“We was together regardless. I think coming into the training camp, we understood that it’s going to be a lot on us from a media standpoint, from just the noise in general around our team, so I think that made us tighter once camp started,” he said in an interview with Nick Friedell of ESPN. “So we was able to take the Kyrie stuff and move in stride because we were already stuck together before that. We started to win some games, started to get better as a team, and do some things out there that work for us. And now it seems like everything was patched all together, but it felt like it was always cool, to be honest.”
Durant added that he’s always been confident the Nets could win a title.
“My whole thing was like — are we, does the process matter to us? And that’s one thing I did know that people here enjoy, grinding,” he told Friedell. “So that was the most important thing for me. Titles and stuff come with the process in which you — how you prepare. It was more so, “All right, are we going to practice harder? Are we going to pay more attention to detail?” Not just everybody else, all of us, me included. Is that going to be preached to us every day? I had the faith that that would happen because I voiced that throughout the summer as well. Even behind the scenes, like, “Yo, this is what I like to do. This is how I like to practice.” I’ve been saying that for the last couple years, so I figured at that point with me going through that, they understood what I value. That’s what I was hanging my hat on, the preparation side of it.”
- In case you missed it, Durant’s knee injury is expected to keep him sidelined for about a month. We have that full post here.
The 76ers have won 13 of the last 16, though Tuesday’s victory vs. the Pistons was only the seventh time this season that they started their regular lineup of Joel Embiid, James Harden, P.J. Tucker, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris.
“It’s a lineup that we’re still evaluating defensively,” coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “Clearly, it’s a good offensive lineup. We just haven’t seen it a lot. We’ve had no ‘in-a-rows’ where they played six, seven, eight, nine in a row.”
- Harden leads the NBA with five games of 15 or more assists. Per the AP, that’s the most for any Sixer since Maurice Cheeks had five in 1987-88.
Coach Dwane Casey is choosing to focus on the positives in a tough season of injuries and more losing for the Pistons.
“I can see the growth on a daily, game-to-game basis. but then I have to come in and explain to everybody why we didn’t win. and that’s what’s tough,” Casey said. “The easy part, the fun part is the daily, in the laboratory, coaching, teaching, film sessions, watching guys grow, listen to questions.”