What a week for the Brooklyn Nets! Not only did they go 3-0, but they also partook in a blockbuster four team trade in which Brooklyn walked away with one of the greatest scorers of this generation, James Harden. Let's hop right into it.
Nets defeat the Denver Nuggets in LeVert and Allen's Brooklyn swan song, 122-116 (6-6)
The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night, 122-116 on the back's of stellar performances from Kevin Durant, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, and Bruce Brown. The Denver Nuggets, who have superstar center Nikola Jokic and fan favorite Jamal Murray, were favored over the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets, who are still without star point guard Kyrie Irving, as Irving remains out due to personal reasons until further notice.
The Nets were down by 16 points heading into halftime, but once Brooklyn came back from the locker room to start the third, they looked like a completely new team.
Little did Nets fans know, this would be the final game of Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen's careers in a Brooklyn uniform. And what a performance LeVert put up for the fans watching at home. LeVert scored 20 points in 25 minutes on the floor, and shot 53% from the field. Kevin Durant also finished with a clutch double-double. Despite turning the ball over 18 times -- something that has plagued the Nets so far this season -- they still walked away with the come from behind win.
Nets' top performers
Kevin Durant - 35 minutes, 34 points, 9 rebounds, 13 assists
Caris LeVert - 25 minutes, 20 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists
Bruce Brown - 25 minutes, 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks
Brooklyn defeats the cross town rival New York Knicks, 116-109 (7-6)
Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 will live in Brooklyn Nets lore for years to come. In the biggest trade in franchise history, the Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Indiana Pacers teamed up to completely change the landscape of the NBA.
Nets' fans all over social media were torn, it seemed as if a battle between good and evil was taking place in Brooklyn. On one hand, the team just landed one of the premier scorers in the league in James Harden, but on the other hand, it came at a price that Brooklyn fans were afraid of. Fan favorites Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, along with a slew of future draft picks, were spread out among the four teams.
Everyone from major sports media outlets such as ESPN and Fox, to the common fan such as myself debated who the winners and the losers of the trades were. Keep in mind, this was all before the Nets and the Knicks game tipped off.
On any normal night when these two teams play against each other, you would have the usual trash talk back and forth between Nets fans and Knicks fans, but Tuesday night was different, no one was talking about the game after the trade took place. The events that unfolded just a few hours prior took precedence over the rivalry.
The Nets did come out on top though, despite being shorthanded for the second game in a row. Kyrie Irving still has not returned, while Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs were busy packing their bags; and so it was up to Kevin Durant, Joe Harris and a slew of bench players to take down the boys from Manhattan. Jeff Green showed that he is a dependable bench option, as he recorded a double-double.
Nets top performers
Kevin Durant - 30 minutes, 26 points, 6 assists, 60% from three (3 for 5)
Bruce Brown - 30 minutes, 15 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists
Jeff Green - 32 minutes, 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Nets take down the Orlando Magic in James Harden's Brooklyn debut, 122-115 (8-6)
James Harden and Kevin Durant had their wishes come true on Saturday night. Harden had spent the last few weeks doing anything he could do to get out of Houston, and Kevin Durant had been doing anything he could to make sure that Harden landed in Brooklyn.
You had to have known that the Nets were going to make a move soon. With Kyrie Irving missing, Kevin Durant and the Nets had fallen on hard times. The Nets needed a pick-me-up in Kyrie's absence, and the front office believed that James Harden was the answer.
Harden took the court in his Nets' debut and wasted no time dropping a triple-double, becoming the first player in NBA history to score a 30-point triple-double in his debut with a team. Kevin Durant was equally as electric, as he dropped 42 points of his own in the win against Orlando.
The James Harden era in Brooklyn has officially begun. Kyrie Irving is expected to return once he clears league Covid protocols in the following week, and once the Nets big three finally hit the court together, it'll be time for the rest of the league to sleep with one eye open.
Nets' top performers
James Harden - 39 minutes, 32 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists, 4 steals
Kevin Durant - 40 minutes, 42 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 62% from three (5 for 8)
Joe Harris - 30 minutes, 17 points, 5 rebounds, 54% from the field (6 for 11)
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Here's to another stellar week, Nets fans!