Sunday, May 26, 2024

Kevin Durant, Keri Irving vindicate Nets’ hopes for the championship, but focus must remain in the present

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

If you’ve tried baking before, you know it’s a tough process. You measure everything correctly, follow the recipe with the letter, put your cooking in the oven. In the middle of the suggested baking time, you are sometimes curious and want to see how things are going, so you open the oven door for a quick glance. bubble. Your cake, souffle or loaf of bread is forever stale. why? Because you ran ahead of yourself and neglected to respect the process.

After the Brooklyn Nets dismantled the Golden State Warriors 125-99 in the first game of the 2020-21 season, fans should start ordering tournament gear in advance. Kevin Durant was exceptional in his first real game since June 2019, scoring 22 points in 25 minutes. Kyrie Irving looked healthy and lively, able to get any shot he wanted on his way to 26 points in 25 minutes. More than two stars, however, the deep goal of Steve Nash’s hard to above average NBA players was on display on their opening night.

Caris Leverett snatched the reins for the second unit, scoring 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists, and the depth of the net was all the more evident when Bruce Brown, Timothy Lowow Cabarot, Rodion’s Corux and Tyler Johnson came in as the final reserve. Off the bench. All of these players had prominent roles at some point last season, either in Brooklyn or anywhere else, and they might not even take turns.

The curling is the title contender. Everyone who watched that match knows that. The problem is, the nets know that, too. The challenge moving forward will be to stay focused on the present, getting better every day and not peek into the oven too soon.

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“We worked really hard during the training camp, and we just want this hard work to continue to yield positive results in the long term,” Irving said after the win. “We will enjoy this regular season from one match to the next, but we know in the end the goal after 72 games, and that’s 16 wins.”

He’s become a cliché of the NBA slang for saying, “Don’t skip the steps,” but that had to be the Nets’ goal at the start of the season. Los Angeles Clippers were linked to their favorite NBA title until their fateful exit from the bubble after watching a 3-1 lead vaporize against the Denver Nuggets in a brutal manner. Judging by the reports since then, it’s clear that the Clippers never made it to the same page in terms of chemistry or game plan, and they ultimately suffered because of it.

Brooklyn needs to avoid making the same mistakes throughout the season, and realize that they have to make their way into the championship conversation based on what they’re doing on the field, rather than their star power and loaded roster. Durant faces a particularly difficult path, as he not only has to rehabilitate his body and skills after a long exit from competitive basketball due to a ruptured hock, but also adjust to his new teammates on the ground.

“I think every game as we continue to build, we will feel more comfortable with each other,” Durant said of his teammates after the opening night victory. “Maybe this is the thing I learned the most, is trying to figure out everyone’s favorite place on Earth and what they like to do. So it will take some time to download everything.”

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It’s impossible to have any discussion of Nets’ chemistry without putting up with Irving, who requested a deal from Cleveland and then was part of a toxic locker room environment with the Boston Celtics before joining Brooklyn. He has already highlighted himself by refusing to speak to the media during the pre-season period and apparently referring to them as “pawns” in a statement.

By all accounts, Irving is loved by his teammates. Nash said Irving was an outspoken captain during camp and early in the season. Irving said the relationships he forged with his team mates during the vacation period have translated to court. He also acts as a mentor of sorts to LeVert, who described Irving’s leadership as “very useful”.

After beating the Warriors, Leverett said, “It’s my responsibility. It’s my responsibility every day.” “It’s always honest, it’s always true. It’s always – not necessarily what I want to hear, but it’s the right thing to say. I definitely cherish that, for sure.”

If there’s one thing the Nets go for, it’s the championship pedigree. Durant won the MVP award in the Finals in three years with the Golden State. Irving played three finals and had the biggest chance in the Cavaliers’ history at handing the franchise his only title. They know the long road ahead of them, and precisely how long it will take – physically and emotionally – to get there. Now they just need to be patient and let the process unfold naturally.

“I’m not the only person to count on to get over the hump. No, we have other great players developing, and they are already established.” Irving said. “We just need to keep bringing knowledge, when needed, to these players hungry for it. These guys here want to win just as badly as we do.” [Irving and Durant]. So if you have this attitude and a winning mindset, it’s easy for me to be in line and follow the trend.

“We’re just keeping it simple here. It’s basketball. We’ve been doing it for a long time. Now we’re at the top, and now it’s our chance to continue showing why we’re like this.”

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