Nets Suffer Major Blow, Key Piece Out for Remainder of Celtics Series

Nets' Jeff Green out for Celtics series

Getty James Harden #13, Kevin Durant #7, Joe Harris #12, and Jeff Green #8 of the Brooklyn Nets look on during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center.

When the Brooklyn Nets take the court in TD Garden on Friday night they’ll be without the services of one of their key rotational pieces — an absence that will last throughout the remainder of the series against the Boston Celtics.

Following the conclusion of Thursday’s practice, Nets coach Steve Nash announced that veteran forward Jeff Green suffered a strained plantar fascia and will remain out until he is reevaluated in 10 days.

Green, a former scoring-leader of the Celtics back in 2014-15 (16.9 ppg), has enjoyed a career resurgence of sorts this season since arriving in Brooklyn. Flaunting a versatile defensive skillset capable of guarding multiple positions, the 34-year-old has also sharpened his shooting touch, hitting on a career-high 41.2% of his attempts from beyond the arc.

“He has been so valuable to us this year with all the injuries we’ve had. He’s been able to play multiple positions, different roles and fill in all the gaps for us,” Nash said of Green, who noted will continue to travel with the team as he rehabs. “And fortunately, we’re relatively healthy elsewhere. But it is a loss. He is a guy that has done a lot for us and means a lot to us on and off the court and we just hope that he can recover fully and get back out there in these playoffs.”

In 68 regular-season games (38 starts) this year, Green averaged 11.0 points and 3.9 rebounds. Green averaged 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds over his two games (39 minutes) in the first-round series, helping his Nets get out to a 2-0 lead over Boston.

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Celtics Get a Scare With Kemba Walker

While the Nets will need to make do without Green, Celtics fans got a scare of their own when point guard Kemba Walker popped up on Thursday’s injury report with a “left knee medical bone bruise.” Walker, who has missed a plethora of games this season dealing with injuries, was slapped with a questionable tag for Friday’s crucial bout in Boston.

Thankfully, Walker now appears to be a full-go for Game 3, as the Celtics announced the four-time All-Star will be available.

Walker, like many of the Celtics players in this series, has seen his struggles. Through two games he’s averaged 16.0 points on 37.0 percent shooting, 4.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds. He’s also hit just 3-of-10 attempts from beyond the arc.


Latest on Jayson Tatum’s Injury

Jayson Tatum, who left Game 2’s blowout loss early after being accidentally poked in the eye by Nets star Kevin Durant was not listed on the team’s injury report. Tatum appears destined to be in Boston’s starting lineup alongside Walker come tipoff. The two-time All-Star practiced on Thursday and “feels good” according to coach Brad Stevens, via MassLive.

Much like Walker, Tatum has also seen a dip in production since entering the playoffs. On the heels of dropping 50 points in the play-in tournament to guarantee his C’s a spot in the postseason, Tatum’s output has dropped seismically. Shooting just 28.1% from the field in the series, Tatum is averaging 15.5 ppg — a 10.9 ppg dip from his season output.

Of course, he did log just 21 minutes in Game 2 due to injury. On top of that, TNT sideline reporter Jared Greenberg recently revealed Tatum’s also been battling through a nagging groin injury that first occurred in Game 1.

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