After suffering their worst loss of the season to the Hawks on New Year’s Day, the Brooklyn Nets will look to pick up the pieces in their next game versus the Washington Wizards. Although Brooklyn has two of the best players that the NBA has to offer in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, hearing the same voices in a team’s locker room can feel redundant and even badgering at times. This is why you cannot undersell the importance of veteran leadership on championship teams. Following Friday’s blowout, the voice of leadership in the Nets’ locker room came from an unexpected source.
Jeff Green Has Taken On Leadership Role In Brooklyn
Nets forward Jeff Green has had quite the journey to becoming a wily veteran. Many wondered if Green would make it this far in an NBA career. After having major heart surgery at just 25 years old, Green knows all about overcoming adversity making him the perfect voice of leadership for this Nets locker room. “This is a long season. The main goal is at the end of the season, it’s not right now,” Green said to reporters on a Zoom call with reporters following Friday’s 96-114 blowout. “So, if we continue to watch the film, learn where we can better ourselves, better our team, find ways we can help this team win, we’ll get to the end goal. But right now, we just have to focus on what we need to do to accomplish to win these games that we should win to prepare us for where we want to be.”
Brooklyn’s Stars Agree With Green
Nets’ star forward Kevin Durant has been on an absolute tear this season. The 2014 MVP had another great outing in the blowout. Durant registered 28 points to go along with eight rebounds, four assists, and two blocked shots. Even though Durant’s star has shined the brightest for the Nets thus far, he understands that the team will have off nights that they will have to bounce back from. “We can’t rely on us just making shots,” Durant said to reporters on a Zoom call after the loss. “Jeff Green said that in the locker room and I totally agreed. We’re going to have days where guys ain’t going to make shots, but we got to hang our hat on the defensive side of the ball.”
Durant wasn’t the only Net to agree with Green. Brooklyn’s sharp shooter Joe Harris pretty much echoed the same sentiment as KD and Jeff Green. Having a high-powered offense isn’t worth much if you can’t get stops on defense. “What he said was 100% accurate,” Joe Harris said of Green’s message on a Zoom call with reporters Friday. “The game was pretty similar to the last time we played against them, but we had just played particularly well offensively and it saves us. On a night like tonight, you hope your defense is a little bit better, but it was about the same and the offense wasn’t there. … We know what we have to clean up.”
It will be a long season for the 3-3 Nets if they don’t learn how to pick up the intensity on defense.