The Nets are finally putting it all together as they are on a seven-game winning streak, but what changed that led to this impressive run?
SEVEN IN A ROW! I REPEAT SEVEN IN A ROW FOR THE NETS!
After that gruesome loss to the Pistons in early February James Harden and Kyrie Irving have asserted their dominance as the best backcourt duo in the NBA. Just to clarify, it was no ordinary seven-game stretch. The Nets traveled to the west coast and absolutely dominated their opponents from start to finish.
Without Kevin Durant since his return to Golden State, the Nets have rallied from behind, blown out, and willed their way to victories. Soaring through the west, they were able to have a dramatic come-from-behind win against the Suns that will go down as one of the best Nets games in franchise history. It was a solo act as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were out. James Harden (Eastern Conference Player of the Week) demonstrated why the Nets do that trade 10 times out of 10. Rallying the troops and coming back from an over 20 point deficit had shades of the 2019 Sacramento Kings comeback. James Harden has been everything the Nets could have dreamed of. A blowout to the defending champions Lakers and a gutsy win against their cross-town rival Clippers, who is left to beat?
After Tuesday night’s win over the Kings, the Nets big three are all averaging over 25 points per game. This would be the first time in NBA history where a trio of players would do so. However, we cannot talk about the Nets without mentioning the others. Joe Harris, Bruce Brown, and Jeff Green have been the glue that has kept the team together. Without them who knows where they would be. Could someone take a guess as to who is shooting over 50% from the field and from the three? Yes! Joe Harris! He may have easy looks, but he is near automatic. Watching Harris every night gives off Klay Thompson vibes. He is certainly not the defender Klay is, but he stays in front of his man and gives the Nets a chance.
Initially, the Bruce Brown trade was deemed as something insignificant because there were no blockbuster parts to it. Did we ever think Bruce Brown would have this type of impact? It seems as if Harden and Brown’s connection on the court has been sensational. If you watch Brown play, there is a combination of football and basketball skill. The way he directs a zone or sprints out into transition is reminiscent of a slot receiver. Brown is comfortable in his role and it seems as if everyone knows their roles. Scoring a career-high 29 points on Tuesday was such a treat to watch. All of his teammates showered him with praise. The best part of his scoring effort? When the game ended he looked up at the jumbotron and saw that he didn’t reach 30 points. His reaction? Priceless.
No one can truly understand Jeff Green’s value by just watching the games. It has been noted that he is the most vocal locker room leader. They don’t call him Uncle Jeff for no reason. If you had to pinpoint one person in creating this dominant stretch of basketball you should look no further. Jeff Green publicly stated that the Nets needed to “define what their roles need to be.” This certainly lit a fire under everyone’s butts and it has shown in the box score. We are hoping to get Uncle Jeff back today as he was out with a shoulder contusion in Tuesday’s win.
Getting on your guys but being fair has seemed to play a big role in the Nets ascending to a half-game out of first place in the Eastern Conference. There are not enough compliments to go around as the “next man up” mantra has been a staple for this Nets run. We still cannot wait to see Kevin Durant suit up again. Once he comes back with the chemistry Kyrie and Harden have found, there is no looking back.
Cheers to eight in a row!