It was perhaps the Nets biggest victory of the season, a 104-95 home win over the Cavaliers, a game where Brooklyn's defense, anchored by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, held LeBron James scoreless in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, it was meaningless for the Nets, but now, the Cavs say it was crucial for them.
Tyronn Lue called a post-game meeting and talked about the team's culture.
"To change culture, you can’t treat everyone the same way," Lue said Monday. "I think it was the meeting we had in New York after the Brooklyn loss. We played the Knicks next. We had a chance to sit down and talk.
"I just think the Big Three sitting down and getting on the same page of understanding what they need from each other on a nightly basis and understanding that they have to trust each other and also trust the team. We had that talk in front of everyone and everyone kind of gave their opinion and kind of talked about what they expected and what we needed to do better. I think from that day on, we kind of took off and we became a better team."
Makes sense. The Cavs played poorly that night. With James barely contributing, Cleveland scored only 12 points in the fourth. But Kyrie Irving scored 13. Kevin Love grabbed 12 rebounds but scored only 11 points.
Former Net Richard Jefferson agreed the meeting after the Brooklyn loss was a critical point in the season.
"I think there are a lot of things that always build up into those moments," he said. "There was no reason for some of those losses that we had this year where you could see it coming. We go into OKC and win a tough road game. Ky goes down and then we lose to Detroit at home and it wasn’t even really close."
The Nets loss, he said, not one that could be explained. A week later, the Cavs crushed the Nets, 107-87, in Cleveland.
All we can say is, happy to help.