On Tuesday night the Rockets got embarrassed by Los Angeles Lakers, losing 117-100. After the game, during his post-game press conference, Harden had this to say about the Rockets: “We’re just not good enough. Chemistry, talent-wise, just everything… This situation is crazy. It’s something I don’t think can be fixed.”
Less than 24 hours later, Harden’s out of Houston. The left-handed step back god is on a one way trip to Brooklyn where he’ll join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
On paper, the new-look Brooklyn Nets look like a “super team.” They have two of the most unstoppable scorers in NBA history in Durant and Harden. Oh, and Kyrie is no slouch either.
In a blink of the eye, the Nets have gone from a feel good story with Kevin Durant looking like his former self after a gruesome injury, Steve Nash as the head coach, and contenders in a top heavy Eastern Conference to the favorites to come out of the East and make the Finals.
According to the Superbook at Westgate, the Nets opened the season at +1200 to win the NBA championship. Now, that line as jumped +350.
Despite having arguably three of the top 10 players in the league on there team, the Nets are going to have some growing pains.
Yes, Harden is one of the best scorers in the NBA history, but he plays no defense, and the Nets biggest problem this season has been their defense.
Also, on the offensive end, someone’s going to have to sacrifice big time.
Basketball is a team game. There’s only one basketball to go around. How long does it take before Kevin Durant is sick of Harden dribbling the ball the entire shot clock just to take a contested step back three? How long before Kyrie Irving gets frustrated that he’s not getting enough touches? Well, that is if he ever decides to play again.
Nobody as any clue whether this new big three will work out, but we can all agree that it will end in one of two ways. Either, the Nets win the championship or they fall in dramatic fashion.
No matter how good or bad the Nets turn out to be, they do provide the league with something it hasn’t had since KD left Golden State: a villain, and a villain provides interest in the NBA beyond just the average fan.
Also, are we sure the Nets aren’t making this move because of Kyrie Irving. The All-star guard is no where to be seen due to personal reasons. If he continues to be an off the court distraction, could the Nets decide to trade Kyrie?
It’s very unlikely for Brooklyn to move on from Irvin. They would need to get KD’s permission, since Durants is the one that wanted Irving in the first place. No way KD gives the okay to trade Kyrie. That is, not just yet.
What happens if Harden comes in Brooklyn and immediately fits in with Durant, and the Nets go on a hot streak? Do they then try and move Irving to fix up their defense? It’s doubtful, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on.
Now that the Brooklyn Nets have landed James Harden and formed a big 3 of their own on paper, the real-time odds-makers now have the Nets as the second favorite NBA team to win the Finals, improving their odds to win it all to +270…