The Brooklyn Nets are slated to take on the defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. However, two key players may not be participating in the matchup: Brooklyn’s star forward Kevin Durant will be out for at least the next two games with a left calf strain while Lakers’ forward Anthony Davis is out indefinitely with a calf strain and re-aggravation of the right Achilles tendonosis. Even with the absence of the two stars, many would consider this to be a preview of this year’s NBA Finals. In fact, some have gone as far as already predicting who takes the throne, including ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith.
Stephen A. Picks the Nets To Win the NBA Finals
On Monday’s episode of ESPN’s First Take, Smith was asked about his reaction to AD’s injury.
“My first reaction after hearing Anthony Davis re-aggravated his right Achilles was the Brooklyn Nets are going to win the NBA Championship,” Smith said. “That is the first reaction that I had. My reaction is that it’s the Lakers are far as I’m concerned are the only team standing in the way of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden winning the chip.”
Even the greatness of Leading MVP candidate LeBron James wasn’t enough to convince Stephen A. that the Lakers could at the very least cause problems for the Brooklyn Nets.
LeBron Alone Won’t Be Enough According To Stephen A.
“LeBron will be just fine he’ll be there when it counts but he needs AD. Without AD the Lakers have no chance of winning the championship. And if the Lakers have no chance then who the hell is going to beat Brooklyn? The answer is absolutely, positively no one.”
With all the drama and injury scares surrounding the team, the big three of Harden, Irving, and Durant have still managed to put up some spectacular individual numbers. Kevin Durant leads the trifecta in scoring with 29.0 points per game. James Harden has accepted his role as a facilitator, as he leads the league with 11.6 assists a game. Kyrie Irving has been putting on a clinic of his own, averaging 27.6 points and 5.8 assists per game.
Follow the Heavy on Nets Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Brooklyn!
The Lakers are still the odds on to win the NBA Championship although the Nets are a close second. Regardless of what Vegas says, Harden and the Nets have faith in themselves to win it all. Frankly, that’s all that matters.
“Of course, we’re more than confident that it will be difficult for a team to beat us four times in a best-of-7 series so I’m excited about it,” Harden told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols via Forbes. “And it’s only been a month, so all of us are trying to get to one goal and that’s the NBA championship.”
As the Nets get closer and closer to the post-season Brooklyn’s trio will need to get some more playing time in.