Kevin Durant Goes off on Nets Teammates After Loss to Depleted Sixers

Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant

Getty Ben Simmons #10 and Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets look on during the second half against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center

The Brooklyn Nets traveled to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on November 22 in Ben Simmons’ return to take on his former team. But the matchup had significantly less hype than anticipated because the Sixers were without three of their starters Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, and Joel Embiid, who are all sidelined due to injury.

What seemed like a guaranteed win for the Nets turned into one of the most deflating losses of their season. Despite having most of their roster available, the Nets fell to the Sixers 106-115, snapping a two-game winning streak. Nets star Kevin Durant didn’t hold back when calling out his teammates after the loss.

“This is the same s–t. Twenty more shots than us and seven more [made] 3-pointers. That’s the game,” Durant said via Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post. “Just go do it. Just go do what you need to do. Rebound, box out, move the ball.”

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Vaughan, Irving Sound Off on Nets Defense

The same things that have killed the Nets for the last three seasons contributed to another loss on Tuesday night. Defense and rebounding.

The Nets were outrebounded 20-4 on the offensive glass and 49-35 overall on the boards. They also allowed the Sixers to shoot a scorching 16-32 (50%) from beyond the arc. Nets head coach Jacque Vaughan called the number of mistakes that the Nets made in the second half “baffling”.

“It’s really a mentality of us deciding that we’re going to play defense,” Vaughn said via the New York Post. “We can score the basketball. We have individual talent. We’re learning how to play together on the offensive end of the floor. We had too many mistakes at halftime. The number of mistakes that we had at halftime was baffling for this group — almost to the point where we had to stop the tape because we didn’t have enough time left to show them all.”

Nets star Kyrie Irving also chimed in on the team’s defensive effort, noting that they need more “attention to detail” on that end of the floor.

“We just got to look ourselves in the mirror and say that we didn’t give the effort tonight,” Irving said to the New York Post. “On the defensive end, I just think it starts with our attention to detail.”

Durant Clarifies Comments About Nets Teammates

Durant found himself in hot water last week when he seemingly called out his Nets teammates after they gave up 153 points in a 32-point loss to the Sacramento Kings.

“Look at our starting lineup. Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, [Nic] Claxton, and me. It’s not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group?” Durant said to Chris B. Haynes of Bleacher Report. “You expect us to win because I’m out there. So, if you’re watching from that lens, you’re expecting us to play well because No. 7 is out there.”

But after the dust settled following the backlash he received, Durant clarified his comments on the latest episode of his podcast “The ETCs”.

“I was trying to protect my teammates from like the expectations from everybody else,” Durant said.

“Do you see the progression of our team and what we’re doing and [that] guys are stepping up and trying to do more? So, when they’re actually in those roles and getting back to, ‘Alright, this is what we need you here for,’ Edmond’s gonna be better. Royce’s gonna be better. [Claxton] is gonna be better. I’m gonna be better. Joe’s gonna be better…I definitely could have worded it better. I won’t put that on anybody but myself because I could have explained it like this.”

The Nets will have a chance to get back on the right track in their next game against the Toronto Raptors.

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