The Brooklyn Nets had a long list of obstacles to overcome during a disappointing 2021-22 season.

Kyrie Irving’s refusal to comply with New York’s workplace vaccine mandate left Brooklyn without its second-best player for most of the season. Joe Harris played just 14 games before a pair of ankle surgeries ended his year. And Kevin Durant missed extended time with an MCL sprain.

But at Day 2 of Nets training camp, Harris said the team may have lacked focus early last regular season. The seventh-year Net said he felt the team was looking forward to the playoffs last year following a heartbreaking second-round loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 postseason.

“I think last season we had such high expectations for ourselves that we kind of looked to the playoffs, even in the beginning of the season,” Harris said. “It felt like some of the games early on we would win games but we felt we weren’t winning by enough or we weren’t at the championship caliber that we had as expectations for ourselves.”

“I think it was just a little bit more of looking down the road and feeling the loss from the prior year in the playoffs,” he continued. “Wanting to get back to that point in the playoffs and maybe looking past some of the games that we had in the early season, instead of just being as attentive and focus on the present.”

The Nets spent 2021 training camp in San Diego. The team transitioned back to Brooklyn for camp this season and Harris said there is a different feeling training at home.

“Last year we were in San Diego so we were almost like a little bit on vacation,” he said. “A lot of the guys got tee times set up. Today, you know, we’re kind of finding our groove and a little bit more like what our offseason work was because we had a lot of guys who were in the practice facility all summer long. It’s just pretty consistent easy carryover from there.”

The Nets have several new faces at training camp this year. Ben Simmons, Royce O’Neale, and Markieff Morris headline the list as veterans in their first camp with Brooklyn. Harris said the focus this year is on building a foundation one day at a time.

“I know it's sort of the cliche for everybody in sports, but it's definitely one of the things that it's a lot harder to do than you realize,” he said. “So I think it's something that we're just trying to be really cognizant of where everybody's focused on— we're having a good second day of training camp, and then tomorrow, we'll have another good day, and we'll just keep having these building blocks that we'll build off of, but we're not trying to look too far ahead.”

This is in line with what Kevin Durant spoke of Monday at Nets media day. After requesting a trade this offseason, the 12-time All-Star said that he wanted everyone to be held accountable for their habits as basketball players, something he felt was swept under the rug amid struggles last season. In Durant's eyes, that consistency is key in developing the championship qualities Brooklyn lacked last year.

“I was more so worried about how we were approaching every day as a basketball team,” Kevin Durant said at Media Day. “I felt like we could’ve fought through a lot of the stuff that I felt held us back. Championship teams do that.”

Now, with Durant, Irving, and Simmons committed to Brooklyn, the team needs to be more heavily invested in the regular season if they hope to contend. The Nets have too often overlooked the importance of building chemistry and camaraderie during that time throughout Durant and Irving's tenure.

Last season, the team's lack of cohesion and trust in one another ultimately proved detrimental come playoff time. The Nets fielded 43 different starting lineups in 2021-22. That was the most in the league and nearly double the average among playoff teams (24). This year, Harris said there is a noticeable emphasis on building a strong foundation early.

“When you think about championship teams, if you come in and you watch a practice, a lot of times you can feel it just because you know how attentive guys are, how focused they are, how locked in every practice is,” he said. “You feel the importance of it every day.”

Head Coach Steve Nash said the new-look Nets are still getting to know each other, but he was happy with the intensity and focus during day 2 of camp.

“It was good,” Nash said. “There’s a lot of new guys trying to fit together. So there's going to be a little bit of a period where were you trying to clean some stuff up here. But that's very natural and normal. Overall I thought guys were really intense and trying to work on the things we implemented; so it was a great day.”

The Nets have just four days until their first preseason game against the 76ers on Oct. 3. And, in line with his comments on the team’s shift in focus, Harris said Brooklyn won’t take preseason action for granted.

“And that’s going to be the same thing for preseason games,” Harris said. “You're not gonna take these preseason games for granted, regardless of how much time guys are playing, wherever we're at. The whole focus is just alright, how do we get better today? And then just building off of that.”