Nets head coach Steve Nash believes the team should take Kyrie Irving’s absence as an opportunity to play more and prove themselves at home.
Earlier this month, Former NBA champion Kyrie Irving returned to the Nets lineup after missing eight months of action. The Nets guard’s stance on not getting vaccinated holds against the COVID-19 mandate of New York City. Thus Irving is barred from playing or practicing in home arenas.
The Brooklyn team would not allow Irving to participate on a part-time basis. However, the Nets front office reversed their decision later. The league’s health and safety protocols had many players sit out and miss games, leading to teams signing players on ten-day contracts to fill up their rosters.
On the other hand, Joe Tsai and co decided to have Irving back in the lineup for road games. In his three games so far, Irving has averaged 17.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.3 SPG, and shot 45.8% from the field. The Nets are 2-1 in those games. The former ROY has made the Nets instant favorites to win the chip.
During a recent pre-game interview, Nets head coach Steve Nash was asked about the team’s conviction towards games when Irving wasn’t in the lineup.
Steve Nash responds to playing at home without Kyrie Irving.
The Nets organization’s decision to have Irving back in the lineup led to severe backlash. However, the team didn’t budge from their ruling. Currently holding a 26-15 record, the Nets have played almost every game with a different starting lineup.
Though it hasn’t affected the team greatly, come playoffs time, they would need a fixed lineup. But head coach Nash has different views, especially with Irving returning to the lineup.
“You have an opportunity to play more, to have more responsibility, and to prove that we can win when he’s not available. That’s an approach we have to have.”
Nash added that the team hasn’t really played well at home since the start of the season.
“One of our weaknesses is we haven’t played great at home, haven’t started games well. The offensive rebounding piece is an Achilles heel for us. We need to push for getting that winning record at home.”
Steve Nash on the Nets having a different group at home without Kyrie Irving:
“You have an opportunity to play more, to have more responsibility, and to prove that we can win when he’s not available. That’s an approach we have to have.” pic.twitter.com/GoyggAlZLN
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 15, 2022
In what it seems, the Nets are currently only concerned with winning games, whether it means having Irving on a part-time basis only.