Nets Big Three Building Chemistry

Carson Keaton, Staff Writer

After a slow 1-5  start to the season, the Brooklyn Nets have clawed their way back to three games above .500 at 15-12. The wins have been coming in bunches lately with them winning eight of their last 10 games. Despite recent success, we are yet to see this team’s full potential. 

With Ben Simmons being limited at the beginning of the year and Kyrie Irving having off-court drama, Kevin Durant was “on his own” and we haven’t seen the big three in Brooklyn hit their stride. An encouraging sign is in Irving’s return to action after his suspension was lifted, it was Simmons who impressed in his best game as a Net. In his new role as a Point Power Forward, facilitating the offense from the post,  Simmons posted 22 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Aggression on offense is Simmons’ most inconsistent trait. Some nights he looks like an all star and others he looks like a 6’10 Draymond Green without any sort of jump shot.

While two of the big three were out, Durant made a point to the media while they were struggling saying “What do you expect from that lineup” then listed guys like Royce O’Neale, Edmond Sumner, Nic Claxton, and Joe Harris. This was taken out of context by the media saying he was “dissing his teammates” But he really meant that when two of your top three players are out, and they’re both making maximum contract money, it’s hard to win with just guys on minimum deals. 

Simmons has missed time the past week and a half due to a knee injury he suffered against the Orlando Magic, he’s expected to return Friday against the Hawks. The Nets have had the pleasure of seeing T.J. Warren back on the court for the first time since December 2020. He could pack a punch offensively off the bench and early on since his return he’s shown great effort on defense, has potential to be a key 3 and D player for the Nets down the stretch.

In a loaded Eastern Conference, it would take full commitment to the team from every player, starting at the top with KD, Kyrie, and Ben, to make a finals run. With the Cavaliers and Bucs looking very strong, it will be a hard path, but they are able to take on that challenge.