When the NBA rearranged the Nets’ previously postponed game in Portland, it created a terrifying stretch of four games in five days, starting with a coast-to-coast, back-to-back set. They started by moving Sunday’s home game against Spurs from a scheduled start at. 7.30pm for dinner to give them time to fly across after the match for the makeup date Monday night in Portland.
As it turned out, Net’s work had to be overtime for a 121-119 win over Spurs, with James Harden playing 44 minutes and Kevin Durant logging 43 minutes, but Nash said both will play in Portland.
The Nets’ stringent schedule then continues with a Wednesday night game in Chicago followed by a Thursday night meeting with Oklahoma City back at the Barclays Center.
Asked if he could remember a tougher back-to-back during his Hall of Fame career, Nets coach Steve Nash said: “I do not remember all the back-to-backs I have ever played, but I do not remember any “six-hour flights between back-to-back and three time zones. It’s different, but we have to take it as an opportunity to succeed in adversity. So let’s embrace it.”
Pressed on whether the revised NBA schedule puts the Nets at a competitive disadvantage over the next week, Nash said: “I’m very hesitant to make excuses. We have to attack this back-to-back, play well today and we get on the plane and start thinking about [Monday]. Once we get there, we will try to figure out the best way to rejuvenate. “
Nets rested LaMarcus Aldridge on Sunday due to soreness in his right foot. Nash slightly extended his rotation to 11 against the Spurs and used four rookies to buy some rest for his vets.
Of course, the Nets will add Kyrie Irving to the next two road games. Asked if he could see extended minutes, Nash said, “Typically he could play a little more with a game under his belt. [Monday]. It is certainly possible. “