Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn wanted his team to get out to a better start after Wednesday’s 114-113 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and it looks like his players heard that message loud and clear for Friday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
While the Nets lost the game on Friday in a similar fashion to how they lost on Wednesday, the 125-120 final tally does not take into account how Brooklyn started the contest. The most that the Nets trailed in the first quarter was five points despite Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic scoring nine of his 49 points in the quarter.
Brooklyn was considerably more physical against Dallas as they tried to put a body on Doncic and Kyrie Irving whenever either of them had the ball in their hands. Unfortunately for the Nets, Doncic proved to be too much over the course of the game and similar to Wednesday’s loss to the Cavaliers, the opposing team had a star who could make tough shots.
Following the tough loss to the Mavericks, Vaughn said that he felt encouraged with how his team began this game:
“I think it started with the physicality. I think the way we tried to punch first tonight (was) very different than the first game this year (against Cleveland). So, that response from our guys, extremely encouraged by that. Our start was better. Overall, I think we had a defensive mindset to start the game like we talked about, and then the execution. So, no matter who’s playing, one starter out, two starters out, doesn’t matter. The approach that we had, that has to be who we are.”