There is no question that Brooklyn is a legitimate title contender this season.
If you’re still not convinced, the Nets are currently second in the East with a 24-13 record. They have won 10 out of their last 11 games.
They’re doing all that without their main guy Kevin Durant, who’s averaging 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists on 52.4% shooting from the field and 43.4% shooting from the three-point line. He’s missed their last nine games due to injury.
Kyrie Irving and James Harden have been holding the fort down in Brooklyn. Irving has been averaging 27.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 51.0% shooting from the field and 41.1% shooting from the three-point line, while Harden has been putting up a brilliant 25.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and career-high 11.3 assists.
The role players have been stepping up as well. Joe Harris is averaging 14.8 points on 53% shooting from the field and 50.6% shooting from deep while Nicolas Claxton is putting up 10 points per game. Jeff Green is averaging 9.5 points and 3.6 rebounds while DeAndre Jordan is putting up 7.4 points and 7.5 rebounds.
They’re the current best offensive team in the league, ranking first in points with 121.1 ppg and shooting percentage from the field at 50.0% as a team, as well as in offensive rating with 118.2. They’re also second in team assists with 27.2 per contest.
Somehow, things have only gotten better for Brooklyn as six-time all-star Blake Griffin has agreed to a veteran-minimum-contract with them after being bought out by Detroit.
Griffin has been struggling with injuries since for two seasons now, only playing 18 games last season.
This year, the former Slam Dunk champion is only averaging 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists shooting 36.5% from the field and 31.5% from deep in 31.3 minutes of action in the 20 games that he’s played.
His best game of the season was back in December 26 of last year, where he dropped 26 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steal in a losing effort against Cleveland.
Griffin definitely doesn’t have the athleticism he once had. He hasn’t dunked in a game in years. To compensate, he’s improved his ball handling skills, mid-range shooting and passing which has made him a more well-rounded player.
Although his defense is still a liability, he has improved it and now puts more effort on the defensive end.
Fans have been stating that the three-time All-NBA second team is washed and that his productive days are over. However, we’ve seen in the past that stars are more than capable of intentionally not giving 100% to get out of a situation that they don’t want to be in.
This could be the case as Griffin fits perfectly in this Nets squad.
Not only will he have immediate chemistry with his former teammate Jordan but his skill as a power forward or small-ball center will complement the Brooklyn Trio.
He won’t be demanding the ball too much but can still cause damage if left in one-on-one situations. For a team that’s already the best in the league at scoring the rock, this is never a bad thing.
Other than that, he could also make plays for the team thanks to his passing. He’ll probably be a great sixth man who can anchor the offense for their second unit. With all of the pressure taken off him in the scoring department, Griffin will be able to play with a lot less stress and get a chance to show off his basketball IQ.
Brooklyn definitely got better on paper, but things can only be certain once Griffin makes his debut. It will be fun watching how he can fit into their system.
Do you think Blake Griffin’s addition secures the title for Brooklyn? Sound off in comment section.