One of the biggest questions heading into the new season was about where James Harden would eventually land. He made it clear from the off that he wanted out of Houston, and while it took a few weeks for a deal to be finally made, Harden was eventually shipped to the Brooklyn Nets, where he reunited with former teammate Kevin Durant. Alongside Kyrie Irving, the Nets now have three of the best players in the game playing together, but does the arrival of Harden mean that the Nets are now on pace for a championship? Let’s find out so you can get all set to make your bets against their NBA Championship odds.
Will James Harden take the Nets to the Championship?
What Does Harden Bring to the Nets?
There is no denying that James Harden is one of the most talented players in the NBA. This is a player that has won 3 scoring titles as well as a league MVP, but he has yet to win a championship to this point in his career. At times in Houston, Harden carried the team on his shoulders, but many felt that the acquisition of Russell Westbrook would take the Rockets to the next level, but that is not what happened.
Harden seems to relish the role of being the main player on the team, so you do have to wonder how he will gel with Durant and Irving. These are all players who like the ball and like to put up points, so they are going to need to get used to perhaps not scoring as often as they might like. Irving in particular has been a problem this season, which could also have an impact on how the team gels. Harden is off to a great start in his first 2 games with the Nets, averaging 40 minutes per game and 33 PPG, which is about 9 PPG better than what he was delivering this season with the Rockets. His rebounding and assist numbers are also up over those 2 games, but still a long way to go.
Will The Nets Win the East?
It is still very early in the season, and while the Nets are currently sitting in 5th, they are just a ½ game out of the top spot. At the time of writing, they were beginning to show some real signs of life, winning 4 in a row, 2 of which were with Harden in the lineup. It is the playoffs where things will get tricky, though, as the league MVP are currently the team that are going to probably be the favorites to win the conference. The Nets are 6-3 in conference play right now and have been particularly good versus teams with winning records, going 6-2 in those games.
If Harden, Durant, and Irving can set their egos aside and play as a unit, this is a team that could prove to be unstoppable. That, though, is a very big if and one that we won’t fully know until Kyrie Irving is back in the fold. I am not yet ready to say that this is a championship team, as they have questions that need to be answered before we can make that claim.