Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets had a roller coaster of a summer that was well-documented with his trade demand, ultimatum, and ultimately when he rejoined the Nets ahead of training camp. This season in Brooklyn has also had its own ups and downs, but now the Nets are on their best run of the season, winning 7 straight games, including their 143-113 win against the Golden State Warriors. Durant discussed the game as well as taking responsibility for Brooklyn not having a Christmas day game this season in his post-game press conference.
Nets Missing Out on Christmas Day Game
“I probably am responsible for us not playing on Christmas, with all that went on this summer,” Durant said with a slight laugh. “But hey, it is what it is. We play on the 26th, and that’s close enough.”
Christmas Day games are often some of the best matchups and games of the NBA season. The premier players and teams can almost always count on playing center stage on Christmas day, but the Nets were left out this season, likely due to the uncertainty around Durant’s trade request. Before taking responsibility, Durant shared what a great matchup the New York Knicks would have been for the Nets, with the two being the league’s hottest teams. Brooklyn has won 7 straight, and the Knicks have won 8 of their last 9 games.
“Yeah, Knicks vs. Nets would have been a great Christmas day matchup, Durant said. “Yeah, there’s probably some people, especially the way the Knicks are playing and the way we are playing right now, I feel like it would have been a perfect matchup on Christmas. Hopefully, we get that moving forward.”
Durant on Latest Brooklyn Run
With the run that the Nets are on, Durant was asked about what has been clicking for the team offensively in his post-game press conference. In his comments, he credited the team hitting shots as the biggest difference in their run.
“Making shots. I mean, it’s a make-or-miss league. We’ve been generating solid shots all year, and I think they are just starting to fall now,” Durant said. “It’s about shooting the ball with confidence and being aggressive downhill, making plays for others, and tonight was one of those nights.”
Nets Clicking on Offense and Defense
Not only are the Nets clicking on offense, but they’ve also been clicking on defense as well. They have climbed to the middle of the NBA, with their league defensive rating at 14th. One of the keys to their defense has been center Nic Claxton, who after a 6-block performance against the Toronto Raptors on December 16. The game had Claxton saying he should be in consideration for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
“Honestly, I feel like I’m one of the best defenders in the league. I feel like I should be in the talk for Defensive Player of the Year. I feel like I haven’t been getting the respect I deserve,” Claxton said postgame. “We’ve been winning. My numbers are good. I’ve been protecting the rim, guarding one through five. So it’s just me being me, doing what I do, bringing that energy. And it’s great for the team.”