Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are the two superstar players who will be returning to dominate the league once again. Both players are former NBA champions who delivered on the brightest stage of them all and are hungry to do it again. With some big changes in Brooklyn such as the hiring of former Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash as the head coach, the Nets will be a major problem next year. But what if Brooklyn added James Harden to the mix?
Brooklyn will have a tremendous offense if Kevin Durant returns to his normal self because he and James Harden are arguably the best scorers in the past decade. The Rockets need to hold onto their franchise star, but if the Rockets are in a state of flux, there is no reason why The Beard should waste his prime years for an uncertain situation. Even though Brooklyn will part ways with key pieces such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, and Jarrett Allen, and possibly the No.19 overall pick to make it happen; Harden with former teammate Kevin Durant and also All-Star Kyrie Irving makes the Nets the favorite to win the 2021 NBA title. Here are the 5 reasons why.
5. Best Chance To Dominate The East
For years, the Western Conference has been the most dominant conference in the league. While the East has certainly improved thanks to superstar players such as Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jimmy Butler in recent years; the West is still the dominant conference. This means that outside the Heat and Celtics, there aren't many teams that are scary enough for a team like Brooklyn who have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
With James Harden on the squad, the Nets will be far and away the favorites to make the NBA Finals. The Bucks are a very good team thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo, but it is still 3-to-1 in terms of superstar talent. Similarly, the Celtics have Jayson Tatum and some other All-Stars, but Boston are still young and they can't field 3 superstars at once. Miami are a big threat, but Brooklyn's Big Three is just better on paper and on the court. The Nets will most likely dominate the East if they acquire James Harden on paper and on the court.
4. James Harden's Playmaking Ability
Kyrie Irving is a superstar point guard, except that he doesn't actually play like a point guard. Kyrie looks for his shots all the time, which is actually beneficial for the team because he is so adept at creating his own looks. Still, Kyrie Irving as the main ballhandler won't exactly win NBA titles on its own as LeBron James was the main playmaker during his Cleveland days. For Kyrie to be Kyrie, James Harden's sensational playmaking skills will be invaluable.
Much is made about Harden's ability to score, and he is truly the best offensive player today, but it's his playmaking that makes him so unstoppable. Harden draws double and triple teams like a magnet, which allows him to pick any pass and find his teammates with ease. With Brooklyn, he can be the actual point guard to lead the offense while Kyrie and Durant play off him. That might be the single most unstoppable playing style because Harden will score or get an assist for Durant or Irving every time.
3. Perfect Addition For Steve Nash
Steve Nash, as a player, was one of the best playmakers in NBA history. His ability to control the pace of the game set teammates up, and play a fast game was the reason he won 2 straight MVP Awards. Nash was a magician with the ball and one of the most unstoppable guards ever who did not need to score to be effective. If Nash gets a hold of James Harden, already one of the greatest offensive players ever, the Brooklyn Nets can play a style of play with the same success that the Nash-led Suns had and much more.
It is expected that a player as smart as Steve Nash will coach his team the same way he played. Pushing the pace, finding guys for excellent looks, and applying non-stop pressure on the opposing defense will be the way the Nets will likely play. Nobody in the NBA puts that kind of pressure on a defense like James Harden, which makes him a perfect Steve Nash player. Nash will have a player in Harden who will do everything he did on the court, except do it at a more effective rate. Harden is 6'5" 220 lbs and can handle a burden of scoring and assisting much better than Nash could. If Nash has James Harden to coach, the Nets have a serious chance of being absolutely unstoppable on offense.
2. Most Unstoppable Offense In NBA History
It is not beyond belief that the Nets will have an unstoppable offense if the team acquires James Harden. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving already on the team, that will make 3 players who need to be double teamed to prevent offensive explosions every night. The kind of pressure they will put on opposing teams is surreal, and the Nets will literally play other teams like an All-Star game. There will be too much offensive talent for any defense to handle and quite frankly, it may just be unfair.
The Golden State Warriors had a Big Three with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson which was certainly one of the best core ever. Without disrespect to Klay Thompson, who is a sensational 2-way player and arguably the second-best shooter ever, James Harden adds an entirely different level of star. Durant, Harden, and Irving will mimic what the Warriors did except they will be better offensively. With DeAndre Jordan acting as the defensive anchor for the team, the Nets have a chance to be the single most unstoppable offensive team in history and there will most likely be records broken if Brooklyn acquires James Harden.
1. Superstar Chemistry
Perhaps the most important intangible team attribute is chemistry. Without it, a very talented team simply won't go anywhere. This was evidenced as the Los Angeles Clippers had a ton of All-Star talent yet they were unable to get the job done because everyone was not on the same page. On the other end, the Lakers had arguably the best team chemistry in the league and their camaraderie was a massive reason they played unselfish team basketball. The best way to have chemistry is for players to like each other, something that is apparent with superstars Kevin Durant and James Harden.
Durant and Harden played with each other for 3 years and even helped lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012. Their style of play coincides with one another because Harden can be a fantastic playmaker while Durant can play on or off the ball. Since Harden and Durant already played with each other before, there will be a seamless fit where two of the three superstars will know what makes each other tick. Kyrie Irving has already shown he can be an excellent "Robin" to a primary star which is a perfect formula for success.