The Brooklyn Nets came into Miami with some extra bounce. Fresh off learning that Kyrie Irving was now a full-time player again, Kevin Durant and co. honed in on defeating the Eastern Conference leading team, the Miami Heat. While Jimmy Butler's squad has the best record (they're now actually tied for first with the Philadelphia 76ers after losing to Irving and Kevin Durant Saturday) you wouldn't have known it from watching the Nets steamroll them, 110-95.

The final score makes the game look less lopsided than it really was, too.

But now Steve Nash's crew will head back to Brooklyn on a red-eye flight and gear up for another huge game. They host LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets Sunday. The Bugs sit just one game behind the Nets in the standings. If the Nets win, they'll feel even more comfortable they can avoid finishing the season in one of the two final Play-In seeds.

Those, the 9th and 10th seeds face each other in the Play-In and the loser is eliminated. That's not a comfortable place to be in a single game elimination match. Even if they won their first match as a 9th seed, they'd need to win a second game in a row just to make the playoffs as an 8 seed. It's far better to finish as a 7 or 8 seed.

With all of that at stake, it's a good thing there will be some extra energy at Barclays for Kyrie Irving's 2022 home debut in a must win game.

After the big win down in Miami, coach Nash talked about how it's a luxury they got to buy their stars some old fashioned load management by routing the Heat. Durant and Irving only logged 31 and 30 minutes, respectively.

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“It's obviously a luxury, it's better than playing 40 minutes and going down to the wire but still gotta do it again tomorrow. We'll get in at three in the morning and gotta get ready to play tomorrow night. There's no excuses we'll take the few extra minutes we're able to rest, but gotta get up and get our bodies going tomorrow evening,” said the Nets head coach.

Do they anticipate some extra juice at Barclays for Irving's return, this time not as a mere spectator but as a player?

“Yeah, that would be great if we can have a crowd that's ready to go and our guys will be excited to have [Irving] at home that would give us a lift as well,” Nash admitted. Hear that Nets Nation? The Brooklyn Brigade has to get loud to help a team who won't have had much rest. That's Steve Nash's one wish from fans.

And Durant agreed that would be ideal. But KD cautioned, they can't expect to win on energy alone from Irving's return. They need to channel the same focus they did ahead of this big win. Just listen to how hyped the Nets were coming into the win over Miami.

“We don't want to rely just on that,” Nets superstar Kevin Durant said.  “We wanna kind of create our own energy within the locker room and also build on what the crowd is gonna bring us too. So we can't just rely on Ky being back, we gotta approach this game with the same type of intensity as we did tonight. Guys were thinking about this game last night before bed so to wake up and shoot around with that same attitude kinda bled over into the game, we need that type of focus,” Durant said.

If guys were thinking about the last win before bed, this time they'll be have to think about Charlotte on the airplane. Hopefully they don't have to set their alarms until 3:00 PM. LaMelo and Miles Bridges will be coming for the Nets at 7:30 PM EST.