has all the individual accolades a basketball player could ask for.

It's the Larry O'Brien Trophy that has eluded Harden throughout his legendary 13-year career. Critics pick apart his offensive game calling him too isolation-heavy with his usage rate through the roof when he was in Houston. Detractors of Harden's game compare his defensive effort and intensity to a matador and question his willingness to play both ends of the floor.

Upon his trade to Brooklyn, after an unceremonious departure from the Rockets, Harden instantly transformed a Nets squad that was hovering barely above .500 with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in and out of the lineup, into instant title favorites. The Nets gaining separation from the rest of the Eastern Conference pack has been largely on the Harden's shoulders as he sacrificed a great deal of his scoring mentality to take on more of a distributor role.

Averaging 11 assists, 8.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals to go along with 25.1 points on 47.1 perecnt of the field, Harden is playing the best overall basketball of his career. With all due respect to Jason Kidd, Harden is playing at a higher level than any player to ever don a Nets uniform during their NBA era. Harden is not only a triple-double threat, but he is making an impact in every aspect of the game. The point guard is making high level decisions with the basketball on the fly, while showcasing an active voice on the floor and in the locker room to put his teammates in the best position to succeed. Extrapolate Harden's numbers over 6o or more games with the Nets, and Brooklyn might very well have the NBA's top record and the perennial All-Star would be well on his way to a second MVP Award.

Spencer Dinwiddie, alongside former Net Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and former Net Jarett Allen, made up Brooklyn's young core four under Kenny Atkinson and for the first few months of Steve Nash's tenure years as head coach.
Whi the health of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden has been at the forefront of all Net fans minds all season, Dinwiddie's rehab from a partially torn ACL has been somewhat buried in the shuffle. Dinwiddie is set to hit the open market in free agency this summer and while the Nets retain his bird rights, it's a distinct possibility that the Nets sixth man extraordinaire may have already played his last game with the franchise.
It's been a season filled with unforseen twists and turns for the mega-talented, but injury-riddled Brooklyn Nets. Whether it's been Kyrie Irving coming and going for personal reasons, James Harden missing five weeks with an aggravated hamstring or Kevin Durant's stop and go campaign due to Covid-19 protocol, the NBA's most feared trio looks to finally be gearing up to all be on the same page and same court in time for the playoffs. The Harden trade, another heist pulled off by Sean Marks, was a major impetus for the Nets eventual rise to surpass Philadelphia as the conference"s best team record-wise.
Prior the a four-game losing streak that spanned late-April and early-May, Brooklyn held a slim lead over the Sixer for the East's top spot. A loss to Portland without Durant and Harden in the lineup, followed by consecutive losses to Milwaukee then Dallas coupled with a Philly hot streak, saw them leapfrog the Nets for the top spot. Suddenly, Milwaukee had won the tiebreaker over Brooklyn and currently sits one back of it in the loss column. The Nets need to win their final two games against Chicago and Cleveland to guarantee no worse than the two spot, and if Philadelphia loses Thursday to Miami followed consecutive meetings with Orlando to round out the year, the Nets could be sitting pretty after a tumultuous regular season.

 Spencer Dinwiddie has been sidelined since December 27 when he partially tore his ACL in just the Nets third game of the season. It's been a long journey back for Brooklyn's sixth man of the year candidate, who tore his ACL as a junior in college at Colorado and opted to forgo his senior season by declaring for the 2014 NBA draft. The Pistons selected the 6-foot-6 guard in the second round, but he flourished under Kenny Atkinson and the Nets starting in 2016.




The Nets have an embarrassment of riches on offense and while Dinwiddie is a dynamic scoring threat, his biggest value is in his fearless dives to the rim to draw fouls and open space for shooters.


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Steve Nash wouldn't commit to Dinwiddie's return to the court, but an x-factor of his caliber would make all the difference in a potential series against the Bucks or Sixers, or dare we say whatever opponent awaits the Nets in the NBA finals. 

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