The Brooklyn Nets are one of the heavy favorites to win the 2022 NBA Championship and that same confidence seen in sportsbooks all over the country is carried by 2018 NBA MVP James Harden.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Michael Shapiro, Harden expressed his confidence in the Nets for the upcoming season while discussing myriad topics surrounding the construction of the team and his offseason focus.
“There’s no chip at all, no chip for us,” Harden says. “We’re just excited. We’re focused. We know what we have to do. The biggest thing is us being healthy, which we will be. Honestly, we’re just excited to play a whole season together. That’s the exciting part.”
As Harden alluded to, health will be at the forefront of discussion surrounding the Nets, with the durability of their three superstars in question.
Last season, Harden, two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant and seven-time All-Star Kyrie Irving all missed significant time due to injury. While Harden played in just 44 games last year, KD only suited up for 35 regular season games and Irving played 54 games.
Nonetheless, the Nets finished second in the Eastern Conference with a 48-24 record, a testament to their talent.
Brooklyn would go on to lose in the second round to the Milwaukee Bucks, with Harden and Irving were unavailable for most of the playoffs.
Now, the Nets will be running it back with mostly the same squad, though guards Patty Mills (signed in free agency) and Cam Thomas (acquired via the 2021 NBA Draft) are two names to keep an eye on, especially should they need to step up in the event of injury.