Kevin Durant has missed the past two games for the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving hasn’t played all season, and yet they may be even more dangerous.
Because James Harden has gotten going.
After posting a triple-double on Christmas Day, Harden had another big game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, as he put up 39 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds in another Nets win.
Brooklyn holds the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and it is the favorite at WynnBET Sportsbook to win the NBA title at +275 odds (bet $100 to win $275).
So why is Harden’s recent outburst a turning point for the Nets? Compared to the rest of his 2021-22 season, Harden looks like he found a new burst after starting the season with some of his worst numbers in years.
On the season, Harden is shooting just 41.5 percent from the field (lowest percentage since his rookie season), 34.3 percent from 3 (lowest percentage of his career) and averaging just 22.0 points per game (lowest since his last season in Oklahoma City).
Yeah, it’s been a rough go for Harden after suffering a hamstring injury during the 2020-21 campaign.
Harden looks to be playing at a new pace, and maybe it’s because he has to have a bigger role with Durant out, but either way it is a positive sign for the Nets going forward.
Should You Bet the Nets to Win the NBA Championship?
It’s hard to make the case for the Nets as a value bet to win the NBA Finals at +275, but with Kyrie Irving nearing a role as a part-time player and Harden playing his best basketball of the season, this may be the best chance to jump on the Nets.
Brooklyn and Milwaukee are the clear frontrunners in the Eastern Conference, but there is no doubt that a healthy Durant, Irving and Harden is the best trio in the NBA.
James Harden looks like his MVP self again, and the rest of the NBA should be very worried about where that can take Brooklyn this season.