Stephen A. Smith on Nets: ‘Trouble in Brooklyn’

Stephen A. Smith

Getty Stephen A. Smith speaks to a group of fans at Oracle Arena during the 2016 NBA Western Conference Finals.

Many people might have expected the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks to be complete opposites this season, but not in the way it has played out thus far. Before last night’s blowout victory over the Utah Jazz, the Nets had lost four of their last five games while the Knicks have WON four of their last five. Yes, you read that correctly. It is still very early in the season and the Nets probably have the most potential of any team in the NBA but as of now, we have to take them at face value. For the most part, they have looked bad. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, a Queens native, knows the ins and outs of New York City basketball and thinks it is clear as day that there is a problem in Brooklyn.

Stephen A. Sees a Problem in Brooklyn

“I see Kyrie shooting more shots than KD. I see Kyrie shooting definitely more in the fourth quarter than KD. And I see a team that’s struggling defensively,” Smith said on a recent episode of ESPN’s First Take. This isn’t Smith’s only gripe with Kyrie. Earlier this season Smith said Kyrie “comes off as a damn snob” after Irving said he was refusing to talk directly to the media. “We’ve got analysts not me, but we’ve got others that have called the Nets soft. Plus, you ain’t gonna have Spencer Dinwiddie. Now, you still have Caris LeVert, because brother can play. Him, with Kyrie and KD, is a lot to love. But the bottom line is: there’s some trouble in Brooklyn.”

Things have looked grim for Brooklyn as of late. Two games into the season, they looked like runaway favorites to come out of the East with blowout wins over the Warriors and Celtics. Since the 2-0 start, the Nets have lost three things: Spencer Dinwiddie for the rest of the season, KD for at least the next four games, and four of their last six games. “So it’s entirely plausible, that the Brooklyn Nets can win 45-plus games out of the 72-game regular season, go to the postseason and still have a disappointing year because they didn’t go to the finals,” said Smith.

KD and Kyrie Facing High Expectations

KD and Kyrie know that getting to the NBA Finals is no easy road. They Have played against each other twice in the Finals and now Nets fans expect them to get there together in 2021. One of those fans is Nets’ former number one overall pick, Derrick Coleman. I can see us coming out of the East,” Coleman told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “I don’t know if we’re able to win the championship right now. But all that goes back to where you don’t have a real training camp, you got a brand-new coach, so listening to his philosophies about the game of basketball. Also, you got to create that chemistry.”

Kyrie Irving and the Nets got back on track Tuesday with a 34-point win over the Utah Jazz. Kyrie continued his impressive season with 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. KD will be out for at least the next three games in compliance with COVID protocols. Winning three of four games without KD and Dinwiddie could be a big boost for Brooklyn’s confidence moving forward.

READ NEXT: Nets Legend: ‘Don’t Know if We’re Able to Win the Championship Right Now’

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