The Nets have more volatility than any Eastern playoff contender
This week on CrossingChris Mannix and Howard Beck dive into the ripple effects of Robert Williams III injury and how it could impact the Celtics‘ ability to “bludgeon” their opponents. Moreover, the Heatthe end-of-season swoon, the raging All-NBA slots debate, a bizarre feud between Ty Lue and Daryl Morey, and why the Nets with Kyrie Irving back full-time (but still no Ben Simmons) prompt Howard to invent the “volatility index”.
The following transcript is an excerpt from Crossing NBA podcast. Listen to the full episode on podcast players everywhere Or on SI.com.
Chris Mannix: Let’s talk about Brooklyn, a team you talked about this week. You’re very, very angry Howard at Kyrie Irving, aren’t you?
Howard Beck: Not angry, just someone has to tell the truth.
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CM: Alright, you’re taking that part here, because the Nets have lost two of the last three, Kyrie’s first home game of the season wasn’t good, they lost to Charlotte, and Irving played poorly. Where do you see the Nets right now? How do you see them among the contenders for the conference?
HB: I do not. And that’s the thing. Listen, in the abstract, if you just said, Hey, here’s a bunch of teams and here’s their top two players. And you said one of them had KD and Kyrie, I would say, well, if Kyrie Irving is actually available for most of the season, which he’s not often, not just this season . KD and Kyrie in one punch is electrifying. And we’ve seen that this season, haven’t we? And we’ve seen each of these guys just to have solo and tandem monster games. This is not to minimize the power of the Nets with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. This isn’t to belittle Kevin Durant, period. This guy again, any night in the NBA, you could say he’s the best basketball player on Earth. Kevin Durant sometimes wins games on his own and has been forced, by the way, to win games on his own far too often this season.
But I’m talking about the volatility index, right? A fake thing I just made up in my head. Maybe one day I will create it on paper. But the volatility, if you look at all the teams that we would consider contenders because of their talent, and then you look at all the caveats that you would put there, the volatility, the Nets have more volatility than anyone, and have all season, right?
Kyrie Irving can finally play at home. OK, great, hallelujah. He can play home games, so now he can play the remaining seven games as we talk about their schedule. It will give them a great run into the playoffs, of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving together, at home and on the road for the first time this season. André Drummond is a starting center for this team; it’s only been around for a month and a half. Seth Curry came in the same trade with Drummond in the Ben Simmons-Harden trade. These guys are still new to this team. And Seth Curry has been in and out with an injury. They’ve been dealing with a Nets team, so far, that was made up of two different versions of the Nets. There is the home version without Kyrie and the road version with Kyrie. They’re still waiting for Ben Simmons. Ben Simmons could be healthy before the end of the season, in which case now you plug in a really important player who has never played a minute or even practiced a minute with this team. And you gonna hook it up right before the playoffs? Or maybe once the playoffs start? When his back is finally ready? It’s a lot of variables, Chris.
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