Who Wants Brooklyn Nets vs. Phoenix Suns in the 2022 NBA Finals?
That’s the Brooklyn Nets.
The team, which was a Kevin Durant smaller shoe size, were far from eliminating eventual NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Big toes on the line prevented Durant from taking a game-winning 3.
The Nets will likely play six games with the Atlanta Hawks and advance to the finals to take on the team they defeated in the home-away series – the Phoenix Suns.
Won first in comeback fashion with Durant and Kyrie Irving in street clothes in Phoenix. Second in Brooklyn without James Harden.
You’re likely to be at the forefront of the Suns in the finals too, when Durant hits 50 at the Brooklyn Clincher, Biggie rocks the Barclays Center, and confetti drops to celebrate.
So if Phoenix returns to the finals, this will be the team they will most likely face.
“Our goal is to be the last team,” said Sean Marks, general manager of Nets, during the press conference on Tuesday. “There are probably six to eight teams that have a similar and realistic goal. For us, it’s about owning that and not shrinking from it.”
These are the Brooklyn Nets, home of perhaps the most powerful Big 3 in the world, who played a total of eight regular season games together last year.
Durant survived an Achilles injury in the 2019 final that left him out for the entire 2019-20 season.
Harden got out of shape in a trade after leaving Houston.
Irving made more headlines for whether he spoke or not than for his brilliant game, but these three looked really, really good when they were on the pitch together.
Imagine how they stack up against multiple games together.
The Nets have key roles in Joe Harris, Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown. The addition of Patty Mills, Jevon Carter, and Paul Millsap gives them even more experience and depth.
“(Mills) is an incredible boost to our culture,” said Nets coach Steve Nash on Tuesday. “Just having the kind of character he is. His personality and ability to shoot and play at pace helps us a lot too.”
Then when LaMarcus Aldridge is full for heart reasons after his retirement last season and can play the entire season, my goodness.
“He called and said, ‘I’ve been released by several doctors, including our own and several specialists across the country,” Marks said of Aldridge, a seven-time all-star. “He felt very comfortable coming back and he said, like some of our boys, that it was an unfinished business here.”
Oh yeah, Nash should be a better coach in his sophomore year.
“This summer, I think, you spend a lot of time looking back,” said Nash. “Trying to find out which paths you have taken has been positive that you would reconsider. All of these things that you should always be doing to review a period of time in any industry. I think after that you bond with players, staff and try to create the conditions for a return. For the past three to four weeks in the office we have only been analyzing, rebuilding, preparing for camp and trying to project how we will attack this season. ”
These are the Nets, the team the Suns will likely have to beat in June to win the franchise’s first NBA championship.
It will be anything but easy for Phoenix to return to the final.
Try damn hard.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets are clear obstacles.
If Klay Thompson can be 80% of the player he was before injuries cost him the last two seasons, the Golden State Warriors will be in the running.
The Los Angeles Clippers are clearly not the same without Kawhi Leonard, but they have enough, starting with Paul George, to keep them hoping Leonard will return in time for the postseason.
There’s always a surprise that upsets the preseason predictions.
The Suns were that team last season.
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks could shock the world this season.
There are also no guarantees that Brooklyn will make it to the finals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t let Brooklyn run through his roster. The Big 3 of the Bucks from Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and the two-time MVP have proven their worth.
Durant, Harden and Irving are not a group.
Philadelphia finished last season with the best record in the East, with Joel Embiid finishing second in the NBA MVP poll despite playing only 51 of the 72 games in the shortened NBA season.
If he’s healthy in the postseason and Ben Simmons is at least trying to score, the Suns may have hit the 76s instead of the Bucks in the final.
The 76ers will be contenders for the championship again, regardless of what happens to Simmons.
The Atlanta Hawks are on the rise after their surprising entry into the conference finals. The addition of Kyle Lowry could take Miami to the next level, but don’t sleep on Boston.
The Celtics have two of their best young players in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but these Nets have the best NBA team on paper.
The Suns are the defending champions of the Western Conference, with their core spearheaded by Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, but that doesn’t guarantee another special season.
On November 27th, Phoenix will be in Brooklyn to complete a four-game road trip that could be a preview of the 2022 final.
That is no consolation to the Nets Lakers finals that everyone seems to want to see.
Far from it.
Do you have an opinion on the current state of the sun? You can reach Sun’s Insider Duane Rankin at [email protected] or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.
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