The Brooklyn Nets have pushed their way toward one of the best records this season behind their star talent. The Nets’ pathway has featured some challenging stretches due to the injury bug. The hits keep coming as Brooklyn may have just been dealt a crushing blow to their title chances.
Brooklyn Nets’ strong 2020-21 season
As the 2020-21 season has moved along, the Brooklyn Nets have emerged as a title favorite in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets received the early-season massive boost with James Harden joining the fray alongside stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The hype around the franchise reached another level after bringing aboard former All-Star big man Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Brooklyn has dealt with nagging injuries throughout this season but has pushed forward with one of the best records in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are currently a game behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the top mark in the playoff picture.
However, their championship hopes may have just taken a significant blow.
Brooklyn Nets suffer a potentially crippling blow to their NBA title chances
Despite the Brooklyn Nets continued steps forward this season, the team has been hampered by injuries.
The Nets have moved the last couple of weeks without star guard James Harden due to right hamstring issues. Things have taken another disappointing turn as head coach Steve Nash announced on Tuesday that Harden suffered a setback.
The former league MVP had gone through an “on-court rehab session” on Monday when the setback happened. An MRI on Tuesday confirmed as much and will keep him out of the lineup indefinitely.
“We’re back to square one,” Nets coach Steve Nash said via ESPN. “He will be back when he’s back. It might be the playoffs. It might be sooner.”
Although Nash is remaining hopeful, there isn’t any definitive timetable for Harden’s return. He’s dealing with an injury in a sensitive area that can flare up at any point if not handled properly. In the meantime, Kyrie Irving, along with Landry Shamet and Bruce Brown, will hand the bulk of the backcourt duties.
The entire situation puts increased pressure on the Nets to proceed forward with caution if they hope to have a chance to bring Harden back before or during the playoffs.
Kevin Durant suffers another disappointing injury
The Nets have shown plenty of reason to believe that they have the talent to contend for an NBA title this season.
However, it’s the continued struggles with the injury bug that have hampered their star talent. Each of their All-stars has missed a lengthy stretch this year as they have played only seven games together.
Kevin Durant missed nearly two months due to a leg injury and is once again sidelined after suffering a thigh contusion against the Miami Heat on Sunday. The Nets have moved carefully with Durant, given that he’s playing his first season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.
The latest ailment shouldn’t keep him off the floor for long, but it’s another hurdle that he will have to overcome. Brooklyn also recently lost LaMarcus Aldridge to retirement due to a heart condition.
All those have led to other Eastern Conference contenders becoming more confident about their chances against them. There is certainly much that can change over the next month, but the way things are trending doesn’t bode well for Brooklyn.