Cleveland Cavaliers again. This time without two overtimes, without impossible shots and without a Collin Sexton anthological finale. AND without Kevin Durant, who after his 50 minutes 48 hours before (and with a game today, against the Miami Heat), was forced to rest. Again, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Brooklyn Nets (125-113 this time). They are, therefore, two losses in a row and a 2-2 for Steve Nash (who has a lot of work ahead of him, it’s very obvious) since the transfer of James Harden. Of the four games, Kyrie Irving has been absent in two and Durant in one.
By now it is obvious that the opposite would be strange, The Nets have no personality traces of her. Especially in attack, where they try to live off a sequence of disjointed individual actions, with abysmal problems when they try to play with basic collective concepts. That talent, of course, is there: Kyrie Irving scored 38 points at his former home, where he was champion, and dished out 5 assists. He tried to overcome only one match that his team had escaped in a third quarter in which he was shaken (37-24, 98-84 total). James Harden (19 points and 11 assists) distributed what he could, shot only 14 times (6/14) and was more shy than expected with Durant out of the game.
It will take weeks to see how scary this can be playstation team, how suitable is Steve Nash for the bench, how dangerous are the lack of deep rotation, defensive specialists, rebounding (50-29 this time, a disaster). The megastars They are not three players who fill perfectly a priori (especially Kyrie and Harden) so it takes time to see how they can optimize their minutes on the court together. Something that has obviously been seen in these two games in three days against the Cavs, they don’t know how to do yet. Harden, after being the sun king on the Rockets for years, he has moments where He literally doesn’t seem to know which way to go. Kyrie got frustrated on a few plays, and the defense was a sneaker unable to adjust meaningfully, communicate efficiently and move in sync. It also doesn’t help, of course, if the secondary players don’t make the free shots: 2/7 in triples Joe Harris, 0/5 Landry Shamet, who for now is not vindicated in Brooklyn after his disappointing stint with the Clippers.
The Nets are 9-8… and the Cavaliers 8-7, after three straight victories, these last two in front of all the lights. It’s all good news: JB Bickerstaff has built a franchise culture that didn’t seem to exist in the first installment of last season. LThe defense is, against all odds, one of the best in the league, and Kevin Love (the spiritual reference) is missing but other injured are returning, this time Darius Garland (11 points, 3 assists) and Dylan Windler (6 points). The newcomers of the Nets were again decisive against their exes: 14 points and 3 rebounds from Taurean Prince, 19 + 6 from Jarrett Allen. With the defense of Okoro and Larry Nance, the production of Drummond (19 + 16 + 4 assists) and the leadership of Collin Sexton, the Cavaliers have been in this double duel, simply, much more team than the Nets. Sexton, after his heroic game on Wednesday, read the defensive attention (to call it that) of his rival and distributed 9 assists along with, this time, 25 points. The Cavs smile and the Nets frown at the gates of a very tense game today against the Miami Heat, an Eastern champion who for now (with his own problems, in his case of losses) does not find himself out of the bubble.