Kevin Durant is easily one of the greatest offensive talents in the game currently, but JJ Redick believes his defense will be more valuable in these playoffs.
The Nets faced a number of injuries and problems throughout this season, starting with Kyrie’s refusal to take the Covid vaccine which meant he couldn’t play in home games, to James Harden’s drama (and the fallout with that), to KD being injured himself.
However, things have finally calmed down, and now the only thing the Nets need to focus on is beating the Celtics. They beat the Cavs in the play-in, and they finally have a team that’s close to being at 100%. They just need Ben Simmons back at this point.
Will being at the 7 seed and not having nearly the same chemistry that the Celtics have negatively impact Brooklyn in this series? We’ll have to see, but we know that they’re probably the most dangerous 7 seed to enter the playoffs in some time.
Brooklyn vs. Boston 🍿
For the second straight year, the Nets will face the Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs. pic.twitter.com/cnUtImRwHE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 13, 2022
While KD and Kyrie give the Nets one of the best offensive duos in the NBA, Brooklyn’s defense is severly lacking, especially when you look at a top tier defending team like the Celtics. According to JJ Redick, Durant will have to be the key to making sure Brooklyn’s defense holds up.
Kevin Durant will need to be the best Nets defender to beat the Celtics
The Nets have quality defenders on their team in Bruce Brown, Kevin Durant, and Nicholas Claxton, but aside from them, they don’t really have anyone to hold down the front.
Also, consider that all of these players are secondary defending options on a team, and you would never want any of them to be your best defender. The Nets defensive rating this year 112.3, 20th in the league, while the Celtics had the best defensive rating in the league at 106.2
Without Kevin Durant on the court, the Nets defensive rating did improve a little, jumping to 110.6, but that difference is marginal. However, as of late, KD has shown to be more than just an offensive threat, passing and rebounding the ball in an effective manner.
JJ Redic believes that KD will need to continue to do that if the Nets want to have some semblance of a defense against the Celtics, holding down the fort even more and better than he’s used to doing. You can see his reasoning and more in this video.