What If Kevin Durant Led Nets to Finals?

The Brooklyn Nets nearly beat the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, and they could have marched on to an NBA championship.
Jan 31, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) walks out for warmups before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 31, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) walks out for warmups before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

The Brooklyn Nets were very close to winning it all three years ago with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving all on the roster.

In Game 7 of their playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Durant appeared to hit a go-ahead 3-pointer that could have won the game for the Nets. However, Durant's foot was on the line and it only tied the game.

"For a split second, it felt like the Nets were moving on to the conference finals, but the shot was reviewed, and the very edge of Durant's shoe was on the three-point line. It wasn't a game-winner. It was a game-tying two. And with Kyrie Irving out and Harden hobbled by a hamstring injury, Durant eventually ran out of steam."

The Bucks won in overtime, and they went on to beat the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.

If the Nets were in the Bucks' shoes, they would have faced an inexperienced Hawks team in the next round and a Suns team that struggled to beat Milwaukee. There's a very real chance that the Nets would have won the championship in 2021 if Durant's long two was a three.

If the Nets won a title, that trio of Durant, Harden and Irving may have stuck around a little longer, and they might even still be together today competing for championships year in and year out.

Want to join the discussion? Like Inside the Nets on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest Nets news. You can also meet the team behind the coverage.


Published
Jeremy Brener

JEREMY BRENER