The Brooklyn Nets have to be feeling good right now. They are 10-1 against winning teams and just handled the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. There was some apprehension on how the team might gel after they traded for James Harden but everything has been very smooth for them.
Kyrie Irving appeared to be the biggest wild card for the Nets but he’s been playing at a high level in recent weeks. It’s becoming clearer every game that Brooklyn is a real threat to win a championship this season. They easily beat the Lakers but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Los Angeles is having a strong season but it sounds like Anthony Davis will be out for a month, which will make things considerably more difficult for them. Regardless, Irving expects to see them in the NBA Finals.
“We’ll see them down the line again, and we look forward to it, with a whole entire healthy Lakers team,” Irving said after the game. “That’s what we really wanted, I know everybody wants that. I’m looking forward to the challenge and seeing them down the line.”
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Lakers vs. Nets in Finals Would Be Great for NBA
If the Lakers and the Nets do meet in the Finals, it will be one of the best matchups in recent memory. There would be a number of storylines the NBA could sell. First of all, the matchup would have the two best players in the league facing off against each other in LeBron James and Kevin Durant. There would also be the LeBron-Irving factor. Though the two men play nice, there’s probably still a little bit of tension between them.
Also, New York and Los Angeles have two of the biggest markets in the country. Thanks to all these factors, it’s hard to see a better Finals matchup for the NBA after a couple of down years when it comes to ratings.
Can Lakers Beat Nets?
Based on Thursday’s game, it appears Brooklyn has the upper hand over Los Angeles. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Lakers were without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder. Those are two of the team’s starters and best defenders. Considering Schroder was ruled out just an hour before the game, it certainly affected the team.
Yes, the Nets didn’t have Durant but it’s impossible to know which team would have the advantage if they are both healthy. While Brooklyn is rolling right now, the Lakers still have the better team. They have the best defense in the league and the offense can be elite, despite the recent slump. The problem with the Nets is that even at their best, they’re not going to be a great defensive team. They’ve invested in star players who are known for offense, not defense. The Lakers can play both sides of the court at an elite level when they’re rolling. It’s just hard to see the Nets being able to take them down in four out of seven games.