Even in defeat, the Nets act as if they’re just a few bounces from greatness, and the thing is: it could be true! Durant and Irving really are that good, and if Harris and Simmons return to their full selves, the Nets could be a handful in 2022-23.
But maybe that’s not their destiny. Maybe these Nets are a perfect team for their time—an irrationally confident era in which an alarming number of people seem to think that details don’t matter, and just saying something makes it so.
Then again, maybe the Nets are here to bring us a different kind of satisfaction, which is to remind us that basketball, though a game of transcendent individual highlights, is fundamentally a team sport. It cannot be hacked by assembling a few pieces of otherworldly talent, it cannot be overcome by one person’s excellence, or committed to part-time, it must be played coherently, together, and that is basketball’s highest expression: teamwork.
That’s why Boston has a shot. And the Nets have the broom (emphasis added).