When Steve Nash was asked about the Nets’ style, he referenced … defense?
The Brooklyn Nets are slated to enter the 2020-2021 season as one of the favorites to win it all with Kevin Durant ready to get back on the court and Steve Nash taking over as head coach for this promising team.
Nash is best known for his time on the Phoenix Suns with Mike D’Antoni running the “seven seconds or less” offense that was among the most fast-paced in NBA history, so when you think Nash, you think scoring and transition basketball.
Well … not the new Steve Nash! He’s focused on … defense?
“Obviously, I think one of the most important things is to start on the defensive end, be strong in defensive transition and in the half court.
“Offensively won’t be our problem, the No. 1 thing for us is building a really solid defense,” Nash said on “Inside the NBA” earlier in the week.
What would this defense look like? If we can expect the Nets to keep most of their players and not trade for a third star, we feel like this would require some sort of a philosophical overhaul. Brooklyn was 14th in defense this past season, 14th in 2018-2019, and 23rd in 2017-2018. This team hasn’t been known for defense for quite a while outside of a few players.
Nonetheless, Nash knows the fundamentals of the game and how important it is to be disciplined on defense — after all he never won an NBA championship as a leader of some of the best offenses the game has ever seen.
Then again, we know Kevin Durant can D up the best of them, Jarrett Allen can hold down the fort in the paint, and Dinwiddie is staunch on the perimeter. The emergence of Caris LeVert in that department as well has been colossal. However, guys like Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris and Taurean Prince will have to tighten it up.
Then again, the Nets could alleviate the issue with those three guys by using their money in free agency to bring in a defensive specialist. That could help Nash implement his strategy quickly and more effectively.
Or, this could all be a grand plan to have everyone think the Nets are going to go for the jugular and get another offensive star in a blockbuster trade. Really, anything’s possible. But yeah, we’ll believe the “defense” when the product on the court is showing.