It looks like the world of basketball is experiencing the start of a new era. Champion players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant were eliminated before the second round first time in 17 years. Recently, the Brooklyn Nets had to face a 4-0 sweep during the first-round series against the Boston Celtics.
The second-ranked team in the Eastern Conference did not allow the Nets to win a single game in the playoffs. As a result, the Brooklyn Nets became the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs in 2022. During the fourth game, Kevin Durant put up a 39-point performance against the Celtics. However, it was not enough to avoid a 126-118 defeat against Boston, who moved into the second round of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Lakers had a disappointing season, leading to their elimination even before the end of the regular season. The Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James seemed incapable of making it to the playoffs with their inconsistent play. Both the Lakers and Nets were considered the favorites to win the championship in the preseason.
LeBron James & Kevin Durant’s Dominance Over In NBA?
The Lakers had a star-studded roster, with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard. However, the injuries to Davis and LeBron James cost the two giants a lot of games. The injury concerns and inconsistent performances from Russell Westbrook are major factors in the Lakers’ embarrassing elimination.
Moreover, the Nets traded James Harden in the middle of the season to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons. Sadly, Simmons did not play a single playoff game, and the move proved to be ineffective for Brooklyn. Further, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant failed to put up strong playoff performances, leading to a first-round elimination for the Nets. The shocking absence of James and Durant has made the fans and critics sense a change in NBA as the fraternity looks up to young guns who have impressed in the playoffs this season.
Youngsters like Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid, and Ja Morant have proved they could be the next top players. Fans have started to believe that it might be the end of James and Durant’s dominance after seventeen long years. However, the NBA enthusiasts would hope that the veteran players would come stronger next season and prove the critics wrong.