Kyrie Irving is back. James Harden is three video games into his tenure with the Brooklyn Nets. Kevin Durant looks every bit like the leading 3 player that’s defined his profession.
Therefore what, exactly, do we now learn about this new-look, high-powered, utterly-fascinating Brooklyn Nets group?
Not a damn thing.
The Webs thrilling double-overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night– their first game with the KD-Beard-Kyrie trio playing together– informs us absolutely nothing. Very same for the two previous games that featured Harden and Durant winning video games, including a big one versus the Milwaukee Bucks, as Irving remained out for personal factors.
If, reasonably, you think the Webs’ Huge 3 is too overwhelmingly talented to question, there’s plenty at hand to enhance your position. Harden and K.D. began 2-0 together, Kyrie’s return and whatever wrinkles should still be straightened out still required double-overtime to soil, and those 3 were (mostly) incredible together.
That’s 96 points in between them.
However if, like me, you have more doubt than confidence in how this brew of stars will ultimately blend together, you can squint your eyes and still see what concerns you.
Brooklyn is the most interesting group in the NBA, and what it will eventually become– and how it eventually will be evaluated– in the playoffs months from now stays a Rorschach test.
Their combined talent is beyond any doubt. Sometimes, seeing K.D. and Harden, K.D. and Irving, K.D. and Irving and Harden– all of the possible combinations– was mesmerizing basketball including a breathtakingly talented collection of stars. And yet the Webs’ defense, strength and ability to win video games the hard way stays open concerns, those particularly highlighted Wednesday night in that 147-135 loss by recently-jettisoned previous Net Jarrett Allen. Allen’s 12-11 double-double doesn’t inform the whole story. He hit huge shots, took down essential rebounds, and for large portions of the 4th quarter and those overtimes was the most prompt and important gamer on the flooring this side of Colin Sexton.
He likewise underscored just who, in the frontcourt, can be an efficient part of what the Nets require beyond their scoring threesome.
It is a long and hard process to fold in numerous super stars to a single group, a fact enhanced when it takes place in the middle of a season– especially with one of those stars leaving his previous group by means of an awful divorce, and another leaving for a long stretch for ambiguous personal factors that sure seem to consist of open dissent towards his coach.
Take the 2010-11 Miami Heat. When LeBron James and Chris Bosh got here to join Dwyane Wade in that year, that Big 3– possibly the very best contrast talent-wise for this Big Three– began 9-8. I covered that team, and it was absolutely nothing but angst, chaos and aggravation for a substantial portion of that season. And yet the trio ended quite effectively in the years ahead.
Beginnings can be misleading. In both instructions. Take Harden’s history with the stars he has actually demanded having fun with.
In 2017, he wanted Chris Paul with him in Houston, and as was generally the case with the Rockets, he got what he desired. Their start was wonderful. They won their very first 14 video games together. They were off and running and were feared. The story did not end in magnificence, and it did not end harmoniously.
So Harden got what he desired, again: CP3 out, old buddy and fellow former-MVP Russell Westbrook in.
So here we are.
Losing to Cleveland is not proof we skeptics of this version of the Brooklyn Nets understand what we’re talking about.
The Webs are talented.