The Nets’ superstar trio hasn’t had many chances to share the floor together since they were formed, with staggered injuries disrupting last year’s rhythm and Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status dismantling hopes of seeing Brooklyn’s Big Three share the ball on a nightly basis.
But the basketball world was reminded on Wednesday night just how scary the Nets can be when Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden are all suited up.
Brooklyn rode a dominant third-quarter run to a blowout win over the Bulls, the top team in the Eastern Conference, silencing what was a boisterous Chicago crowd and reminding the visiting fans that a run to an Eastern Conference title could still run through the Nets if they are at full strength.
“We're that good,” Harden said after the convincing 138-112 victory. “We've got a chance to be that good. We just haven't had enough of it. I think last year, we probably had 15 games together…this year, only two. We haven’t had a real bulk of a season where you can consistently see how great we can be.”
Harden finished with 25 points and 16 assists while knocking down five of his eight 3-point attempts, while Durant was his usual superstar self, shooting 7-for-10 from the floor and 3-for-4 from downtown, finishing with 27 points. Irving only logged nine points on the night, but commanded defenses to focus in on himself and the other two heads of Brooklyn’s three-headed monster, leading to open looks for shooters like Patty Mills, who drilled six of his eight 3-points attempts to help the Nets log their highest scoring game of the season.
“We had an unbelievable resolve all night,” Irving said. “We were in that flow where it gets dangerous for other teams or our opponent…it’s gonna be difficult for teams to load up and make adjustments on the fly when we have me, James and KD playing.”
The Nets are still waiting for sharpshooter Joe Harris to return from his ankle injury, which would help the team spread the floor even more than they were able to on Wednesday night. But having Irving, Harden and Durant on the floor together was a welcomed luxury that the Nets have been able to enjoy far less than they hopes when they traded for Harden last season.
The sight of the Nets’ superstars collectively carving up the top team in the East was likely a scary sight for other hopeful contenders, but Brooklyn isn’t worried about that, instead electing to focus on getting its stars in sync for when the games matter even more.
“Not trying to make no statements to the league,” Durant said. “Who cares what they think? We know what we bring to the table and it's all about us. I'm sure people were watching that game tonight.”
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1