The Brooklyn Nets have quietly been showing the form of a champion – The public is starting to take notice. In their last 10 games, they’ve only lost once. That loss came against conference rivals the Boston Celtics, post which they have won 9 games in a row.
Much of that has come because of 2 players – and one resurgent borderline star. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons – the three names Jacque Vaughn has depended on more often than not to pull through. And they have, time and again.
The most dependable of them all has been KD, followed by impressive numbers from Kyrie. Ben has not played as many games as the star duo – but he’s the bedrock defending the rock. While the offensive burden has always fallen on the three – it’s their defense that has been showing signs of championship quality.
Over the past 10 games, the Nets have had incredible numbers. Anyone in front of them, they’ve just bulldozed past. They’ve not just played minnows – They’ve played legitimate contenders. The best part is, they seem to have an answer for all questions thrown at them.
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The Nets in December:
— 1st in offensive rating
— 3rd in net rating
They are now 3rd in the East. pic.twitter.com/yG0rlfR9pe
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 27, 2022
One look at the numbers and you’ll know why the Big 3 have performed their role to perfection
Over the past 10 games, here are the defensive statistics for KD, Kyrie, and Simmons. KD has played 9 games and has only let players score from the perimeter 20/53 times. For a team that struggled with perimeter defense, KD has stepped up massively.
Uncle Drew has been solid too, putting up almost 5 rebounds a game, and 5 assists. Ben Simmons just playing is enough – he is a guaranteed 8-10 assists a night.
That has translated to the nets being +20 in quite a few games when he’s on the court. He may still be struggling to shoot, but he’s finding open men for high-value shots.
That does not mean other players have not done their part. Yuta Watanabe has always been delivering when called upon. Joe Harris is still swishing threes consistently. It’s just that their main trio stepped their game up massively on one end.
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Kevin Durant was right about having a competent coach – Just look at how Jacque Vaughn has them playing
Everyone has had KD penciled in as a superstar scorer – he can shoot from anywhere. For his frame, Durant is doing ungodly things, with little to no effort. He was doing the same thing last season as well, but Steve Nash and his rotations got it all wrong.
Plus Nash did not have Ben Simmons – he never suited up. How much of a difference would he have made? Not so much, considering the mental state he was in. Plus Kyrie was almost absent the whole season last time around, so everything went through KD.
What transpired behind the scenes, only Durant, Nash, and Jose Tsai know. But what the fans know and can see is their Nets are now third in the conference.
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