The NBA is back. Kind of.
The league is facing their version of a new normal. In their words, it’s a whole new game for everyone. What wonders will the Disney Bubble bring to the teams, players, fans and even the league itself?
This whole NBA bubble situation has raised a lot of unique situations for every team involved. How would we very this team’s championship if they ended up winning it all this year? How will we look at this player’s legacy if they won the title in these conditions?
I’ll be honest with you, though, the bubble situation I’m most intrigued with just for how unique and how much potential there is for mayhem is that of the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets aren’t heading into the bubble too worried about their future. They are looking forward to seeing superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving finally play together on the court at the same time. DeAndre Jordan fits in well as a guy that doesn’t need to take the ball away from the hands of KD and Kyrie to thrive. Then you have Spencer Dinwiddie who has stepped up as a more than serviceable scorer. Taurean Prince has been a key piece of the starting lineup. Nic Claxton has shown some promise in his rookie year.
Yeah, none of those guys (and Wilson Chandler) are going to be playing for the Nets in the bubble either due to injury or having opted out.
Since it’s obvious that they won’t be gunning the for the NBA title this year with the top-four highest earners on their payroll out of the picture, the Nets focus in this bubble will most likely turn out to be one of the most entertaining job interviews to be broadcasted on live TV. With their main stars outside of the bubble, the upcoming games for the Nets could become a test to see which players would fit in well with their hopefully bright future ahead.
Sign me up if the NBA turns the remainder of the Nets’ season into a reality TV show.
The main spotlight will be on ageless super scorer Jamal Crawford, who was one of the first replacement players picked up for bubble play.
He hasn’t played in the NBA in over a year, but if there’s something you can trust J-Crossover with, it’s getting buckets. Lots of them. If Crawford shows that he can still light it up in a hurry, the Nets might just be interested in keeping him around in the next season for some instant scoring off the bench.
Luckily for Crawford, more than half of their field goal attempts this season are already gone from the bubble. This will give him a good shot to show the Nets what he does best in this “audition”.
Those shots will be fought over for fiercely against Caris LeVert and Joe Harris. Both have played for the Nets for the past four years and both have emerged as important contributors for the team.
LeVert is currently highest producer among the Nets that travelled to Orlando. He’s putting up 17.7 points per game, the third highest scoring average on the team. Harris is the team’s most dependable outside shooter, draining 2.4 triples at a 41% clip.
Brooklyn’s backcourt is getting crowded in a hurry. Add in to the mix guys like Garrett Temple, Dzânan Musa and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, players who will use the Bubble to fight for a bigger role on the team.
(This would have been a lot more fun if Michael Beasley was also in the mix to fight for a future spot with the nets. Alas, he tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be rejoining the bubble with the Nets after signing around the same time as Crawford. It would have been fun to see Beasley try out for a chance to play with his childhood friend KD next season… but I guess we just can’t win it all.)
The Nets’ situation has already been weird for most of the part as they’ve been semi-punting the season in waiting for their stars to recover. This NBA bubble scenario that pits their backcourt in somewhat of a battle royale now makes them a team to watch… even if it doesn’t mean they’ll be gunning for wins towards a long Playoff run.
May the odds be ever in your favor, Nets’ backcourt.