The Brooklyn Nets seem to have found their rhythm, winning eight straight games, and currently placing 2nd in the Eastern Conference with a 22-12 record. Even though they have a defensive rating of 113.4, the offensive star power they have has proven to be enough to beat the NBA’s elite teams. The only thing that may prove to be crucial for this Brooklyn team is their proneness to injury.
Steve Nash Shuts Down Load Management Rumors
Saturday afternoon, the Nets declared that Kyrie Irving is unavailable for their matchup against the Mavs due to rehabilitation of his right shoulder.
Nets’ head coach Steve Nash was asked by Greg Logan of Newsday if the team was load managing Irving. Nash swiftly shut him down.
“You’re not going to get me tonight Greg Logan,” Nash responded.
Nets’ Injuries Are Piling Up
The Nets organization declared that Irving would not play earlier in the day. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the reason for his absence is listed as “right shoulder injury recovery.”
Irving had surgery on his shoulder last season after just 20 games in the regular season. It was reported that he was suffering from impingement, a painful condition caused by rubbing or pressure on a tendon or nerve by an adjacent structure.
This will be Irving’s 11th missed game of the season.
Nets’ star forward Kevin Durant also remains out with a left hamstring injury as he will miss his seventh game in a row on Saturday.
Nets’ Reserves Are Proving Themselves
There should not be any cause for concern when it comes to the Nets and staying healthy, as many of the Nets’ reserves have proven themselves capable of stepping up and holding their own.
Bruce Brown has been all over the court for Brooklyn, most notably scoring a career-high 29 points against the Sacramento Kings on 85% shooting.
Joe Harris has also stepped up for the Nets. He is putting on a clinic at the three-point line this season averaging 15 points per game on 50% from behind the arc. This is his highest shooting percentage since the 2018 season, the same year he won the three-point shooting contest.
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As for the supposed lack of depth at the big man position, veteran center DeAndre Jordan holds high praises for second-year player Nick Claxton.
“Nick works his a** off. He comes in every day, before, after and does his job,” Jordan said to the New York Daily News.
“As far as motor and learning how to play the game, he’s awesome. Clax is going to be a great player in this league for a very long time. His skill set is very high. He’s going against arguably the best players in the league here (in Brooklyn). Him being able to see that and learn from those guys day in day out is great. I love seeing him be successful on the floor.”
One recurring theme with the Nets this season seems to be that they are not taking any risks when it comes to managing the injuries of their star players. One missed step could be detrimental to the team in the long run.