Would you like a 5-game evaluation of how the Eastern Conference’s new big 3 is playing together? Good, because we’re all thinking it anyways, right?
It’s now been 15 days since the blockbuster 4-team trade of this NBA season took place that landed the former MVP, James Harden, in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Out of the five games that Brooklyn has played together since that day, the superstar trio has played four of them together, and as you might imagine, it’s had a good effect on the team.
Now to be fair, often when a collection of talent like this comes together it doesn’t start off too smoothly. On-court chemistry isn’t something that just the talking heads on TV talk about, it really has to be built in order for a team to achieve success.
Look at the first year LeBron was in Miami with Wade and Bosh. They started 9-8 in their first 17 games. Look at LeBron’s first year back in Cleveland in 2014 with Kyrie and Kevin Love. They started 5-7 in their first 12 games. Or look at the 2003-04 Lakers with Gary Payton and Karl Malone. They lost 14 of their first 20 games.
The point is these things take time.
However, it seems as though time is moving at a different pace for Brooklyn’s new big 3. In their four games together, the Nets have averaged 123.2 PPG, 29.2 APG, 54.2 RPG, 47.8% FG, 37.8% 3FG and 14 3PM.
In all fairness though, their first game playing together didn’t go how they wanted it to. They fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 147-135 in a double overtime loss. Not only did they lose but the big 3 only scored 8 points, went 3-9 from the field and 0-2 from behind the arc in the second overtime.
Since then though you’ve seen a lot of improvement for these three with learning how to play with each other. In the games they’ve all been active KD is averaging 30.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 4.7 APG. Kyrie is averaging 26.7 PPG, 5 RPG and 5.2 APG. Harden is averaging 21 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 11.5 APG.
So, it’s safe to say that this trade was a success because this big 3 is thriving together, and the scary thing for the rest of the league is that it’s still early in the season.
You’ve also seen growth on the defensive side of the ball with this new team from game 1 against Cleveland to game 4 against Atlanta. So, the only way to go is up.
Brooklyn’s next game is against the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBA League Pass.