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While still a work in progress, the Nets looked strong in their victory over the Heat to snap a two-game losing streak.
STEPHANIE READY: Very interesting game. We knew that Brooklyn had a lot to prove coming out after losing those back-to-back games to the Cleveland Cavaliers. We knew that the Miami Heat were undermanned, and still it came down to the last few possessions. Greg, the defense for the Brooklyn Nets, has it improved?
GREG ANTHONY: I actually thought their defense was better tonight. The activity level. Listen, in today's game, it's not like you're going to go out and just shut people down. I always feel like defense is about you being able to win moments. And they had stretches where they could create separation.
Now, you got to just tip your cap to Miami because they just didn't quit. They kept fighting. They kept fighting, knocking down shots. Bam was amazing tonight.
But overall, I think if you're Brooklyn, you feel good. James Harden's still not in rhythm since the trio's been playing together. But you would assume that's going to come. But I thought overall definitely looked better defensively even though they gave up 124 points.
STEPHANIE READY: Yeah. Now, Channing, we talked about James Harden and his ability to facilitate. So yes, kudos to him with the 11 assists in the evening. But he didn't even really attempt a lot of field goals early on.
CHANNING FRYE: No.
STEPHANIE READY: What do you attribute that to? Can he play that way and still find success with this team?
CHANNING FRYE: For me, he's finding how much this team needs of him to win each night, right? So he is a scorer. As good as his passing is, he's a scorer.
So he's looking to pass, looking to pass, looking to pass. Now all of a sudden he stops looking for his shot until it's like late in the shot clock. They're also going in a zone. So technically any time he drives to the middle of a court, there's two people right there any time.
So he was making the right plays to get his team involved, and he's going to find that medium between I'm a playmaker for my team, and I need to go out and create opportunities for myself. But I'm not worried about the Nets. And obviously we're going to nit pick them about their defense or this or that.
But once this team clicks on all cylinders, watch out to NBA. Just watching them has been amazing in their growth, in their communication. Something I really respect, and I love seeing that from especially those three guys talking to their rookies.
STEPHANIE READY: Game by game, we're seeing them develop together, and it has been a lot of fun to watch. GA, Kyrie Irving, we have always known what he's capable of. But we saw a little peek of that fourth quarter action.
CHANNING FRYE: Oh, you saw that?
STEPHANIE READY: 15 in the fourth quarter.
GREG ANTHONY: Yeah. You know, the thing about Kyrie is sometimes all the ancillary and external forces are focused on, and we forget about the basketball savant. And his ability to create, shoot, score is as good as you're going to ever see at that position.
And the other thing about him, he's got that clutch gene. You can tell, and he could sense, you know, we're not clicking as a team offensively. I got to go make something happen. And time and time again in that fourth quarter he was able to do that even though Miami wouldn't go away. Neither would Kyrie Irving.