Nets Star Sends Strong Warning to the NBA Ahead of 2021 Season

Nets' Jeff Green out for Celtics series

Getty James Harden #13, Kevin Durant #7, Joe Harris #12, and Jeff Green #8 of the Brooklyn Nets look on during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center.

Last season the Brooklyn Nets had one of the most loaded rosters in NBA history. After already coming into the season boasting a lineup that included perennial All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the Nets made a series of moves to bolster their lineup even further. Less than a month into the 2020-21 season, Brooklyn completed a blockbuster trade to land nine-time All-Star James Harden and throughout the season added former All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin.

At one point during the season, the Nets had 42 combined All-Star appearances on their roster.

As talented as Brooklyn’s roster was, Nets fans never really got a chance to see them play full strength. Even in the playoffs, injuries to Irving and Harden sapped the team in its seven-game loss to the eventual champion Bucks. But for one Nets star, there is no bitterness over how the season played out — only excitement for the coming season.

Despite fans expecting a revenge tour, Harden says there is no chip on the Nets’ shoulder coming into this season.

“There’s no chip at all, no chip for us. We’re just excited. We’re focused. We know what we have to do,” Harden said per Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated. “The biggest thing is us being healthy, which we will be. Honestly, we’re just excited to play a whole season together. That’s the exciting part.”

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James Harden Sends Strong Message to the NBA

Injuries are all a part of the game of basketball, there is no avoiding them. The Milwaukee Bucks earned their right to become NBA champions. But when the Nets were close to fully healthy last year, they were clearly the best offensive team in the NBA.

Even with the injuries, and with the late additions who had to be worked into the rotation, the Nets had an offensive rating of 117.3 points per 100 possessions, best in the NBA. In fact, the Nets had the best offensive rating in league history last year.

“At full strength,” he said, “nobody can beat us. I’m just going to leave it at that.”

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James Harden Details His Adjustment to Nets Playstyle

For so long during his time with the Houston Rockets, Harden would tear through the NBA for the entirety of the regular season and flame out during the playoffs. This was largely because he was carrying such a large bulk of the offensive load.

Coming to Brooklyn to play with KD and Kyrie meant alleviating some of the offensive duties from Harden. While he is playing with perhaps his most offensively talented team ever, Harden insists that his playstyle has not changed. Harden averaged 24.6 points per game with the Nets last season.

“There really wasn’t any adjustment. I still play how I play, but now I don’t have to shoot the ball so much. It’s really the best style for me, to be honest,” Harden continued.

“Kevin and Kyrie can always go get a bucket, and, with me as a playmaker, I can think about how to get shooters involved, how to get bigs touches, how to create open shots. My main focus is trying to get everybody involved and have each guy make an impact on the game.”

Now with the Nets ‘Big 3’ having a full offseason and training camp together, they are hoping to have a much different result this upcoming NBA season.

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