Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

The Nets have great promise, but also could be "the league's most enigmatic team"

It's pretty clear that the Brooklyn Nets, who created a team and culture that lured superstar free agents Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, have triumphed over the more established New York Knicks in creating a strong, perhaps stellar, team and international buzz.

Few question the Nets' decision, but some are emphasizing the significant risks, given Durant's Achilles heel injury and Irving's team-chemistry problems. How the Sixers outdealt the Nets (subscriber-only), wrote TrueHoop's David Thorpe, observing that the team's signing of Al Horford added a key missing piece.

By contrast, Thorpe suggested the Nets made a mistake:
Russell, LeVert, and center Jarrett Allen (just 21) all had significant upsides. In fact, almost the entire Nets’ rotation was under 28. I was interested to see to what that group would look like by adding just one piece—an All-Star or slightly below that level. Instead, they blew it up by orchestrating a couple of four-year contracts at an anticipated $300+ million for a point guard who hasn’t matured well since winning a title in Cleveland and for a superstar who MIGHT mostly recover from Achilles surgery to still be that star by November 2020. Or he might not.
Thorpe noted that Celtics young players were better without Irving, and suggested that Durant won't fit with Irving as well as he had in Golden State:
I’m asking a lot of questions. Which is my overarching point. When the Warriors added Durant, there were no questions. That’s how these deals—acquiring superstars to pair with other equally gifted stars—should look. No questions, mostly just wins. Last season, the Celtics were the league’s most enigmatic team. For the next two years, Brooklyn looks like it can claim that title.
Questions about chemistry
Then again, there are new role players.

In the New York Post

Nets now risk becoming the next New York disappointment, wrote the New York Post's Steve Serby. (Note that the URL contains apparently the original headline word, "disaster.") His thesis:
KD will be 32 by the time he steps on a court again, and who, other than Team Durant, expects him to be 100 percent of Durant?
Kyrie is an upgrade over D’Angelo Russell because he is a proven big-game performer who embraces the biggest and brightest stages, but he has been an occasional moody problem child who pledged allegiance to the Celtics until he didn’t, and began criticizing young teammates.
His conclusion:
The Kyrie-KD jackpot means that Atkinson’s Nets are no longer The Little Engine That Could. This is no longer about establishing a culture. It is now about a championship.
It is a dream that grows in Brooklyn. And only Brooklyn. Of course it was a shot worth taking. It doesn’t mean it will prove to be as rewarding as getting the ball to Michael Jordan with the game on the line.
As Serby indicated, the Knicks would've taken that shot if the players even considered it. But the Knicks have alienated players, they practice in Westchester (the Nets' space in Sunset Park is far closer to the home arena), and they have a history of mismanagement.

Comments