Nets coach Kenny Atkinson is hopeful that Kyrie Irving could return to practice within the next week or so, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Irving has missed the past 12 games due to a shoulder impingement.
Over the course of those games, Brooklyn has accrued a 9-3 record, including a 105-102 home victory against the Nuggets on Sunday.
“I think the plan is to continue to ramp up his individual on-court work, and I think from there it’s starting to integrate him in the next week or two into team practices,” Atkinson said, as relayed by Lewis. “Like I always say, that could be a planned practice or us making one up if the game schedule so dictates.”
The Nets have struggled through clear growing pains with Irving this season, owning a 4-7 record when he’s active. Brooklyn is expected to sport a formidable roster when fully healthy, pushing a core that includes Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, DeAndre Jordan and others, which will only improve with Kevin Durant‘s return next season.
Brooklyn has upcoming games scheduled against Charlotte on Wednesday, Toronto on Saturday and Philadelphia on Sunday. Through a small sample size of 11 games this season, Irving has averaged 28.5 points and 7.2 assists per contest — both of which would be career-high marks if they hold.
Here’s more from around the division:
- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has no plans of getting involved in the Knicks‘ ongoing internal chaos, a process that’s been stretched over several years, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “I wouldn’t. It’s not my role,” Silver said. “Of course, I work for 30 teams. And the 29 other teams want to beat that team. That’s not to say me getting involved (would be good) and that I’m in any better position to know what to do. We set the rules. And then we try to have a level playing field for the teams to compete.”
- Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston examines how Jaylen Brown has won over Celtics fans in the early stages of the season. Brown has put forth his best campaign to date, holding per-game averages of 20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals while helping the Celtics obtain a 16-5 record. “When [Brown] has it going, he definitely gives us a lot more options,” teammate Kemba Walker said. “He’s been playing well all year. I’m excited for him. He’s put in a lot of work each and every day, and it’s showing on the court.”
- Iman Shumpert‘s impressive play is leaving the Nets with a difficult roster decision to make, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Brooklyn has to waive or trade a player by next Sunday to clear a roster spot, with Wilson Chandler‘s 25-game suspension set to expire that day. “He’s been a sparkplug,” coach Kenny Atkinson said of Shumpert. “He’s really what we ask for: We ask for a perimeter defender, a guy that can really guard multiple positions. And then he’s got a great spirit in the locker room.”