The Boston Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets, 114-107, on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first round series. The Nets were up by as much as 17 points late in the second quarter, but Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combined to make just 1-of-17 field goals in the second half. While the players have to make their shots, it appears many people have focused on Steve Nash's coaching performance both during and after the game as the second year coach got roasted on Twitter.
Nash didn't really help his case with this postgame quote about the team not having many "common experiences."
It's April. And the Nets haven't even had to try to incorporate Ben Simmons yet. It doesn't really matter if they've done any team building activities now that the playoffs have come along. The Nets have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and their expectations are a championship, whether that's realistic with this roster and an inexperienced head coach or not. It's the same thing LeBron James goes through every year. Of course, LeBron's coach just got fired...
Nash is in his second year with Brooklyn. Ime Udoka, the Boston Celtics coach, is in his first year with his team. He was Nash's assistant last season. Now that the Nets are down 0-2 and Nash is getting outcoached people are remembering a conversation between Irving and Durant on a podcast before Nash's first season.
And here's Nash just a few weeks ago talking about how the Nets could turn around their struggling defense. Via the New York Post:
“It’s always most effective when it’s player-led,” Nash said. “They’re going to hear me say it over and over every day. When they push each other for more, you’ll see the defense improve some. We’re going to stay on them … but I think there is an element to it that is when they decide they’re going to defend and do it internally they’ll be exponentially better than if they have to listen to me every day.”
If the Nets are going to come back in this series, it sound like Kyrie and KD are going to have to do it themselves. If there's an adjustment to be made, it doesn't seem like Nash knows what it is as a coach. The good news is that they knew the players appear to know this would be the case back when Nash was hired. Now that it's playing out like everyone expected the only real question is which "coach" will take the fall.