While some have hailed Harden’s arrival as the beginning of a new superteam, we remain skeptical.
James Harden was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets. / Photo: IG-jharden13
LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño
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Earlier this week, James Harden, former MVP and one of the most talented scorers in the NBA, was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets. With Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and he, the Nets consolidate themselves as one of the biggest offensive threats in the league. However, can this new team win a championship? We don’t think so, and here are the reasons why.
OFFICIAL: The Brooklyn Nets have acquired six-time All-NBA first teamer and eight-time NBA All-Star James Harden.https://t.co/tkh5dCKi5F— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 14, 2021
The Rebound issue
Perhaps the most glaring hole in the Net’s Game will be their inability to compete for rebounds. Rebounds are essential for any championship team, as they create more offensive opportunities and prevent the continuation of the opposing team’s offense when they miss.
Even if Harden and Irving are good rebounders for their position, they cannot compete with centers, and the options for the Nets in this department are lacking at best. There is Deandre Jordan, but he only has grabbed 6.9 rebounds per game this season, far from an ideal number. If this problem is not addressed, the Nets will have trouble punishing mistakes.
Also read: The next generation of NBA superstars
Weak on defense
Another notorious flaw for the Nets, there is simply no elite defender in their team. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Harden himself is a defensive liability, but Durant and Irving have never shined in that respect either.
Last year’s champion, the Lakers, greatly benefited from having Defensive Player of the Year Candidate Anthony Davis on their team, who shut down many offensive attempts single-handedly. The Nets, however, have no such player. Defense, as they say, wins championships, and the lack of it may cripple the Nets in the future.
The Condensed Haters Guide To The New-Look Nets:— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) January 14, 2021
Every NBA champion since the 2004 Pistons has ranked 11th or better in defensive efficiency.
The Nets defense currently ranks 13th and that was before they exported their best rim protector and imported James Harden. pic.twitter.com/zNCKsUDGAc
It’s no secret that James Harden is a difficult teammate to get along with. From Dwight Howard to Russell Westbrook, many have multiple complaints about him, from his selfish style of play to his lack of professional behavior.
The same can be said about his new teammate Kyrie Irving, who has been described in the past by NBA agents as a “loose cannon”. He has a conflictive personality and has been known in the past to miss games on a whim.
These personality traits could spell trouble later down the line for the Nets, especially considering the already stressing nature of 2021.
While the Nets have an extremely stacked offense this season, their deficiencies in other aspects of the game will prevent them from making a deep playoff run this year. Their lack of a powerhouse center is their Achilles heel, there is nobody in the roster that can stop an Anthony Davis or a Giannis Antetokounmpo. They will make a fun team to watch score 120+ point games, but when push comes to shove, that’s all they will be.