But three other teams with missing All-Stars — Ben Simmons, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving — are still sitting on the fence, waiting and anxious and wondering when or if they’ll be whole again this season. The Sixers, Clippers and Nets aren’t as fortunate as the Warriors and Pelicans, and therefore are forging ahead and trying to compensate as best as possible while shrouded by doubt.
The Nets have leaned on their superstar and MVP candidate in Kevin Durant to get to this point. It’s a stark contrast since the two-time NBA Finals MVP only played in half of the regular season games a season ago. He’s now going full throttle pretty early in the year.
It's been a rough first quarter of the season for the Nets. Nothing seems to go according to plan. Yet they are in first place.