The Brooklyn Nets have begun their season 0-1 after suffering a blowout at the hands of the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. Many have pointed to the absence of Nets star Kyrie Irving as the reason for them getting run out of Milwaukee on opening night. After all, last season Kyrie became one of just nine players in NBA history to shoot 50% from the field, 40% from the three-point line, and 90% from the free-throw line. So, he will not be an easy player to replace.
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Jamal Crawford Says Nets Need Kyrie To Win It All
The Nets are struggling without Kyrie now, but the door is not closed on him returning this season. All he would have to do to become eligible is get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as a part of the New York City mandate. If that happens, former Nets guard Jamal Crawford says Brooklyn will be the favorites to win it all.
“If Kyrie Irving plays the Nets win the championship. If he does not the Bucks coming out of the East. If so, Bucks beat the Lakers,” Crawford said in the Spring Hill room on Clubhouse per LandonBuford.com. “If he comes back, he will take a lot of pressure off KD and James Harden. If he doesn’t, they won’t get past the Bucks.”
Follow the Heavy on Nets Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Brooklyn!
Harden & Durant React to Loss to Bucks
The Nets got trounced by the Bucks 104-127 on opening night, but Irving’s absence is not the sole reason for their loss. The Bucks took 21 more shots than the Nets which speaks directly to a lack of effort from the team. Kevin Durant knows that is not a formula for winning.
“Tonight they shot  more shots than us, and it was that way since the first quarter, so we were climbing uphill all game, we had good spurts, cut it to seven, cut it to eight a few times, but we just couldn’t get over the hump because they had more possessions than us; they created more offense for themselves with offensive rebounds. They had like five of them in one possession,” Durant said per Landon Buford.
“We didn’t turn them over. I think they had seven turnovers … Possession game is a battle for us, with all the other stuff. Rotations and rhythm and all that stuff will come, but we can’t give a team 20 more shots than us. Imagine coming into a game and we say ‘Here, take the ball 20 times on offense before we get an offensive possession.’ Everybody’s going to lose that. That’s what it felt like the game was today.”
Nets’ star James Harden echoed his co-stars’ comments. He also added that while it was a mediocre performance from the team they cannot dwell on the loss. They have to just take it as a lesson learned a move on to the next game.
“It’s our rebounding, 50-50 balls that they got basically all of them tonight that led to open threes. They shot  more threes than us, so we’ve just got to get the ball up. We’ve got to get shots up, shots at the rim, because when we do, we’re a really good team,” Harden said following the loss per Landon Buford.
“I feel like every time we got close, things didn’t go our way for whatever reason, and they capitalized on it every single time. So, it was a good test for us tonight. Now we’ve got to be ready for Friday’s game.”
The Nets have a long season ahead of them. While it didn’t start the way that they had hoped they still have plenty of time left to right the ship.