The 2020-21 NBA season has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for the Brooklyn Nets.
The number of absences and injuries and turmoil that the Nets have faced would have broken just about any other team. However, James Harden and company have persevered through it all and have been rewarded in a big way because of it. For the first time since 2003, the Nets are the number one overall seed in the Eastern Conference.
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Kenyon Martin Sounds off on the Brooklyn Nets
Even though the Nets have been officially declared the villains of the NBA because of their wealth of talent, many are not convinced that they are a shoo-in to win this year’s NBA title mainly because of their spotty defense.
Nets’ legend Kenyon Martin believes Joel Embiid and the second-place Philadelphia 76ers are one team that is being severely underrated.
“Nets don’t play no defense,” Martin said to Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on Instagram live in February.
“Philly ain’t too shabby.”
Embiid and the Sixers have held the number one seed in the Eastern Conference for most of the year. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, their star big man went down with a knee injury that sidelined him for three weeks. That injury not only cost Embiid a chance to win this season’s NBA Most Valuable Player award, but it also cost his team the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
— 👑 Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson 📍 (@ScoopB) February 18, 2021
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Nets Still on Top Despite Turbulent Season
The Nets took over the top seed out east after a win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. It is their first time holding the top spot in the east since 2003. Nets star Kyrie Irving spoke on what it meant for the team to accomplish such a feat.
“I think it says a lot of different things. You know I don’t know if I can necessarily pinpoint everything in terms of what we’ve been through, but I think I’ve been able to learn throughout this process what it takes to build something special or something different or unique,” Kyrie said of being the number one seed per SNY.
"We've been able to learn throughout this process what it takes to build something special – something different and unique"
Kyrie Irving reflects on the Nets being in first place in the East pic.twitter.com/LRXtF6Ba2T
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) April 1, 2021
The Nets have had injuries to Kyrie, Harden, and Kevin Durant this year. COVID protocols have plagued them, and they have been vilified throughout the league because everybody wants to play for them. Still, Brooklyn has managed to stay the course and are hoping to achieve their ultimate goal. Delivering the franchise its first-ever championship.
“We don’t want that bickering, all that nonsense in our locker room,” Irving said.
“We’re literally dedicated to performing the craft of basketball at a very high level for one another because we want to see each other win.”
Kyrie Irving talks about building a championship culture in Brooklyn:
"We don't want that bickering, all that nonsense in our locker room. We're literally dedicated to performing the craft of basketball at a very high level for one another because we want to see each other win" pic.twitter.com/PCL05Bsq0m
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) April 2, 2021
The Nets are already in the top spot and have been without arguably their best player Durant since February 13. KD could return to the lineup as early as Monday when the Nets take on their crosstown rival the New York Knicks. Scary hours are on the horizon.