The Brooklyn Nets saw an early deficit continue to grow bigger on Monday night, but it wasn’t until DeAndre Jordan appeared to give up playing defense on a play that the situation reached its boiling point.
James Harden confronted Jordan during a timeout in the first half of Brooklyn’s loss the Detroit Pistons on Monday. According to Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Nets coach Steve Nash also got into it with his starting center. On Wednesday, after the Nets rebounded with a strong 104-94 win over the Indiana Pacers that featured quite the bounce-back performance by Jordan, Nash confirmed that report by Lewis.
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DeAndre Jordan Weighs In
Jordan, an All-Star for the Clippers in 2016-17 who twice led the NBA in rebounds, insisted his exchanges with his coach on Monday weren’t anything negative.
“We’re competitors. Everybody on this team. All the coaches, a lot of those guys have played in this league before. And our team, we’ve got a lot veteran guys who ultimately want to reach the pinnacle of this game of basketball,” said Jordan, via SNY. “It was just — we want to win. It’s just trying to find the right ways and schemes during game and different adjustments. That’s where I think our conversation went. A lot of things get blown out of proportion and some of that is you guys’ fault (the media), some of that is just people trying to get clicks. But every conversation that people have, we can’t judge by their facial expressions. A lot of that is just how we talk during the heat of the game. It’s not anything negative.”
Bounce-Back Performance vs. Indiana Pacers
It appears those talks between Nash and Jordan had a positive effect on the latter, who has started in 21 of the 26 games he’s played in this season, including Wednesday’s win over the Pacers.
Among the 32-year-old Jordan’s key contributions Wednesday was helping to keep Domantas Sabonis in check. The Pacers star, who entered with a 53.7 shooting percentage from the field, converted only 7-of-20 field-goal attempts against the Nets.
Collectively, the Nets, who allowed 38 points to the Pistons in the first quarter of Monday’s game, allowed only 30 first-half points to Indiana. A lot of that started with Jordan, who finished with 12 points (on 5-of-8 shooting), 13 rebounds and three blocks. Per Lewis, Nash threw praise at Jordan for the way he bounced back.
It was the first time the Nets held an opponent to under 100 points since they do so against the Miami Heat on Jan. 25.
“Some nights, three guys are on the same page, four guys are on the same page, but in order for us to be a great team on both ends of the floor, especially defensively, everybody has to be connected,” Jordan said, via Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. “And I feel like tonight, we put that together for as close to 48 minutes as I’ve seen in awhile from us.”