NBA 2022 Playoffs – Why these Brooklyn Nets were the best team they have ever been

Mike de Anthony watched the Brooklyn Nets lose to the Boston Celtics at the end of the Brooklyn Nets season Monday night from his living room in Austin, Texas.

A year ago, D’Antoni was on the Nets’ bench next to Nash, as the MVP twice coached a team that has never been known as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference finals.

Nine years ago, D’Antoni was on the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers for another season, when Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pao Gasol and Dwight Howard lost their way back and forth in the first round.

But this year, the Netz season was something Dantoni had never seen before.

“The situation was very strange,” he said. “When you throw away everything that happened to them this year … and then you have to fight for your life for a month just to get into the playoffs … I don’t think it’s weird that they struggled. “

After it all ended Monday night in Brooklyn, Nash and the Netz superstars took turns at the venue, playing hints similar to the off-field drama that drowned out the notes this season, exhausting them to the end at every level. . from that

Kyrie Irving called it “the polarization of media conflict” and “noise.”

Kevin Durant noted the lack of “continuity.”

Nash spoke directly about “everything off the field” and their impact on the team on the field.

“Our kids are worn out,” Nash said. “They are tired.”

The final minutes of Monday’s game showed everything.

With 2:45 minutes to go, and Boston leading 109-103, Brooklyn suffered a major defeat when referee Sean Wright declared the sixth foul on Celtics star Jason Tatum.

In the next game, the revived Blake Griffin scored a key offensive rebound against Al Horford Boston, which resulted in a three-point throw from Irving that reduced the lead to three points. When Durant stole the ball from Jillon Brown and hit a 14-foot float to restore the lead to one with 1:28 left, the move to Brooklyn seemed to have changed.

But instead of salvation, the notes became more angry in the season in which it was defined.

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1:16

Kevin Durant reacts to how the Nets season ended and whether Steve Nash is the right coach for the future team.

Durant missed three consecutive points and a key free throw, Irving failed to box Horford in an offensive rebound and setback after Griffin blocked Marcus Smart from a quick shot. The end of the game was a loss and the credit of the top team in a series of round trips.

Durant was then asked if he regretted the season, series or game.

“He has no regrets,” he shrugged. “S — is happening. We are going through a lot of problems this year.

Durant began listing the things that have happened to the Netz this season, but he quickly lost interest in the conclusion: Irving’s fights with New York City over vaccine orders, James Harden trade, uncertainty about injury Ben Simmons’s waist. As well as his mental health, the outbreak of Covid-19, injuries, instability and, most obviously, a friendship that was impossible to develop.

“I wish we were healthier as a group,” Durant said. “I wish we had more continuity as a group. But this is just a league. Every team goes through it.”

He seemed both tired of talking about drama and not interested in making excuses. Aside from injury, Durant has been Netz’s most consistent player.

Only he knows how much it has affected him physically and mentally. Monday night did not have the patience to admit any fatigue or excuse that heavy burden.

Nash, however, was outspoken.

“Throughout the season,” Nash said. “It simply came to our notice then [things]In many ways, the basketball world did a one-season autopsy on what went wrong for Netz.

But the assumption of those analyzes is incomplete.

This is not something that went wrong for Netz, or what happened To They are talking about decisions that allow these team and cultural problems to exist in the first place.

Whether Harden resigned from the team and demanded a mid-season swap, Irving could not play in New York and Toronto due to his vaccination status, or even Simmons’ decision to force him out of Philadelphia after last season. A “steep increase” process was performed for the game again, which never came to fruition.

Netz management and ownership have tried to support their stars throughout the season. In general, superstar players appreciate this kind of respect. But outside of Durant, the Netz superstars did not do well in the defense shown to them, which is problematic for a team built on a star system.

Just think how much time and energy Netz was wasting on off-field issues that could be spent on basketball. How many hours were spent discussing the status of Irving vaccination? How much energy do you spend discussing what to do with Harden? How many hours did it take to decide whether or not Simmons would play in Game 4, instead of how the Netz was going to adapt to the Celtics crowd defense?

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Kyrie Irving admits that his situation this season has distracted him and he is still determined to return to Brooklyn in the autumn.

Irving pointed out his losses and responsibilities after the game.

“It was a really emotional season,” he said. I felt like I was disappointing the team where I could not play.

“I never want it to be about me, but I feel it sometimes causes distraction.” Irving then emphasized the power given to him and Durant in the organization.

“When I say ‘I’m here with Q’, it means we’re running the franchise together – alongside Joe and Sean,” said Irving, referring to Joe Tsai, owner of the Netz, and Sean Marx, general manager.

“We have to be really intentional about what we do.”

Irving spoke of his motivation for building a better team and culture for next season, and not just the individual performance that the results have been doing this year. But he clearly spoke as a star fully empowered by his franchise, which is great when everything is right but sad when the Netz season ends in the same bad way.

If it sounds familiar, so be it.

The West Coast version of the Netz – the Lakers – was pretty much the same this season.

It’s ironic for coaches like Nash, who made a name for himself as a player in a democratic system like Doni Anthony “seven seconds or less”, and a general manager like Marx, who grew up in San Antonio. The Spurs Culture Hive, which has built a team like this.

Like everyone else, everyone thinks differently about what they could and should have done. Then they try everything again in the next chapter, hoping that the lessons of this chapter will be important.

“The hard part is that we all grew significantly, we just couldn’t take advantage of it this year,” Nash said after the game. “It’s hard to say goodbye to everything we went through this year. Because we fought hard to stay together.”

Nash is right that the notes fought. They did not always fight their opponents on the ground.

Dantoni, for his part, still believes in Brooklyn’s star-studded list.

“You have not seen anything they can do,” D’Antoni said. “This should be an opportunity. But here is New York, and New York is ‘What did you do for me yesterday?’

“I hope they can get it.”

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