Just about every NBA player is geared up for the upcoming NBA season; all except for the controversial Brooklyn Nets point guard, Kyrie Irving. The outspoken All-Star’s refusal to get vaccinated for COVID-19 puts quite a damper on the Nets’ chances of making a terrifying run towards the playoffs this season, yet there are still many reasons to believe they are still heavily favored to represent the Eastern Conference at the 2022 NBA Finals.
NitroBetting is here to deliver the latest news from the on and off the NBA hardcourts. This time, let’s take a look at three main reasons to believe that the Brooklyn Nets can still win the NBA championship without Kyrie Irving this 2021-22 NBA season. Be on top of all the developments by tuning in to the NBA odds, previews, and predictions for all the exciting basketball action ahead.
The Brightest Sun Rises from the East
Even as the concern about Kyrie Irving’s playing status grows with the regular season’s opening tipoff on Tuesday looms closer, this predicament has yet to hurt the Brooklyn Nets’ stock as the consensus favorite to become NBA champions this season. As of this writing, Brooklyn still has the best odds at (+260) to win the franchise’s first-ever NBA title.
Without Irving, Brooklyn is still oozing with big-name talents of past and present. We’ve all witnessed what the team can do without Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden sharing the floor simultaneously for most of last season. With depth in their starting lineup, the Nets can still get by the formalities of the regular season and hopefully gear up with Irving at the ready for the playoffs should the league’s vaccination protocols loosen up in the months ahead.
Lights, Cam, Action
It’s still too early to tell whether rookie Cam Thomas will become a star in the NBA, but there is an opportunity for him to shine in his first season as a pro despite finding himself in a stacked Nets roster. Without Irving, the former LSU Tigers product, who was selected by Brooklyn 27th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, can get minutes playing behind Joe Harris and Patty Mills. Harris and Mills aren’t exactly stars themselves.
It’s not a stretch to think that Thomas would be able to eat up on their minutes and, perhaps, leap past them on the depth chart. Thomas was a scoring machine for LSU. In his lone season in Baton Rouge, he put up 23.0 points per game and hit 2.3 3-pointers per contest. There will be a learning curve for the rookie, but if proves to be a draft steal for the Nets, then Brooklyn should even miss Irving less.
Getting Vaxxed to Get Back on the Court
Irving isn’t alone in holding out from getting vaccinated ahead of the season, as Washington’s Bradley Beal has also refused to follow the NBA’s new health protocol. One can’t blame the controversial 29-year-old and his peers for being hesitant at getting vaccinated against the global virus, as everyone is rightfully entitled to their beliefs.
On the other hand, other anti-vaxxers such as Andrew Wiggins have also succumbed to the league’s whim and got vaccinated already, and it might just be a matter of time before Irving falls in line along with the other doubters for that literal shot in the arm. The Nets organization and Irving’s teammates would be wise to slowly convince the controversial point guard of the upsides of the vaccine. Sooner or later, Kyrie would be more than inclined to give in to the state of New York’s demands, especially if the Nets struggle early on without their floor general running the offense.
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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.