The Brooklyn Nets have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA over the last month and have been climbing the Eastern Conference standings.
Still, there are question marks about whether the results we’ve seen recently are sustainable for this franchise. Brooklyn had their recent 12-game win streak snapped on Wednesday night by the Chicago Bulls, but there’s still a lot of positivity surrounding what they’ve accomplished.
Do the Nets deserve to have the third-shortest NBA title odds at this point?
Are the Nets Real Contenders?
Brooklyn sits behind the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks in their odds of winning the NBA Championship at +700. That’s a vastly different price than how they opened the season, but they have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference at 25-13.
One of the big reasons for the Nets’ emergence has been the play of Kevin Durant. The Nets’ superstar has averaged 29.9 points per game on 56.8% shooting, recording numbers we’ve been accustomed to seeing from him.
What’s interesting about the Nets is that they could get more from their supporting cast. Nicolas Claxton has been a significant presence in the paint on defense and has been efficient on the boards, helping a team that has largely struggled on the glass. However, Ben Simmons likely has more to offer. There are questions about whether he’ll get back to the All-Star form he’s shown in the past, but he’s still a valuable presence on defense. The Nets have been putting up these types of numbers without everyone being on the same page, demonstrating that there’s another level they can reach.
Amid some off-court issues, Kyrie Irving has continued to ball out for the Nets when he’s been in the lineup. Irving and Durant have combined to average over 50 points per game.
With many positives and few negatives surrounding head coach Jacque Vaughn and the Nets, one has to wonder if this team has the makeup of an actual title contender.
There’s little doubt that the Nets are one of the top teams in the East, but in all likelihood, they’ll have to go through at least one of the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks on their way to the NBA Finals. Maybe this team is different from the ones we’ve seen come out of Brooklyn in past years, but a leopard doesn’t change its spots overnight, and the core is hardly different from those that failed to find postseason success.
Buy or Sell: Sell the Nets at +700 to win the NBA Championship.
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