The Brooklyn Nets are coming to Charlotte as one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. This game represents the Hornets’ first match against an opponent and it couldn’t come at a worse time after they lost their opening game to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers and then frustratingly missed out in their second game against a rebuilt Oklahoma City Thunder team arrived.
The Nets defeated the Golden State Warriors by 26 points in the season opener and drove the Boston Celtics in an impressive 28-point smackdown. This one is going to be tough, all of you.
Brooklyn is powered by two transcendent but enigmatic stars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Durant missed all of last season after recovering from an injury but has quickly regained form this year averaging 25. 5 points at 50% shooting in just under 30 minutes per game. Kyrie Irving may be one of the quirkiest personalities in the league, but he’s also one of the NBA’s best Guardians. During the season it averages 31. 5 points when shooting a ridiculous 62% of the field.
The networks have built an effective squad around their dynamic duo. Caris LeVert is a versatile, albeit often injured, player who averaged over 18 points, four rebounds and four assists per game last season. Joe Harris is one of the top marksmen in the league, with a career average of just over 42 percent from the three-point line. Spencer Dinwiddie could come off the bench, but last year he averaged over 20 points and almost seven assists per game.
Brooklyn patrols with two similar greats in DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen. Both players are able to play doubles doubles with a few blocks each night.
Basketball is a matchup game, and the matchups aren’t looking good for the Hornets. They’ll fight to protect Kevin Durant, period. Even the NBA’s best wing-backs are lit up by a nearly seven-foot game of one of the finest offensive games in NBA history, and the Hornets don’t have elite wing-backs big enough to disrupt Durant. While hope isn’t a strategy, Charlotte must hope Durant has a night off as he continues to shake off the rust after the injury.
On the offensive end, I’d love to see the Hornets repeatedly pick and roll Kyrie Irving, trying to wear him down by chasing Devonte Graham or Terry Rozier every minute when he’s on the ground. Irving is not known for his defense and the more he has to work on this side of the ball, the less energy he will have to drop more than 30 points efficiently.
This game may also offer the Hornets a chance to give Jalen McDaniels a few extra minutes to compete at least a little with the Jordan / Allen duo on the boards while they do some outside shots that may have matchup issues for Brooklyn’s paintwork centers can represent. A McDaniels pick and roll with Graham or Rozier could pose challenges for Brooklyn if the sophomore striker finds his stroke.
In the end, the nets are more talented, more experienced and deeper than the hornets. But it’s these types of games, especially at home, that show us how far the Hornets have come and how far they have to go.
Boston Celtics, KC Jones, NBA, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Bill Russell, Kyrie Irving dominant Brooklyn Nets roster
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