In James Harden’s debut for the Brooklyn Nets — yes, you read that correctly — the team scratched out a victory against the Orlando Magic. Here are three takeaways from the festivities. 

The first game of the James Harden era in Brooklyn wasn’t always pretty, but the team got the job behind a triple-double from “the beard.” With the win, the Brooklyn Nets’ season-long win streak extends to three games. Want some more good news? A critical reinforcement in the form of Kyrie Irving is soon-to-return. 

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Without further adieu: Here are the three takeaways.

This New Era is Going to be Fun

A generation of Brooklyn Nets fans will forever remember this day — the first day of a new era. Harden showcased a bit of everything: defensive chops, elite playmaking abilities, and, oh yeah, the ability to fill the cup. It was an unbelievable start for Harden, who finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 14 assists.

With his triple-double, Harden became just the seventh player to record a triple-double in his debut with a new team. For now, fans will remember where they were when he made his first free throw (a signature of his, in case you haven’t been watching the NBA for the past half-decade-plus). You could feel the electricity in the air — even sans fans. Just wait until we’re allowed in the building. 

Any concerns about “fit” between two high-usage megastars, Harden and Durant, were quickly put to rest. However, the “big three” is still awaiting their debut. With Irving due back soon, the dynamic changes with another high-usage star incorporated in the roster. For now, Harden, who left Houston in, well, questionable shape, looked fantastic, logging 40 minutes. 

The Brooklyn Nets Aren’t Going to Have Trouble Scoring the Basketball

Hot take: The Brooklyn Nets are going to be a high-scoring team.  With three superstars capable of 50-point outbursts on any given night and complementary talents such as three-point expert Joe Harris, the Nets are going to be among the best offensive teams in the association. With all three on the court and healthy, the sky really is the limit. 

Now for the flipside to that coin; the good with the bad. The Nets need to work on ball-security, it’s a glaring issue right now. Likewise, more dribble-drive penetration should be in order — which, yeah, enter James Harden on that front. The Brooklyn Nets had 19 turnovers on Saturday, with KD, himself, saying post-game that that is an issue that needs a remedy. 

The New Playmaker(s)

While we’re still getting over the losses of Caris LeVert, Jarett Allen, amongst others, which will be quite the challenge considering what they meant to this organization, this newfound team dynamic leaves fans with good reason to be excited.

As we know, this is a totally different team from what we saw two years ago. Heck, even last season. We have a sense of continuity with Joe Harris; we also have one with DeAndre Jordan, for better and for worse. A name that many were excited about — justifiably so — was Bruce Brown. Since entering the rotation it is as if he can do no wrong. And there’s good reason to believe the best is still yet to come with him.

It was Brown to provided the dagger on Saturday night, we even got to see a Shamet three of a curl; with Harden likely to be staggered with the second-unit, these new faces should get some shine.