NBA Playoffs: Is the Brooklyn Nets Superteam Bad for Basketball?
There is no doubt that the Brooklyn Nets are must-see TV. They have three of the 15-20 best players in the NBA on the same squad. Two of the three are coming off seasons that were plagued significantly by injuries. And now, they are looking like the team to beat not only in the East but the NBA.
And so, this begs the question. Are the Nets good for basketball? Or does the Superteam era need to just be over already?
When One Disappears, Another Takes Its Place
The Golden State won the West every year from 2014-2019. They beat LeBron’s Cavs in the final three times in that span. They were obviously what everybody was trying to defeat, but nobody in their own conference was able to stop them.
For one single year, the Dubs were invisible. They were hurt. LeBron’s Lakers won the title. And now, in a season with incredible parity, Brooklyn is the team that is winning more than anybody else. The roster they have developed is just so good.
It is not a good thing for basketball as a sport, though. In the other sports, the team with the most talent does not always win the World Series. Just ask the Dodgers, who got over the hump for the first time. In the NFL, that is not always the case at all. And in hockey, anything can happen.
This is Not Good
Brooklyn will do a lot of winning. And given the struggles of the Nets and the horrible trade they made with Boston for an aging trio of Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, good for them. But they have done something that fans of others teams hate. They have assembled their own Superteam.
All three guys have been to the finals before. Harden made a few conference finals with the Rockets, while Durant won two titles in Golden State. Kyrie made three trips with the Cavs before becoming disgruntled and, eventually, traded.
Now that all three of them are together, it appears that no team can stand in their way. Basketball is at its best when there is parity. In the West, four teams that have long struggled to make it far in the playoffs have all advanced. But in the East, Milwaukee appears like they will fall short yet again.
When a team of the Bucks caliber is blown out for 48 minutes, you know you have a great group. But it’s bad for the game.
Who Can Stop Them?
This season, there probably is not a team that can defeat the Nets. Utah and Phoenix, along with the Clippers, all want something to say and might get a chance to pound their chest and be heard. But, it takes a village to defeat Brooklyn.
In the East, Philly’s only true advantage is home court. Embiid is terrific, but if he is not fully healthy, that team will stand no chance. On paper, Atlanta can score as much as the Nets, but they would be severely outmatched when push came to shove.
Next season, assuming LeBron James and Anthony Davis are healthy, they could make it happen. A healthy Celtics team with a new coach could emerge as a contender.
But for now, it is the Nets world that we are living in, seemingly. And it is not good that there is an expected champ when round two has only just begun.
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