Unfortunately for Brooklyn Nets fans, a season that was headlined with hopes of the franchise’s first NBA title, came to an end in the second round. The Nets lost a win or go home Game 7 to the Milwaukee Bucks at home in an overtime thriller.
For the Nets their Achilles heel for them all season was injuries and unfortunately for Brooklyn, their old ghosts came back to haunt them. After losing Jeff Green to a foot injury in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup with the Boston Celtics, disaster awaited them in their second-round matchup with Milwaukee as they would lose both James Harden and Kyrie Irving in the first four games of the series. Despite a herculean effort by Kevin Durant, he alone could not get it done and that was the deciding factor in the series.
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Marv Albert Under Fire for ‘Valuable Property’ Comment
Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo went at it in Game 7. Giannis finished with 40 points and 13 rebounds while Durant capped off his postseason with 48 points. Durant’s performance gave him the record for most points in a Game 7 in NBA History.
Durant and Giannis are both former NBA Most Valuable Player award winners so there is no doubt about what they mean to their respective teams. However, when legendary color commentator Marv Albert referred to KD and Giannis as “valuable property” during TNT’s broadcast of Game 7 he received a lot of backlash on Twitter.
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KD Sounds off on Missed Opportunity in Game 7
The Nets were literally inches away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and keeping their championship hopes alive. Down by two points in the game’s final seconds, Brooklyn had a chance to tie or take the lead and Durant shot to take the lead…or so he thought.
Durant’s toe was barely straddling the three-point line as his shot was ruled a two-pointer and instead of KD hitting one of the craziest game-winners in NBA history, the game was sent into overtime where he would go 0-6 and the Nets would lose the game. Durant sounded off on the shot after a disappointing loss.
“My big ass foot stepped on the line,” Durant told reporters after the game per ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “I just saw how close I was to ending their season with that shot. That screenshot shows that it was truly a matter of inches.”
Steve Nash Talks About Nets Disappointing End to the Season
Part of the beauty of sports is watching a team’s hard work and perseverance pay off with a victory. The tough part is knowing that another team worked just as hard all for it to come crashing down at the end. The Nets worked hard to get through a season that was met with mid-game revelations of positive COVID tests, mid-season retirements, injuries to stars, and everything in between.
Despite all the turmoil that they faced; at the end of the season, the Nets were exactly where they wanted to be. Fully healthy and ready to compete for a championship. Still, it was not enough as injuries to two of their three stars wrecked what was supposed to be a championship season.
Durant did everything he could in the wake of Harden and Kyrie’s injuries and the Nets still lost. The Bucks were not necessarily better than the Nets but definitely healthier. And motivated after a disappointing exit to last summer’s NBA Bubble. As a former league MVP, Steve Nash knows that sometimes you do all that you can, and it still is not enough.
“I don’t know what more Kevin can do. It’s just out of this world,” Nash said per NetsDaily. And you can say that for all of our guys in a different part of the season gave us something. [I’m] just really, really proud of the group and I hurt for them more than anything.”
It was a disappointing end to a season with high hopes for the Nets. But with Irving, Harden, and Durant coming in with a full season to prepare next year, expect them to be in contention to win the title in 2022.