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Steve Nash proud of Nets after coaching debut victory

Nets head coach Steve Nash talks to guard

Nets head coach Steve Nash talks to guard Landry Shamet during a preseason basketball game against the Wizards at Barclays Center on Dec. 13. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Steve Nash might be a Hall of Famer and two-time NBA MVP, but he admitted to a mild case of pregame jitters before making his head-coaching debut with the Nets against Golden State Tuesday night at Barclays Center.

"Different rhythm, but similar nerves and anxiety to what I had as a player," Nash said. "I always felt a little nerves until I actually got out there in pregame warmups. So, I feel that a little bit tonight, and that’s probably a good thing. But to be out there competing, and watching our guys play and trying to help them elevate to their best level is a lot of fun. Its time. We need to test ourselves."

Nash is taking over a team led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving that has been picked by oddsmakers as second only to the defending champion Lakers to win the NBA title. This was just the first step on a 72-game journey to the playoffs, and they passed with flying colors in a dominating 125-99 win.

"It was a good performance," Nash said. "In particular, I thought defensively. Did a lot of good things. Lot of carryover from training camp and film. Steph (Curry) creates a lot of problems out there, and I thought we really did a good job consistently on him, just making it difficult, not falling asleep. So, I was proud of the guys defensively, and that’s the No. 1 thing. So, it was an excellent first outing."

Curry led Golden State with 20 points but on poor 7-of-21 shooting. Andrew Wiggins is Golden State’s secondary threat, and he was held to 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting. Nash said some of that could be attributed to make-of-miss shooting.

But Nash said, "Overall, it was really solid. Not a ton of mistake. Really diligent with our principles and our game plan. So, I was proud of them."


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