James Harden Brooklyn Net

Brooklyn Nets is the New Favorite to Win

James Harden is now a Brooklyn Net, and the blockbuster trade that has left the Nets without control of their first-round draft choices for the next seven years has also left the team as the oddsmakers’ favorites to win the Eastern Conference and make the NBA Finals. The shifting in the books started when James Harden mentioned to reporters that he thought the situation with the Rockets was not fixable. Now the only team in the NBA with better title odds than Brooklyn is the Los Angeles Lakers. Are the Nets really the next superteam?

The Brooklyn Nets: New Favorites to Win the Eastern Conference

As a price per head agent, you want your betting clients putting down wagers on such futures props as the winner of each conference in the NBA as well as the league champion, and so you want to figure out whether the buzz around the Nets is really worth a shift in odds. You will want to see how the chemistry builds among Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Irving had a difficult time this past week because of a video that appeared of him appearing, maskless, at a party. This violation of NBA COVID-19 policy cost him almost $900,000 – a $50,000 fine and then game checks for the time he had to miss during his mandated quarantine. How will Irving respond?

Even before that enforced absence, Durant and Irving had already missed games as the team limped out to a 5-6 start. They have won three in a row since then and are now just 1 ½ games off the lead in the Eastern Conference, looking up at the Milwaukee Bucks. One problem that the Nets had already had before Harden’s arrival had to do with team defense.

As we saw in Oklahoma City and Houston, Harden is not interested in playing defense; he’s interested in scoring and then waiting to get the ball back again. That will make things difficult once the postseason begins: during the regular season, defense is not as emphasized as players save gas in the tank for the playoffs, but then the defensive intensity amps up. I’m not sure that the Nets can meet that challenge in the postseason bracket, so for now, I’m not buying the Nets’ favorite status.

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