The Brooklyn Nets won game one against the Boston Celtics by double digits despite not being at their best according to head coach Steve Nash.
The Nets finished just 41 percent from the field and 23 percent from long range in the win, leaving plenty of meat on the bone for the lethal offence to get cooking later in the series.
"We didn't play well offensively," Nash said postgame. "Some of it was shotmaking, some of it was cohesion, some of it was just, I think, first time out, in the playoffs, with fans, the atmosphere was unbelievable."
Former MVP Kevin Durant, who led all scorers with 32 points praised the effort on the defensive end of the floor, highlighting the team's ability to stick with it despite the shooting struggles.
"We didn't want to stop being aggressive because we missed shots," he said. "We tried to tell everybody that like just keep being aggressive and those shots are gonna fall but we got to keep getting stops and we was able to get stops and rebounds and not let them get too many extra possessions."
"And I think once your energy is focused on the defensive side of the ball it will start to turn for you. You've seen that for us in the second half and we picked it up offensively, but our defense was the reason why."
The Nets held Boston to 40 points in the second half, which was more than enough to cruise to the win in the final minutes.
His 39th career playoff double-double- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) May 23, 2021
His 63rd career playoff 30-point game
Nets fans, this is @KDTrey5 📼 pic.twitter.com/rXBl7gRXon
The first postseason win delighted a rowdy crowd at Barclays Center, with a true playoff atmosphere felt inside the arena according to Nash and Durant.
"The fans were incredible. We knew it would be fun to play in front of the fans. But to step out there and see the place packed like that and the energy in the building was unbelievable. There was a little bit of newness in many ways.
"The first half was just so uncharacteristic from a shotmaking standpoint for us. That put us in a bit of a hole. But we all had confidence that it would be hard to shoot that poorly in the second half. Still plenty of things to clean up, plenty of things to look at and to continue to get better at."
"Not a great performance at all at that end of the floor. But plenty to be proud of defensively and plenty to build on down there. I think it's more the occasion. Everyone is excited and the place was packed and maybe we just rushed and were a little impatient to start the game."
You were electric tonight, Brooklyn 🙏🙏 CANNOT WAIT til Tuesday pic.twitter.com/EE91MDl7tk- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) May 23, 2021
The Nets and the Celtics will have two nights off before meeting again in Brooklyn in front of another expected big crowd.
"It was incredible. Our fans were loud, they were there early, and it definitely gave us an advantage," Durant said.
Overall, it was just the ninth time Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden have suited up together, with Nash simply thrilled to take the win and move on with improvement expected with each game.
"They haven't played much together, I just think it was all new, off to a fresh start and we just really weren't sharp offensively. So, probably a few factors contributed."
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