Iso-Heavy Nets Basketball ‘Not a Plan’ – The Mercury News

If you watch Nets basketball, you get a clear realization: With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on most minutes, it’s an isolation-heavy team.

As they should be, but in recent games it has become increasingly clear that the Nets cannot rely on the greatness of their two scorers alone if they are to win championships this season or beyond. Celtics head coach Ime Udoka pointed it out before Boston’s win over the Nets on March 6.

“I know his game,” said the ex-Nets assistant. “It’s not about their set, aggressively. It’s about who they are. They’re not driving anything complicated. It gives them the ball and lets them do what they do.”

It’s easy to fall into the trap of isolation when you have two talents in the form of Irving and Durant, each of whom are subject to Hall of Fame consideration because of their ability to generate offense in the face of the most creative defensive plans of opposing coaching. . Employees can build.

However, the Iso-ball can only get you so far. To win the big, the net needs to strike the offense on a single string as they attempt to play defense: all five players advance in sync.

“Yeah, I think we’re a separation-heavy team because [Kevin and Kyrie are] So talented, but that’s not the plan,” head coach Steve Nash said on Friday. “The plan is to get into as many actions as possible, and hopefully it takes one and we’re in the paint, and we get a good look.”

Nash said that sometimes it can seem like Irving and Durant are changing with basketball, and in fact, to the naked eye it does. The two have combined to use more than 60% of the team’s offensive assets since the February 10 James Harden trade, which makes sense when you consider a combination of the two for 45% of the payroll. consider.

It makes even more sense when you consider that Joe Harris has been with a seriously injured ankle since November 14 and that Ben Simmons has yet to make his net debut since arriving via Harden deal on February 10 .

Nets, often, Durant or Irving takes no more action to run than to get the ball and get out of the way.

But it’s not good basketball, and as the Nets get healthier as they progress into play-in tournaments and, they hope, first-round playoff appearances, they will continue to add extra wrinkles to their offense.

Which will be a difficult task considering the reality of his season, but one that will nonetheless have to be fought back.

The plan, as Nash noted, is actually to produce a more complex offense, but it’s a team that has more than 40 different starting lineups, a team forced to endure blockbuster trade midseason. When the roster’s main playwright Harden forced his way to Philly for another playwright who hasn’t made his debut in Brooklyn yet. The nets are not perfect. In fact, he just pardoned James Johnson, who played as a backup point guard and Swiss Army Knives reserve for most of the season.

The Nets, however, will continue to work on that offense even as they work through the play-in to the first round of the playoffs.

“We want to continue to get players into action so we can give defense decisions to make, we ask defense questions, we see if they make mistakes or we create a little bit of an advantage instead of watching them, Nash said. “But when (Durand and Irving) do it back and forth, there’s movement of the ball anyway. It’s not just because they’ve only given it to each other, that right is bad. Sometimes that’s all it takes to shift the defense and now we’ve built up a small advantage.”

Nash pointed to the second half of the team’s win against the Knicks on Wednesday, saying that a high level of ball speed and offensive action is indeed possible. The Knicks held a 21-point lead and were on the verge of their most disappointing loss to the Nets in a season filled with disappointing losses before Brooklyn turned the Jets on in the second half. Nets are constantly learning each other, and time is not with them.

But then again, that’s what Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are in for: When an offensive action breaks down, you can always rely on your superstar scorer to get the bucket.

“It’s a work in progress,” Nash said. “This group hasn’t played a lot of games together, so it takes time to try to delve deeper into our philosophy, but I think the second half in New York was a glimpse of some of the positivity and productivity of that mindset, where it was the first. Half was the opposite.”

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