Dorian Finney-Smith was quick to jump in when he thought it was being suggested that the expectations for the Nets had changed following the trades of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
“Not for us,” he replied.
The response follows Jacque Vaughn’s line of thinking that no matter who is in the lineup, he expects the Nets to win. Things have certainly changed since the franchise’s massive directional change last week, but among the players inside the locker room still the belief remains.
“We’re going to work out with what we got in the locker room and I feel like we’re fully capable of doing something special here. And making some noise,” Finney-Smith said after speaking with the boys’ and girls’ junior varsity and varsity basketball teams at Achievement First High School in Brooklyn. “That’s all we got to do is stick together. You know, we play hard and just let the chips fall how they going to fall.”
The Nets have gone 1-4 since the first domino fell and Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in a deal that included Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie. Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson joined the team days later after Durant was dealt to the Phoenix Suns.
Brooklyn has remained competitive through the transition but sat in fifth in the Eastern Conference going into the Nets’ final game before the NBA All-Star break. The new-look Nets have also only had two games with Dinwiddie, Finney-Smith, Mikal Bridges and Johnson all out on the floor together.
Now they’re going to have to put it all together in a short period of time if they hope to fulfill Finney-Smith’s prediction.
“We got smart guys. Guys have been in the league for a while now. So I played against them for a long time too so I know what they can do and what they can’t do,” Finney-Smith said about the team having to gel in such a short period of time. “And they know what I can do and what I can’t do, so I feel like we can help each other too. We’re going to keep it going. I feel like we got enough in that locker room. So we just got to stick together. It’s gonna be a long season.”