Kyrie Irving Puts NBA on Notice With Strong Message Amid Nets Win Streak

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving celebrates during the Brooklyn Nets win over the Atlanta Hawks.

After a sluggish 2-6 start to the season, the Brooklyn Nets have the second-best record in the NBA behind the Boston Celtics at 23-12. They also own the NBA’s longest active win streak, reeling off 10 wins in a row, which has catapulted them up the third place in the Eastern Conference standings. This is in large part due to the elevated play of All-Star Kyrie Irving.

Per NetsDaily, Irving leads the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring at 8.8 points per game and has averaged 14.6 points in the final frame during Brooklyn’s last five games. After the Nets’ win over the Atlanta Hawks on December 28, the Nets star sounded off on his play in the clutch.

“For me specifically, when the fourth quarter hits, it’s winning time,” Irving said after the Nets’ 108-107 win. “That’s all I really know.”

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Markieff Morris Sounds off on Nets ‘Safe Haven’

Following the elevation of Nets head coach Jacque Vaughan from interim head coach to permanent head coach, it has been apparent that the overall culture of the franchise has completely turned around. For so long, the narrative around the Nets had been nothing but off-the-court issues. Whether it was Kyrie’s vaccine status, Kevin Durant’s trade request, or Steve Nash’s job security, the focus was hardly on basketball.

Fast forward to the present day, Nets veteran forward Markieff Morris says that the current Nets locker room has become a “safe haven for basketball”.

“What you said about making basketball the main thing, we talked about it as a team too, without the coaches. This is our safe haven for basketball. This is where we get away from the outside world, we quiet the noise; because everybody’s got something going on outside of basketball, no matter what it is,” Morris told the New York Post.

“You might not know whatever it might be for the next person, but everybody’s got something going on. So, once we step into the building — whether it’s practice or a game — let’s put that to the side for three, four hours and just focus on the group and winning basketball games.”

Jacque Vaughan Gives Update on Ben Simmons, Joe Harris

Even more impressive for the Nets is that they have gone on this win streak while dealing with a slew of injuries. Joe Harris has not played since December 21, and Ben Simmons has also missed time. With the uncertainty of the two stars for their matchup with the Charlotte Hornets on December 31, the Nets coach updated reporters on the status of his two starters

“He’ll stay at home, rejoin us [in Brooklyn]. Hopefully, we’ll assess him when we get back,” Vaughan said of Joe Harris. “But he will not play Charlotte, so no need to fly him. Just thinking it through, keep them there, see what happens in these next three days.”

Vaughan also noted that Simmons did not attend the team’s practice on December 30 as he deals with a non-COVID-related illness but did not rule him out of the game.

“Ben did not practice. … [We left him] back at the hotel. Best to keep in there. He’ll fly with us to Charlotte,” the Nets coach said. “I guess [Charlotte] could be up in the air as one of those non-COVID [illnesses]. I’m not even sure we’ll list him, but all signs point towards him playing.”

The Nets can extend their win streak to 11 in their next game.