Nets face heavy highway stretch which implies extra Kyrie Irving

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The Nets aren’t the one NBA group to put up a decidedly higher document on the highway this season than they’ve at house, though their dilemma regarding Kyrie Irving’s part-time availability makes their scenario distinctive.

After going through the Pelicans on Saturday at Barclays Center, the Nets will play 9 of their subsequent 11 video games away from Brooklyn — break up into segments of 4 and 5 video games sandwiched round two house contests on back-to-back nights Jan. 25-26 in opposition to the Lakers and Nuggets.

The unvaccinated Irving was out of the lineup on account of native COVID-19 mandates and Kevin Durant acquired a workload night time of relaxation Thursday, when the Nets suffered a blowout loss to the Thunder and fell to 11-11 at Barclays Center this season, as in comparison with 15-4 on the highway.

“It’s strange with the home stuff,” coach Steve Nash admitted after the sport. “Not just for us, I couldn’t reply [why], however I do know we’re not the one group.

Kyrie Irving, driving to the basket during a recent game against the Bulls, will be playing more games recently as the Nets prepare for a heavy road stretch.Kyrie Irving, driving to the basket throughout a current sport in opposition to the Bulls, shall be enjoying extra video games because the Nets put together for a heavy highway stretch.Getty Images

“I think it’s going around the league a little bit where teams — good teams, in particular — are having less impressive records at home than on the road. I don’t really know why that is.”

Indeed, the Nets aren’t the one top-tier group with an odd home-road break up this season. For occasion, the 76ers entered their house sport Friday in opposition to the Celtics 8-9 at Wells Fargo Center and 15-8 exterior of Philadelphia.

The Nets’ upcoming 9 away video games will give Irving an opportunity to achieve extra familiarity along with his fellow Big 3 stars, Durant and James Harden. He additionally will be capable to acclimate himself to the remainder of a roster, which has suffered six losses over its final 9 video games whereas recuperating from a virtually team-wide COVID-19 shutdown to land on the 41-game midpoint of the season with a 26-15 mark.

“As far as the halfway point, obviously we’ve had a tough stretch lately. When we came back and had everyone come back from COVID I would have said we were having a great season,” Nash mentioned. “People thought we’d be a bottom-five or 10 group defensively going into the 12 months. For essentially the most a part of this 12 months we’ve been top-10.

Kyrie Irving goes up for a layup during the Nets' win over the Bulls.Kyrie Irving goes up for a layup throughout the Nets’ win over the Bulls.AP

“We’ve found a way to win a lot of games with 10 new guys and no Kyrie and having Kyrie back and then going back we’ve had a little bit of struggle with just trying to patch this thing together and start again. Otherwise, tons to build on and sometimes when you go through these difficult periods you learn more about yourselves.”

Harden famous Thursday night time {that a} daunting schedule this week of 4 video games in 5 days — together with a make-up of a earlier COVID postponement at Portland — has left him and his teammates “tired and exhausted.”

“Man, it’s just been crazy because of the COVID,” Harden mentioned. “[Thursday] was definitely a little frustrating because we wanted to win. We played so well [Wednesday against the Bulls], so we wanted to have some kind of carryover. But it just didn’t happen.”

Nash mentioned he believes the group’s struggles pays dividends in a second half, which is able to characteristic the additional reintegration of Irving, maybe even in house video games, ultimately.

“You’re able to address things more head on, take a deeper look in the mirror and fix some of the problems,” Nash mentioned. “I type of get pleasure from a few of these more durable stretches as a result of I feel it reveals a group climb out, discover resilience and discover options.

“Overall we’ve had a good year and we’ve just got to try to find our stride and consistency again now that we’ve gone through that COVID interruption.”

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