Fans and experts alike were surprised by the Brooklyn Nets' disastrous run in the 2022 playoffs after expectations that they were going to compete for the title. However, former Los Angeles Lakers star Metta Sandiford-Artest was not one of them.
Artest knew it would be difficult for the Nets to find stability and actually win games in the postseason after the drama-filled campaign they had. Kyrie Irving just returned to full-time status, James Harden was gone after demanding a midseason trade, and his replacement in Ben Simmons got hit with various health issues. Put simply, Brooklyn was unable to build anything during the campaign:
“When Kyrie came back there was no chemistry. You can't build chemistry in 30 games, that’s impossible. And you gotBen Simmons’ injury and he’s got to get right in terms of emotionally, mentally and kind of get that in order,” the ex-Lakers forward said, per SNY.TV.
Despite the disappointing performance, however, Metta Sandiford-Artest thinks it's too early to give up on the Nets. He mentioned that 2021-22 was just a really unique year, though he admitted that the rest of Brooklyn must put in the work to keep up with Kevin Durant and help him:
“I think the Nets will be fine, honestly. I think the Nets will be fine, It was a real unique year. I heard they lost a lot of money so that sucks,” Artest added.
“But you have Steve Nash as a coach and you have these three amazing players and you still have Blake Griffin, who I would like to see him come in better shape next year. I would like to see him come in the best shape of his life next year. These guys have an opportunity right now. I think when you got Kevin [Durant] on your team, everybody else should be working on their body, working on their game. Kevin's gonna take you far, but sometimes he might need a little assistance, right. So you gotta be in shape.”
The Nets have plenty of questions to answer in the offseason, but none bigger than Kyrie Irving's future with the team. GM Sean Marks remains non-committal about extending him, so it will be interesting to see what ends up happening.
While Artest is right that 2021-22 was a unique one for the Nets, the fact of the matter is they can't afford to have a repeat of what happened. With that said, if it means overhauling the roster or making major tweaks, they might be more inclined to do so now.