The Brooklyn Nets have plenty of questions, but all the answers in-house

NBA Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NBA Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets have a lot of questions to answer before the playoffs but they have what it takes to answer them.

The Brooklyn Nets have been one of the most confusing teams in recent NBA history. They have been up and down all season and could have two very different endings to their season, and no one would be particularly surprised. They could get to the NBA Finals or crash and burn in the Play-In Tournament.

Few teams have had such polarizing and confusing seasons, with so much potential, with matched disfunction. This season, the Los Angeles Lakers could also be categorized as one of these teams, along with the Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Steve Nash era of Laker history.

What makes this team so different is that you knew early on that the downfall of those other teams was coming early on in the season. With this Nets team, they still have a chance to win it all with just 14 games left.

For a significant portion of the start of the season, the Nets sat atop the Eastern Conference with Kevin Durant playing at an MVP level. This was while James Harden was playing his way into shape and not playing well half the time, while Kyrie Irving could not play due to health and safety protocols.

Everything started to slip away when Durant got injured in January. Irving had started his path to being a part-time player, while Harden began to ponder his loyalty to the Nets organization. The Nets would slide to the play-in tournament, and Harden would kind of request a trade.

The Nets received necessary pieces in the trade for Harden at the NBA Trade Deadline. Andre Drummond is a much-needed big presence in the paint on both sides of the court. Seth Curry became a replacement for Joe Harris, who is out of the season due to injury. Oh yeah, and Ben Simmons, a two-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year runner-up last season. If ever makes his return back to the court, he should be a huge boost.

The Nets trading Harden answered some of the questions. Was Patty Mills going to be the main floor spacer? Did Durant and Irving (when playing) have to be the primary playmakers and ball handlers the entire game? Could the Nets defense hold off long enough for the offense to win the game?

Curry is a floor spacer and can run the offense at times, and Simmons is one of the best passers in the NBA. Both Drummond and Simmons answer the defensive questions, the Nets defensive questions while adding more consistent scoring in the paint.

In a week where Irving and Durant both went off for 50 points, those answers helped answer some questions. In between those two outstanding games, the Nets destroyed the 76ers 129-100, in a game in which Durant and Irving seemed to take things personally.

These last three games have proved that Durant and Irving officially have a chip on the shoulder and are mad, looking, or blood, which has been lacking over the last month. The Nets have looked passive and uninspired, but the Harden trade might have pushed the right buttons in the locker room.

Still, the question of availability for Simmons and Irving persists. We know Irving will fit seamlessly into the Nets starting lineup, but what exactly will Simmons’s role be? In the play-in, the Nets can be carried by Durant or Irving going off, but they will need Simmons in a seven-game series against the elite teams in the Eastern Conference.

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The Brooklyn Nets’ path this season has been filled with bumps. On the other hand, it seems to have made a more balanced roster while inspiring the team’s two leaders, effectively changing the atmosphere around the team.