Nets Notes: Turnaround, Kevin Durant, Royce O’Neale, Jacque Vaughn

The Nets are making a clear turnaround after starting the season with a whole bunch of turmoil, as written by Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.Kevin Durant

Will this be the season they finally pull it all together with the likes of star forward Kevin Durant, star point guard Kyrie Irving, guard/forward Ben Simmons? They also made some decent offseason additions — including forward Royce O’Neale and wing T.J. Warren.

Oh, and replaced former coach Steve Nash with Jacque Vaughn early in the season. As Zillgitt noted, the Nets have gone 15-7 since their 2-5 start.

“We’ve committed ourselves to playing for and with each other,” Vaughn said. “That starts on the defensive end of the floor. We just ask the guys to play hard.

“At the end of the day, you can cover up a lot of things just by playing hard — just taking that approach, and I’ll continue to talk about the consistency of playing hard. That’s our next challenge.”

Durant seconded that notion, per Zillgitt.

“We continue to keep trusting each other on the offensive end,” he said. “We take efficient shots. We’re an efficient ballclub on the offensive side of the ball, too, so that helps our defense. We try to hang our out hat on keeping our man in front of us and guarding one-on-one and provide help when needed. That’s sustainable in any form of basketball.”

  • O’Neale is expected to return Friday after missing the last two games for personal reasons, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
  • The Nets assigned center Day’Ron Sharpe to the G League to get him more playing time during a rare extended break in the schedule. “There’s nothing like being able to play in a game and see the speed of the game,” Vaughn said, via Lewis. “Ideally when they get a chance to play, we want them to play in the G-League. You have to use that to your advantage.”

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