Atlantic Notes: Nets, Irving, Maxey, Grimes

Nets coach Steve Nash called for a better effort from his players after their season reached a new low with a loss to the Pacers Saturday night, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn is close to a fully healthy roster with Seth Curry, Joe Harris and Markieff Morris all returning, but the team’s defense looked as bad as ever, allowing 125 points while sinking to 1-5.

“It was a disaster. How else do you say it? I didn’t see the will, didn’t see the desire or the connectivity necessary to get stops and get rebounds,” Nash said. “We’ve just got to make a bigger commitment. It’s got to mean more. We’ve got to care more.”

The performance raises questions about the team’s focus following a chaotic summer that saw Kevin Durant submit a trade request and then appeal to owner Joe Tsai to fire Nash and general manager Sean Marks. Durant said Saturday that Nash shouldn’t be blamed for the slow start.

“That’s on the individuals. We got to take pride individually,” Durant said. “Coaching matters, chemistry, all that stuff matters. But at the end of the day we’re individuals. So we got to be better as individuals. … Each guy’s just got to dig down deeper and be better.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets guard Kyrie Irving had a combative exchange with reporters after the game, defending his promotion of a film considered to be antisemitic and his support of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Lewis adds in a separate story. “I’m not going to stand down on anything I believe in,” Irving said. “I’m only going to get stronger because I’m not alone. I have a whole army around me.”
  • The Sixers need Tyrese Maxey to take over a larger role in the offense, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. With Joel Embiid sitting out Friday’s game, Maxey made nine three-pointers and scored a career-high 44 points. “That’s why I’ve been on him,” Embiid said. “He’s one of the best shooters and he has the potential to be up there. You know, a great stroke. He can really shoot the ball, great form and he makes them. There’s a reason I’m always on him to just let it fly. He’s got to get up 10 to 15 threes a game. That’s how good of a shooter he is.”
  • Knicks guard Quentin Grimes will miss his sixth straight game today with soreness in his left foot, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Grimes, who has been listed as day-to-day since the preseason, has been working out before every game, but hasn’t been able to participate in a full practice.
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