Kyrie Irving has made headlines for a lot of reasons over the past year, but in the last few weeks is where he's looked closest to making the decision to never play basketball again. First were the rumors that if traded, he would simply retire. Then came the news that he would not be taking on the vaccine, even if...
Far-Fetched Friday: Brooklyn Nets Fail to Make Eastern Conference Finals Next Season
By: Ryan Stein
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we head to Brooklyn to talk about the partnership of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
When The Brooklyn Nets signed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant this past offseason, they didn't do so with eyes for glory in the 2019-2020 season. Durant was always going to miss the entirety of the season, making any championship aspirations unrealistic. Many people are already labeling the Nets as the team to beat in the Eastern Conference for next season though, due to their star duo and solid supporting cast. However, not only will the Nets prove themselves to not be top dogs next year, they won't even make it past the second round of the playoffs.
While Brooklyn has the level of talent that would make them contenders, they face some stiff competition if they want to make it out of the Eastern Conference side of the playoff bracket. The Bucks, Celtics and 76ers all probably have more overall talent and chemistry, and even though they probably don't have duos as lethal as Durant and Irving, there are other factors at play. For one, Durant has missed an entire season. When you look at past stars' performances after missing a season, the results aren't promising.
Paul George took an extra year to return to form, Kobe Bryant was never the same player after his Achilles injury, and Victor Oladipo was struggling to get back into any sort of rhythm before this season was suspended. Durant's injury coupled with his age (he'll be 32 by the time next season hopefully starts) makes him a wildcard in terms of his level of play at this point. Meanwhile, Kyrie isn't exactly known for promoting good team chemistry, based on his experience with his past two teams.
There's no denying the Nets have the ability to compete for a championship. However, there are just too many variables for them to be relied upon to take the crown in the Eastern Conference. Instead, the Eastern Conference will likely see the Bucks and Celtics/76ers competing for a spot in the NBA Finals, with the Nets wondering what they need to do to get over the hump.
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