Nic Claxton is becoming a significant contributor for the Nets

Nic Claxton is becoming a significant contributor for the Nets

NEW ORLEANS — Fans of the Nets questioned if Nic Claxton could handle a full-time starting job and whether he was worth the contract the franchise gave him during the summer of 2017.

The 23-year-old Claxton has answered both issues to a large extent by virtue of his career season to date and his position among the top 10 frontcourt players in the Eastern Conference based on the initial fan returns for All-Star voting.

The recognition was unanticipated yet motivating.

“Yeah. It came as a shock to me. It is certainly a major issue. However, this only encourages you to ascend that list even higher. Claxton stated before the Nets’ 108-102 victory over the Pelicans on Friday night, “I just have to stick with it and keep doing what I’m doing.” “I believe I can play even better and with greater consistency. I am able to create much more while I am outside. So I don’t become complacent. It’s great to see my name on that list, but I still have a great deal of work to accomplish.”

Claxton scored nine points, grabbed nine rebounds, and blocked five shots, giving him a total of 23 blocks in the last five games.

“He was a confident player who constantly sought to improve. Kevin Durant said of Claxton, “I believe that when preparation meets opportunity, you become a good player.” “Over the past few years, he’s attempted to determine his place in relation to Kyrie [Irving], myself, and James [Harden], when he was here, and now Ben [Simmons], who is now here.

“Being that anchor, as we expect him to be, is a difficult transition from being a young college player and young player in the league to being on a team trying to go deep into the playoffs…. You must serve as an anchor. As a big, he commanded a lot of respect on the court, cutting to the defense, switching, protecting the rim, and rebounding the basketball. He has done much for us.”

Claxton’s record of five consecutive games with at least three blocks is the longest for a Net since Brook Lopez in November 2012. (five straight).

Willie Green, the coach of the New Orleans Hornets, played under Jacque Vaughn in Orlando when the Nets coach was in charge. Now, the two buddies are among the frontrunners for NBA Coach of the Year.

Vaughn stated that he always viewed Green as a possible coach.

Vaughn remarked, “He was extremely organized, very professional, team-oriented, and knew how to communicate with different players in the locker room.” “If these qualities are those of a coach, then he possesses all of them. … Great dude. The locker room just adored him. True specialist. He has utilized all of his playing experiences to become a terrific coach.

Vaughn was a major candidate for the New Orleans position two years ago.

“Life is so capricious. However, the timing aspect of it is also heavenly. “It’s a part of life,” Vaughn shrugged. “I am exactly where I should be right now. Happy for him that he is the Pelicans’ head coach.”

T.J. Warren, who was forced out of the Nets’ loss against the Bulls on Wednesday due to a rib contusion, came off the bench and scored 15 points.

Wednesday, Royce O’Neale shot 0-for-8 from 3-point range. On Thursday, he scored 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.


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