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Nets will push pace —just like rest of NBA

Nets will push pace —just like rest of NBA

Much has been made about what kind of style Steve Nash plans to use in Brooklyn. He admitted he will take a lot from his “Seven Seconds Or Less” days in Phoenix under Mike D’Antoni, but then again, so does everybody else in the NBA.

“We want to play an uptempo style. We want to push the ball in transition and play in the open court, and in the half-court we want to make quick decisions, space the floor, take advantage of our playmaking and shooting,” Nash said. “We have some centers that are vertical threats, so we can really put pressure on people above the rim, but also stretch them and make the court big and difficult to cover.

“I definitely think there’ll be similarities. But I also think clearly the way we played in Phoenix is very common in today’s game. You look around the league, a lot of teams look in some ways similar to that. We will have some similarities, but you also have to consider and blend with the personnel you have. So some of that is strategic, some of that is organic. We’re going to let it grow.”

That personnel includes not just Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the court, but D’Antoni beside him on the bench.

Steve Nash
Steve Nash
NBAE/Getty Images

While former interim Jacque Vaughn has stayed on as associate head coach and defensive coordinator, D’Antoni — who coached Nash with the Suns and Lakers, as well as coaching the Knicks and most recently the Rockets — will serve as both offensive coordinator and valuable sounding board as well.

“He’s already everyone’s favorite in the office,” Nash said. “He’s definitely brought his typical personality and charm and sense of humor. For someone who’s been a head coach for so long and had so much success, he’s incredibly humble.

“He’s given me a tremendous amount of comfort, somebody you have a relationship with who can help guide — call or text or knock on his door — to gain his thoughts. … Mike’s been in the position where he’s done this so long and has such a unique perspective and skill set. He’s been incredible for me, but also been great every day here in the building, and people have gravitated to him quickly.”

It was last season in Houston that D’Antoni moved Jeff Green to a stretch 5 and squeezed a career-best 131 Offensive Rating out of a player who had never been above 115 according to Basketball Reference. Now a Net, Green gives them a different small-ball option.

Nevertheless, Durant — who Nash said will guard the power-forward spot but play everywhere on offense — said talk about schemes is overrated.

“Basketball’s pretty simple. Everybody throughout the whole league runs the same sets with different terminologies,” Durant said.

“It’s different when you get on the floor and you see guys’ tendencies, how they play when they’re tired, or how they play with different ballhandlers. … It’s a matter of us adjusting to each other and growing with each other on a day-to-day. But we have high-IQ guys who know how to mesh well with anyone.”


Nash humorously deadpanned his way around the hubbub over Irving saying the Nets didn’t have a “head coach,” quipping he hadn’t heard them.

“I think it was one phrase at the end of a bunch of things he said about being excited about having me in this position and coaching and maybe he took it to another level that seemed to grab all the headlines, which is fine,” Nash said. “I’m in a fortunate position where I get to coach Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

“What we built here in a short period of time, how we’re going to practice and play is exciting. I’m thrilled that I get to coach those guys. If one statement that I don’t necessarily think was meant the way it was taken by the press, that doesn’t bother me at all. I enjoy working with those guys.”

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Erin Clark

Erin is a sports enthusiast who loves indulging in occasional football matches. She is a passionate journalist who flaunts a perfect hold over the English language. She currently caters her skills for the sports and health section of Report Door.

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