Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are just about two of the top players in the league you could ask to lead your team in a high pressure moment. And that’s a very important thing these days since there’s tons of pressure on the Brooklyn Nets with one game to go in the regular season.

Because of Kyrie missing so many games this season, Durant’s knee injury, the James Harden trade that brought in a player in Ben Simmons who isn’t likely to suit up until the 2022-23 campaign, the Nets are in a hole.

Instead of being one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference waiting for the Play-In teams to sort themselves out and offer themselves up as sacrificial chunks of chum, it’s the Nets who find themselves in the Play-In. If they lose their next game versus the Indiana Pacers, they’ll be on the road for game one of the pre-playoff tournament. If they lost that, they’d get one more chance or it’s go fishing.

But the higher the stakes get, the more Durant and Irving find their place.

“Every game that we play, feel like it’s must win,” Irving said after the team’s critical 118-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kyrie had 18 points, six rebounds and eight assists, filling up the boxscore like his teammate on the wing Bruce Brown. Brown has really come on lately and dropped 18 points, 10 boards and eight dimes. And Brown let everyone know he nearly had a triple-double, drawing some mock-ire from Kevin Durant. 

“Wanna give our best effort. But obviously with this Play-In tournament, this Play-In idea, yeah it’s been a little bit more pressure but that’s part of being in the NBA and prepare daily for these type of moments,” Irving added.

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“We just wanna come in here with that same mentality, hey let’s put our best foot forward, let’s put our best effort out there, and like K [Durant] said, just be able to respond to other team’s runs. Not hold our heads not allow it to carry over to any other possessions and live with the results that way.”

So the Nets will try to follow Kyrie Irving’s lead. And they’ll look to follow Kevin Durant’s lead as well.

KD offered some insight about his own mindset in pressure moments that you could see some psychologist building a self-help or business book around. Kevin Durant’s clutch mindset, Easy Money Sniper’s five keys to unlocking your best when it matters most!

Durant talked about how vital it is to trust in his teammates. Then he discussed about learning from his own mistakes and staying in the moment. Trust your teammates, see things as an experiment where failure is Okay and something to learn from and not this terrible result. Stay in the moment. They’re clichés, even if they’re true. Many of us have heard them before yet still feel jitters in big spots.

Still, no matter what the rest of us do, it’s Durant who often stands alone as an embodiment of clutch. And given Kyrie may have hit the biggest clutch shot in NBA history, we can say the same to him, too.

The pressure is turned up and the Nets are not too proud to admit it. But that’s when they thrive, so good luck trying to stop them. Imagine, a team like the Miami Heat will get to host perhaps the Charlotte Hornets, and the Milwaukee Bucks, who finished just a game or two behind, could get stuck hosting KD and Kyrie? It’s a game of inches. Just like when your opponent’s toe is on the line for a game winning three in overtime that allows you to go on and win the title.