The Nets have yet to have played a regular-season game with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but one particular coach in the league is already high on their outlook.
Brad Stevens has been the head coach of the Celtics since 2013, and he’s seen some good teams rise and fall during that time, especially given how volatile the Eastern Conference has been. The balance of power in that conference seems to shift every year, and this upcoming campaign likely won’t be any different.
His Celtics are getting set to face the new-look Nets for the first time in an exhibition game on Friday, and Stevens is well aware that all the star potential on their roster could very well translate to wins this season.
“They’re up there with anyone, and when you watch them play the other night, it’s very clear,” Stevens said. “I think Kevin has been one of the great players of this generation, and Kyrie is super special. And you [add] those two to a team that’s been in the playoffs the last two years. They’re super deep, I like their additions in the offseason, adding [Landry] Shamet, adding Jeff Green in addition to those guys. So, excellent team, and you can tell. All you have to do is watch five minutes of the Washington game, and you can tell that this is an elite-level team that will be very, very good all year.”
The Nets are sneaky deep, and that level of depth helped the Heat punch their ticket to the NBA Finals earlier this year. Being able to play different lineups and exploit mismatches is extremely important to making a title run.
And Stevens is right, if KD and Kyrie stay healthy this season, the Nets figure to be a legitimate title contender, assuming the team chemistry is good, and the body language stays positive.