Even a team with as many stars as the Netze needs structure and guidance. And the occasional kick into derriere.
The Nets got just that from Steve Nash a few weeks ago and have been the hottest team in the NBA ever since. And they rolled over their last victim, the Magic, at the Barclays Center on Thursday night for the eighth time in a row.
This is the longest winning streak in the NBA this year and the longest of the nets since March 14th, Jan. March 6th to April 6th, 2006. Most of this run has been without superstar Kevin Durant, who is out with a hamstring injury. The Nets are playing, it’s not hard to imagine them challenging this brand.
The Nets ( 22-12) outperformed the Magic 41-19 in the second quarter, leading by up to 40 points while causing a laugh. They kept up with the 76ers, trailing Philadelphia only half a game to finish first in the Eastern Conference.
Kyrie Irving (27 points, nine assists) and James Harden (20 points, nine rebounds, seven Templates) were at the center of the victory. But it was an all-out team effort that turned the balance of the Nets from a win to a router.
The Nets posted six double-digit goalscorers, including Landry Shamets 19. They shot 53.3 percent off the field and held the Magic down to just 40.2 percent total and 9 versus 36 from 3 point range. Aside from Nikola Vucevic, who had 28 points, Orlando was no threat.
After two free throws from Terrence Ross, the nets were 1:19 down 28:18 in the first quarter, but two quick bolts of lightning brought the game to a halt Succumb.
Initially, the Nets made a 14: 3 run that spanned the first and second quarters and advanced 32:31 with a harden-pull-up 3-hand. Another surge built up later in the quarter that went way out of reach of magic (13-20).
The Nets clung to a three-point cushion at 4:32 in half and made a 19-3 run . When Irving found Bruce Brown for a running layup, it ran to 65-45 just before the break.
The Nets led at 26 in the third quarter and 40 in the fourth. They made his Nets debut for Tyler Cook while Nic Claxton had 10 points and a career high of four steals in a 15-minute stint, only his second appearance this season.
It was an amazing turnaround from February 9th when the Nets disappointed 14th after a humble defeat in Detroit -12 were. They had shown a lack of focus in a variety of angry casualties versus loss of enemies. But they have since recovered, and Irving has partly credited Nash’s hard love for it.
« The preparation starts there: runs, the ability to get the little things done, the ability to remember the details that you throw out of there must, and just play the game by looking at the structure, « said Irving. “We need structure. NBA players, entertainers, everyone out there, we need structure to be successful at the highest level.
« That’s why you see the best teams have coaches who train the players [crap] and people who go out there and do it. » So we want to be able to continue to be consistent. “
After that February 9th embarrassment, even the optimistic Nash was upset. Not only did he have tough words for his players, but he also shared extra work after that defeat.
« It was a duel, we came home, we play against a very dangerous Indiana team and we have it before the game put on the line, which isn’t ideal in the regular season, « said Nash. « You don’t necessarily want to bring negative instructional clips before a game. But we didn’t have a shootaround with travel, so I thought we couldn’t miss the opportunity to keep getting better.
» It started there. I don’t want to say that we followed them up, but we criticized very constructively what needs to be improved. That’s where it started. We started adding Shootaround, which – due to COVID and a shortened schedule – we tried to go away from the start, just so the guys don’t get too crowded.
« Now we have shootarounds, get a few more touches to be more critical of our growth in a constructive and positive way. » I don’t know if we’re coaching them harder, but we’re definitely trying to get to the point and make sure we point out issues and improve and address them. «
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