This column was published by Latest Basketball News on April 18, 2021.
By Ed Odeven
With Steve Nash calling the plays, the revamped Brooklyn Nets, who boast a high-octane offense, are built to win right now.
One of the NBA’s most intriguing teams, with the newly formed Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden along with rookie head coach Nash, the Nets are in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Brooklyn defeated the visiting Charlotte Hornets 130-115 on Friday night. Strong 3-point shooting (21-for-41) helped carry the Nets past the Hornets. Joe Harris, the only Net to play in all 56 games this season, sank 6 of 9 from beyond the arc and scored a team-best 26 points. Teammate Landry Shamet canned 6 of 11 in a 20-point effort.
“When we share the ball we’re tough to beat,” Harris told reporters. “We got a lot of catch-and-shoot 3s tonight. When the 3s go in for us, it opens up a lot of other options.”
Durant, Irving deliver solid efforts
Durant had 25 points and 11 assists in the win. Irving added 12 points, six assists, and three steals.
The Nets (38-18) are one game behind the Philadelphia 76ers (39-17) in the Atlantic Division standings. Brooklyn and Philly are also the East’s top two playoff seeds.
Coach Nash’s club won on the same day that veteran big man LaMarcus Alridge announced his retirement due to an irregular heartbeat.
Credit Brooklyn for staying focused when it’s only natural for thoughts to drift about a departing teammate’s health and wellbeing.
As the game progressed, the Nets had ample opportunities to fire away from long range.
Which is exactly what Steve Nash wanted his players to do, e.g. taking what the defense gives them.
“We moved the ball well tonight,” the 2018 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee insisted after the game. “They’re a good defensive team, but they do give up a lot of 3s.”
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