MIAMI — The Nets may not believe in moral victories. But they do believe in learning from every game, win or loss. And there were things to take from Saturday’s gut-punch in Miami they hope can help Tuesday in Boston.
“We’re going to have to play well again Tuesday against Boston. And then obviously we play against a good Memphis team as well. It’s a tough stretch,” Joe Harris said. “But you hope that you can sort of build off this and play consistent quality basketball.”
The Nets have dropped four in a row, but the last at least showed some defensive promise against the Heat. They need to carry that over against the Celtics, and rediscover their usual edge on the boards behind Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan.
“This is part of the NBA. It’s a long season. We’ll get it back down the road,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Obviously we have a tough game in Boston and then we have home games where we’ve got to get some games back. I’m confident in the group. They’re together, playing hard. I feel good about it going forward.”
The Nets have fallen to eighth in the East, a half-game behind idle Orlando. They have a 4 ½-game edge on Washington for the last playoff spot, with the Wizards playing at Golden State on Sunday night.
“For sure, we’re in the playoff race, which means every game in the regular season is a building block, a building process until we get to that destination, the playoffs hopefully,” Spencer Dinwiddie said. “So we want to build every game and get better, take positives from our game. But you want to do so more in wins than in losses.”
The positive to be taken from Miami was they got back to defending. Now they have to get back to dominating the glass, like usual.
“Much better. If I want to bring up the negative, it’s the rebounding,” Atkinson said. “In the fourth, they were getting stopped and just kept tipping it out. I’ll have to look at it, whether it was bad bounces. But the rebounding is one thing that sticks in our craw a little bit.”
Brooklyn only got outrebounded 45-44, but losing on the boards at all doesn’t bode well for this team.
Despite getting outrebounded in back-to-back games against Atlanta and Miami, the Nets are second in the league at 48.3. Before those games, they had won the battle on the boards in their previous six, and 9 of 10.
“Our process was better [against Miami]. I do think we gave up a few too many rebounds,” Atkinson said. “The defense was better [but] not where it needs to be.”