The Nets have had anything but a normal 2021. Here is where they stand.
The last time we saw the trio on the floor together was in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Irving’s unwillingness to receive the COVID vaccination has complicated the 2021-22 season so far.
2021 Best Moment
You know who he is. He’s Kevin Durant.
If there was any concern about Durant’s ability to return to full strength after his Achilles injury, he has put those worries to rest. With Irving out and Harden hobbled in the playoffs, Brooklyn leaned on Durant to a considerable degree.
His best moment as a Net (and one of the best games of his career) came in a Game 5 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. He posted 49 points, 17 boards, 10 assists, three steals, and two blocks in 48 minutes of action. It was peak Durant.
2021 Worst Moment
Unfortunately, Kevin Durant’s toe is part of the worst moment of 2021. The two-time Finals MVP hit an impossible shot at the buzzer in Game 7, but instead of the win, it only secured the tie and a trip to overtime.
Durant’s toe was barely on the three-point line. He struggled in OT as the Bucks won the series and would eventually win the NBA Finals. If Durant’s shoe size were one lower, the Nets beat the Bucks and history looks a lot different.
2021 Most Valuable Player
Kevin Durant. There’s not much more to be said. He’s Brooklyn’s best player, a legitimate MVP candidate in 2021-22, and quite possibly the best player in the world.
It’s Durant. Nuff said.
2021 Least Valuable Player
The best ability is availability and Kyrie Irving has not been available in 2021. The injury in the playoffs can be chalked up to bad luck, but we aren’t talking about that.
Irving has yet to make his debut in the 2021-22 season due to his refusal to get the COVID vaccination and the current New York City mandates. It’s tough to have one of your best players as a part-time participant, but that’s a better option than no Irving at all.
Overall 2021 Grade — B
The Nets are a championship or bust team, but that doesn’t mean last season was a total failure. They can use the playoff disappointment as a building block for bigger and better things in 2021.