Playing in a hostile environment
The Brooklyn Nets came up big in a 129-100 dominant win against the Philadelphia 76ers, which caused a lot of disappointment for the home crowd looking forward to this game ever since Ben Simmons was officially traded for James Harden. The Nets came out to play and executed well on both ends of the floor, carefully following the game plan to perfection, putting the 76ers out of their rhythm from the early start in the game.
On top of that, the atmosphere inside the building was electrifying, and it felt like a legitimate playoff game, primarily because Ben Simmons decided to support his new team from the sidelines. After the game, Kevin Durant said it was great seeing Ben with them on the court even though he wasn't playing in a highly hostile environment towards him and the entire Nets team. All the guys on the Nets wanted to show their support for Simmons, and at the same time showcase, they are a better basketball team.
"Most definitely, I think all of us were trying to help him because we look at Ben like a brother, so we knew this was a hostile environment and that he didn't have the opportunity to play, so we wanted to come out there and had him focused on the court more than just focusing on him. So they focused more on the court tonight, and it's hard to chant at Ben Simmons when you are losing by that much."
KD was inspired by Iverson and Dr.J
Even though the Nets played great team basketball, it was Kevin Durant who displayed incredible leadership on both ends of the floor. KD finished the game with 25 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals, shooting 59 percent from the field. He scored from every part of the floor with extreme ease and even had a thunderous dunk that got him especially excited because he saw two other NBA legends sitting courtside.
"I've seen two legends on the baseline, in A.I. and Dr.J. I got a dunk, so I was just excited about the play, and those two guys understand what it's like to play in an environment like that, and I was just letting everybody know that I was here and that I was ready to hoop tonight."
Last night's game was a perfect display of how dangerous and dominant the Nets can be when they have most of their players healthy and ready to go. Ben Simmons still needs to play in his first game, and if the New York City administration lifts the mandates and Kyrie starts playing home games, the Nets are back as a serious title contender. The Sixers will need to bounce back from this tough loss in front of their home crowd on Sunday in a game against the Orlando Magic. They had a poor shooting night against the Nets, and they can certainly do better as a team, but that was a good wake-up call for them and a sneak peek of what they can expect in the playoffs.