Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Incomplete Brooklyn Nets are scary good, just ask the Western Conference

The Brooklyn Nets have won six straight and their last eight games against Western Conference teams.
The Brooklyn Nets have won six straight and their last eight games against Western Conference teams.
Image: Getty Images

The numbers are stoopid.

The Nets right now are ridiculous.

The NBA should be afraid, very afraid of that team from Brooklyn.

On Sunday, the Nets did the unthinkable. In beating the Clippers 112-108 in Los Angeles, Brookyln completed its five-game West Coast trip a perfect 5-0.

It was the Nets’ longest undefeated single trip in franchise history.

And get this: Kevin Durant, the best player on the team, didn’t even play in the final four games on the trip, sidelined with a left hamstring strain.

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Somehow, the Nets were so good that it looked like they didn’t even need KD at all.

On this Earth-shaking trip, they beat Golden State, Sacramento, Phoenix, and both Los Angeles teams.

The Nets have now won six in a row and eight straight against the Western Conference — another franchise mark.

Want more data?

They are now 14-1 when leading after three quarters. They are 11-1 against teams over .500 — by far, the best mark in the league. And they are now 6-1 against the NBA’s elite — Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, and Sixers. The only loss occurred on the backend of a back-to-back against the 76ers. In that game, Irving and KD didn’t play.

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“We’re a very confident team and that continues to grow,” Nets guard James Harden told ESPN after the game. “We just have to keep going.”

Until further notice, the Nets are the Harlem Globetrotters and the rest of the NBA resembles the Washington Generals.

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Pooh-pooh it all you want. Act is if it doesn’t matter because it’s just the regular season, it’s just February. You can hear Laker homers say, “It isn’t even the All-Star break yet.”

Those naysayers are the same people who said that this three-headed monster would never work when the Nets got Harden in that blockbuster trade with the Houston Rockets.

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The cry from many first was that there was just one ball and they wouldn’t be able to co-exist. There would be bickering and in-fighting between Durant, Harden, and Kyrie Irving.

Wrong.

Then the louder cry was that they couldn’t win because they don’t play defense. After all, it’s defense that wins championships. At least, that’s how the cliche goes.

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Wrong again.

The Nets don’t have to be the 2004 Detroit Pistons to win a title. With the rules in place where you can’t even touch a player, it’s hard to stop talented players. Offense rules the game now.

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All the Nets have to do is get a few key stops in the playoffs and stay with their man, and make them work some for their baskets.

And don’t look now, the defense has improved as they’re in the top 20 now, no longer dead last.

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The Nets made a statement to the NBA with this suitable for framing West Coast swing.

The Clippers will tell you.

They were coming off a huge win over the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz Friday night. By doing so, the Clippers ended the Jazz’s nine-game win streak.

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The Clippers, who had the second-best mark in the West, tied the game late at 108, but the Nets scored the final four points to win on Sunday.

Granted, the Lakers were without Anthony Davis. But the Nets didn’t have their best player, either. And still, the Nets wouldn’t be denied on Friday, holding the Lakers under 100 points despite LeBron James’ 32.

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On Tuesday night, the Nets stopped the Phoenix Suns’ six-game win streak and did it after falling behind 23 points at the half. The Nets had a 40-point fourth quarter and held the Suns to just 24 fourth-quarter points, holding Devin Booker scoreless in that final quarter.

In that win, KD and Irving sat out. Incredible.

Moving forward, it’s hard to believe this team won’t get even better as time goes on. Thus far, the Nets’ Big Three have only played seven games together. They are 6-1 in those games.

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Plus, there’s a chance the Nets will add a big man and defender to the squad as other teams fall out of contention and are willing to trade pieces for draft picks.

The Nets are already hard to beat. Come playoff time, it will be almost impossible for them not to win.

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