Like many teams that start the year with new rosters, the Brooklyn Nets have struggled to find their identity this season. After an impressive 2-0 start, things began to go to the wayside for the Nets. They have been plagued by injuries, struggled to take care of the ball and their defense has been nonexistent for the most part. Brooklyn’s first-year head coach Steve Nash knows all about the growing pains of a first-year team with high expectations. Nash was a consultant with the Golden State Warriors when 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant joined the team in the Summer of 2016. This came after the team had a regular-season record of 73-9 and blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
Limited Practice Time Has Hurt Brooklyn’s Chemistry
With limited practice time available in a shortened season, Nash understands his first year in Brooklyn will be an uphill battle, but getting to the mountaintop makes the struggle worthwhile. “We don’t have much practice time. We are a new group,” Nash said to NetsDaily. “We have Kevin [Durant] out with COVID protocols, we were struggling, and I think we are going to continue to experiment,”
Nash has had to plug and play several different lineups this season for a variety of reasons. Spencer Dinwiddie tore his ACL and will be out for the season. Durant and Irving have to be load managed as they are coming off major off-season surgeries. This Nets team has a lot of moving parts, and Nash knows that they are still figuring out their identity as a team. “We have to find out who we are, what we are, where we need to improve, and sometimes just giving guys different opportunities at different times,” said Nash. “We can mix things up and we will see different lineups. I am really proud about everyone for accepting that change, that dynamic, coming together, and playing their butts off for one another.”
Nash Knows the Nets Are Still Learning Their Identity
While the Nets are a relatively young team and it is still early in the season, they will have to figure out their identity sooner rather than later. For the first time in quite some time, the Eastern Conference looks like the NBA’s best conference. Teams like the Celtics, Heat, and Bucks will be standing in the way of the Nets and a Finals berth. With limited time to build chemistry Nash knows that the road won’t be easy. “This is going to be the craziest NBA season ever. I think trying to be adaptive, continue to work through things, and learn through your games as much as anything rather than practices is essential.”
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The silver lining for Nash and the Nets is that they will get Durant back next week as he will have completed his one-week quarantine. Once KD returns to action, the team should be able to build some consistency with their lineups and rotations.