Offseason Power Rankings: Celtics, Bucks Take Top Spots in Eastern Conference.

Offseason Power Rankings: Celtics, Bucks Take Top Spots in Eastern Conference.


2021-22 Record: 44-38

Speed: 99.4 (11), From Rtg 113.2 (10), DefRtg: 112:3 (20), NetRtg: +0.9 (15)

Key Addition(s): Royce O’Neill, TJ Warren

Key Origin(s) Bruce Brown, Goran Dragic, Andre Drummond, any good vibes that might be left.

Three numbers to find out…

  • In the three seasons since joining the Nets, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have played in just 58 games (including the playoffs and playoffs). In those games, the Nets are 34-24 (.586) and have outscored their opponents by 9.4 points per 100 possessions (120.9 points per 100 possessions) in 1,736 minutes on the floor.
  • Durant had an effective field goal percentage. 42.8% In the game, down from 57% during the regular season. This is the fifth most seasons among the 89 players who have scored at least 50 goals in a season. The Nets still scored. More efficiently (115.0 points per 100 possessions) more than the Bucks, Heat or Warriors did in their series against the Celtics.

Key question: What if there is no business(es)?

Making a trade is easier said than done, especially when another trade (see Gobert, Rudy) sets a standard (in terms of returns) that will be difficult to pass. Durant is under contract for four more seasons and with 11 weeks until opening night, the Nets don’t appear to be close to any kind of deal. But if he’s still on the list on October 18, will he agree and tease? And if the Nets don’t trade, they’ll be willing to keep Irving him?

If emotions can be set aside (we used the same words about Ben Simmons’ team). This time last year), the Nets have the ability to compete with the best teams in the East. Simmons appears to be on his way back and the Nets will be able to complement the duo with two of the best one-on-one players in basketball history. The best four men Career 3-point percentage. Defense will always be a question, but with Simmons, O’Neal (39.3% on catch-and-shoot 3s over the last four seasons) and Warren, Brooklyn presents the most pressing issues (perimeter size).

Alas, it’s hard to keep those rose-tinted glasses on for more than a few seconds. The team that couldn’t stay healthy lost only once. With the Nets’ next five first-round picks owed to the Rockets (or if they’re eligible to replace them), you can understand the desire to recoup as many of those losses as possible while also trying to stay competitive for a while. Nets GM Sean Marks, who was hired in 2016, seems somehow more desirable than that.



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