Jamal Crawford Cooking Rodions Kurucs In Practice Sums Up Why The Brooklyn Nets Are My Beloved Underdog Of The NBA Bubble

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The Brooklyn Nets are the team arguably hit the most hard by the Orlando NBA bubble situation. They won’t have Kyrie Irving. They won’t have his primary backup Spencer Dinwiddie. They won’t have half of their two-headed monster at center with no DeAndre Jordan. They also lost one of his backups in Nic Claxton. They lost a potential replacement big in Michael Beasley to COVID. They won’t get access to Kevin Durant until next season even though he may be healthy enough to play. And this comes also just a few short months after they fired coach Kenny Atkinson and replaced him with Jacque Vaughn.

But I’m a sucker for a “nobody believes in us” story and that very much sums up these Nets. They have a skeleton crew of a team left, helmed by hotshot young stud Caris LeVert. They have a bunch of scrappy dudes like Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris. And they added multi-time Sixth Man of the Year award winner Jamal Crawford who, now at 40 years old, can do things like this:

Now I fully admit, as always: I’m a sucker for a bad NBA team. This year I watched as much Hornets and Bulls basketball as anyone and have talked myself into the Suns’ uprising more times than I can count.

But this Nets team has some moxie to it. They have grinders, they have Jamal Crawford’s bucket getting and veteran presense (and possibly access to whatever fountain of youth he has himself tapped into). They still have the cool black uniforms. And they have a bunch of dudes whom the league is writing off even though they’re in pole position for a playoff spot.

Would I take the Nets to win the title at +15,000 odds? Probably not. They’re also a bit marked up to be the eighth seed with -250 odds there. But I think there’s more hope for this ragtag group they’ll bring to Orlando than people may seem. And, if nothing else, we get to relive some of the glory of The Basketball Tournament with Old Man Mal getting buckets at a level you didn’t see coming:

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