With the abbreviated Play-in completed, the Brooklyn Nets, the Atlanta Hawks, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Orleans Pelicans step forward to claim their slots
The team’s performance will depend on Kyrie’s status and its effect on team chemistry. If New York’s COVID mandate softens up, then Kyrie will be able to play full-time. But it doesn’t end there. How will his part-time play right now affect team chemistry? Who takes the alpha-dog role in the team? Unless they’re able to resolve these issues, then expect the Nets to be just another bystander watching the title fight from the sidelines.
The Nets have been clawing and scratching to get a chance at that elusive crown. Durant and Harden have had to work double-time to keep the team in contention. To have Kyrie play in only half the games mocks the very essence of teamwork.
All things considered, the season-opening games have demonstrated how complex the league will look in the months ahead. Both faves – the Lakers and the Nets – were shot down right at the starting gates. Other favorites – the Bucks and the Suns – were just as easily ambushed. The season will be a long unpredictable one, with health becoming the biggest factor.
This year’s NBA playoffs will go down in history as the year the NBA goes to the hospital. With a big number of stars decommissioned or barely able to play due to injuries as well as COVID restrictions, the playoffs now resemble a medical ward where the wounded are tended; and sent back to the frontlines immediately. The battle is raging and at its most critical stages. And the skills, the stamina, and the spirit of every warrior/player is needed. And the lack of fresh troops, and the failure to bring in reinforcements could spell the difference between life or death.
Gentlemen, start your engines!!! The NBA season is upon us. After a very brief respite, our beloved cagers are here once again to provide us our daily dose of basketball medicine to drive away the thoughts of this COVID misery. Truly a wonderful medicine for these difficult times.