What’s popping on Air-Ball
- BUY OR SELL: HOW THE DEADLINE IMPACTED THE BULLS, NUGGETS, LAKERS AND MAGIC
- THIS IS THE BEST VERSION OF KYRIE IRVING AND JAMES HARDEN WE’VE EVER SEEN
- GRADING ALL OF MY NBA PRESEASON TAKES
- NBA OFFICIATING IS RUINING THE GAME OF BASKETBALL
Can everyone please take a deep breath? I understand the idea of adding another “All-Star” to an already surging Brooklyn Nets team isn’t ideal but, this season is far from decided.
The last time a team signed a former All-Star and everyone declared the season a wash, it was the 2019 Golden State Warriors and DeMarcus Cousins. Remind me who won the title that season?
“But Will, the Warriors lost because of injuries!” If you think that, you’re probably right. Here’s the thing though, that should be a major concern for the Nets as well.
Kevin Durant hasn’t played a game in over two months and it sounds like his return from a seemingly innocuous hamstring injury will be closer to three months since he last played. Kyrie Irving isn’t exactly known as an ironman either.
This of course all ignores the inarguable fact LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin were bought out for a reason. Sure, as recently as 2019 both were All-Stars but a lot has changed since then.
In 2021 Aldridge was so bad for the Spurs, they as a team trying to make the playoffs sent him home and picked up Gorgui Dieng to replace him. You’d think for a team trying to make the playoffs, they wouldn’t cut a key potential championship piece, would you?
That’s the thing, Aldridge and Griffin have flashy names absolutely however their games are from it now. Maybe they can help the back end of the Nets rotation and maybe even get hot in a random playoff game.
But the idea either one will sniff the court in a close playoff game is highly debatable to me. Neither addresses the real issues of this team, defence. They just double down on what they’re good at, offence.
I’m not saying signing them was a bad move by any stretch. Any time a team trying to win a championship can add depth it’s totally worth it.
We as fans just have to be better when we see news like this. Griffin and Aldridge are only Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge by name, not by the game we remember them having at their peaks.
The Nets very well may go on to win a championship this season, I just highly doubt with how they’ve looked this season either one of their new big men will have much to do with it.
And on the subject of the Nets and their championship hopes, I need to see Durant in uniform with any type of consistency before I’m even ready to call them the favourites.
In their own conference, both Philadelphia and Milwaukee have MVP-Level monsters in the frontcourt the Nets have no hope of guarding. Durant’s health is imperative to them even reaching the Finals.
Then once they hypothetically get there, and assuming this team’s health, of course, I think the Lakers would still be my pick. The Nets have no one on this roster who can hope to stay in front of LeBron and that ignores Anthony Davis as well.
So yeah, Harden is playing out of his mind every night and Irving is as well when he isn’t on family vacations. Joe Harris never misses, Nic Claxton has the potential to be exactly what they need upfront and who doesn’t love Bruce Brown. This team is inarguably awesome.
But to call them the runaway favourite when they still have major defensive issues and health problems with their best player is something I really struggle with. Adding Griffin and Aldridge is fun no doubt, however, this championship is far from decided right now in my eyes.
So in other words, take a deep breath and let it play out. A lot can happen from now until July, whether Twitter says so or not.