The Brooklyn Nets took their fourth straight L after they lost to Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. This 4-game skid this late into the season is definitely concerning for a squad that has championship aspirations this July.
Nonetheless, Nets star Kyrie Irving looked at the positive side of this current slide. He noted how this is a good test for them as they gear up for the postseason, and even admitted that “it’s been too easy” for them so far throughout the regular season.
Kyrie Irving on Nets' recent play: It's about time we got tested. pic.twitter.com/ZPhc0MfLba
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 7, 2021
The Nets faced some pretty good teams in the Portland Trail Blazers, the Milwaukee Bucks (twice), and the Mavericks over this stretch. Three of the four losses were close, including the pair they lost to the Bucks, a possible foe they could face down the line in the Easter Conference playoffs.
Based on Irving’s comments, this current slide could serve as a much-needed wake up call for Brooklyn as the regular season winds down. Certainly, it is much better that they go through the adversity now rather than do so for the first time in the postseason, when all the marbles are on the table. Nevertheless, it should still be quite concerning for the Nets that they are only going through these trials this late into the season.
Preferably, the Nets would want to have already ironed out their wrinkles by this point of the campaign. They would ideally want to use these last couple of weeks to gain some momentum and confidence into the playoffs with wins over the playoff teams they just faced in their 4-game slide. However, they don’t have that luxury right now. The concern is even more magnified with an incredibly important piece to their championship puzzle in James Harden still out of commission.
The Beard is still on the sidelines indefinitely with a hamstring injury and his return to the floor is still up in the air. However, Harden is optimistic that he will be able to suit up for a few games for the Nets in the regular season.
Aside from their 4-game slide, another major concern for the Nets is that their prized Big Three hasn’t seen much time on the floor together. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden have only played a grand total of seven (7) games alongside each other. Furthermore, their other core pieces have also been in and out of the lineup.
There’s no secret that the Nets are arguably the most loaded squad right now in terms of sheer talent. However, without the reps of actually playing together, this could definitely haunt them down the line when a more coherent squad faces them in the postseason.
Definitely, the Nets have a championship caliber squad and on-paper, they are the odds on favorite to come out of the East. Nonetheless, talent alone cannot assure them to win the Larry O’Brien trophy by year’s end. This is definitely going to be a challenging end to the regular season for the Nets and an even more difficult climb to the title in the postseason.