This past Saturday the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Miami Heat 128-124. The win was their first since Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden all began playing together.
Irving scored 28 points; Durant chipped in a team high 31 points; and Harden recorded 12 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds in the winning effort.
Above all else, this particular victory reminded everyone this squad has what it takes to go all the way to the NBA Finals.
After the fact, Durant spoke out about what he sees as the most important factor for the team’s overall success.
“The trust is already there,” Durant said, per Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. “The familiarity with each other is there already. We know each other’s games from the last decade. It’s just a matter of what plays we’re going to run at certain times, what lineups we’re going to have out there.
“I think both the coaches and the players are fine-tuning everything. We’re going to have spurts where we play inconsistent just because we try things, but for the most part, our minds and our hearts are in the right place when we’re out there. We try to take care of business every possession.”
Now we know what motivates Gronk to play so hard. https://t.co/xFnKnjoXQ4
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 24, 2021
On paper, the Nets seemingly have a team that’s something out of a video game. Durant, Irving and Harden are three of the most explosive and difficult to defend against players in the whole league.
That said – chemistry matters. Rhythm matters. Fit matters. On Saturday, Brooklyn proved that it could have all those things. But back-to-back losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the two outings prior to that showed something different.
This is going to be an interesting next few months. Either the Nets will prove all their haters wrong and become a serious player for the NBA title, or they’ll completely collapse under the weight of their superstardom.
We know which side Irving expects to land on. Is he right? Time will tell.