Manage episode 293911067 series 2079983
As soon as eight-time All-Star James Harden was acquired by the Brooklyn Nets in January, "title" flashed on everyone's minds. The addition paired the talented lefty with fellow superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, forming one of the most talented Big 3s in NBA history. Only, the trio were able to log just eight regular-season games since then. How much of a problem will this lack of reps pose for the Nets, or are they just too darn talented for it to matter? Chris Milholen of SB Nation's Nets Daily and the Wingspan Podcast addresses this key question and much more, as Brooklyn leads Boston 3-1 and sees a challenging matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks on the horizon.
1:44-2:16: “Obviously everyone knows the type of offensive presence and the gifted style of offense that the Nets can play with these three players. It’s arguably the most prolific offense the NBA has ever seen. But their defense has also held up pretty well ‘cuz that was one of the major concerns: outside of chemistry, how would their defense look? You just see what they’ve done throughout the Celtics [series] this whole time, especially with this Nets switching defense, they’ve really done a good job of kind of trapping Tatum and restricting the other two options, Fournier and Smart, and same thing with Thompson.”
9:59-10:13: “We know the history between the Celtics and the Nets, especially focused around Kyrie Irving. The Nets don’t want to return back to Boston for a Game 6; Kevin Durant said that yesterday. … You know that closing out the series is on their mind.”
22:25-23:25: "He [Griffin] wasn't brought in to be that star player; he was brought in to be a role player. … When he came in, just throughout this whole entire year, you see what his value really is and that's kinda just having that veteran leadership, but also mixed in with that physical play, and someone that kind of just has that versatility element where he transformed his game from what we all know him as, or used to know him as, as that high flyer, dunker on the Clippers, that highlight machine. Now he can shoot threes, he picks and pops. You see all these little stuff here and there, and that's kind of a perfect ingredient for this Nets offense to kind of absorb."
28:56- 29:10: "One thing about Joe's game that a lot of people kind of overlook is when his shooting isn't falling, especially from behind the arc, that he gets himself involved and makes cutting passes, makes layups, tries to find a rhythm inside the paint. Joe Harris is definitely an X-Factor."
32:38-34:07: "We all know that common experience makes a difference in the postseason. That's what really makes the difference between championship team playoff contenders is that common experience and that chemistry. And throughout the Celtics series, like I mentioned, the Nets have … been using that time to really just jell together as a unit, because in Game 1 of the series, that Big 3 lineup with Harris and Jeff [Green], that was the first time they played together. … With Giannis, it’s gonna be interesting to see how they defend him and how well they defend him, especially in certain moments where the momentum is gonna be on the Bucks’ side in away games and stuff like that. … I would have to go Milwaukee in six, and if it goes seven, I think the Nets get it."
*Chris is also the author of Basketball Beyond Borders: The Globalization of the NBA
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