Landry Shamet has experienced this ride before, as recently as last season with the Clippers, the team the rolling Nets will face next to conclude what has been a perfect and eye-opening road trip.
Shamet was teammates with superstar imports Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last year on the Clippers, who in Sunday’s game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, stand between the Nets and a 5-0 Western swing.
The retooled Clippers opened last season with a 7-5 record over their first dozen games before embarking on a seven-game winning streak and 13 wins over their next 15.
The Nets, who teamed James Harden with stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving after acquiring him from the Rockets in a January trade, similarly were 14-12 before winning their last five games, the last four on the road against the Warriors, Kings, Suns and Lakers.
“Like I’ve said from the jump, when you put a new team together and a team with this kind of composition with superstars and really good players — some of the best people to ever touch a basketball, to be quite honest, on the same team — it’s going to take some time to figure each other out, figure out spots, figure your roles out,” Shamet said on a Zoom call before the Nets practiced Saturday in Los Angeles. “You look at any team ever comprised of really good players — like when the Big 3 [of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh] first met in Miami, they looked terrible early on, just trying to grow and figure things out. It takes time, and it’s hard.
“So we’re still growing. We’re not there by any stretch of the word, but we are growing, we are getting more comfortable, and it has become a little bit easier for a number of guys to step into different roles and get comfortable and just be themselves. I think the only thing to attribute that to is just time and time together and getting to know each other.”
Shamet, who is averaging 7.5 points in 19.0 minutes per game off the bench, also opened the 2018-19 season with the 76ers — playing alongside Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons — before he was dealt to the Clippers in the trade that sent Tobias Harris to Philadelphia in February 2019.
“It takes time. Any team that’s ever been put together with that much talent, it isn’t going to just happen overnight,” Shamet said. “I think that’s the biggest thing, time and patience and accountability. If you have those things, over time you’re gonna grow, you’re gonna develop and hopefully turn into what you wanted to turn into.
“I think that’s what I’ve learned. It’s interesting in my career that I’ve been fortunate to be on a number of teams that have had kind of this stature. I think that gives me a little bit of a valuable perspective, going through some of the lulls that we’ve had this season and some of the highs. It’s part of it, and we’re all learning to roll with it.”
The Nets (19-12) will be without Durant (hamstring) on Sunday for the fourth straight game, since the road-trip opener at Golden State. They also were without Irving in their comeback from a 24-point deficit in Phoenix on Tuesday.
“Just having a comeback like that, with guys out, the camaraderie, guys feeling good about themselves and feeling good about each other, you start to kind of feel things brewing a little bit in the locker room afterward,” Shamet said. “And it has some carryover effect. I think you kind of saw that with how we played against the Lakers.
“Our continuity and how we’re playing together right now feels good. Winning takes care of a lot of that stuff, but I think a win when you come back from down 24 like that, with guys out, on the road, that’s important. I think every team needs kind of a moment like that to start to click a little bit.”