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Home » Kyrie Irving Bounces Back as Nets Seize Victory Despite Struggles

Kyrie Irving Bounces Back as Nets Seize Victory Despite Struggles

07 January 2023, Saturday
Kyrie Irving had an off-night shooting, but still managed to deliver the biggest shot of the night as the Nets went on to beat the Pelicans 108-102 at the Smoothie King Center on Friday. Despite his 7-for-22 shooting night, Irving couldn't help but smile as he walked off the court, having sunk a deep three-pointer from 30 feet away with only 43 seconds left to secure the Nets' 13th win in their past 14 games.

Irving let out a cheer when he was finally able to make a shot, but it wasn't indicative of the night as a whole. Despite their sharpshooting duo of Irving and Kevin Durant combining for a dismal 16-for-48 performance, the Brooklyn Nets were still able to take down their opponent. This victory is a testament to how the Nets have been able to rely on their offensive prowess over the last month and a half.

In a game that could have become a nightmare for the Nets, it was Kyrie Irving's reflective attitude that eventually saw the team come out victorious.

"Basketball is a simple artform," Irving stated. "If I don't allow any of my mental stressors to enter the game, I think we have a good shot of winning each time."

Since head coach Jacque Vaughn took over in early November, the Nets have developed a winning attitude. Even with Irving's eight-game suspension due to a social media post promoting an antisemitic book and movie, the team have kept a strong mentality. This strength of character has allowed them to remain competitive and successful since their transition to the new leadership.

Vaughn commented that no matter what happened earlier, Irving has a way of embracing the moment and taking full advantage of it. He added that Irving's ability to 'erase what happened before and be in the moment' is impressive, and that this was demonstrated by Kyrie kicking the ball out to Kevin for an 'iso at the elbow'. Irving revealed that he has been working on his mental approach to the game in the last year, an attitude that Durant believes has allowed him to still make major plays even if he had been having a difficult time in the game.

Durant observed that no matter what the stakes are in the game, the great ones stay calm and composed. He noticed that even when there's only a minute left, the star players never get too worked up. Instead, it's almost like a walk in the park for them. They recognize that each and every possession is important, and so they stay focused and even-tempered throughout the entire game. This ability to keep their emotions in check usually pays off in the fourth quarter.

Kyrie Irving has developed the approach he takes to professional sports from studying the greats. He seeks to surpass their standard and manifest a similar, common control over his emotions in the endgame. Irving explains that this is the approach he now carries with him.

"I have developed this knowledge over time, yet I feel that the most crucial thing I have gained this year is the bond with my teammates, discipline, and the ability to persevere in difficult situations, both inside and outside the team, and to find a solution."

The Nets are on a roll as they prepare to travel to Miami for Sunday's game against the Heat. Irving and the rest of the team were in a good mood as they boarded their flight, buoyed by the recent string of wins that the Nets have been piling up. After an early season struggle, the Nets have been able to turn things around and are now one of the hottest teams in the league. Everyone is feeling optimistic that the team's best is yet to come.

"There have been a lot of great wins for us this season, but this one stands out for me," said Vaughn. "We were in a difficult environment, trailing by 11, and didn't really shoot well. Despite that, we stayed composed and kept going with the game plan. We kept believing we could win, even when the shots weren't falling. This speaks a lot to the team and how far we've come. All in all, a very impressive win, especially on the road off the back of a loss."

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