NBA

Nets can build momentum at home with upcoming stretch in Brooklyn

Claxton Mills Nets
Dec 25, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills (8) moves the ball as forward Nic Claxton (33) provides coverage against Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) and forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first half at Crypto.com Arena.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With a 13-3 record on the road, it’s pretty safe to say that the Nets are quite comfortable playing outside of the Barclays Center. Their 10-6 home record isn’t anything to scoff at either, but with seven of their next nine in Brooklyn, the Nets could benefit from finding that home cooking.

Among the top five teams in the East, Brooklyn’s 10-6 record at home is only slightly better than Cleveland’s, which stands at 10-7.

They’ve already gotten themselves off to a good start when they defeated the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers earlier this month with a heavily depleted lineup due to COVID. The Nets played three games of a five-game homestand before COVID forced the cancellation of the final two as well as a game on the road in Portland against the Blazers.

Now, Brooklyn will have time to settle in back at home starting on Thursday against Philadelphia. The Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies will trek to Brooklyn in the days following that before the Nets take a short trip to Indiana to face the Pacers.

The Nets will be competing back at nearly full strength as well on Thursday with Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge out of COVID protocol, as well as Kyrie Irving. The latter won’t be able to play in Brooklyn, but with Durant back on the floor with a rejuvenated James Harden, the Nets should be able to make headway at establishing a better record at home.

“I think that’s something that we definitely think about,” Nic  Claxton said about getting the Nets’ core back. “When we get everybody out there, it’s gonna be a lot of trouble for a lot of teams. I don’t think that anybody will be able to really guard us when we have everybody here. It’s gonna be a lot of fun just having everybody back, having a full group. So we definitely look forward to that.”

The Nets currently sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 23-9 record and their 13-3 effort on the road is the best in the NBA. Their home record had been a topic of conversation earlier this month when they were set to play the five-game homestand that eventually got cut short.

Even then they were looking to get some better footing on their home court.

“We want to take care of that home court; that’s key,” Durant said at the time. “We want to start building that advantage for ourselves. That starts in the regular season, our fans getting on board with us, and us going out there and giving them a great product out there on the floor. That means a lot. So that is the main focus: Take care of home.”

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