The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers faced off in a potential NBA Finals preview on Sunday Night. In the competitive spirit between the two powerhouses, things were chippy all game long.
Bruce Brown Calls Out Paul George
During the fourth quarter of the matchup Nets forward Bruce Brown and Clippers guard Paul George got tangled up in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.
In the midst of the exchange, if you can read lips you can clearly see Brown call George a “p—y” before they are separated.
Paul George and Bruce Brown have words pic.twitter.com/8B0zxGATgp
— its @Dubs408 👋 (@NotNotDubs408) February 22, 2021
During ESPN’s broadcast of the game, broadcast commentator Jeff Van Gundy said security nearly stormed the floor to separate the two players before the referees got involved.
The Nets Have Looked Like a Different Team
The Nets beat the Clippers 112-108 and sit at second place in the Eastern Conference. The team has a record of 20-12 and has won six games in a row. Five of those six wins have been without their star forward Kevin Durant who suffered a left hamstring strain during the team’s win over the Golden State Warriors last Saturday Night.
One of the biggest reasons behind the Nets win streak has been the way they have picked up their defensive effort during their west coast road trip.
The Nets are statistically amongst the worst defensive teams as they rank just 28th in defensive rating according to Lineups . However, the effort has been visibly better on the defensive side of the ball.
Nets shooting guard Kyrie Irving recently spoke about the team’s defensive effort. The 2021 All-Star Game starter thinks the Nets picking up the pace on defense has been a long time coming.
“It’s about time we turn the corner defensively,” Irving said on a Zoom call with reporters after the Nets’ win over the Lakers on Thursday via SNY .
“It’s about time we turned the corner defensively”
Kyrie Irving talks about the Nets stepping up their defensive effort pic.twitter.com/KmumZE73cQ
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) February 19, 2021
“No team is going to win anything in this league if they don’t get stops. It’s about time. And we heard [Steve Nash] loud and clear in the last few games,” Irving said.
The Nets are playing harder on defense but most of their improvement will not show up in the box score. The effort, diving on the floor for loose balls, forcing jump balls. They are clearly making an effort to be aggressors on defense.
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“It is one of our points of emphasis when we go into games, just stay connected no matter what. Stick to the game plan,” Irving said via Nets Wire . “We trust it, we’ve talked about it. So, just go out there and play, and play free and execute it — but we’re going to hold each other accountable.”
The Nets had impressive wins over three Western Conference contenders in the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers during this road trip. The Nets hope to get their star Durant back at some point soon, but Nets’ head coach Steve Nash says there is no timetable for his return.
Luckily, the Nets are just a half-game back of the Philadelphia 76ers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.