After the fanfare that accompanied the arrival of James Harden in Brooklyn and the creation of one of the most talented Big 3s in NBA history, the Brooklyn Nets have struggled to find consistency.
Minus Kevin Durant, they dropped their third-straight game, going down 122-111 to the Detroit Pistons and are now 14-12 on the season and 7-6 since Harden's arrival.
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While their offence has been incredible for stretches, their defence has left much to be desired and against a Pistons team with the 24th ranked offence in the league, they showed little resistance, allowing the Pistons to shoot 56 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from the 3-point line in today's loss, with star point guard Kyrie Irving describing their play as 'average'.
"I don't think that we go out every single day of our lives and sacrifice the time in order to be average at anything...We look very average," Irving told reporters post-game.
"And we have the talent that the eye test presents that we should be dominating. We have the experience in terms of some of our guys that have been through certain things, certain circumstances to be able to battle through.
"I don't think we go out every single day of our lives and sacrifice the time in order to be average at anything"- Nets Videos (@SNYNets) February 10, 2021
Kyrie Irving knows it's up to the Nets to turn the corner despite all the factors around the Nets as a team pic.twitter.com/P7FCs1SFci
The Nets turned the ball over 15 times, which led to 22 points and let the Pistons get whatever they wanted in the paint, allowing 58 points inside, showing how much they miss rim protector Jarrett Allen, who was sent to Cleveland as part of the Harden deal.
"It's up to the team to decide what type of team they want to be, what they want to get out of this experience," Nets head coach Steve Nash said post-game.
"I think our team needs to challenge themselves and figure out who they want to be, and what they want to represent together. So, having played the game, a certain amount of that comes down to team building within that locker room, and deciding if they want to come together and be a force, or if that's not as important.
"And I think right now, they've been tested here whether they want to become that team that is tough and connected and competitive every single night. And that's got to come from within that room. As coaches we'll keep trying to get better and solve some of the issues but I think the number one issue on a night like tonight was just the competitive spirit to start the game, particularly."
The absence of Kevin Durant has also been a blow to their defence, with the two-time Finals MVP sidelined for three games due to the NBA's health and safety protocols. They've gone 3-5 in games without Durant and 11-7 in the games he's played.
While they are hovering just above .500, not exactly where they would have expected to be at this point in the season, they're still fourth in the Eastern Conference and have plenty of time for the Harden-Irving-Durant Big 3 to gel, having only played six games together.
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