The Nets are the first seed in the NBA and actually in trouble. Here’s why.
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#NBA #Nets #Durant
How many minutes is Kevin Durant playing again? He played 41 minutes against the Pistons? Ok but he had 51 points and Harden wasn’t playing.
I understand that the past two games, the Nets have only had 8 players to suit up but what about before?
Against the Suns, he played for 45 minutes in a non overtime with James Harden and they still lost. Even Kyrie Irving returned to help Nets part-time…
38 minutes against the Twolves?
Steve Nash said it best. “I don’t know what options we have other than to play him less and lose more.”
Durant is second in the league in minutes played per game at 36.9, Harden is 6th at 36.2 minutes per game.
And in the past 7 games before Covid Protocols, KD was averaging over 40 minutes a game and none of those games went into overtime, and yes the Nets are 5 and 2 in that span so it’s working.
I mean players in the 90s and early 2000s did this all the time. Kobe for multiple seasons averaged over 40 minutes a game, same with LeBron, same with Jordan, but there’s a trend that stayed consistent. Their minutes went down as they got older.
There’s also matter of pace and possessions. In the early 2000s, pace was in the low 90s, and in the past 5 years, pace has become in the upper 90s into the 100s. Essentially that means more and more possessions which means more energy expended. While I don’t advocate for unnecessary load management, I do think it’s important to manage minutes as a player gets older and older.
Now I ain’t mad at a player wanting to play more minutes, Kevin Durant a pure hoope **I like that mentality, team needs me so I’ll do more.
But the Nets aren’t supposed to be that team. It’s not supposed to be a one man team, this is supposed to be a championship team. They are not supposed to struggle against the likes of Timberwolves, Pistons, Magic, Pacers, but they have. And against teams above 500, they are 11-7, again not bad, but not great. The Nets have a point differential of +3.6 which is 5th in the league, but even the Cavs, Bucks and don’t get me started on the Lakers -0.2. They are some ass.
KD is averaging more minutes this season at 33 years old than he did with the Thunder in 2015-2016.
The Nets are supposed to be convincing, I understand that they are top heavy, but that shouldn’t diminish their role players like Patty Mills who is shooting 45% from 3 averaging 13.3 points a game. LaMarcus Aldridge is shooting 57% from the field giving another 14 points. Joe Harris has been missing games but even then for 14 games he was shooting 46% from 3. And that’s where it falls off, cause while they do have scorers, they lack defenders. Blake Griffin is unplayable at times, Patty Mills gets bulldozed over, Harden is alright, depends on energy levels, Bruce Brown and Bembry are your energy defenders, but can’t matchup with a lot of players.
But the Nets have a top 6 defense, mainly because Durant has been also tasked to guard multiple players like against the Hawks late in the game, Durant was guarding Trae…ok uhh KD did bother Trae forcing him into a turnover, then a block, and stopping a drive. All of it was there.
So while the Nets are winning games, while they are a top team, it’s very reliant on Kevin Durant and even James Harden, more than other teams are reliant on their star players.
Harden has had issues with running out of steam in the playoffs, and considering he’s not in the best shape of his life…*O*h sorry Harden never mind, but he’s had playoff performances where he ran out of energy. Logging this many minutes for him in the regular season is also not good.
Again, this could all work, but it’s worrying. You wanna save this for the playoffs because this level is not sustainable for months and months, but I hope I’m wrong because the way Durant is playing right now, it’s fun to watch. But what do you think? Are the Nets going to the finals?