“They are sitting in 8th place, and yet have the highest odds along with the Bucks to win the eastern conference”

The Brooklyn Nets‘season has been a wild ride of injuries, players sitting out and players demanding trades while not demanding trades. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong, but the former NBA sharpshooter JJ Redick has not lost faith in the Nets.

The main issues for the Nets have come from Kevin Durant and Joe Harris missing a massive number of games due to injuries. Plus, Kyrie Irving is standing pat on his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine, first missing the start of the season and then returning as a part-time player.

All this may or may not have played a role in the weird James Harden trade to the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite all this disfunction, Redick still believes in Brooklyn.

On ESPN’s “NBA Today,” Redick said:

“I am all in on the Nets. I think it’s bizarre, by the way, that they are currently sitting in the eighth place and yet have the highest odds, along with the Bucks, to win the Eastern Conference. I don’t know if that has ever happened before, that we are on the other side of the All-Star break, and they are still the favorites betting wise in the Eastern Conference. ”

It’s a little crazy that a team in such a low standing could still be such a favorite from a betting standpoint, but with the Nets, it kind of makes sense. The team did not play well and relied on Durant every night to win games for them. Harden playing below expectations, and Irving was sidelined. But Durant willed them into first place.

It makes sense that once Durant got injured, the team almost immediately went on an 11-game losing streak.

Why should people still have faith in the Brooklyn Nets?

Brooklyn Nets stars Kevin Durant (left) and Ben Simmons (right)
Brooklyn Nets stars Kevin Durant (left) and Ben Simmons (right)

The quick answer to this question is just straight up Kevin Durant. Durant, before getting injured, was playing like the NBA ‘sbest player and was the front runner for his second MVP award. His play alone overshadowed all the weaknesses of the Nets, and that was apparent when the Nets played top-tier teams, but also in his absence.

A privilege to watch Kevin Durant play in the black and white https://t.co/aJv4FEEskr

Just putting Durant back on the court immediately makes this team a title contender. That is before the other reason to still have faith in the Brooklyn Nets.

Sean Marks says “it’s probably gonna be tough” for Kevin Durant or Ben Simmons to play “in the next 3 or 4 days,” which makes them unlikely for Thursday against the Celtics or Saturday in Milwaukee against the Bucks.

The second answer is Ben Simmons. It is still unclear when the 6-foot-11 perfect example of positionless basketball will take the court, but he should make an impact when he does. Simmons’ defense alone is something the Nets have been craving. His ability to push the tempo of a game in transition and be another playmaker in the halfcourt will be a perfect fit for this team.

Finally, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has hinted at the possibility of changing the COVID-19 restrictions around the city. Having the rules change could allow Irving to play home games.

On paper, without injuries, the Nets have one of the most talented rosters in the NBA, and that is why no matter what their record is, they will be dangerous come playoff time.

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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