Many people are laughing at the Los Angeles Lakers for building another retirement home. And yet, some are forgetting that the Brooklyn Nets are doing the same thing. Where is the flak?
The Nets missed the NBA Finals last season despite having Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden in the lineup. And like the Lakers, injuries to their stars hampered the Nets’ chances during the 2020-2021 season. More importantly, they underwent massive roster upgrades during the 2021 offseason.
And they also have multiple players who are in their 30s.
NBA returnee LaMarcus Aldridge is 36, and so is Paul Milsap. James Johnson is 34, while newcomer Patty Mills is 33. Three Nets are 32: Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Blake Griffin.
Brooklyn has nine 30+-year-old players- one less than the Lakers.
Another similarity between the 2021-2022 Lakers and Nets is that they have multiple experienced veterans.
Aldridge and Milsap are multiple-time NBA All-Stars, while Mills is an NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs. Of course, you have Durant, who won two NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors, and Irving, who helped LeBron James make history in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Can The Nets Reach The 2022 NBA Finals?
Many expected the Lakers and the Nets in the 2021 NBA Finals. And the same number of people predict that both teams would meet in the 2022 NBA Finals.
With the amount of star power coupled with the experience of the veterans, reaching the 2022 NBA Finals should be an easy walk for the Nets. Is it?
Like the Lakers in the Western Conference, the Nets would face an Eastern Conference, who are also hungry and loaded. The Miami Heat look to bounce back from a forgettable season after reaching the finals inside the Orlando bubble. The reigning champions, the Milwaukee Bucks remain a serious threat to the Nets’ aspirations. After all, the Bucks eliminated the Nets in the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals.
Are The Nets The “Lakers” Of The East?
The Nets surely have the firepower to mount a run to the NBA Finals next season as they did last season. However, to say that they are the Eastern Conference counterpart of the Lakers is illogical. Why?
They have different personalities, coaching styles, and styles of plays. Sure, they have similarities and that, they both have more than enough star power than any team in the league for a championship run. Sure, they are led by arguably some of the best small forwards of their respective generations. But no, the 2021-2022 Brooklyn Nets are not the Eastern Conference equivalent of the 2021-2022 Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s not even close.