Norvel Pelle could make his debut with the Nets in tonight’s game against the Raptors, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Pelle signed with the team last week to add size in the middle, where Brooklyn has been short-handed since parting with Jarrett Allen in the James Harden trade.
“My career is based off of defense,” Pelle said. “I’m a big rim protector my whole life, so just coming in and filling a role.”
Pelle was preparing to head to Orlando for the G League bubble when his agents told him the Nets were interested, Botte adds. The 28-year-old had to quarantine for a week, but he participated in his first practice Thursday and may see some playing time tonight as a backup to DeAndre Jordan. Pelle played 24 games for the Sixers last season, but he admits feeling “a little nervous” being in the same locker room with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Harden.
“It’s hard to explain, you have all these great individuals that are all on one team and sometimes you’re just in awe of the things that they do,” Pelle said. “Sometimes you have to realize you’re playing, too.”
There’s more Nets news to pass along:
- Iman Shumpert, who signed with Brooklyn on Sunday, is “completely available” for tonight’s game, coach Steve Nash told Botte for the same story. The Nets concentrated on defense with both free agent additions, hoping to improve a unit that is currently ranked 27th in defensive efficiency. Second-year center Nicolas Claxton, who hasn’t played this season because of a knee injury, is “still a few weeks away,” Nash added. “Nothing imminent with him. … I don’t want to put a timeline on it because he’s not that close,” Nash said. “He’s getting there. He’s definitely improving. Hopefully he can start playing with the guys next week.”
- Sam Amick of The Athletic talks to three NBA scouts about the Big Three experiment in Brooklyn. While they’re impressed by the Nets’ talent level, they raise concerns about the on-court fit, overall defense and the lack of size.
- A NetsDaily story examines the trade assets the team has left after giving up so much to acquire Harden.