By: Joaquin Heredia, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
The Brooklyn Nets have successfully assembled a superteam. In one season, the Nets went from the 4th seed in the NBA Eastern Conference to the team highly considered to win it all. How’d they do this you may be asking?
By starting from scratch, and acquiring some of the most accomplished and talented players in the NBA. These being Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant, and coach, Steve Nash. While all these players have made their contributions to the teams success, there’s one that’s more important than the rest. One player that if he did not show up, their chances to win the title would drop significantly. According to statistics, this question comes down to two individuals, Kevin Durant and James Harden
On one hand, the basketball James Harden has produced so far this season is nothing but jaw dropping. He’s 2 rebounds shy of averaging a triple double with 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 11 assists a game. These numbers parallel his stats during his 2018 season where he was named MVP. James Harden has taken the role of point guard for the Nets team, and has done a stellar job of organizing the offense and leading the team in assists. Harden is also the only one of the 3 without an NBA championship, and so is more driven to win and establish himself as one of the greatest players in NBA history.
On the other hand, Kevin Durant makes a very strong counter argument as to why he is the team’s most important player. First of all, it’s important to note that Durant has missed 11 games already this season due to a left hamstring strain and has played 22. Durant Averages 29 points a game, 4 more than Harden, and has a higher TS% (True Shooter) as well.
However, the main argument when it comes to the importance of Durant is his history under pressure. Durant has won 2 NBA championships, has been to 4 NBA Finals, and has hit millions of shots to win games and even playoff series. Compare that to James Harden in the postseason, who has never been to the NBA Finals, has a history of playing much worse in the playoffs, and has lost in 2, very close, Conference Finals Series with the Houston Rockets. Many believe this trend will continue in the same path, and that Brooklyn wont even make it out of the East if KD is not present.
As the NBA Playoffs are approaching rapidly, we will soon see for ourselves who is the key player in Brooklyn.