Quite a number of things have been going right for the Brooklyn Nets lately. First, Ben Simmons has started to play like something resembling a good basketball player again – which was punctuated with 22 points, eight rebounds, five assists and a steal while shooting 11 of 13 from the field against the Memphis Grizzlies. In what hasn’t happened in eons, Simmons was aggressive with his offense, using his physical gifts to bully his way to the rim.

Now, they’ve got Kyrie Irving back in the mix too, as he made his return in that same Grizzlies game, finishing with 14 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes of action. 

The return of the embattled Irving is big news for Nets fans, because outside of all of his off-court problems, he is still one of the finest offensive players that is currently on an NBA team. Remember, Irving scored 50 points and 60 points last season, and has a total of six career games where he scored 50 or more.


Of course, it wouldn’t be a Kyrie Irving event if there wasn’t something happening outside of basketball, and today that was a protest outside of Barclays Center that shows that controversy is not going away anytime soon. 

Let’s get back to basketball, though. The Nets are also going to be feeling good by the continued contribution of some of their key role players, of whom Yuta Watanabe is becoming one of. The Japanese forward had a fine game against the Grizzlies, too, scoring 16 points while making 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, coming up big in the fourth quarter when they needed him most.

Joe Harris and Royce O’Neale also made four of six three-point attempts, finishing with 13 and 12 points respectively, which considerably lightened the load on Kevin Durant – who still had a fine game with 26 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block.

After struggling mightily in the start of the season, the Nets are now 6-4 in their last ten games, and have a chance to continue climbing back up in the rankings. The rest of November schedule is decent, with them set to face the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.

A good string of results could see them come back into the top six and the guaranteed playoff spots. We’ll have to see if this becomes a reality, but for the first time this season, Nets fans may have a reason for some optimism.