Thursday, December 08, 2022

Nets Notebook: Steve Nash sticks with similar rotation in Game 3, plus more minutes for Goran Dragic

Nets head coach Steve Nash is expected to play the same eight-and-a-half-man rotation against the Celtics in Saturday’s deciding Game 3 as he did in Games 1 and 2.

That meant heavy doses of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Bruce Brown and Seth Curry, minutes split in the center in favor of Nick Claxton with Andre Drummond, a steady dose of Goran Dragic and Patty Mills off the bench, and a sprinkling rookie forward. Kessler Edwards, who combined for just seven minutes in Games 1 and 2.

It also means that the Nets, for the third game in a row, will elect against matching double big men’s lineups of Al Horford, Daniel Theis and returning Robert Williams (Knee), meaning Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge will possibly have another. The game will stew on the bench.

more minutes for dragik

Dragic has been the Nets’ most productive bench player through games 1 and 2, scoring 14 points in the opener and 18 points in the follow-up. Yet Nash only played 20 minutes of dragick in Game 2, despite shooting 14 of the 8 nights, including six makes in his first seven attempts.

Nash suggested that there would be more minutes on Dragic’s way in Game 3, given the stakes in the game. No team has ever gone down 3–0 to win a playoff series, so the Nets need to play the game as if it were the last of their series.

“Yes [we want him to play as many minutes] Within reason,” Nash said of Dragick. “I think we want him to keep playing, but he’s definitely someone we’d love to spend more time on the floor.” Dragick said he Wants to play until it burns.

“I don’t know man, I feel good. I feel great,” he said, despite clearing COVID-19 health and safety protocols after a symptomatic battle with the virus that ended less than two weeks ago Said. “I live for the playoffs; I always play well when the playoffs happen. So that’s the time when you want to be on the floor.”

But he is not sure that he can handle the workload of 40 minutes.

“I’m that boy” [does] Do whatever it takes to help the team. So whatever they need from me, I’m going to do that.” “My job here is to make some easy things for those guys and try to be professional.

“So, sure, I want to play 48 minutes, but if I’m being honest, if I’m being realistic, that’s not possible for me at the moment. So definitely in your mind, in your mind, I want it But physically I am not capable.”

free kd

The Celtics take Durant hostage. His physical and formidable defense has placed him the league’s most dangerous scorer in the first two games of the series, shooting only 13-in-41. And it looks like the net doesn’t have an answer, at least not an answer they want to share.

Nash said the Nets aren’t really concerned about the offense and believes their offense is in good shape as they have scored 114 and 107 against the league’s best defense.

Drummond was a little more direct.

Drummond said the nets could give Durant more space on the floor – possibly adding more shooters around him – but added that the Celtics are a big team that would use their length to dribble Durant straight into a helping defender. Is.

“So we have to find ways to reduce the tension for that,” Drummond said. “I think it’s going to be a tough series for her. They’re hanging their hat on making her life difficult, so we have to find little ways to get her easy baskets so she doesn’t have to work on every single thing.” Have to do it. Guys also have to step up and shoot.”

timelord is back

Celtics starting center and defensive player of the year candidate Robert Williams will return for Game 3 and is expected to play for 25 to 30 minutes after suffering a knee injury. Williams is the same player who recorded nine blocks in the Celtics playoff opener against the Nets last season.

Nash said that Williams, whom his fans refer to as “The Timelord”, doesn’t change the Nets’ game plan at all.

“He’s just a tall, versatile defender who blocks shots,” Nash said. “So it doesn’t really change anything that they’re doing. They just add a player who is exceptional at defending the basket and blocking shots.”

Drummond agreed with Nash.

“With him coming back or not coming back, I don’t think it changes anything for me or our team,” he said. “Pretty much just adding one more guy who can protect the rim. He’s a very good basketball player. And he’s their primary rim keeper so adding him back gives the team a little more strength but nothing we can do.” can not handle. ”

must win

No team in NBA history has ever returned from a 0–3 playoff deficit. Does this make Saturday’s Game 3 a necessary win for the Nets team that lost Game 1 on the buzzer-beater and took a 17-point lead to lose Game 2?

“S-T should win every game from here,” Drummond said after Saturday’s shootaround. “I think we have the tools to win the game. We know what they’re capable of. We know what they’ll throw at us, and it’s not just putting it through the rest of the series.”

Nash did not provide a direct answer to this question.

“I think it’s not necessary to win, but it’s important to win every game in the playoffs, so I don’t necessarily subscribe to that,” he said. “You don’t go in and say it’s not necessary to win Game 1. You’re trying to win every single game. So our mindset shouldn’t change. We’re trying to win every match.”


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