On Wednesday, one of the most talked-about trifectas in NBA history made its debut: the trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. However, their first game did not go as planned, as the Cleveland Cavaliers ruined their party with a 147-135 victory in a classic double overtime game.
On a night when three of this generation’s top scorers played under the same jersey, it was the Cavs’ young goalie, Collin Sexton, who stole the show with 42 points, the highest score of his career. The young Taurus burned the nets with 22 points in just two overtimes and 20 consecutive points on one.
As expected, a brilliant new Big 3 came out of the Nets after this disappointing release. Of course they failed to get a W, but let’s not start pulling out torches and pitchforks just yet.
It’s still early in the season, and these three Net superstars are too good not to understand everything. Still: The first impression remains. Although the trio played brilliantly in basketball on their first official outing, their inability to beat a lower level Cavs team raises eyebrows.
Let’s take a closer look at the four lessons from the early days of the Big 3 of the Nets, both good and bad.
Good – Durant, Irving and Harden can coexist in nets.
The biggest question on everyone’s mind was how three of the league’s most dominant superstars could actually come together with just one ball. Other big names of the past have often had to make sacrifices to get things done, especially offensively. This is a problem for the Nets at the beginning of the review Irving and Harden (with the exception of Durant, of course), were not accurately described as team players during their careers.
Against the Cavs, the three perennial All-Stars still have their touch and show their usual big numbers. During, Irving and Harden combined for 96 of Brooklyn’s 135 points. Durant scored 38 points on 12 of 25 shots from the field, hit three threes and also had 12 boards, eight assists, four blocks and one steal.
And yet Irving took most of the pictures. He made 15 of his 28 attempts and finished with 37 points, three assists, two rebounds, three blocks and a steal.
Given that he’s the new kid on the block, Beard gave way to his two superstar teammates early on and played the role of the network’s main facilitator. He finished the game with 12 assists and recorded his second triple-double in net history with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Bath – We still don’t know who will take the final shot for thenetwork.
Yesterday’s fierce competition has given the network’s superstars several options to solve this dilemma. The trio of stars took turns trying to make their mark against the Cavs. Unfortunately, none of them succeeded and were dethroned by the heroism of Sexton himself on his team.
Harden tried to make a statement at a critical point in regulation with his signature three points down, but the attempt failed. Irving tried to make a quick move to the basket with 10 seconds left for the Nets, but was held up for a layup (which was later canceled). Durant also tried to seal the victory in the first extra time period, but that too failed.
There is no doubt that all three of them are capable of scoring goals, especially since each of them already has a large number of successful players on their resume. In fact, it’s a scary situation for opposing defenses because they should have their top three scorers in do-or-die situations.
Of course, the Big 3 Nets can always go to whoever has the hot hand at the time. But for now, head coach Steve Nash needs to deal with it quickly.
Good – The Big Three all looked healthy and fit
When such a talented team forms, sometimes it’s the only thing that can stop it from winning. For the Nets trio, it’s a bug wound or some other reason that will force them to retire.
Again, it’s only one game, but it’s clearly a good sign for Nets fans that their three best players are in form against the Cavs. There are fears that after missing the last seven games, Irving may have to remove some rust because of the personal time he has imposed on himself. Uncle Drew, as wily as ever against the Cavs, quickly dispelled those doubts.
Harden, meanwhile, has gained quite a few pounds since the start of the season, and we wondered how long he’s been in good shape. The extra pounds don’t seem to bother him too much and he seems to really enjoy playing basketball again after feeling the need to join the Nets.
But the biggest sign for the Nets is that Durant is back to his pre-injury state after his full recovery from the dreaded Achilles tendon tear. The two-time NBA champion and MVP of the Finals said he could have played 20 more minutes after missing 50 against the Cavs.
Mediocre – Banking networks still have a lot to do
While we all expect most of the Nets’ goals to come from their three-goal monster, this team will struggle if they don’t have reliable players in the second unit.
With Brooklyn’s roster decimated by the massive Harden blockbuster, the Nets front office must find a way to surround its superstars with enough help. Spencer Dinwiddie could have been the perfect starter on the bench, but he’s done for the season.
Against the Cavs, the Net Bench had just 10 points, six from Joe Harris and four from rookie Reggie Perry. It certainly doesn’t help to move forward.
The Nets’ limited ability to trade veterans before the deadline hinders their chances, but they can always find gems on the market to fill those gaps.