NBA 2020-21: Are Kevin Durant and his Brooklyn Nets bona fide playoff contenders from the East this season?

The Nets will be tested in terms of consistency and their success will largely revolve around the fitness levels of KD and Kyrie Irving


                            NBA 2020-21: Are Kevin Durant and his Brooklyn Nets bona fide playoff contenders from the East this season?
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets (Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets have won both their preseason games. First, it was a 119-114 win against the Washington Wizards. They followed it up with a comprehensive 113-89 win on Friday (December 18) over the Boston Celtics. The high-octane clash saw the return of former Celtics man, Kyrie Irving, this time in Nets colors. He dunked in for 17 points with a 7-15 shooting while Kevin Durant added 25 in his second game after recovering from an Achilles injury that saw him out of the 2019-20 season. 

Although this is the preseason, the Nets, with a healthy-looking KD and Kyrie looked the dominant, confident unit. The passes were slick, the shooting was pretty accurate and they seem a more settled outfit. That they won both preseason games showcased intent as they prepare for a mighty season opener against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. The bigger question is if they are the team to beat this season? Nets fans are already optimistic about the side's playoff chances.

"I just watched Kevin Durant block his 3rd shot, dribble the ball up, pull up for an easy three. 25 points in 3 quarters. And I'm thinking, who on this planet is better than this man? Imagine how different the Bubble playoffs would've been if KD had been healthy. LeGone James," read one of the tweets, sounding an ominous warning that the Nets were charging in. This was seconded by another tweet that read: "Was bouta tweet a flurry of Kevin Durant tweets, but imma just say nobody on the planet is better than that man."



 

 

 



 

For now, much of the attention in the East is on Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks. The 'Greek Freak' signed a whopping $228.2M supermax, including an opt-out after the fourth year. According to BBC, this is now the richest deal in the NBA's history after it surpassed $228M set by Houston Rockets' James Harden in 2017.

Coming back, the Nets will be tested in terms of consistency and their success will largely revolve around the fitness levels of KD and Kyrie. For now, we can assume that they will be a stiff challenge for most teams in the East and although the 24-point win signals a solid start, they will have their hands full, especially if a quality side like the Boston Celtics pulls up their three-point game. 

The Nets will take on the Warriors on December 22, 2020 while the Celtics will take on the Bucks on December 23, 2020.

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