Nets vs. Mavericks: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Steve Nash Top Quotes
Postgame quotes from the 113-109 loss to Dallas
See what the Brooklyn Nets had to say after their 113-109 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
On common threads in four straight losses:
"I think what we're seeing right now is we get down in these games we’re playing high quality teams that want to win for playoff seeding. It's a little bit of an unchartered territory for this group. So it's good for us, frankly. We all want to win every night, and I would have much preferred to win tonight. But some adversity, some higher-level competition is I think what this team needs going into the playoffs. We have no common experiences together in that setting, and so these are a little bit of a dress rehearsal, when you're playing playoff teams, teams that need wins that are really coming out to try to win these games and play at a high level. So it was good for us. The adversity is good for us. We're going to face adversity in the playoffs, and without having some adversity, now it may not afford us as much as going through this adversity.”
On getting ready and healthy for playoffs:
"We’re just trying to get better every day. We can't really control the injuries. We're getting healthy bodies back, we’ve got the most guys I think we’ve had all year right now that are available; so that's positive. Trying to figure out some rotations and combinations. Obviously, James comes back at some point and changes everything again. But we're trying to just get better. We're trying to get more familiar with what we're trying to do, trying to get better at our principles and get a better understanding between one another. As I said, a lot of these teams have been in the last two, three, four years in a row. We're just getting to know each other; a lot of our guys have missed a lot of season. So trying to gain that understanding, that continuity is what we're after right now. We're going through a tough stretch, we're not playing really well, we’re not playing really sharp. We were right in it today, we had our chances for sure; we've had our chances in the last three games. So what is it that can get us over the hump? I think the first thing is for us to continue to stay strong mentally, to pick it pick each other up, to realize we got a lot of work to do. We keep working, we don't let this take the wind out of our sails and we'll improve and get better.”
On Kevin Durant:
"Kevin didn’t have a great rhythm tonight, especially in the second half. He normally can get to his spots and convert. He just wasn’t in a great rhythm. Some nights it’s just going to happen. We’re all going to have poor shooting performances or nights where we don’t quite have a rhythm. And then the defense, we made some mistakes. I thought the third-quarter defense was really good. In the fourth quarter, we made a few mistakes and they made a few plays, but I think there’s a lot to build on. We can look at the tape, continue to build, continue to grow."
On team learning about itself:
“I think I would've had a different answer for you if I was in year six, year five. I am in year 10, so I've been through different journeys. I've failed. I've succeeded. I've been in a role where I wanted to play that role, I've been in a role where I didn't want to play and I think that's the beauty of journeys. You know, being on a team is we have to define that identity. We could say that we're learning a lot about ourselves through the game of basketball. But really, it's just the mind and the body being one on the court and us being on the same page. You know, it's basketball. We're not going to overcomplicate it. We're not going to make it like this is a war, this is this. This is the game of basketball. It's just who's better that night, who is going to stop the other team and be more physical, who is going to make the right plays from beginning to end. So, we're not going to make it about semantics or feeling good. It's basketball.”
On the fourth quarter:
“Other teams know -- especially when they're playing at home -- that the fourth quarter in winning time in terms of picking up the pace. Both second units are in. Some starters are in sometimes, so the game could have different flows. If you look at the Bucks game, primarily they have four starters on the floor starting the fourth quarter. They need to have that type of separation in a game with their players. And tonight, some starters were in with that second unit, but primarily we had a few starters in or KD in, and just figuring it out in the fourth quarter. But our level of play has to match or to overpower, overmatch our opponent. And you know, as you seen, when teams go on runs, we get a timeout but we have to be able to respond and I think it goes back to my first point: we need to be tested like that. You know, we're not a perfect basketball club. I don't think we'd be doing ourselves a great service if we weren't honest. You know, we haven't played well in terms of spurts throughout the game, especially when it matters. And we just got to get better continuity down the stretch. The iso basketball down the stretch is not going to get us over the hump. We have to run some quality plays, some quality possessions, and then figure out a balance of where we're special with our iso game and able to — our ability to score. So, just finding a balance right now, but it's good for us."
On doing things the right way on road trip:
“You can’t make up time spent with anyone unless you just go do it. We are in a part of our journey right now where we’re being challenged and we have to look deep within in terms of what can each one of us do in our roles to be better for the collective unit. This has to be about our team, it has be about we, and I think we do a great job of that. But now we are asking each other to go to a certain level. Some of us have been on a championship level, some of us have not, and trying to mesh that together takes time. Usually it takes teams one or two seasons, three seasons, or the case may be, but now we’re heading into this playoff run where we have to make it up on the fly. And that’s OK. But at the same time, things are not gonna look perfect and we have to inevitably be ready for that. Us as leaders, myself, all the other rest of the leaders on our team are gonna do a great job of preparing one another and simplifying things. But it starts with the mind and the body being on the same page. Gotta think the game. It’s the only way you’re gonna win that gold ball, that Larry O’Brien, is you gotta think the game and you gotta play defense and you gotta overmatch physicality. We’re seen that defense win championships. We’ve seen some of the best offensive teams get by, but defensively is where we’ve gotta make our mark and feel like we’ll be able to do that moving forward just having these tests and challenges now.”
On dealing with adversity of four-game losing streak:
"Just know what we have to do on both ends of the floor at all times, knowing the level of efficiency we’ve gotta have on both ends of the floor, just the small things. That’s usually the last part that takes you over the top, the small things: offensive rebounds, being in the right spots, not being a split-second late on switches, not point switching. Just the little stuff. I think we’re seeing right now that that’s the difference in winning and losing and guys are conscious of that and I think we’ll get better from it."
On the fourth quarter:
"I gotta make them shots. I feel like I got good looks and I didn’t make them. I feel like if I would have made them, I would’ve settled the team down. So that’s a huge part of what I think didn’t go well for us."
On bouncing back:
"It’s trust my work and most of the times a mentality switch on what I need to do to be more effective and more efficient. Tonight I tried shots that I shouldn’t have tried. I shot over a double-team in the fourth quarter. I shot a runner going to the left, just trying to get into the game scoring-wise, and sometimes that pushes me out of the game when I try those tough ones, but it’s all a learning experience. I’m glad it’s happening now for us instead of in a couple weeks, and hopefully we build off of this and keep growing, and I hope we feel this pain, I guess, from losing, feeling like we’re not where we want to be. I like this position for us, and I think it’s gonna make us better as we continue to keep watching film, going through practice, going through shootarounds and then playing in games."
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