After dropping two of their last three games on the road, a return to Barclays Center is a nice change of pace for the Nets. Entering Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Nets sat in 10th in the Eastern Conference at 9-11 after suffering losses to the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers last week.
The two losses both came in games that Brooklyn could have won, a fact Nes head coach Jacque Vaughn pointed out on Sunday.
“We got to win ballgames,” Vaughn said. “We should have won the Indiana game. You know, going back watching the film, have seven turnovers in the fourth quarter, have our group out there a majority of the time that started the game. Have defensive breakdowns like we did to end the game. Lose our poise and composure like we did at the end of the game, can’t happen. And just because you’re at home, some of those same problems could arise. how we respond to it is key.
“We talked about this should be a good homestand for us, we get a chance to sleep on all beds. Play on our own court, have our own fans behind us. But you got to take care of business and the goal is to win every single game we play.”
The Nets have continued to exhibit issues that have plagued their season through the first two months of the year. Brooklyn has had a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-esque feel to it this season, where the team has looked out of sync with one another and other times it looks like the Nets squad that was expected to compete for a title.
That has resulted in the less-than-ideal start on the court that had been coupled with the off-the-court drama that followed them around.
Sunday was the start of a seven-game homestand that will see the likes of Orlando, Washington, Toronto, Boston, Charlotte and Atlanta all come through Brooklyn. It presents an important stretch where the Nets can hope to gain some ground and add a few notches to the win column to start the month of December.
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But in order to do that, the Nets will need to figure out how to play a full 48 minutes.
“It’s the value of each possession and sometimes we take that for granted,” Vaughn said about what needed to change. “It is, we can score and maybe make up the deficit because we have a mistake, but we come out of the third quarter and give up three straight threes. Just because the focus and the concentration wasn’t there. And those things have happened to us too frequently. (It’s) my job to continue to show it to the team, point it out, make it as black and white as I can, and we’ll do that before pregame today. Even though we lead into another game, we’ll see some clips from Indiana and challenge this group to be locked in on each possession.”