Kevin Durant and James Harden Beginning to Show Why Brooklyn Nets Are the Big Favorites in NBA Title Chase



In the opening weeks of the season, it would be fair to say that the overwhelming favorites for NBA title glory were a shadow of the team that many had predicted. Defeats to Milwaukee, Charlotte, and Miami left the Brooklyn Nets 2-3 after five games of the new season, and there was a lot to do in order to get Steve Nash's side back where they should be. 


Some may have felt the absence of Kyrie Irving was a factor, but Kevin Durant and James Harden have been in spellbinding form of late, and now the Nets side top of the Atlantic Division after a series of eight wins from nine games. 


Now the Barclays Center side is way out in front in terms of the NBA betting, which can be seen at sidelines.io/nba; the Nets are now placed at (+275) some way ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers (+700) and the in-form Golden State Warriors (+800). 


As an illustration of the work put in by their star duo, you only have to note that Kevin Durant sits top of points per game stats (at 29.6), and James Harden sits in the second spot in assists (at 9.3 per game). 


The pair's efforts unsurprisingly led to them both getting roundly booed on their first joint return to the Oklahoma City Thunder; during a match that the Nets ran out 120-96 winners, the pair amassed 49 points between them, and Harden put in 13 assists. 


That win brought an end to Oklahoma's own four-win streak, and Harden was pleased with the effort put in by the Nets;


"They've been playing well. They'd won four straight prior to this game. We didn't take them lightly and came out and tried to play very good Brooklyn Nets basketball on both ends of the ball," Harden commented. "I think we did that." 


Nash commented on how far both players have come since their respective stints at the Paycom Center side, where they played a combined 11 seasons;


"I think the last time James was here, he wasn't the MVP James that has had such an impact on the game," explained Nash. "So much success, such prolific numbers, had the rules changed because of him. That player was in there somewhere, but it was not fully formed yet. So while everyone could see the talent and effectiveness, he's definitely become something in the last ten years or however long that's been that's totally different and historic."


"I think Kevin [has become] refined as well; in a different way, you know Kevin, we could see the prodigious talent and effectiveness and efficiency even back then. But he's just now in such a different state of being on the court; there's a mastery to what he does where there was a little more rawness to his game back then, still doing it at an incredible level and doing it with more knowing." Added Nash.


The Nets are looking good, but the season is long, and Nash knows that other members of his roster will need to put in the hard work to support their marquee stars.

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