The principle storyline old to the Nets’ focus on over with to San Francisco on Saturday used to be Kevin Durant’s return to the Bay Region, the assign he won championships with the Warriors. The reunion went as deliberate: There used to be hundreds obtain for KD and Brooklyn won comfortably, 134-117.
But then came the postgame interviews, the assign every other of the Nets’ stars said one thing that nudged the Durant story to the side.
The assertion grew to change into one in all the three predominant takeaways from the ABC top-time matchup.
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Kyrie Irving casually let fall that the Nets’ offense has gone thru an well-known alternate: He’s now playing off the ball and James Harden is the predominant ballhandler. The swap worked a lot against Golden Express: Harden had 19 parts and 16 assists in 35 minutes, while Irving had 23 parts and four assists in 34 minutes.
“I basically feel he is simply been doing a a lot job of just managing the level guard goal,” Irving said. “We established that, maybe, four days within the past now? I just looked at him and I said, ‘You’re the level guard, and I will play taking pictures guard,’ and that used to be as straightforward as that.
“He’s been taking control of the tasks and doing a superb job. It just makes my job less difficult, just trudge out and play free and just make plays. It be a luxurious.”
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“Four days within the past” from Saturday would hold been sometime right thru the Nets’ midweek lend a hand-to-lend a hand vs. the Pistons and Pacers. Harden had 12 dimes against Detroit on Tuesday but just 5 the next night against Indiana.
Irving said one thing else that made the alternate seem more obtain a non-public quest.
“It be straightforward to play off any person that is attractive to enhance your game and [is] ready to sacrifice, and it’s straightforward to reach so for me,” he said. “I deem I have been attempting ahead to this likelihood to show cloak that twiddling with assorted a lot gamers, no longer just [Team] USA, no longer just All-Star Games or one thing obtain that, but in a position to becoming staunch into a excessive-stage neighborhood, no longer only for scoring or no longer only for passing or one thing obtain that, just continuing to reach the cramped things, the particulars to capture.”
The swap in roles is rarely surprising; Irving and Harden can excel at both spots. It be more that Irving launched it to the enviornment the methodology he did. It makes one surprise if Nets coach Steve Nash as a minimum got a heads-up after the alternate used to be made. If he didn’t, then he indubitably figured it out once he saw the tandem goal on the court docket.
KD comes lend a hand as . . . a center?
The NBA’s loyal box win listed 6-4 Bruce Brown because the Nets’ starting center, but Durant used to be launched on social media because the 5 moderately than the absent DeAndre Jordan (internal most). The 7-0 Durant didn’t alternate his game for the runt-ball Warriors, who started Draymond Inexperienced at center, so the swap used to be most frequently semantics.
Extra importantly, Durant got lend a hand into the slip after lacking per week to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols. He wasn’t a lot from the bottom (8 for 19 overall, 1 for 6 from 3), but he used to be one in all six Nets to win in double figures as he notched 20 parts in 33 minutes.
“It be lawful to be lend a hand on the court docket. True to be lend a hand doing one thing I obtain to reach on daily basis. It be lawful to gather a superb capture on this street day out,” Durant said.
Warriors couldn’t follow the knowing
Golden Express used to be down by fully three after the predominant couple minutes of the second quarter; that is when Brooklyn started a 12-4 stride to steer by double digits. The Nets led 66-51 on the destroy.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr took a murky detect of how his team dealt with playing one in all the NBA’s high teams.
“We didn’t play a extraordinarily mindful game,” he said. “You’ve got got got to return staunch into a game obtain this realizing you is vulnerable to be an underdog and realizing that it’s seemingly you’ll perchance perchance hold got got to apply a game knowing and in addition to you may perchance hold a knowing [for] programs to beat them, and it just felt obtain we hold been available hooping without a lot of a knowing.”
Inexperienced used to be more inclined to compliment Durant and Co.
“The game knowing used to be to lend a hand every assorted, and in addition to you respect, their personnel is such that makes it arduous to reach that,” Inexperienced said, per NBC Sports activities Bay Region. “We didn’t create the game knowing neatly. But in asserting that, they are a phase of the goal we didn’t. I indicate, you may perchance give them a range of credit for why we didn’t.”