James Harden is finally where he wants to be. He is on a super-team that is bound to compete for the NBA Championship this season. However, the team that he joined had to weaken itself a lot to get him.
The Brooklyn Nets gave up rim protector Jarrett Allen and one of their better defenders in Taurean Prince. As a result, the Nets have been struggling defensively since the Harden trade. But Brooklyn has been relying on outscoring their opponents.
This has created a historically potent offense while also creating a historically terrible defense. ESPN Analyst Max Kellerman talked about it, urging the team to make a trade to change this.
“They are 27th overall in defense to start the season. But Stephen A, since Harden got there, they are the worst ever. Not this season, but worst ever. That means their defense hasn’t gotten a little worse, it’s gotten a lot worse…
“If they don’t make a move for a defensive player, especially someone who can get them defensive rebounds, they will not go far in the playoffs. They need to make a move by the deadline.”
James Harden: Has he hurt this team more than helping?
The James Harden trade is a double-edged sword that the Nets knew they would end up wielding. Adding a scorer like Harden helps the team in making shots in end-game situations. However, it does not help them in stopping shots.
This was evident when the Nets gave up 6 points in 7 seconds to blow a game they should have won.
The hope is that the Nets can sign someone to help them shore up defensively. There are perimeter defenders like Andre Roberson still available on the free agency market. Pickings are thin with big-men, but they can swing a flier on someone like John Henson.
While the Nets may struggle to find the right men with this roster, they will be hoping that the potent offense and a below-average defense can make it work rather than a potent offense with a shambolic defense.
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