Entering Monday’s bout with the Grizzlies, the Brooklyn Nets had settled into something of a funk. While it’s true that James Harden has more closely resembled his former MVP self, posting triple-doubles on the regular, the team had lost back-to-back games and three of its last five.
Kyrie Irving’s season debut — which is expected to take place on Wednesday against the Pacers — has the potential to be a major boost for the club. But is there a chance that another Net who has been out of commission could be returning to the fold soon as well?
Before he suffered a severely sprained left ankle during a November 14 win at OKC, Joe Harris had been burning the nets at an elite clip. Through 14 appearances, Harris has knocked down 46.6% percent of his 6.3 three-point attempts per game. He’s also averaging 11.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest.
In the wake of his injury, Harris opted for surgery to remove a bone particle from his ankle. With several weeks having passed since the procedure, though, fans are wondering whether he might be close to a comeback. Alas, Nets coach Steve Nash may have dashed those hopes.
Nash on Harris’ Return: ‘He’s Got Some Work to Do.’
Ahead of the Grizzlies game, Nash was asked about where Harris was in his rehab process. If anything, his response cast a shadow of doubt about the sharpshooter’s return being imminent.
“I’m not even sure if [ramping up] is next on the card,” Nash said, via the New York Daily News. “I think he still is letting some irritation settle and then we’ll ramp up accordingly. I couldn’t put a timeline on it but I do feel confident that this is something that will resolve itself and we won’t look back.”
However, Nash did seem to indicate that progress has been made with Harris’ ankle. And he ultimately did attempt to come up with a timeline for Harris’ return (albeit one with multiple asterisks).
“He’s still got a couple weeks — in that ballpark,” Nash said. “We’ll see how it goes. It could take longer than that. Whatever the length of time it is, for me I just want it to be behind him when he comes out of it.”
He added, “We all feel pretty confident in that. So, I’m less stressed about when he comes back and more stressed about long-term prognosis when he comes back.”
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Postponed Games Get New Dates
During the height of the Nets’ COVID-19 outbreak last month, the team saw three of its games get postponed. On Monday, the league rescheduled those games and several others that were postponed for the same reason around the Association. Where Brooklyn is concerned, though, things are going to get rough.
In order to squeeze the rescheduled games in, other games were moved around as well, and it has created some wild travel situations.
For example, after playing the Spurs at noon on Sunday in Brooklyn, the Nets will have to fly across the country to play the Trail Blazers in Portland the very next night. From there, the team will timezone jump once again for a Wednesday game against the Bulls. Wowzers.
Here are all the changes to Brooklyn’s schedule, as announced by the league:
“There’s no easy way to do this,” Nash said of the changes, via ESPN. “If we were expecting it to be a sweet little add to the schedule, and no blood drawn, that would be foolish.”
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