“Defense wins championships, offense wins games” – Stephen A. Smith refuses to write off Brooklyn Nets because of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s offensive prowess

Despite the Brooklyn Nets’ recent struggles, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has refused to write them off because of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s presence on their roster.

For most of the season, the Nets’ main issue has been their defense. Offensively, they continue to be one of the best teams in the NBA, all thanks to Durant and Irving’s prowess on that end of the floor.

Smith believes that Brooklyn’s offensive firepower is enough for them to win games, especially with Durant and Irving leading the charge. Here’s what he had to say regarding this on ESPN’s NBA Countdown show:

“Do you have the Nets as the favorites, or should you? Absolutely not, I totally get that. But I’m just saying they can beat anybody who is the favorite. I can promise you that. Because when you got KD and Kyrie, excuse me, defense wins championships but offense wins games.”

With four losses in their last seven games, the Brooklyn Nets have dropped to the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference.

They have clinched a play-in tournament spot. However, if they fail to climb up the standings, Brooklyn will have to win two consecutive knockout games to occupy the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Can Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving lead the Brooklyn Nets to an NBA Finals berth?

The Brooklyn Nets have two former NBA champions, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, as their leading players. This is a luxury that very few franchises enjoy, and it is the biggest reason why the Nets remain among the favorites to win the Eastern Conference.

Both players have the potential to turn a game on its head single-handedly. Their talent is almost unparalleled and gives them a solid chance against any rival contender in a seven-game series.

However, basketball is a team sport at the end of the day, and postseason basketball requires teams to be sharp on the defensive end as well.

At the moment, Brooklyn isn’t ranked among the best two-way teams in the league. Despite Durant and Irving’s presence, securing an NBA Finals berth will be an uphill task for the New York-based franchise.

The Nets’ best bet to make an NBA Finals appearance is if they can have Ben Simmons back soon and healthy. His defensive prowess can be a real difference-maker against fellow contending teams.

However, Simmons hasn’t played in almost 10 months now and has been dealing with a niggling back injury since making his move to the Brooklyn Nets.

Even if he returns, there will be uncertainty surrounding his level of play because of the time he has missed following the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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