The Brooklyn Nets have not just been getting the “best matchups” all season, they’ve had them almost every time. They’re also one of the hottest teams in recent memory and seem poised to make a deep playoff run. There are many reasons for their success lately but does that mean it’s warranted?

The Brooklyn Nets have been a favorite to win the NBA Championship this year. This is not because they are better than other teams, but because they have a lot of hype surrounding them. They are not deserving of all the attention that they are getting. Read more in detail here: nba standings.

The Brooklyn Nets Don't Deserve to Be Championship Favorites

With a 31–28 record, the Brooklyn Nets limped into the All-Star break. They are currently ranked eighth in the Eastern Conference and are expected to qualify for the play-in round. The Brooklyn Nets are 2.5 games behind the Boston Celtics for the sixth and final guaranteed playoff place in the Eastern Conference.

The Nets, on the other hand, are just 2.5 games clear of ninth-place Charlotte and tenth-place Atlanta in the chase to avoid having to win two play-in games to play the top seed. The Washington Wizards, meanwhile, are in 11th place, 3.5 games behind (with two victories against Brooklyn in the previous week).

However, Las Vegas remains optimistic about the Nets’ prospects of winning a title. As of Feb. 17, Brooklyn has a plus-550 chance of winning the championship. The reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks have the same odds. At plus-450, Western giants Phoenix and Golden State are co-favorites.

So, what does Vegas know that the rest of us are blind to?

Since Kyrie Irving’s return, the Brooklyn Nets have gone 10–20.

The Brooklyn Nets are just three games over .500 and have lost 13 of their last 17, so why are they still considered a favorite for the NBA championship?

The Brooklyn Nets are just three games over .500 and have lost 13 of their last 17, so why are they still considered a favorite for the NBA championship? Why are the Brooklyn Nets still regarded a favorite for the NBA title despite being three games over.500 and losing 13 of their past 17 games? | Getty Images/Adam Hunger

Kyrie Irving was sent home by the Brooklyn Nets in October. He was only available for road games, and the club determined that half-a-Kyrie was preferable than no Kyrie.

Brooklyn rose to 21–8 with a 114–105 win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 16. In the East, they had a 2.5-game lead over the Bucks. The Nets, on the other hand, were losing players by the handful due to health and safety regulations.

As a result, the fatal decision was made to enable Irving to return to the squad as a temporary player (an extraordinarily well-paid temp, but still). After testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) when he arrived to the facility, the unvaccinated star joined many colleagues in the treatments. Irony has a way of writing itself.

The Nets won their three-game losing skid on Jan. 5 when the seven-time All-Star made his long-awaited debut against Indiana. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has dropped quicker than a cryptocurrency price since Kevin Durant hurt his left knee on Jan. 15.

From January 23 to February 12, they dropped 11 games in a row. Despite victories over the Kings and Knicks, Brooklyn’s defeat to the Wizards on Feb. 17 dropped them to 4–13 since Durant’s injury and 10–20 since shattering the glass on Kyrie’s emergency box.

Why does Vegas continue to back the Nets?

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The Brooklyn Nets have been one of the worst teams in the NBA since Irving announced his anticipated comeback. It’s also not a modest sample size. Here are the worst records since the announcement on Dec. 17:

  • Houston Rockets (6–23) are a team from Houston, Texas.
  • The Indiana Pacers have a 7–22 record.
  • Orlando Magic (8–23) is a professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida.
  • The Pistons (9–22) are a team from Detroit, Michigan.
  • Sacramento Kings (10–21) are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (10–21) is a professional basketball team based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  • The Brooklyn Nets (10–20) are a team from Brooklyn, New York.

You are judged by the company you keep, as the old adage goes. No disrespect to the rebuilding teams mentioned above, but the Nets’ audience isn’t exactly outstanding.

Despite this, Brooklyn is one of the four teams with the highest chances of winning the NBA title. There are two reasons why Vegas is still optimistic about Brooklyn. Kevin Durant is a basketball player from the United States.

There’s already a lot of money invested in the Nets. The possibility of Durant taking the club on a miraculous run if they careened down the board would be too much for some bettors to ignore.

The Timberwolves, for example, had a 31–28 record heading into the All-Star break. They have a plus-12,500 chance of winning the title.

Brooklyn will never be given such odds by the bookies, not even for a second. The Lakers’ odds, which are plus-3,000, are inflated by the same rationale. The Cleveland Cavaliers are plus-4,000, fourth in the Eastern Conference and eight games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers.

No one wants to explain to their superiors why they lost a billion dollars betting on Durant or LeBron James to win the championship. Those odds have less to do with what’s going on and more to do with how much money is being sent to whatever side.

The Brooklyn Nets have no business being in the title race.

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Durant is expected to return to the Brooklyn Nets following the All-Star break. Ben Simmons is set to make his long-awaited debut for the team.

There are many additional aspects to consider. When Joe Harris injured his ankle, Brooklyn needed a shooter/floor-spacer. Seth Curry fills that void. Andre Drummond can rebound, providing the Nets a player with that ability.

Then there’s Irving, who TNT’s Charles Barkley termed “half-man, half-season.” He’ll only be able to play in eight of Brooklyn’s remaining 23 games unless rules change.

When you add it all together, you have a squad that is fighting for its playoff life. Are you one of the top four candidates for the title? Seriously?

The Brooklyn Nets have a chance to return to the top six if they play well after the break. However, as one commentator recently noted, they may not want to do much more than that. After all, having homecourt advantage isn’t worth much if one of your superstars is unable to participate.

Vegas Insider provided the odds. Basketball Reference and NBA.com provided the statistics.

RELATED: If Joe Harris’ injury issues aren’t resolved, Ben Simmons’ arrival with the Nets will be for nothing.

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