"We are getting there. ... We are gradually inching forward on the two ends of the ground," coach Steve Nash explained. "We struggled defensively at times, but we're getting stronger with our game plan . Offensively, you're starting to find a bit more flow. You are seeing James [Harden] capable to deal with the game like this and control the defense."
By quarter, the Nets scored 36, 40, 39 and 32, building an early lead and consistently scoring throughout the game. They shot 57% from the field, hit 19 3-pointers and had 33 team aids.
"We're catching a rhythm, of course, offensively," Harden said. "But defensively also. We are learning our our weakness and matters we could get better at."
The Nets' offensive explosion was steadily building, together with 10 of the previous 11 games comprising at least 110 points. But they have also been, to put it kindly, fair on the defensive end. The Thunder, who entered the game last in offensive efficiency, still put up 125 points while shooting 46.5% from the floor.
"There's a closeness growing, on the two ends of the floor. [But] we've got a long way to go defensively," Nash explained. "It is not our forte or strong suit, but we've got to be more clean with our game plan and speaking and engaging in our activities."
Harden and Irving spent various areas of the game orchestrating solo as Nash staggered their minutes. However there were long stretches in which they played off one another, with Harden doing his customary isolation drive-and-kick thing, while Irving flashed his finishing ability in the paint.
Harden credited the overall communication improving among the group, with assignments, coverages and alterations being called out clearly throughout the game. Irving and Harden were in the very front of their scoring, but there clearly was noteworthy equilibrium to the game as well, with nine players complete finishing in double figures.
"It is very satisfying anytime you get a win, but anytime the entire team plays well and you do some great things as a collective group, it stands out of the rest," Irving said.
The Nets have won four straight and are 6-2 considering making the trade for Harden. There have been some rough spots sometimes, with Harden going extended stretches less involved in the crime, or Irving's performance ticking, but the chemistry has been building, Nash said, also is something he only hopes to enhance.
"Offensively, I think guys are getting a feel and a rhythm for one another, how guys like to play, where they enjoy the ball, how they like to move, play and cut off each other," he said.
Harden said the Nets are keeping an eye on this process, noting that it is only going to get tougher as the season progresses. Since the games get bigger and the season has bigger, there'll be more of a spotlight on the Nets' chemistry and how they execute.
"We are gonna be challenged nightly; we are going to get everyone's best shot," Irving said,"but what we are doing now is just finding the continuity to utilize the strengths we have."