‘Everything just shifted after the trade deadline’: Nets new vibe restores excitement

Bruce Brown looks into the crowd after scoring and being fouled in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Barclays Center.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

If the Nets are able to shift the course of the season, then Monday’s win could be the moment that they turned the whole thing around.

Brooklyn pulled out a much-needed win over the Sacramento Kings, but more importantly, looked like a team that had been reinvigorated after a very rocky few weeks. The insertion of trade deadline acquisitions Seth Curry and Andre Drummond certainly helped the Nets on the court and Brooklyn played with more jump on Monday.

“Yeah, the locker room it’s just a great vibe in there right now,” Bruce Brown said. “It’s just, I don’t know what it is. Everything just shifted after the trade deadline. Everybody likes everybody. So it’s just great.”

[READ: Nets end 11 game skid in Seth Curry, Andre Drummond’s Brooklyn debut]

Even from afar, the difference was highly noticeable and the Nets looked like a team that had the weight of the world lifted off its back a bit. The addition of Curry gave the Nets one of the best three-point shooters on the floor and he delivered with a 23-point performance.

Drummond gave Brooklyn a strong, big down-low presence in the win.

The two also seemed to have immediately bought into what the Nets are hoping to do this year and the potential the team has. Part of that may have come from a team-bonding outing that Brown alluded to when the club was in Miami.

Brown never divulged any particulars about it, but he called it a “great event.”

“We were in Miami we had a little team bonding event and then the vibe just changed,” he said.  “We can all feel it. Feel it in the locker room and we know we’re gonna be here. It was just good for us to be around each other, learn more about each other.”

If Monday was just the appetizer, then the main course could be something to watch once the Nets get healthy. Brooklyn took a step in the right direction with that against the Kings with LaMarcus Aldridge back in the lineup, along with fellow big Nic Claxton who did not play but was available.

The Nets are hoping to get Kevin Durant back following the NBA All-Star break, but during a meeting with reporters over the weekend he wouldn’t say if he’d be back for the Feb. 24 game against Boston. The Nets have also continued to remain optimistic that New York City would lift its vaccine mandate at some point allowing Kyrie Irving to play home games.

And let’s not forget Ben Simmons, the headlining piece of the blockbuster trade between Brooklyn and Philadelphia, will make his Brooklyn debut in the near future as well. All of that has Curry chomping at the bit to see the team at full strength.

“I didn’t have to see what we did tonight what kind of style we’ll play. (We’ll have) so many weapons out there, offensively and defensively,” Curry said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to play. It’s been a while since I got up and down the floor like that and play with that kind of pace, even in the half-court. (We’re) going to be a tough, tough, tough team down the stretch when everybody gets healthy and comes back and we get that cohesiveness. I’m looking forward to it.”

He wasn’t the only one with an eye towards what is to come for the Nets.

“For us, we have a great group of guys,” Drummond added. “Guys that are missing right now that we’re going to get healthy but once everybody gets back, I think we’ll be very, very good and make a very good push in the playoffs.”