The Nets have gotten healthy at home, rebounding from a slow start to win three straight games and four of five.
This recent stretch of improved play will now be tested, as they head out on the road for a six-game trip, starting Friday against the Pistons after their recent six-game homestand.
“You definitely get comfortable being at home for so long, so now it is even tougher going on the road,” Kevin Durant said. “We look forward to it. It is a good test to see where we are as a group.”
This will be the Nets’ longest road trip of the season, though it isn’t exactly a big challenge considering they will play just one team with a winning record, Monday at the surprising Bulls (6-2). Their biggest focus is continuing to play as they have of late, with their past three wins — over the Hawks, Pistons and Pacers — coming by an average of 14 points.
“It was very important for us to spend these two weeks at home … getting reacquainted with the city, our routines, each other,” Durant said. “So it was good to be at home doing that. Take it on the road now.”
The Nets are starting to see James Harden “the superstar begin to re-emerge.” Over this three-game winning streak, he averaged 21 points, 10.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 47 percent from the field. Those numbers are more along the lines of what the Nets expected from Harden, even if he attempted just four free throws in the past two games.
“I think we’re seeing improvement from James. We’re seeing a little bit of everything,” coach Steve Nash said. “We’re seeing him get to the basket or get by his guy and get in the paint a little more. We’re seeing him make more 3s, drawing fouls. He had a blocked shot [in Wednesday’s win over the Hawks], a big steal. He’s working on it, he’s getting better, and it’s exciting to see him continue to improve.”
Forward Nick Claxton (non-COVID-19 illness) will miss his fifth straight game on Friday against the Pistons, the Nets announced.
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