What To Expect From The Brooklyn Nets This Season


Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are looking to deliver the Nets a championship this season. (Courtesy of Twitter)

With the 2022-23 NBA Season just getting underway, there appears to be something brewing in Brooklyn.

The Eastern Conference is once again, wide open. With Ben Simmons finally returning to the hardwood, VegasInsider has listed the Brooklyn Nets as the third overall favorite to win the east at +350. One thing remains unclear for the franchise entering their 10th season in the borough: whether or not the star studded cast can set aside their egos and function as a unit with their young talent.  

Ben Simmons: 

After failing to produce anything out of “the process” with the Philadelphia 76ers over the past few seasons, Simmons is recognized as a laughing stock in Philly sports history. Most of the criticism involving Simmons was fueled by his reluctance to simply shoot the ball. Everyone remembers the wide open layup he passed up under the rim for a probable two points to Matisse Thybulle in the closing minutes of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Hawks two seasons ago. Playing beside two of the most skilled scorers of our generation in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant can transform this deficiency into a strength. The unique 6’11, 240 pound point guard has been given a chance to revive his career by taking a back seat to the KD and Kyrie Show. Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash has been slowly implementing Simmons into the lineup, allowing the former All-Star to lead the team in assists in three out of four preseason games. Simmons’ purposeful role has made a positive impact on the team thus far, despite playing an average of under 22 minutes per game.  

Young Guys:

In addition to Simmons, the Nets have two shimmering young prospects in former University of Georgia power forward Nic Claxton and second year shooting guard Cam Thomas from Louisiana State University. Last season, Claxton averaged eight points along with six boards in the regular season, even earning some crucial postseason minutes during last year’s first round bout against a lethal Celtics squad. Thomas’ minutes last year were impressive for a rookie on a juggernaut squad that included former MVP James Harden, who played in just under half of their games. Thomas is no longer an understudy, considering Harden’s departure coupled with his impressive 30-point performance against the Utah Jazz last February and his game winning floater vs the San Antonio Spurs. Thomas’ ceiling appears ridiculously high and a breakout season is certainly a possibility for the playoff contending Nets.  


Last but not least, the Irving-Durant duo was tumultuous in the offseason after Kyrie’s trade request rumors circulated the internet like wildfire. However, the 2016 Olympic gold medal teammates demonstrated last season they possess the ability to work coherently on the floor.  Throughout 44 games played together in Brooklyn, Durant averaged 27 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds while Kyrie put up 26, 5 and 4 within that span along with a combined 78-point performance against Memphis. In their final preseason game against a talented Timberwolves squad, the duo combined for 46 points, each shooting 50% or higher beyond the arc.  

If KD and Kyrie can keep the same energy as last year while Simmons dishes the ball to their young talent, this squad is destined to make it past the first round and potentially grab a ring.