The Brooklyn Nets will enter the 2022-23 season missing a few things from the years prior. Thankfully, neither Kevin Durant nor Kyrie Irving will be on that list. However, the team will be without an excess of nationally televised games and exceedingly favorable championship odds.
The game’s most dangerous teams are typically handed both those attributes at a season’s beginning. However, just because there’s no bark with the Nets right does not mean there will be no bite once the ball gets bouncing.
Mike Greenberg surely understands this. Last week on television, the longtime ESPN host called Brooklyn the league’s “worst nightmare.” For better or worse, he could not have picked a better analogy.
The “Nightmare” Brooklyn Nets Could Break the NBA during the 2022-23 Season
“[The Nets] are gonna be great,” Greenberg said. “This is your worst nightmare happening here because Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons are each individually highly motivated.”
Greeny went on to discuss what each player within Brooklyn’s current “Big Three” has to gain from a full and competitive season, citing Irving’s potential financial benefits, Simmons wanting to remind everyone of his talent, and Durant as someone who “burns to be great.”
While we cannot go into any of their heads to find out the true motivations for Durant, Irving, and Simmons, the team at large does feel like it will have something of a chip on its shoulder to go with all its talent.
This team was assembled with 7-Eleven as its pillars a few years ago and expected to compete for championships. But as well all know, the team has yet to make good on those expectations.
Even though the Nets fell short each of the last two years largely due to factors outside of their own control (injuries, COVID, etc.), they fell short nonetheless. It feels like the Nets have yet to throw their punch—and after almost breaking up before getting the chance to do so—this season feels like the one they have to.
The Brooklyn Nets finally throwing their punch is indeed the league’s nightmare. Their three-headed monster’s balance between offensive firepower, defense, and playmaking will get them far, but the additional buy-in and expected health of role players Joe Harris, T.J. Warren, Royce O’Neale, Nic Claxton, and Seth Curry will take them to another level as well.
These high-caliber pieces have never been assembled on the floor before. With those pieces enforced by any and all motivators they might have found this summer, opposing teams could soon feel the need to run and hide.
That’s the thing about nightmares though, more often than not they’re not real. They’re something that could happen, but are not yet concrete.
The Nets still need to do the same thing they’ve struggled with the past two seasons: tie it all together. Their inability to do so is why “scary hours” never lasted, but this next rendition of it, the “nightmare Nets” now have a second chance.
If they can get everyone on the floor, working in unison, the nightmare will indeed come true for the league, and on the other hand, make it a dream come true for everyone in Brooklyn and their fans.