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2022-23 Brooklyn Nets vs. 2022-23 Golden State Warriors Full Comparison: The Nets Big 3 Can't Dethrone The Champions

2022-23 Brooklyn Nets vs. 2022-23 Golden State Warriors Full Comparison: The Nets Big 3 Can't Dethrone The Champions

Two teams that finished on different ends of the contending table in the 2022 season were the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors. The Nets suffered through a disappointing campaign as they were embarrassingly swept at the hands of the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. Brooklyn was even lucky to make the playoffs after James Harden forced his way out of the team, and Kyrie Irving only played 29 games after he refused to take the covid vaccination.

No doubt, the Nets were title favorites at the start of the year, with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving forming one of the most talented duos of all time. Of course, James Harden was expected to be a factor, but he did not last long as he was traded for 3-time All-Star Ben Simmons. Brooklyn finished with a 44-38 record, hardly impressive for a title contender. Looking ahead to next season, the Nets hope the team gels on the court as they aim to make use of Kevin Durant’s presence as arguably the top-two player in the world, confirming his willingness to stay with the franchise. With Durant back in the mix alongside Kyrie Irving and (hopefully) Ben Simmons, the Nets are clearly a favorite to come out of the East.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors finished as the 2022 NBA champions. Led by their championship core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, the Warriors played the best basketball on the offensive end. Their system is simply elite, and much of that goes towards Steve Kerr’s exceptional coaching and the talent of the players. Nonetheless, the Warriors finished with the 3rd seed in the Western Conference and eventually made it to the NBA Finals to win it all in 6 games.

Of course, as the reigning NBA champions, the Warriors are expected to be back in the mix yet again with their star trio returning as the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are looking to follow up their career years. Obviously, Golden State is a team nobody wants to come up against in the playoffs because of their elite shooting and championship experience. It is also expected that key role players Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole will play bigger roles which could mean Golden State will have even more weapons.

Nonetheless, the Nets and Warriors are both considered title contenders, as it is time to discover the team comparison in every major facet. By looking at the starting lineups, benches, coaches, and key advantages, we can get an indication of which team will perform better during the 2022-23 NBA season.

Starting Lineups

Nets vs. Warriors lineups

On paper, the Brooklyn Nets starters should be competing with the Golden State Warriors and actually be the favorite. Kevin Durant is the best player in the world alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kyrie Irving should be eligible to play the entire season in New York with the covid pandemic hopefully behind us. Of course, Ben Simmons, when healthy, is a top-10 defensive player in the world and one of the best all-around talents in the league. Standing 6’11” and having guard-like skills and athleticism, Simmons can be a game-changer on the court alongside two elite offensive players.

The rest of the starters are extremely useful in their roles: Seth Curry in shooting and Nic Claxton in defending the rim and rolling to the basket. The Nets starters are built for contending, and there is enough talent for them to be impactful. One thing that stands out is their defense because Ben Simmons will be invaluable when it comes to playing elite on-ball defense. Without Simmons in the lineup, the Nets will have trouble stopping opposing teams. As long as Simmons is available, the Nets will be a major force. But still, the Golden State Warriors have the advantage in the starting lineup.

The Golden State Warriors starters are far more championship-ready. Curry is the best point guard and best shooter in the NBA, and he is still in his prime with the impact of a top-5 player in the game. Alongside him are Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, two excellent two-way players who are willing to sacrifice their offense for the means of the team. Klay is an elite shooter, on par with Kevin Durant, if not better, and Wiggins is a far better defensive player than Kyrie. Alongside Curry, these two players are perfect complements on both ends of the floor, although more so on defense.

Draymond Green’s presence as a playmaker, defender, and vocal leader makes him irreplaceable in the Warriors lineup. As crazy as it might sound, the Warriors do not win a single championship without Draymond Green on the court. Kevon Looney has overcome his lack of offensive talent to instead be a fantastic system player that plays hard and defends with full focus. This starting lineup is championship proven, and that gives the Warriors an absolutely massive advantage heading into the 2022-23 NBA season.

Advantage: Golden State Warriors


Bench

Nets vs. Warriors benches

Brooklyn Nets: Patty Mills, Joe Harris, Edmond Sumner, Cam Thomas, T.J. Warren, Royce O’Neal, Day’Ron Sharpe

Golden State Warriors: Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, JaMychal Green, James Wiseman

The Brooklyn Nets bench looks decent in terms of talent, but they are unproven. We know what we will get from Patty Mills, but the rest are not convincing. Joe Harris is going through a hard time with his injuries, and we have seen the shooter miss critical shots during the 2021 series against the Milwaukee Bucks. Edmond Sumner and Cam Thomas are also unproven in big games, while T.J. Warren is as streaky as they come. Day’Ron Sharpe is the only legitimate backup big man, and he is only 20 years old with one season under his belt. Depth could be an issue if Simmons is not available to play. The addition of Royce O’Neal could mitigate a ton of issues, so he could be an invaluable pickup.

But no doubt, the Warriors have a big advantage when it comes to bench play. For one, they have Jordan Poole, who averaged 18.5 PPG on 44.8% shooting from the field and 36.4% from three. Of course, he was exceptional from the free-throw line as he drained 92.5%, which led the NBA. Having a player who can score 20 PPG in the regular season is truly irreplaceable for a championship side. He will be a big factor in the postseason as well, as last year, he averaged 17.0 PPG in the playoffs.

The rest of the Warriors bench is filled with defensive players and shooters who have a lot of potential. DiVincenzo has been out for a while, but he is a legitimate starting-caliber shooting guard when he is fully healthy. He defends hard, can hit the three, and has a high basketball IQ. With Otto Porter and Gary Payton II no longer there, Jonathan Kuminga could start reaching his potential as an excellent forward with tremendous versatility. Moody and Wiseman are also youngsters with very high ceilings, and JaMychal Green was a sneakily nice pickup by the Warriors.

Advantage: Golden State Warriors


Coach: Steve Nash vs. Steve Kerr

Steve Nash and Steve Kerr

Steve Nash had to endure a ton of drama last season and deserves credit for somehow guiding the Nets into the playoffs despite only 29 games played by Kyrie Irving. Nash employed some devastating isolation-based offense for his stars, and Brooklyn did look deadly at points throughout the year. An elite offensive player in his prime, Nash knows how to get his star players good looks. The next step for Nash is finding a way to get other players shots and also get the players to buy into the defensive end. Re-signing Nic Claxton and bringing in Royce O’Neal will be huge in improving the defense, but Nash will need to convince both Durant and Kyrie that he is the man for the job.

As a result, there is no doubt that Steve Kerr is on another level as a head coach right now. Kerr is an elite tactician who knows how to make Golden State tick on both ends of the floor. Obviously, 4 NBA championships come as a result of that. Steve Kerr has spearheaded the new era of NBA basketball, and Golden State does it better than everyone else. No team in the league employs an offense as deadly as the Warriors’, and the head coach deserves a ton of credit for that. Kerr has been a rock for the Warriors for years now and deserves as much credit as the rest of the star players he has coached. Next year, Kerr resumes his position as arguably the best coach in the NBA, and that gives Golden State a massive edge.

Advantage: Golden State Warriors


Brooklyn Nets Advantage

The Brooklyn Nets have an elite duo led by arguably the best player in the world in Kevin Durant. Durant is still in his prime, and at 33 years old, he put up 29.9 PPG and 7.4 RPG on 51.8% shooting from the field, 38.3% from three, and 91.0% from the free-throw line. Kyrie is also a special talent, competing in 29 games this past season and still putting up 27.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 5.8 APG. In many ways, Irving is a better player than he has ever been in terms of skill set because his scoring has been extremely efficient. We just do not know if Kyrie is willing to continue to dedicate his life to basketball anymore.

Ben Simmons is also an X-factor. The Warriors have two elite defenders in Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green, but neither can be as impactful as the Australian star the Nets have in their ranks. Simmons is only 26 years old and has spectacular athleticism and ability, meaning he can be a difference-maker for the Nets if he can get healthy and ready to play. Overall, Brooklyn’s Big Three (and even Big Two) is incredibly special.


Golden State Warriors Advantage

The Golden State Warriors have a lot of weapons, and each one plays his role perfectly. Stephen Curry is the best shooter ever, Klay is right behind him, and Poole is coming into his own. That means Golden State has three elite shooters alongside some other solid shooters in Andrew Wiggins. Losing role players Gary Payton II and Otto Porter is not ideal, but they have enough cover to replace them.

The Warriors, as things stand from what we saw last year, might be the most effective offensive team in the league. They started the era of three-point shooting and do it better than everyone else. The Warriors will outshoot the opponent any day of the week, which means they have a massive advantage in terms of perimeter offense. Of course, Steve Kerr is a master at bringing the best out of his players, which means Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman could be on their way to having breakout seasons.


Brooklyn Can Come Out Of The East With Ben Simmons, But Golden State Are The Favorites

The Brooklyn Nets have to undergo the pressure of being a favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference because of their star power. Of course, on paper or in a video game, the Nets are stacked. Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the league, Kyrie can score as well as any point guard we have seen, and Ben Simmons is a special talent with a unique skill set. Barring injuries and off-court issues, these three bring everything on the court. But of course, reality does not work like that.

Chemistry is a very fragile aspect of the NBA, and the Nets do not have much of it. We still do not know if Durant (who is very sensitive) and Irving are on the best of terms, and Simmons is battling an entirely different set of issues. We do not know if Kyrie wants to play basketball or even remain in Brooklyn for too long. Of course, Simmons is having massive back problems, and his mental health could be very poor right now. That does not bode well for a contender. But if Joe Tsai and Steve Nash can get the team to buy in and the players stay healthy, the Nets are right in the mix alongside the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics to make the 2023 NBA Finals.

But that is a very big “if”. In actuality, the Golden State Warriors do not have any “ifs”. Klay Thompson is back healthy, Stephen Curry is still the best point guard in the NBA, and Steve Kerr has proven he is the cream of the crop when it comes to coaching. Not to mention, Wiggins has proven he can be a star in the league in the right role, and Jordan Poole is in the mix for his first All-Star Team or potentially the Sixth Man of the Year award. Draymond Green, no matter what critics have to say, knows how to be a leader for the Warriors and sets the tone on defense.

As a result, because of consistency and track record, the Warriors are the better team. They do not have the raw scoring ability of Kevin Durant nor the versatile defense of Ben Simmons, but they have a complete starting lineup led by two of the greatest shooters in NBA history. Steve Kerr’s offense, coupled with the players’ experience, means Golden State will be a force to handle yet again. Brooklyn, if they can sort out their issues, could be right with them. But until that is proven, the Warriors are the better team and potentially the favorites to make it to the NBA Finals to represent the Western Conference again.

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