The Brooklyn Nets playoff collapse to the Boston Celtics that resulted in a 4-0 sweep for the Celtics is going to be remembered for a while. Considering the narratives around both teams in January, it is incredible to see how the scales have tipped.
But many people saw this Nets collapse coming after Boston's emergence and all the drama in the Nets locker room. From the Harden trade to Simmons not playing, and everything around Kyrie Irving, a lot went wrong within the Brooklyn Nets franchise. However, it seems a lot of the blame will fall squarely on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
The former championship winners struggled against Boston outside individual 39-point games from both. Irving is already looking ahead to next season and is aware of the narratives that will build over the summer, but is determined to come back and let all the chatter fuel him for their return.
Considering all the doubt around Irving already, he could have used it for motivation this season. However, the circumstances have been tough to manage for him this season. Kyrie was extremely critical of the media narratives around him during his pst-game interview, but most athletes look to shut that down with their performances.
The scrutiny was there all along, so it seems like he could have channeled that hate as the energy right now. Either way, Irving will need to regroup and sign his contract extension in the summer to run it back with Brooklyn.
Considering his talent level, everybody would be silly to count him out completely. But this season has shown more chinks in Kyrie's armor than battle-worn steel. If he can come back a different and more motivated player next season who can shut out all the noise, he and his Nets team will greatly benefit from it.