Nets’ Key Player: Not Kyrie, Durant or Harden, Says Analyst

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James Harden, Kevin Durant, Joe Harris and Jeff Green of the Brooklyn Nets.

Max Kellerman named the Brooklyn Nets player who he believes is the key to winning NBA Finals. Spoiler alert, it’s not Kevin Durant, James Harden or Kyrie Irving. Who is it, you ask? None other than the starting linebacker for the DeAndre Jordan net. Jordan is averaging 7.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game this season, but according to Kellerman, statistics don’t tell DJ’s whole story, so his impact at the net goes unnoticed.

Kellerman says DeAndre Jordan is the key to the Nets title.

“The answer is DeAndre Jordan, he’s a key player on the net team as it’s currently constructed,” Kellerman said Thursday on ESPN’s episode of “First Take. “That’s exactly what I said, not to mention Joe Harris, one of the best three-point shooters in the game. KD and Harden were playing without Kyrie. James Harden got out of bed, looked out of place, came in fat, and he and KD were great together”.

@maxkellerman named DeAndre Jordan as the Nets’ most important [email protected] wasn’t done yet 😆 pic.twitter.com/23e9k6pDdi

– First Take (@FirstTake) on February 11, 2021.

Kellerman would later double down on his bold statement:

That’s right, I said https://t.co/fScE1r27lm.

– Max Kellerman (@maxkellerman) February 11, 2021

Kyrie did not participate in Harden’s first two games for the Nets because he was not with the team for personal reasons. Harden and Durant sounded like a remix of their time together in Oklahoma City. They clicked right away and beat teams with ease. When Kyrie came back, they lost two games in a row to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it wasn’t because of Irving, it was because of their poor defense.

Kellerman says Jordan can be a defensive anchor for the Nets.

“So everybody says, ‘Oh, Kyrie, this is going to be a problem.’ They need a defense, they didn’t play defense, on the contrary, Steve Nash and DeAndre Jordan went in, their teammates went in. DeAndre Jordan, despite his size and athletic ability, was not very good defensively at his age, and they need him to be an anchor,” Kellerman said. “I told Steven A., since the switch, Jarrett Allen is gone, they need to trade him for a guy who can catch defensive boards.” The Nets have a problem, when you play Jeff Green at five, you have a real problem.”

Jordan and Nets head coach Steve Nash got into a heated altercation over Brooklyn’s lack of defense in Tuesday’s loss against the Detroit Pistons in the last game. Jordan took that same anger and channeled it into a monstrous defensive performance against the league’s top scorers on Wednesday night. If Jordan is to be the key to the Nets’ success, they will have to put on such a defensive performance from one day to the next.

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DeAndre Jordan, what does he give you, 12, 15, 20 minutes, that’s not that good in the modern NBA. He really played defensively last night, Miles Turner did nothing, and DeAndre Jordan even scored, but it was the defensive presence that made the difference. He can be an eraser in the paint for every mistake, if all he’s doing is defending and communicating with his teammates, the Nets actually have the answer they’re looking for.

READ NOW: James Harden applauds again for his defensive criticisms.

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