Stack The Deck: The 2021 Brooklyn Nets
Since the creation of the 2010-2014 Miami Heat, the term ”superteam” has been thrown around the NBA to describe teams with overwhelming talent (generally 3 or more All-Star players). While superteams generally create excitement and higher viewership for the league, the circumstances that have allowed this year’s Brooklyn Nets organization to assemble their team have left many fans with a sour taste in their mouth, for various reasons. Fans of smaller NBA markets have complained that superteams like the Nets reward markets who are financially able to pay luxury tax to buy championship level players through the buyout market, by having them quit on their current teams. NBA analysts have criticized players for avoiding competition or “stacking the deck”. Despite all that vitriol and controversy, the Brooklyn Nets have compiled one of the most decorated and talented teams in NBA history, managing to have five former or current NBA-All stars on one team.
Nets PF/C LaMarcus Aldridge, a 7-time NBA All Star and 5-time All NBA performer who joined the Nets after a buyout. (Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
After their acquisition of PF LaMarcus Aldridge, the Nets boast a truly stacked roster. They have former league MVP & two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant, another former MVP in SG James Harden, perennial All-Star and NBA champion PG Kyrie Irving, and former All-Star PF Blake Griffin. These six players have combined for 41 total All-Star appearances. Additionally, the Nets still have marksman SG Joe Harris, two versatile wings in Bruce Brown and Jeff Green, and C Nicolas Claxton, who has shown promise in his spot minutes over the past month. If the Nets seemed impossible to defend before, the addition of Griffin and Aldridge has added even more skill and depth to their bench. Griffin is an excellent pick and roll player, and a constant lob threat, while Aldridge adds post scoring and an elite mid-range game to the best offensive team in the league. At this point, there’s no area of the floor that the Nets can;t score from. From the 3 point line to the block and midpost, the Nets have multiple threats that will be ready and willing to make plays. The Nets depth will also allow for them to completely alter their offensive strategy depending on what team they face.They can run small-ball and shooting lineups against teams with traditional big men, giant lineups to bully smaller teams, or close with their three stars and whoever the next two hottest players are, depending on the circumstances. This versatility will give them a massive advantage over virtually any team that they could play against.
With this great offensive talent comes great expectations. The Nets are the betting favorites to win the NBA Finals this year, and the vast majority of the NBA media have also echoed that the Nets are the team to beat come playoff time. The trio of Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant are all-time players who are determined to change the narrative around their ability to win, and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season unfolds as the Nets make their push to capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy this spring.
Linked Media: Stephen A. is 'irritated' by LaMarcus Aldridge signing with the Nets | First Take https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6vPNimcgZI