The Brooklyn Nets have proven in the last month that they’re a problem in the East

Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Brooklyn Nets have proven in the last month that they’re going to be a problem in the Eastern Conference. 

When the Brooklyn Nets got off to a 2-6 start to the season, there were many that were ready to not only question whether this team was going to be a disaster this season but also whether it was time to blow it all up completely.

After somewhat of a chaotic offseason, in which Kevin Durant demanded a trade and Kyrie Irving nearly left via free agency and then trade, there was plenty at stake for this franchise heading into this season. And through the first eight games, it was a complete disaster.

To top it all off, not only were the Nets underwhelming as a team but Ben Simmons (the prized in-season acquisition of the team from last year’s NBA Trade Deadline) looked like a confidence-less shell of his former self.

After the first eight games of the season, the Nets were at a bit of a crossroads.

Then the next 18 games happened.

The Brooklyn Nets have played like a different team in the last month

I’m not going to go all the way to say that something has clicked for the Nets, but it’s pretty clear that they’ve played like a completely different team in the last month. Since November 4, the Nets have the third-best record in the league and second-best in the Eastern Conference at 12-6.

During that span, the Nets have the ninth-best offensive rating in the league, fifth-best defensive rating in the league, and, predictably, the sixth-best net rating in the league. Overall, the team’s play in the last 18 games has helped them jump all the way to fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.

After such a bad start to the year, the Nets are only 2.5 games back of the third-seed (Cleveland Cavaliers) in the East – just where many expected them to be this year, slightly behind the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.

Of course, this recent hot streak doesn’t mean all has been figured out. I’d like to believe that it has but there are still big questions surrounding this team heading into the depths of the season. But what this recent streak does prove is that, if healthy, the Nets have the potential to be a problem in the East.

When right, though, there isn’t a much more lethal offensive duo than Durant and Kyrie. And if Simmons continues to figure himself out (and there is hope that he has recently), he could be another problem for the opposition by the time April and May come around.

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The Nets have the top-tier talent to compete with the likes of the Celtics and Bucks and some of the depth too. If Brooklyn’s chemistry continues to grow and they can remain healthy, the Nets could blossom into one very dangerous dark horse in the East by the time the playoffs arrive.