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Back-to-back losses and a cratered-out defense hadn’t dimmed Kyrie Irving’s confidence, taking to social media saying he wasn’t worried and the fans shouldn’t be either.
Irving penned an Instagram post alluding to Brooklyn’s lofty goals, presumably the NBA Finals — or better.
“Don’t trip. It’s a long journey. We will be on that stage. The stage where the best of the best meet. … You know. The main stage. Where those who can, do. And those who cannot talk about those that are doing,” Irving posted. “If you rolling with us, great. Let’s rock. If you’re not, you know you wanna talk about our greatness anyway.”
Kevin Durant chimed in, commenting on the post, “Speak on it king!!”
Irving proceeded to score 28 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Nets to a 128-124 win over the Heat on Saturday night. Then he addressed the IG post.
“I give people [something] to talk about everyday. It comes with the business, and living a very public life as an athlete or an entertainer, I know we have supporters and we have a lot of doubters,” Irving said. “So being on this stage, it is the main stage, but you know the main stage I’m talking about. We’re just putting it out as a goal of ours that we came together and this team, we’re focused on that. That’s it.
“It’s funny too, because I’m glad it’s a weekend, so you don’t get to see all the same TV shows that do all the talking during the week, so during the weekend, it was my time to be the media, and you got a statement, so I’m grateful it was read with just a balanced sentiment because I’m rocking with everybody in that locker room, and I know it’s the same for me. So we’ll see down the line.”
Joe Harris’ two lowest scoring games of the season — six points and eight points — came in the two losses in Cleveland after Irving’s return. He rebounded with 23 points on Saturday, and hit a career high tying seven 3-pointers to bust open Miami’s zone defenses.
“I think sometimes it just happens in the flow of the game. A lot of my shots were early on where they were playing zone, guys were getting into the gaps. We struggled against the zone against Cleveland and it was noticeably better tonight where we were denting it, getting in the paint, making simple plays where it’s a lot kickouts that allowed me to get a lot of room and looks early on,” said Harris, who hit two 3s in the first 51 seconds and four in the first seven minutes.
“I think it’s just overall flow of the game. The initial sets are typically not drawn up for me but the ball is moving, guys are playing with pace, getting down hill and like I mentioned when you’re able to get downhill into the paint it allows for a lot of room and rhythm looks for me.”