Erratic Nets Set for Wilder Second Half


The NBA’s most polarizing team has a laundry list of moving parts heading into the second half of the season.

After dropping 11-straight games and plummeting to the eighth seed, the Nets have some serious work to do. All of the pieces are there to salvage this season, but it’s the matter of getting them all back on the court that could prove tricky. 

Simmons’ Status Clearing Up?

On a team riddled with question marks, there may be no greater than the status of Ben Simmons. On Tuesday, ESPN reported that Simmons was set to “really ramp it up” this week.

In addition, it was noted that Simmons’ was a matter of “weeks rather than months”. “Weeks” is still admittedly a bit of a worrying idea, considering how far the Nets have fallen in the past few weeks. 

Currently sitting in the eighth seed, the one-seed seems out of reach at this point. Brooklyn certainly has time to move up a few spots if their guys can get on the court, though. A timely return by Simmons would be incredibly helpful as the Nets attempt to do some second-half damage control. 

The vaccine mandate

NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently spoke out against New York City’s vaccine mandate policies. His comments came directly after the Kings visited the Nets in Brooklyn, a game in which unvaccinated visitor Justin Holiday was allowed to play, while Kyrie Irving was not.

Populated areas like Washington D.C, Chicago, Seattle and several others have all lifted vaccine mandates within recent weeks. On top of that, New York state recently voted to remove its “mask-or-vaccine” mandate. While this doesn’t mean Irving is allowed to play home games yet, these are all signs trending in the right direction. 

Goran Dragic 

It was announced on Monday that the Nets would be taking a flier on former all-star point guard Goran Dragic.

Dragic, who entered the buyout market recently, is a reliable veteran, and should bring considerate depth to a team lacking point guards when playing without Kyrie. 

Dragic is a bit of a question mark, just as Simmons and others on this roster are. He’s been very consistent throughout his career, but he hasn’t played in a game since November 13th. At 35 years old, what does the 13-year vet has left to give a team in title contention?

Seth and Andre

While there are a lot of questionable aspects of the current Nets team, there’s no question marks here. Nets fans already love Seth Curry and Andre Drummond. The love for these two started with their first night on the job. 

The new acquisitions led the Nets to a win over the Kings that would mark the end of the team’s 11-game skid. Curry showed out with 23 points in his Nets’ debut. Drummond showed Nets fans what a true big really is, a sight that Brooklyn hasn’t been privy to in quite some time. 

There may be no team in the NBA with a wider range of outcomes than the Brooklyn Nets. Perhaps Simmons continues to sit, the mandate never gets lifted and the Nets continue to tread water into a play-in game. Perhaps everything goes right and the Nets go on a run and find themselves as a top-four seed.

Nets fans are in for quite the ride in this second half, and it all gets started Thursday night at the Barclays Center.

About Frank Cannistra

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