NY Knicks Rivals: How does the Atlantic Division stack up post-deadline?

Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, New York Knicks. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, New York Knicks. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks, Julius Randle James Harden (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks Atlantic Division Rivals: The Brooklyn Nets

There’s a lot of goofy stuff about the Brooklyn Nets, but if we start at their roots with Sean Marks and how he built this team, we understand that they’re going to be in the playoff mix for a while.

The failed James Harden experiment — I could rant for a while. But I’ll keep it short when talking about this superteam.

They absolutely had the talent to win a title… you kidding me? Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden?

What they failed to understand was that superteams are about sacrifice. Here was a group of guys with all of the talent in the world who didn’t come in with a championship being the only thing on their mind.

Of course, that sounds silly, I’m sure they “want” to win a championship, but it’s been more talk than action. It’s been more tweets about “scary hours” than it has actually been scary on the court.

In order to hit that championship level, you make sacrifices. You leave selfishness and other problems at the door. All of the successful examples will tell you that.

LeBron’s Miami Heat — everyone knew that was LeBron’s team. You have a first-ballot hall of famer in Dwyane Wade who understood that.

The 2008 Celtics — everyone sacrificed in their roles. That was Paul Pierce’s Celtics who had only one goal: win a championship. Put on your hard hat and go put in the work.

We can even go back to the Tim Duncan Spurs and how well organized those player roles were with All-Stars like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Everyone bought in.

Even those Kevin Durant Warriors teams, there was a very obvious understanding that Durant was 1A and Curry was 1B.

I mean, Kyrie even did it in Cleveland. He was the cold-blooded Robin to LeBron’s Batman.

So back to the Nets — here we are with a drama-filled new big 3 of Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant.

This team has a ton of talent, It’s just hard to say if winning a championship is what these guys want more than anything in the world.

On another note, I have no doubt Kevin Durant will be in Brooklyn for a long time. Just based on his off-court life and ventures with Rich Kleinman, Durant signed that extension for a reason.

So if you have Kevin Durant, you’re going to be a playoff team no matter what.

Are they going to be a championship team for years to come? Can Steve Nash get them there? That’s still a huge question mark for me, and the new-look Nets have a lot to prove.

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