Nash: Nets have 'a gap to make up' vs. Bucks' familiar core
Nathaniel S. Butler / National Basketball Association / Getty

First-year Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash acknowledged that the Milwaukee Bucks' on-court chemistry over the years is a key obstacle for his relatively new-look squad to overcome.

"We've got a gap to make up here," Nash said after Tuesday's 124-118 loss to Milwaukee, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews. "We understand that's a team that's been running the same offense, been playing together, same schemes on defense for years now. Gone deep into the playoffs, and that's something we don't have.

"So how can we make up that gap? That's kind of our life in a nutshell heading home here."

Bucks stalwarts Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton have starred alongside each other for the past eight seasons and are set to embark on their sixth playoff trip in seven years. Two-time Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer is in his third campaign managing the group.

Meanwhile, the Nets' core of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving has appeared in just seven games together, owing to consistent injury woes for all three since Brooklyn acquired Harden via trade in January.

"That is a huge factor," Durant said. "Continuity is a big thing in this league."

However, talent typically wins out in the NBA. The Nets outscored opponents by 8.4 points per 100 possessions in the seven contests when Durant, Harden, and Irving were on the court together, a net rating that translates to the second-best mark overall among all teams this season.

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Nash: Nets have 'a gap to make up' vs. Bucks' familiar core
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