The Brooklyn Nets lost in the second round of the 2020-2021 NBA Playoffs to the eventual NBA Finals Champion, the Milwaukee Bucks. However, the expectations were higher than just a second-round exit, and this team has the talent to be in the NBA finals.  Just like last season, this Brooklyn Nets will be expected to reach the NBA Finals and win.

The Obvious Star Power

Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving are some of the best offensive players in the league. In the playoffs last season, Durant averaged 34.3 points per game on just 23.5 shots. Harden ended the regular season with a double-double in points and assists, scoring 24.6 points per game with 10.9 assists. Irving posted his most efficient season of his career, putting him in the 50-40-90 Club and averaging 26.9 points.

These three All-Stars have been three of the best offensive weapons in the NBA for a long time now and don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. When Durant and Irving joined the Nets in 2019, it was clear that the team would be immediate contenders. The addition of Harden just put the team over the top, and having the first entire season of them all together will be insanely enjoyable for Nets fans.

Nets Now Have Solid Depth

Last season the Nets’ most significant issue was its depth, and that proved to be the case when both Harden and Irving suffered injuries in the second round of the playoffs. Those two injuries pretty much derailed the Nets’ finals hopes and ended their season a lot earlier than they would have wanted. Nets General Manager Sean Marks has gone to work to improve the team’s depth through drafting and free agency.

The Nets built up their guard depth by adding players like Cameron Thomas, Patty Mills, and Jevon Carter.  All three of these can play a different style of basketball, which allows the Nets to play a free low type of game on offense and defense.

The Nets also resigned Bruce Brown, who played in big moments last season. If he continues to improve, his tough defense and competitiveness will find him a role on this team.

A Lot of Depth for The Bigs

The Brooklyn Nets had two teams in mind when building out this roster for the 2021-2022 season, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks. Both teams are the biggest challenger in the Eastern Conference to the Nets, and both teams play a bog style of basketball.

Blake Griffin, who resigned with the Nets this offseason, had to play 30 minutes a game against the Bucks because he was the only option against Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Nets acquired Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge, Day’Ron Sharpe, James Johnson, and Sekou Doumbouya, who will likely spend time at power forward or center.

Somehow in just one offseason, the Nets went from having some of the worst front-court depth to arguably one of the best. The team will play almost any way, allowing them to match up with pretty much every team in the NBA.

Head Coach Steve Nash’s System

Yes, this is only Steve Nash’s second season as a head coach, but he proved that he was already making a name for himself last season. He did get a lot of help by having one of the better rosters in the NBA, but still, he showed creativity on both ends of the ball.

Nash’s creativity to use Bruce Brown more as a center on offense but then have him guard the opposing team’s best guard is something this new wave of NBA is all about. Nash is one of the front runners in designing positionless offense and defense, and the roster he has now can pretty much do whatever he wants.

He could have a jumbo lineup of Harden, Durant, Griffin, Aldridge, and Nicolas Claxton. He could also go super small with Harden, Irving, Joe Harris, Brown, and Durant. The possibilities are endless, and it will be fantastic to see them all.

Winning The NBA Finals

This team is built to win the NBA Finals, and this should be the season that it happens. The apparent star power, the new depth, and the creative play style of the Nets should all lead to a finals parade down Atlantic Ave.




Photo: The Athletic/ Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE via Getty Images

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