You know the old saying: “That’s why they play the games.”
Well, the NBA and its fans got a taste of that this season with the Nets. What plagued Brooklyn all season was its inability to stay healthy when it mattered most, and it was the same story in the playoffs.
The team many said was unbeatable suddenly became mortal once injuries began to infiltrate the locker room. The Big 3 rarely played together in the regular season, and in the playoffs, they were never on the floor together when it mattered.
Kevin Durant carried the Nets as far as he could for the last three games of the conference semifinal series against the Bucks. His numbers were insane because they had to be. Harden was out there playing on one leg due to a hamstring injury, while Kyrie Irving was still sidelined with a bad ankle.
The Nets are the victims of what happens sometimes in sports — and in life — when forces outside your control dictate your result.
This Brooklyn team will likely be back next season, and they’ll be championship contenders once again when everyone is healthy. They have too much talent to be ignored. Harden will return to being one of the best facilitators in the game. Kyrie will be a pristine bucket-getter, and Durant will be arguably the best player in the game again.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens in this off-season and how people will respond to the Big three in Brooklyn. The Lakers will also be healthier next season, so that’s something to consider as well.
Year one of the Brooklyn experiment didn’t end in a champagne shower like most of the league predicted, but the Nets’ run is far from over. They’ll be back, and they’ll be looking to contend for a championship banner again next year.