Nets Rumors

Injury Updates: Jackson, Oladipo, Irving, Bogdanovic, Russell

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson is showing progress on his stress reaction in his lower back but he’ll be out at least a few more weeks, according to a team press release. Jackson’s rehabilitation process will continue for another two weeks and he’ll be re-evaluated at the end of that period, the release adds. Jackson, the team’s starting point guard, hasn’t played since the first two games of the season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

We have more injury updates:

  • Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo has practiced three times in five days with their G League affiliate in Fort Wayne, but there’s no still word on when he might return to action, Akeem Glaspie of the Indianapolis Star reports. “Just trying to get the feel back,” he said. “Coming out here just playing, taking it easy. Not trying to do anything spectacular. When injuries come around you try to rush things. When you rush your body, that’s when things kinda go south. Just gotta be smart about it.”
  • Nets guard Kyrie Irving missed his 10th straight game Wednesday with a shoulder impingement and he’s likely to be out a few more weeks, sources told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Irving has already been ruled out for Brooklyn’s game on Friday. The max player hasn’t spoken to the press since November 14th, further adding to the mystery of Irving’s ailment.
  • Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has a right knee contusion to go along with left hamstring tightness and will miss at least one game on the team’s upcoming road trip, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee relays.
  • Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing nine games with a sprained right thumb, according to an ESPN report. Russell scored 18 points in 25 minutes in the 106-91 loss to the Hornets.

Nwaba Earns More Playing Time

  • Guard David Nwaba doesn’t have a guaranteed spot on the Nets roster but coach Kenny Atkinson said he’s earned more playing time, Zach Brazilier of the New York Post relays. The team will have to make a roster move on December 15th when Wilson Chandler’s 25-game suspension ends and it could come down to Nwaba and Iman Shumpert, who was signed last month. “I’m not worried about that,” said Nwaba, whose contract for 2020/21 is not guaranteed. “I just play my game and worry about contributing.”
  • With Kyrie Irving sidelined by a shoulder injury, Garrett Temple has made a big contribution, Howard Kussoy of the New York Post writes. Temple averaged 12.1 PPG and 2.8 APG during the first eight games Irving missed. Temple’s two-year, $9.8MM contract with the Nets includes a $5MM team option next season. “We all collectively wanted him. Everybody checked a yes box when we were in our recruiting phase, here’s a guy that would fit in well,” Atkinson said. “I’m a little surprised how he’s stepped it up to another level. … I’m really surprised but content.”

Knicks Notes: Trier, Payton, Ntilikina, Garnett

Allonzo Trier‘s future with the Knicks appears uncertain after being kept on the bench for eight of the past 10 games, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Trier saw his first game action outside of garbage time in nearly three weeks Monday in New York’s 44-point loss to the Bucks. He scored 10 points in 11 minutes in the first half, but wasn’t used at all after halftime.

Coach David Fizdale hasn’t provided a public explanation for why Trier has been demoted, other than citing the team’s depth at shooting guard with RJ Barrett, Wayne Ellington and Damyean Dotson. There are theories that Trier’s isolation-heavy game doesn’t fit with Fizdale’s emphasis on ball movement.

“You take it head on,’’ Trier said. “Be prepared whenever that time is, continue to work and get better and help this team if I’m playing or not. I got to accept that. They tell me to stay ready.’’

Opportunity could come later in the season if the Knicks start moving on from their veteran free agents. Ellington is among the players who could be moved by the February trade deadline or waived if a deal can’t be worked out.

There’s more from New York:

  • Elfrid Payton, who has played just four games since signing with the team this summer, may be ready to return tomorrow against the Nuggets, Berman tweets. Payton, who was briefly installed as the team’s point guard, has been sidelined since October 28 with a strained right hamstring. That role has been taken over by Frank Ntilikina, who missed Monday’s game with a back injury, but may also be ready for Thursday.
  • Roster flexibility is all the Knicks have left from what could have been a historic offseason, observes Steve Popper of Newsday. With enough cap space to offer two max contracts, the team missed all its top targets and wound up with seven free agents, six on expiring deals. Management can start moving those contracts on December 15, when most newly signed free agents become eligible to be traded.
  • Former NBA star Kevin Garnett is calling out Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for choosing the Nets instead of the Knicks in free agency, relays Neil Best of Newsday. Speaking at a roundtable to promote a new film, Garnett claimed they passed on a chance to breathe life into a historic franchise. “I’m not a Knicks fan by far,” he said. “But if they come to the city and dominate, man, the first superstar to hit New York and be vibing is going to be bigger than life. Remember I said that. Any piece of hope in this city is going to [soar]. People are waiting.”

Eastern Notes: Irving, Waiters, Jackson, Winslow

Kyrie Irving will miss at least two more games for the Nets as he recovers from a shoulder injury, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com reports. Head coach Kenny Atkinson isn’t concerned about Irving’s slow recovery and his lack of travel with the team.

“I think I used to get frustrated more,” Atkinson said of Irving’s slow recovery. “I’ve had my moments of frustration because I want him back so bad. But you hear our performance staff and then you talk to Kyrie and then you get your mind to a place where that’s the smartest thing to do.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Head coach Erik Spoelstra said Dion Waiters will “probably” be active tonight for the Heat, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel tweets. Waiters hasn’t played for Miami since he was suspended for eating an edible — or at all this season.
  • The Pistons‘ medical team evaluated Reggie Jackson‘s back today and the results showed positive signs of progress, as the team announces on Twitter. The point guard’s rehab from a stress reaction will continue and he’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel wonders if Justise Winslow is more valuable to the Heat as a trade chip than a contributor. Winderman makes a case for the team to trade the former top-10 pick and gain additional help.

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Hayward, Vegas Odds

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie is having a breakout season, but no matter how well he performs, he’ll likely be relegated back to his sixth-man role once Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert both return from their respective injuries, Zach Braziller of the New York Post writes.

“If you don’t roll with it, you will be out the league,” Dinwiddie said. “You don’t have a choice. I could be out here trippin’ and I’ll be gone. If you roll with it, we figure it out and I get to stay and sometimes, every so often, I’ll have like a big game.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • If Irving, LeVert, and Dinwiddie can all stay healthy, the Nets have a powerful backcourt rotation that is only matched by few around the league, as Malika Andrews of ESPN.com relays. “We have no idea what our ceiling is because we are not even close to healthy,” Dinwiddie said. “We really have no idea how good we could be. It is encouraging to know that our floor is continuing to rise.”
  • Before he injured his hand, Gordon Hayward was thriving and it was because of the Celtics‘ commitment to ball movement, Steve Bullpett of the Boston Herald writes. Hayward struggled last season in a slightly different on-court environment. “Yeah, if he gave the ball up, it wasn’t coming back,” said president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “I mean, I think it was everybody trying to figure out like how they could earn their opportunities, and there wasn’t enough to go around to feed everybody.”
  • The first quarter of the season has made Vegas bookmakers more optimistic about the Celtics‘ chances of winning the NBA Finals, Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston explains. Boston is listed as 18-to-1 odds in SuperBook USA’s latest offerings. The team was 40-to-1 a month ago.

Examining Nets' Success Without Three Key Players

Kyrie Irving Resumes On-Court Exercises, Still No Contact

Nets guard Kyrie Irving has started to do some on-court exercises as he continues to rehab from a right shoulder impingement, head coach Kenny Atkinson said, as relayed by Colin Martin of SNY.

Irving has missed the past eight games and will sit when the team hosts Miami on Sunday, with the Nets accruing a 6-2 record over that stretch.

“First thing about Kyrie, he started on-court work, which is a real positive sign for us,” Atkinson said. “He will be out for Miami. And then we’ll see how it progresses. The fact that he started the on-court work is good news for us. Out for Miami and then we’ll see going forward.”

Irving, who signed a four-year, $141MM contract to join the Nets in free agency, has averaged 28.5 points and 7.2 assists through 11 games this season. Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie has helped carry the load in his absence, keeping the team afloat with a 10-9 record.

Despite resuming some on-court work, Irving hasn’t been cleared to begin any work that involves contact, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews (Twitter link).

The Nets are playing without Irving, Kevin Durant (torn Achilles’ rehab), Caris LeVert (thumb) and Wilson Chandler (suspension). The team has sported a starting group of Dinwiddie, Garrett Temple, Joe Harris, Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen in Irving’s absence.

Nets Notes: Irving, Temple, Shumpert, Allen

Kyrie Irving is developing into the team leader in Brooklyn that the Celtics hoped he would be last year, according to Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report. Irving frequently strategizes with Nets coach Kenny Atkinson during games and has taken a proactive approach in helping his teammates improve. Although he has missed the last eight games with a shoulder impingement, Irving has made a difference on the court as well. He’s averaging a career best 28.5 points and 7.2 assists per game and is leading all NBA players in “clutch” points.

Veteran Garrett Temple knew Irving was special, which is why he chose to sign with Brooklyn when he had numerous other offers. Sources tell Scotto that the Nuggets, Wizards, Cavaliers and Pelicans all expressed interest in Temple.

“Any time you go to a different team, and you don’t get traded there and choose to go to a different team when you’re a star, you have a chance to not right wrongs but become the person that you want to be,” Temple said. “It’s kind of a clean slate. The league is kind of a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately type of league anyway. Kyrie comes here, and if he’s the person I’ve seen the last four weeks, then all of those pundits are going to change their tune because he’s been here since Labor Day, we’ve been working out, and he’s been a great leader. He hasn’t tried to show up any young guys. He’s been a hard worker doing his thing, and when you win, it cures a lot of ills too. He said he failed as a leader. He’s going to try to change that, and he recognizes that.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Atkinson said Irving has been able to begin “on-court work,” tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Although Irving has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game, Atkinson calls it a positive step toward his eventual return.
  • Brooklyn will face a difficult roster decision when Wilson Chandler returns on December 15, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The Nets signed Iman Shumpert when they were permitted to temporarily add a 16th player after Chandler served the first five games of his 25-game ban. Shumpert has played well, which means Brooklyn may decide to unload someone else to make room for Chandler.
  • Jarrett Allen has improved nearly every part of his game in his third NBA season, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Allen is averaging a double-double in points and rebounds and leading the league in field goal percentage, but free throws remain a problem. Lewis suggests that Allen can learn from free agent addition DeAndre Jordan, who has steadily improved after starting his career as a poor shooter from the line.

Celtics Notes: Walker, Hayward, Brown, Waters

Kemba Walker didn’t find it remarkable that he was able to be a difference maker in Wednesday’s win over the Nets five days after spraining his neck, relays Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Walker scored 39 points and explained afterward that he recovered quickly from an injury that many feared was serious.

“I’ve been over it,” he said. “I mean, I could have played last game, honestly. But if I’m on the court, I’m on the court. That’s really it. I wasn’t out there thinking about anything. I wanted to win.”

Walker refused to get into the controversy involving Kyrie Irving, who was the target of chants throughout the game even though he wasn’t with his team because of an injured shoulder. Walker appreciated “MVP” support from Celtics‘ fans, but refused to say anything bad about the man he replaced in the Boston backcourt.

“I don’t really pay attention to the Kyrie stuff,” he said. “That’s just the fans and how they feel. That’s not something I’m really paying close attention to. And of course the MVP chants are really great. It’s always a great feeling to have support from your fan base, and I most definitely appreciate this fan base.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Nearly three weeks after breaking a bone in his left hand, Gordon Hayward feels ahead of schedule in his recovery, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. A timetable hasn’t been set for Hayward, who was projected to be sidelined for six weeks after having surgery November 11. He participated in shooting drills earlier this week, tweets Nicole Yang of The Boston Globe.
  • Jaylen Brown has raised his game in the wake of Hayward’s injury, Blakely writes in a full story. Brown, who received a four-year extension last month, has averaged 19.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per night since Hayward got hurt. “We have a next-man-up mentality around here,” Brown said. “When someone goes down, it’s an opportunity for someone else to step up. Some nights, it’s gonna be me. Other nights, it might be someone else. The thing is, you just have to make sure you stay ready and when your time comes, make the most of it. That’s basically what I’m trying to do when I’m out there; do whatever I can to help the team win.”
  • Tremont Waters admits being nervous during his NBA debut Monday, relays Tom Westerholm of MassLive. Despite shooting 2-of-7, Waters had a plus-20 rating for the game. “It’s a surreal feeling,” he said. “Kids dream of this moment, and to be able to be in this position, to go from the G League, obviously I’m working on my game, to come to the NBA level and to help the team actually get a win definitely feels good, but I’m not satisfied with it. Just got to keep working and everything else will definitely play itself out.”

Kyrie Irving Ruled Out For Celtics Rematch

After missing Wednesday’s game in Boston, Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has also been ruled out of Friday’s rematch with the Celtics in Brooklyn, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. Irving, who continues to deal with a right shoulder impingement, will miss his eighth consecutive game as a result of the injury.

The Nets and Celtics face one another four times this season, but the next two games won’t take place until after the All-Star break. Irving’s first opportunity to play his old team will be on March 3, when the Nets travel to Boston again for a prime-time showdown on TNT.

The Nets did get some good injury news on Thursday, as the team announced that center DeAndre Jordan has been listed as probable for Friday’s game vs. the Celtics after missing Brooklyn’s last two contests.