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Unable to comment specifically about the Nets’ new Big 3 because their trade for James Harden is not official, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said three superstar scorers on the court together will always have “to sacrifice.’’
But one Eastern Conference NBA scout told The Post that’s easier said than done with the Nets’ freshly bearded beastly trio of Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving having formed Wednesday, turning the NBA on its ear.
The scout is most concerned with chemistry between Harden and Irving.
“It’ll be a work in progress,’’ the NBA scout said. “You have literally and statistically two of the five most ball-dominant guys in the league. I watched Houston with John Wall and Harden, and maybe it’s because of the issues, but that didn’t look like a comfortable environment for Harden with Wall dominating the ball. Then you have Durant who I wouldn’t say is ball dominant but certainly needs a lot of touches.’’
At least Harden and Durant played together in Oklahoma City. But that was before Harden became the league’s top scorer, averaging at least 29 points in five straight seasons in Houston.
“The dynamic between Harden and Irving is the key,’’ the scout added. “Durant can adjust. At Golden State, [Klay] Thompson was not a guy who required the ball. Fewer touches were required for that big 3. Defensively they got worse. Harden doesn’t guard. And they lose [Jarrett] Allen.’’
Another NBA talent evaluator wondered if the Brooklyn Dream Team will works as fluidly as the Miami Dream Team of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh
“In Miami you had a hierarchy — LeBron, Wade, then Bosh,’’ he said. “Who takes the shot with the game on the line?’’
Thibodeau was an assistant coach on the Celtics’ 2008 title team that featured its own Big 3.
“There is in the sense that the challenge is the same,’’ Thibodeau said. “I know in Boston when we had Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, that was the big question. I think great players always figure out how to play with each other. They also make other players a lot better. So I think it’s not as hard as people would make it out to be. I think the biggest challenge is the willingness for everyone to sacrifice. If that happens usually the result is very good.’’
The Nets cashed out on their future, giving up several first-rounders and pick swaps, but the goal in each of the next three seasons is to win the first NBA title in the franchise’s history. Maybe two titles — even without Allen and Caris LeVert.
“They gave up a lot of players, but they have so much depth to the roster,’’ the first NBA scout said. “They got three superstars and still got a lot of role players. They’re worse at center losing Allen. But [Jeff] Green, [Landry] Shamet, [Joe] Harris, TLC [Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot], [DeAndre] Jordan, it’s still a reasonable supporting cast.’’
Of course, no one can be sure if Irving is coming back anytime soon, which could make the issue of fitting together the three superstars as moot.
“You can’t count on Kyrie at this point,’’ an NBA personnel director said. “But Harden and KD will be fine. But it will take a minute before everything starts to work.’’
Or explode. As former Wizards and Hawks scout Bryan Oringher told The Post, “It either goes up in flames terribly or they win multiple titles.’’
“Harden is a pretty good insurance policy for Irving,’’ the Eastern Conference scout added.
One player agent can see the Nets turning into basketball’s version of the Yankees’ “Bronx Zoo’’ — except in a different borough.
“There’s just as much potential for this to go awry as it is to go right,’’ the agent said. “You got Kyrie, who can be a loose cannon. You got Harden, who just called out his team and teammates. And you got KD who seems on the surface very passive but he likes to let a lot of things fester and talk about it after the fact like in Golden State.”
Adding “The Beard” to KD and Kyrie still is a lot sexier than a Knicks squad that suddenly has become the low-profile team in town without one star — let alone three.
“For us, we have to focus on us and the players that we have,’’ Thibodeau said before facing the undermanned Nets on Wednesday. “Just focus on our improvement and just doing the things that are necessary to get better. We’re not concerned with them. They worry about themselves and we have to worry about us. Our division is loaded. We know that. We know the makeup of each roster and we know that we have a lot of work to do and we’re looking forward to that challenge.”
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