Kyrie Irving: Nets Learning to Build 'Something Special...Different and Unique'

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIApril 1, 2021

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets have surpassed the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in the Eastern Conference following a 120-108 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

When asked what it meant to him, Kyrie Irving opened up about the chemistry and the connection between the Nets that has allowed them to climb the standings. 

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"We've been able to learn throughout this process what it takes to build something special - something different and unique" Kyrie Irving reflects on the Nets being in first place in the East https://t.co/LRXtF6Ba2T

"This group is so new, so we had big transitions in the season, and we just had to adjust it," he said. "I think we're doing a good job just figuring it out." 

The Nets upgraded from the dynamic duo of Irving and Kevin Durant when they added James Harden via a trade from the Rockets in January, but they didn't stop there. They have since built a superteam of sorts by landing Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge after the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs bought out their contracts. 

In response to criticism of the team's moves following the NBA trade deadline, head coach Steve Nash was confident in his decisions to continue building the roster.

"I don't know what we're supposed to do: Not try to add to our roster and just sit pat?" Nash said, per Sam Amick and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. "That's the idea of this league is to try to put together the best team you can put together. And that doesn't guarantee you anything. It's not like we did anything illegal." 

Aldridge has yet to make his Nets debut, as Nash believes he needs to work on his conditioning. But Griffin has fit in since joining the team as a major player off of the bench. In Wednesday's win that gave Brooklyn the lead in the East, he dropped 11 points with six rebounds and four assists in 22 minutes, days after posting 17 points against his former team. 

The team's original Big Three has been limited to just seven games together, but like Irving said, all of the new pieces have been able to jell to build the team into a legitimate contender in the second half of the season.