Brooklyn Nets 2021 NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: Bettors, Beware Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Durant #7 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.
Brooklyn Nets Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
Whew, man. OK, here we go.
Let’s start with Kevin Durant. Since Durant suffered an Achilles tear 18 months ago, I have maintained the following stance: If Dominique Wilkins can come back from the injury and be an All-NBA selection, Durant can return to MVP-level status.
The key is to recognize that the Achilles tear robs you of levels of how good you are. It’s stratified. So role players go from above-average to slightly below. Stars go from major impact players to minor impact players. Superstars go from top tier to upper-middle tier, etc.
But Durant existed somewhere above all that. It was obscured in Golden State, but Durant was the best player in basketball at the time of his injury. He was fast-tracked toward top-five all-time status before the injury derailed him.
Durant is a 7-foot tall, 50-40-90 shooter with guard handles and All-Defense potential. You can’t call him a unicorn because it’s an insult to how he would chew up and spit out the bones of other unicorns. He was the Apex Mythical Predator.
So even if he plummets a level, Durant maintains a level that is still above 95-98% of all other NBA players. You can drop 20 stories in the building if you started at the top of the radio tower that was sticking up through the clouds.
Yes, Kyrie Irving is a headache, and not just for the media. But there are a lot of headaches in the league who are just not as publicly discussed. And for all that, Irving is still an elite scorer and capable of averaging double-digit assists if it was ever something he decided to endeavor toward.
The rest of the roster is sound. Multi-level scorers like Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert join pure role players like sharpshooter Joe Harris and big man DeAndre Jordan. This is not a roster filled with barely-league-average players around the two stars. It’s much better than that.
Ultimately, the final four teams in last season’s playoffs were decided by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and then Jayson Tatum and whoever the Celtics eventually figure out is the No. 2 to him.
The Nets have top-end talent. That’s proven to be a winning formula. They are calling their shot by inviting a coach to be a “collaborator” in their “art.” Irving and Durant are dictating terms in a way no tandem has done so (at least as openly) in the NBA. The sheer audacity is something to behold.
It’s easy to question whether it will work given its departure from normative power structures, but the NBA has been defined over the past 10 years by stars determining their own careers and everything that goes with it. This is just the extension of that, and it should work.
The Case for the Under
Here’s a counter: The Nets’ two stars have publicly made themselves out to be victims of a cruel and vicious media environment. They’ve repeatedly expressed a deep dissatisfaction with their careers and have teamed up in one of the most intense media markets in the world after running out the former coach. Now they have reportedly attempted to add James Harden at the cost of any number of their teammates.
Does this sound like a good situation, long-term?
What happens if things don’t go well? What happens when they hit adversity?
DeAndre Jordan has been a net negative the last few years and yet he’s starting because of his relationship with Durant and Irving. The other role players have battled and made the playoffs and yet they’re all just, ahem, pawns in Durant and Irving’s game. That’s not particularly healthy especially if trade rumors continue.
The Achilles injury for Durant may open him up to more injury risk as his body compensates. Irving has been injury-ridden his entire career; he’s played more than 70 games just once in the last five seasons.
The whole coaching thing with Nash being handpicked and described as more of an advisor…how will that work?
Isn’t there a decent chance this grand experiment just crashed into the ocean upon takeoff? Or, to compare it to an art exhibit, is panned by critics and eventually, the artist has to do corporate commission?
Brooklyn Nets Win Total Bet
If you like the Nets, just bet them to win the East (+275, DraftKings). Then you’re getting a better number you can hedge against if necessary for a team focused on the playoffs. The win total is high. They might slide into 50-plus wins, they might coast to 47.
The chemical formula is too unstable. It’s a hard no; stay away.