Kevin Durant drops truth bomb about Kyrie Irving, as Nets experiment with their rotation
Steve Nash has made no secret that this is an experimental time for his team. The Brooklyn Nets fell to the Miami Heat on Wednesday, 106-93. Brooklyn is now 2-3, having lost twice at The Clays. Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, and Co are looking for any spark rotational standpoint.
“We lost a big piece. It’s not just the new pieces. It’s the void we’re used to playing with,” said Nash of losing Irving, several days ago. “It’s a lot for us to take on in this moment in time and hopefully in the weeks coming, we’ll start to clear some of the debris, so to speak, and figure out how to best play together.”
Nash has even spoken about being willing to sacrifice a game here or there.
“It’s just a balance we try to reach,” said the head coach. “You know you want to win games but you don’t want to overreact,” Nash said before the home opener last weekend. “And you also know that sometimes you may have to sacrifice moments or eventually a game here and there because you are exploring more than worrying about the result.”
Only the Milwaukee Bucks, who defeated the Nets in the season opener, had trotted out more five-player lineup combinations than Nash’s group, per NBA.com, heading into Wednesday’s slate. The Bucks had utilized 75 unique lineups. After losing to Miami, the Nets have now deployed 73 unique five-man combinations. Nash has basically been a mad scientist looking for workable combos to make up for Irving’s absence.
Brooklyn has also been tested during this early portion of the season. Four of their first five games have come against teams who made the playoffs a season ago, and Charlotte (the lone opponent who did not) at 3-1, seem primed to take a leap.
Before the Miami game Nash talked a little more about this theme of competing while learning on the fly.
“We just want to get more familiar and on the same page with what we’ve done,” Nash explained. “It is still early a new group and all sorts of different kind of players playing together for the first time and it takes time to make those kind of connections on the floor when things are happening quickly. So lots of work to do.”
Kevin Durant was a bit more blunt after they lost to the Heat. Asked why the team was able to deal with a rash of injuries a season ago and still score at will, KD didn’t sugarcoat the matter.
“I know what you want me to say,” chuckled the two-time Finals MVP. “Yeah we do miss Kyrie. We do.”
“I know what you want me to say. Yeah we do miss Kyrie.”
– Kevin Durant
— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) October 28, 2021
Kevin Durant enjoyed that moment of levity with reporters before returning his focus to ways the team can improve. “He’s a part of our team. But for the most part, like I said we’ve been generating great shots, we been getting into the paint, it’s a matter of us knocking them down. I think it’ll come.”