DAR Sports: The Path Of Brooklyn's Big Three

By Stephen Ferke

Initially, many people thought that with 3 NBA stars that could all score on their own only having one ball would be a big problem for the Nets. However, so far, they are wrong. Offensively, The Nets are on pace to have the best offense in NBA history.  They averaging 121.7 Points per game currently, as well as averaging 27.2 assists a game, which is 4th in the league. The Nets defense hasn't been the best allowing 118 points per game, which has them ranked 28th in the league, and they are struggling a bit on the boards, averaging 44 rebounds a game, which puts them at 19th in the league. Many people were also worried that one of the Big 3 wouldn’t want to sacrifice their game for the betterment of the team, specifically Kyrie and Harden. Once again, they were wrong as Kyrie has allowed James to take control of the Point Guard position, with Kyrie going to the Shooting Guard position. This was a move that made great sense truthfully with Kyrie being better as the shooting guard and Harden's elite passing ability. The Big 3 are 5-1 when playing together with the only loss coming from the heartbreaker in Cleveland. 

Even with all 3 having limited playing time together due to injury or Covid protocols, the Nets are currently on a 4 game winning streak (soon to be 5) and are one game back from the 1 seed in the East. The Nets are the clear favorites to get out of the East in this summer's playoffs, and could become NBA Championship favorites with the recent Achilies injury that Anthony Davis has been dealing with. Now let's dive into how each member of the big 3 is doing individually.   

*Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is quietly having the 3rd best season of his career statistically, despite missing games due to COVID protocol,  Load management on back to backs and currently a minor hamstring injury. Durant is averaging 29 points per game while shooting it at 52.4 FG %, which is his second best percentage of his career, as well as shooting his best 3PT% of his career at 43.4%. Durant is also averaging 7.3 rebounds per game, 5.3 assists per game and finally 1.4 Blocks per game. More surprising is that KD is doing all of this Post Achilles injury. The Slim Reaper is back and there’s barely a drop off in play. His ability to score whenever he wants is still there and defensively he’s shown he's the best defensive player on this Brooklyn Nets team.   

*Kyrie Irving

Kyrie is statistically having the best season of his career with career highs in points (28.3), Blocks (0.8), FG Percentage (53.4%) and 3PT percentage (44.2%). Kyrie is a current member of the 50/40/90 club, a testament to his talent as a player. Kyrie is still a wizard with his ball handling skills, and has improved on defense. His layup and midrange game are still almost unguardable and his improvements from 3 have been great to watch. Kyrie has been unselfish throughout the season as well and has proved his doubters wrong about his questionable leadership skills. Kyrie Irving is flourishing in ways we haven't seen since his run to win a NBA Championship with Lebron in 2016.   

*James Harden

Harden has been phenomenal for the Nets, averaging 24.3 Points per game, which is a drop for him but he's made up for it by being unselfish and having career highs in assists (11.8per game) and a career high in rebounding at (8.4per game) while also being a member of the 50/40/90 Club. Many Nets fans were worried when we traded our depth and future draft picks for Harden but he's been worth every player and pick thus far. Harden has elite passing skills, something we saw glimpses of during his days in OKC and Houston but he's been great in setting up his teammates with easy open buckets. Fifteen games into being a Net, he is already tied for second most triple doubles by a Net. His playmaking ability and scoring ability were on full show in the Nets' February 16th comeback win against the healthy Suns without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in which he scored 38, had 11 assists, got 7 rebounds and hit the go ahead 3 late in the 4th quarter. 

The Nets are 10-1 when playing against over .500 teams, and have been one of the most fun teams to watch this season. If the Nets can stay healthy and keep their offense up while improving a bit on defense, there's no reason they shouldn’t make it to the finals or maybe even give Brooklyn their first NBA Championship and give New York City its first NBA championship since the 1973 Knicks. It could very well be time. 



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