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Draymond Green on Brooklyn: ‘They’re the team to beat in the East’

Michael Holley and Mike Smith analyze Kyrie Irving's comments on the Nets' 7-6 start since acquiring James Harden and explain why Brooklyn is no longer a clear-cut favorite to win the East due to recent struggles.

In an upside-down NBA season, it isn’t easy to pick a frontrunner in the East. Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston all have cases that can be made and concerning flaws to cover up. Miami has yet to be able to put it together and look like the team from the bubble. The smart bet would be on the field over any one team.

After getting an up-close look at Brooklyn Saturday, Draymond Green says he knows who the team to beat in the East is.

The full quote about Brooklyn: “I think there are some other good teams in the East that poses a threat to them, but, they’re the team to beat in the East if you ask me. It’s my opinion. That doesn’t mean anything, but that’s my opinion, they’re definitely the team to beat in the East.”

When its big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving are on the floor, the Brooklyn offense is an unstoppable force, with an offensive rating of 126.4, outscoring opponents by 13.1 per 100 possessions. The Brooklyn offense is 12 points per 100 better than the league average right now when all three play.

The challenge is the other end of the court, where the Nets have the 25th ranked defense in the league, and it’s not really improving (24th in the league over its last seven games). Brooklyn may be able to outscore teams during the regular season and first round of the playoffs, but when it gets down to the four top teams in the East can the Nets get enough stops to win?

It’s a question everyone is asking, but the Nets are the betting favorite because of that star power, plus no other team emerging to take the crown.

Green had his own scare Saturday night.

Green returned to play the second half.