Nets Notes: Green, Durant, Harden, Griffin, Tsai

Plantar fasciitis forced Nets forward Jeff Green to miss six games earlier in the playoffs, but he has made a huge impact since his return. In a crucial Game 5 win on Tuesday, Green handled tough defensive assignments and was Brooklyn’s second-leading scorer behind Kevin Durant, pouring in 27 points and making 7-of-8 three-point attempts.

“Jeff Green was unbelievable,” head coach Steve Nash said, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. “Incredible performance. For a guy who is coming off an injury, who has been a big part of our team this year, to step up and show that maturity, that veteran presence, that winning mentality, was unbelievable. Kevin’s performance tonight was historic, but Jeff’s the one that kept us in the game for a long, long time.”

Over the course of his NBA career, Green has become one of the league’s most well-traveled players, having played for 10 different teams since making his debut in 2007. The veteran forward hasn’t played for the same club for two consecutive full seasons since leaving Boston in 2014. However, he tells Sopan Deb of The New York Times that he can envision himself sticking with the Nets beyond this season.

“I’d love to settle down in one place,” Green said, adding that he’d like to play into his 40s. “There’s Brooklyn. I’d love to settle down in Brooklyn. I’m not too concerned with the NBA record or how many teams. When you think about it, if I was to play 22 years, played on 15 teams, what does that say? It has no teeth behind it.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Brian Windhorst of ESPN takes a closer look at what might be remembered as a career-defining performance for Kevin Durant, who led the Nets to a Game 5 victory with 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists on 16-of-23 shooting.
  • While James Harden‘s final stat list (five points on 1-of-10 shooting in 46 minutes) looked pretty ugly, especially compared to Durant’s, the All-Star guard turned in an inspiring performance coming back from a hamstring injury, writes Ian O’Connor of The New York Post. Harden, who chipped in eight assists and held his own on defense, ended up with a +4 rating on the night.
  • Blake Griffin was considered a luxury pickup for the Nets when they added him on the buyout market, but the team has asked for more from him in the postseason with Harden and Kyrie Irving both hobbled, and Griffin has delivered so far, says Louis Zatzman of FiveThirtyEight.
  • Nets owner Joe Tsai admitted during an interview with CNBC this week that he didn’t realize all that he was getting into when he prepared to assume control of an NBA franchise four years ago, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “One thing that I realize, when you own a sports team is it’s larger than a sports team: It’s a social institution,” Tsai said. “You’re doing it for the fans, you’re doing it for the broader population. I’m really glad we’re situated in Brooklyn because we have the best fans in the world.”
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