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“The best version of the Nets is what we are seeing right now” – J.J. Redick talks about exceptional Brooklyn Nets dominance, and the impact Kevin Durant has on the team

JJ Redick admits the Nets are playing great basketball and Kevin Durant is the main reason behind their resurgence
Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving

Arguably, the hottest team in the league right now is the Brooklyn Nets. Even though the Bulls snapped their 12-game winning streak on Wednesday night, the current form of the Nets is exceptional. Since Jacque Vaughn took over, the team is 23-8, and all the drama that was surrounding the organization seems to be in the distant past. The good results that Vaughn obtained earned him the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month award.

Claxton’s impact on defense

With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving leading the attack, it is somewhat expected that offense would not be a problem, and it isn’t. A major part of the Nets’ success has been their strength on the defensive end. They are sitting at the 10th spot in defensive rating this season, which is an improvement from last season when they were 20th. One piece that is often overlooked in the Nets’ squad is – Nic Claxton.

The 23-year-old center from Georgia provides a unique set of skills which is, paired with his athleticism and lengthy frame, a key factor for Nets’ defense.

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“He guards multiple positions for us … coming over to the weak side, blocking shots, putting pressure on the rim, rebounding,” Jacque Vaughn stated. “The games he doesn’t play, we miss him; it puts an extreme amount of pressure on other guys — there’s not another guy on our team that can do the things Nic does.”

He wants to be a star on both ends of the floor

KD has a reputation as one of the best scorers in NBA history, if not the best. His ability to shoot effectively, paired with his improvement as a playmaking big man, makes him a nightmare matchup for opposing defenders. However, his exceptional offensive skillset often overshadows his top-tier defense, but in a good way, of course. Durant is playing this season at an MVP level, dominating on both sides of the court, and J.J. Redick praises his defensive prowess.

“His numbers, whether it is in the paint or on the perimeter, when he is primary defender, he is at or right near the top in every sort of marker of defensive field goal percentage” Reddick said “Their (Nets) defense relies on his willingness to not only be a star on only one end of the floor, but to be a star on the other end. That is very rare.”

The atmosphere in the Nets team, as well as their results, are at their peak. 2 superstars who complement each other, together with solid role-players who can do the task that is asked of them at any time, are the recipe for Brooklyn's success. We'll have to see how it all works out when the playoffs come around, but for now it's up to us to enjoy the performances Kevin and the team put on.

“The best version of the Nets is what we are seeing right here.” –Reddick continued to give praise to the Nets “It’s hard for me, given how they play the last 29 games, to not consider them championship contender. They are tier one team in the Eastern conference. That’s how good they are.”

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