NBA

How did the Brooklyn Nets get swept out of the playoffs?

The Brooklyn Nets were swept off the opening round of the 2022 NBA playoff series by the Boston Celtics in Game 4. The Nets admit why this happened.

Gidget Alikpala
Update:
Anadolu AgencyGetty

The early favorites to win the NBA Championship this season were unceremoniously swept off the first round of the playoff series. The Boston Celtics put an end to the Brooklyn Nets’ aspirations with a 116-112 victory in Game 4.

The Nets have publicly acknowledged the reasons for their dismal performance, being the only team in the playoffs not to have won a single game. They had a lot of concerns to deal with off-court, and they acknowledge that this affected their on-court performance.

Unvaccinated Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving, who missed games played at home because of his refusal to get vaccinated against covid-19, admitted that his actions had an effect on the team.

“I felt like I was letting the team down at a point where I wasn’t able to play. We were trying to exercise every option for me to play, but I never wanted it to just be about me. And I think it became a distraction at times,” said Irving.

Brooklyn initially prohibited the 30-year-old from playing on a part-time basis during away games, but eventually relented in December.

Brooklyn Nets injuries

Kevin Durant, who had his best game of the series with 39 points in Game 4, acknowledged that the absence of Irving added more pressure on him throughout the season.

The 2014 NBA MVP also suffered an MCL injury that sidelined him for six weeks. Guard Joe Harris was also down with an ankle injury, playing only a total of 14 games this season.

“Everybody in the organization knows what we went through. So no time to feel regret or be too pissed off. It’s about how we can find solutions to get better,” said Durant.

Then there was the the trade of James Harden in February for Ben Simmons, who did not play a single game the entire season due to a setback in rehabilitating a herniated disc.

The future of Steve Nash

Head coach Steve Nash has also come under fire for his lack of ability to adjust to the Celtics’ defense which severely limited Durant and Irving during the playoffs. There have been calls for Nash to be removed as coach after the sweep.

Durant has said that he would like to see both Nash and Irving stay with the Nets in the next season.

Irving has one year left on his contract and is up for an extension this summer. For the moment, it sounds like he doesn’t intend to leave the team.

“I don’t really plan of going anywhere. This is added motivation for our franchise to be at the top of the league for the next few years. I’m just looking forward to the summer, just building with our guys here,” according to Irving.

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