Have the Brooklyn Nets finally found the right winning formula?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 02: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots a three pointer. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 02: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots a three pointer. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets are starting 2023 off right. With a convincing win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, the Nets have extended their win streak to 12 games. This win was so convincing that Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn allowed his stars to clock out after the third quarter. The Nets rallied behind Kevin Durant’s 25 points and Kyrie Irving’s 27 to beat the Spurs 139-103 at home.

The turnaround from the Brooklyn Nets has been incredible to watch. After a turbulent summer and start to the season, they have won 17 out of their last 20 games. The Nets were 12th in the Eastern Conference on Nov. 15. Less than two months later, they are in second place behind the Boston Celtics, the team responsible for their last loss. The Nets’ streak includes a notable series of consecutive wins against the Golden State Warriors, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Not to jinx them, but it looks like the modern-day Nets, with Durant and Irving at its core are finally living up to their potential. If they ride this momentum and stay healthy, the Nets could easily come out of the east and fight for the title they have been lusting over. Broken down, here are the factors of this winning formula.

The Nets have an experienced head coach.

Give Jacque Vaughn his flowers. If anyone deserves credit for how well the Nets have played in this recent stretch, it is the man with the clipboard. Everybody knew that hiring Steve Nash to command the Nets’ newly renovated roster was a shot in the dark. When Nash got fired at the beginning of November, fans were uncertain about the future of the head coach position. Plenty thought that the Nets would sign former Celtics head coach, Ime Udoka. But to everyone’s surprise, Vaughn has been incredible in the driver’s seat for the Nets.

Vaughn worked under Greg Popovich as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs from 2010-2012. Since then he served as the head coach for the Orlando Magic for three seasons and a pro scout for the Spurs for a year before joining the Nets coaching staff in 2016. Vaughn’s experience and understanding of the game have been key factors in the Nets’ incredible run. He was given a roster with good pieces and he is giving a showcase of how to play the cards right. He has earned his players’ and fans’ respect in the process.

The stars are shining in Brooklyn.

The Nets’ New Year’s resolution should be to make sure that Kyrie Irving stays away from Twitter. Irving’s absence due to his refusal to get vaccines for COVID-19 and a suspension due to an antisemitic tweet was damaging for the Nets. But upon his return, Irving has not skipped a beat. One of the things that this run has proven is that Durant needs Irving just as much as Irving needs Durant to perform for the Nets to flourish. Durant and Irving are averaging 29.7 and 26.2 points per game, respectively. When two of the game’s best scorers play well nightly, the Nets are playing phenomenally, a sight to behold.


While Ben Simmons has struggled in the scoring end, he is gradually getting his confidence back. He does not attack the basket as much as he did when he was in Philadelphia, but he is looking more decisive when he does. Simmons has been contributing in rebounds and has performed well as one of several floor generals for the Nets. Once he fully gets out of this funk, expect him to add emphasis to this already strong team.

The depth of the Nets roster is paying off.

Two groups deserve a round of applause for this entry; first, the Nets front office for signing the right pieces to surround their stars with. And second, the players for embracing their roles and creating an impact. The Nets have one of the deepest and most complete rosters in the NBA. You can go down the list and see that each player is solid. As a unit and under the right coach, they are showing flashes of their full capability.

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Nic Claxton, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, and Royce O’Neale have been the primary options to complete starting lineups with Durant, Irving, and Simmons. And while those four have been complimenting the three main pieces well, you can draw names from a hat, and they would still work well. The number of different lineups that Vaughn can play with the hand he has been dealt with is scary. Best believe that the Nets will only get better as the season unfolds. Even if this incredible run stutters along the way, given how they are playing, expect the Nets to make a lot of noise come post-season.