Nets 2021-22 Season Preview: Breaking down the backcourt

Let’s get a search at the 2021-22 Brooklyn Nets with a deep dive into a gifted backcourt that attributes James Harden and maybe Kyrie Irving.

Danny Small

The Brooklyn Nets are as strong as any NBA group in the backcourt. They have bonafide star electric power in the starting lineup and beefed up the depth through no cost company and the draft. This could be the ideal section of Brooklyn’s roster if everything breaks appropriate.

James Harden is one particular of the ideal issue guards in the NBA and he seemed much more than comfy in that position through his half-season in Brooklyn.

Pursuing the acquisition of Harden, Kyrie Irving declared his new teammate the issue guard as Kyrie seamlessly in good shape into his position as an off-ball guard. Naturally, Irving’s availability performs a massive section in how this device shakes out, but much more on that in a moment.

In the modern NBA, it’s really hard to pigeonhole gamers into certain positions. In our Nets preview series, we crack down the group into four diverse areas: guards, wings, bigs, and the entrance business/coaching employees.

In this article is the to start with installment of the 2021-22 Brooklyn Nets preview, let us get a search at the guards.

Bell Cow: James Harden

There is no question about it, James Harden is the bell cow of this backcourt. He is the issue guard and therefore, he will have the ball in his hands much more than any Net this calendar year — even Kevin Durant.

Harden was the issue guard through his time with the Houston Rockets, but he was compelled to search for his shot much more than he has to in Brooklyn. With guys like Irving and Durant flanking him, Harden appears to be like to aid to start with and foremost.

Count on the Nets to lean seriously on Harden this season. Nets mentor Steve Nash cherished to stagger his minutes so he was major the bench device. Even with the addition of Patty Mills, we do not assume that to transform.

X-Factor: Kyrie Irving

Is there any individual in the NBA who is a greater X-issue than Kyrie Irving appropriate now? His vaccination standing is placing his capacity to enjoy dwelling game titles in jeopardy. If Irving refuses the COVID-19 vaccination, the Nets are susceptible in the Eastern Convention.

However, if Irving decides to get vaxxed and can enjoy a (somewhat) drama-no cost season, the Nets are heading to be unstoppable.

For all the criticism that folks lob at Irving, there is no denying his expertise on the courtroom. He is one particular of the most gifted offensive gamers in NBA background actively playing together with two guys who are even improved on that conclusion of the ground. Irving’s availability is the most important X-issue for the Nets in 2021-22.

Tremendous Sub: Patty Mills

Even if Irving is barred from actively playing in dwelling game titles because of to his vaccination standing, Patty Mills is ideal suited to occur off the bench. Brooklyn’s deficiency of depth was a killer in the playoffs as they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in 7 game titles.

Mills is a malleable backcourt lover for whoever he is functioning together with. If he’s on the courtroom with Harden, the Aussie can assume an off-ball position where by he is continually functioning off of screens. A few-guard lineups with Harden, Irving, and Mills are a authentic chance provided Mills’ off-ball prowess.

On the flip aspect, Mills is flawlessly capable of functioning an offense as the lead ballhandler. This Boomer is one particular of the savvy veterans Brooklyn additional in the offseason to bolster the team’s depth.

Acquire What is Yours: Cam Thomas

Persistence could be the to start with word that arrives to thoughts when you assume about Brooklyn’s rookies. Cam Thomas is buried guiding three veteran guards on the depth chart, but that does not mean this LSU product or service is heading to be relegated to the bench all calendar year.

Nash preached tolerance when it arrives to the rookies through a latest push convention.

“It’s not how you begin, it’s how you get there,” Nash said. “That’s what I surely have preached to some of our rookies presently. You’ve received to enjoy the extensive recreation, and no matter whether you crack the rotation or not, no matter whether you do not enjoy a moment or devote some time in the G League, it’s critical to assume extensive-phrase and not give absent days. If you have that mentality and attitude, this will be a pretty productive calendar year for you no matter whether you enjoy or do not enjoy.”

Even though this sentiment is one thing that all NBA rookies need to heed, there is no want for Thomas to set any boundaries on himself. His Nets job began with a bang as he won Las Vegas Summertime League co-MVP. Thomas has superior hopes for himself in spite of Nash’s warning.

At some issue in the season, there is heading to be an prospect for Thomas. It could not be appropriate absent, but a opportunity to crack the rotation will be there eventually.

Split Glass in Case of Emergency: Jevon Carter

Jevon Carter is an knowledgeable, defensive-minded guard who need to be guiding glass in scenario of crisis. If Carter is actively playing big minutes for the Nets in 2021-22, one thing went horribly mistaken.

With that said, he’s a strong guy to have sitting at the conclusion of the bench just in scenario. If the Nets make your mind up to give a veteran relaxation, actively playing Carter in location minutes won’t damage. He can protect and Brooklyn won’t want to rely on him to score considerably.

Check out back into ESNY on Thursday for our Nets preview series when we crack down the wings.