The Brooklyn Nets are 9-1 in their last 10 games, leading the NBA in that stretch. On Friday, in a 119-116 road victory over the Toronto Raptors, Kyrie Irving knocked down a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The seven-time All-Star scored 32 points in 35 minutes for Brooklyn. In addition to finishing with three rebounds and five assists, Irving shot 13-of-22 (59.1%) from the floor and 3-of-9 (33.3%) from 3-point range.
Based on a few NBA betting sites, the Nets have the eighth-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Some sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.
Kyrie last 10 games
Since his return, the Nets are 10-3 – the best record in the NBA during that span. pic.twitter.com/1DF6vZmOpI
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 16, 2022
“Honestly, I was thinking a basket,” the Nets guard said on a clutch shot. “I saw Juancho. [Hernangomez] I came a little early, so I decided to back it up and take my time and get my balance under me.
Kevin Durant finished with 28 points, four boards, three assists and one steal in 37 minutes of play. The two-time NBA champion has the ninth-best odds to win MVP this season.
“He was already cooking so I didn’t want to get in his way,” Durant said of Irving. “I felt like he could get everything he wanted out there. I also felt like they weren’t going to run him and double him. They let him play 1-on-1 and it was a special, special shot.
The Nets are 9-1 in their last 10 games overall, which is the best record in the NBA.
While the Nets are 9-1 in their last 10 games, the Eastern Conference contender now appears to have a new identity under coach Jacques Vaughn. They are 16-5 with Vaughn. And the team is 10-3 since Irving served his eight-game suspension for posting a link to an anti-Semitic movie on Twitter.
Moreover, the team is finally starting to show signs of life. After a 2-5 start to the season under former coach Steve Nash, few players counted out Brooklyn. Of course, the players are now focused on winning and nothing else.
We don’t know Nash’s era here.
The Nets are the second best team in basketball this year 🤷♂️
— BKN 85 (@brooklynnets85) December 17, 2022
With TJ Warren and Ben Simmons healthy, the Nets have a better shot at finishing with a top-3 seed in their conference. Durant leads Brooklyn with an average of 29.9 points per game, but even the two-time Finals MVP needs support from his teammates.
After the win over Toronto, the Nets are 18-12 and in fourth place in the East. They trail the top-seeded Celtics by four games. However, Brooklyn is ranked 16th, averaging 112.7 points per game. Fortunately, they are shooting 50.3% from the field, second only to the Denver Nuggets (50.7%).
As for their defense, the Nets are allowing 111.1 points per contest, which ranks ninth overall. Their defensive efficiency rating ranks 11th (1.090). Brooklyn’s 9-1 record speaks volumes, all things considered. Will the Nets return to the Eastern Conference Finals this season? Follow it.