The 2021/22 NBA season couldn’t have went much worse for the pre-season favorite Brooklyn Nets.
Many had picked the Nets to win the NBA Championship before a ball was dribbled at the start of the year thanks to the three-headed offensive monster of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. However, the trio would only go on to play 16 games together after Harden’s arrival the season prior.
Durant, fresh off of a stellar showing against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Playoffs, played just 55 of the 82 games due to injuries and averaged 37.2 minutes per game in those appearances — the most since his MVP season in 2014. Irving meanwhile was absent due to choice after deciding not to be vaccinated and played just 29 times in the regular season before the NBA’s mandate changed ahead of the Playoffs.
And then there was Harden, who it seems became tired of the disfunction in Brooklyn and requested a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he was dealt for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks.
This left coach Steve Nash severely on the back foot throughout the course of the season and led to the Nets finishing as the 7th seed, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in game to set up a first round series with the Boston Celtics.
What followed was a humiliating first round sweep, as Durant was contained in a way that we’ve never seen previously and was completely outplayed by Jayson Tatum. Irving was similarly anonymous outside of a 39-point explosion in Game 1.
In the aftermath of the first round sweep, BetOnline have created a number of NBA betting futures specials that you can bet on ahead of the 2022/23 season. Those who sign up today can get a 50% matched deposit bonus of up to $1000.
Kyrie Irving Next Team IF Not the Nets
Kyrie Irving has the option to enter free agency this summer if he chooses to opt out of his $36.5 million deal for next season in exchange for another bumper long-term contract. The 7x All-Star has given no indication that he wants to leave Brooklyn, instead insisting the opposite and feels a responsibility to ‘manage’ the franchise through the summer.
“When I say I’m here with Kevin (Durant), I think that it really entails us managing this franchise together alongside Joe (Tsai) and Sean (Marks),” Irving stated, “and just our group of family members that we have in our locker room, in our organization. However, Boston fans will attest that this is a personality who doesn’t always deliver on his promises.
Should he leave, BetOnline have odds on him joining the following teams:
- Los Angeles Clippers +200
- Dallas Mavericks +250
- Houston Rockets +300
- Chicago Bulls +400
- Los Angeles Lakers +600
- Miami Heat +750
- New York Knicks +1200
Will the Nets Win a First Round Playoff Series Next Season?
In the three years of the Durant-Irving era (Durant being injured for the first season) the Nets have managed just one Playoff series win. That came last season against this year’s foes Boston, beating them in five games as Jayden Brown sat out due to injury.
It’s tough to imagine a team with this level of talent to fail to exit the Playoffs in the First Round in back-to-back years, particularly if they come back with a reshuffled and more refined roster next season. That said, the one thing Brooklyn haven’t been during this era is reliable and, as we’ve seen already, anything can happen with this team.
You can bet on the Nets to win a First Round series next season at -225, while those who think they won’t make the Second Round next year can get odds of +160.
Steve Nash To Be Fired By the Brooklyn Nets?
Steve Nash was emphatically out-coached by Ime Udoka in the Playoffs, leading to plenty of scrutiny surrounding his job security. Irving infamously said that the Nets didn’t need a coach, but the showing of the two coaches in this First Round series would indicate that they may need somebody with more experience to get over the hump.
In the defence of Nash, it’s difficult to remember a coach having to endure a more traumatic first two years as a head coach in the NBA with the constant moving parts around the Nets roster. At no stage has he had a settled and consistent rotation to work with and that is ultimately the biggest factor in their downfall. Nash is currently +325 to be fired by the Nets and -550 to retain his job going into next season.
Will Ben Simmons Play Game 1 2022/23 Regular Season?
Ben Simmons’ no-show in this year’s Playoffs after ‘targeting’ a return in Game 4 in the series has seen many lose any ounce of sympathy that they may have had for the 2017 first overall pick. The 25-year-old sat out the entire season for both the 76ers and Nets, with our last memory of Simmons still being his horrific showing in last year’s Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks.
An apparent back injury is the excuse provided for his absence during this year’s Playoffs, leading to BetOnline already pondering whether or not he will play on opening night next season. You can get odds of -400 for him to suit up on opening night and +250 for him to continue his absence into 2022/23.