When it’s come to the Nets this season, good things have been hard to come by, especially of late.
However, after the Nets watched Kyrie Irving have a historic performance on Tuesday night and have strung four straight wins together, things seem to be headed in the right direction, The win over the Orlando Magic helped Brooklyn keep pace with the seventh seed Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference.
Off the court, the Nets continue to face questions over Irving and the ongoing saga with the vaccine mandate, but on the court, the Nets have started to get their ducks in order. In their previous two games coming into Wednesday, Kevin Durant and Irving each had 50-plus point nights and prior to that the Nets emphatically defeated one of the conference’s best teams in the Philadelphia 76ers on the road.
[READ: As Nets return home, focus returns to Kyrie Irving and NYC vaccine mandate]
The Sixers may have been the best team that the Nets had played over that four-game stretch, but piecing together wins is crucial for the Nets right now with their window to clear the play-in round closing.
“There’s no guide to this. We just try our best to get the guys ready to play every night,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “We know we play so many games in this league. Everyone has ups and downs, everyone has letdowns. We’re trying to finish the season strong cause it’s an important time for us to get to know each other. To find a style of play and understand the way we connect and what our details are and how they fit together.
“It’s easy to put them on paper, it’s another thing to do on the court and we don’t have a lot of time.”
The Nets this season have had to deal with a number of factors that have impacted the players that they’ve been able to have on the floor. COVID and injuries have plagued the Nets, who had been expected to be one of the last teams battling it out for an NBA title this year.
Instead, the Nets are now trying to catch the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.
Irving has been the most notable Net that has not been on the roster, but the Nets have had to deal with injuries to Seth Curry and Cam Thomas recently. Though it’s not been nearly as bad as it had been earlier this year.
"You can see that we're both in a nice little groove right now."
Kevin Durant speaks after he and Kyrie became the first pair of teammates in NBA history to score 50 points in back-to-back games.#NETSonYES pic.twitter.com/VFXwHQz26o
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 16, 2022
“You try to put your team in a position to play their best basketball with whos available,” Nash said. “We’ve had a lot of availability issues clearly throughout the season and just trying to put ourselves in a position to win regardless of who is playing out there each night. It’s a challenge, but we’ve had healthy bodies recently — or more so than we’re used to. Hopefully, we’ll continue to get health these last 13 games.”
During the team’s darkest stretches of their 11 game losing streak, Nash continued to preach about the positives that he’d see from his team and the fact that they were so shorthanded still. Now the promise of what the Nets can do has started to shine through even with the outside noise.
Even with so many healthy bodies back, the Nets still feel there is more to unlock.
“Just building the chemistry really,” Andre Drummond said. “Obviously we’re still missing Ben. Seth is hurt currently right now. I just think when we get healthy and we’re able to build that chemistry I think our team can be very, very dangerous.”