LaMarcus Aldridge described his debut with the Nets as “perfect,” and Brooklyn fans would probably agree. Playing for the first time in a month, Aldridge started at center Thursday night and posted 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals in a win over the Hornets, writes Matt Eppers of USA Today.
“I’ve been working. I wasn’t just sitting on my couch,” Aldridge said after logging 30 minutes. “I’m an older guy, so I know how to stay ready. I was surprised how good my wind was because I thought I would definitely be more tired, but I felt great.”
There was a huge demand for Aldridge once he cleared waivers last week, even though San Antonio couldn’t work out a trade after deciding to shut him down early last month. He chose the Nets because he saw them as his best chance to compete for a title. Brooklyn played last night without Kevin Durant and James Harden, and Aldridge knows his role will eventually be to complement his All-Star teammates.
“Just try to find my spots to help these guys be better, try to open up the floor for Kyrie (Irving), James, KD,” Aldridge said. “And when teams switch, just go down low. So I thought tonight was perfect. We had a good balance of inside, outside. They doubled me tonight, so I was just trying to find the open guy.”
There’s more this morning from Brooklyn:
- Coach Steve Nash doesn’t believe Harden’s hamstring injury will be a long-term concern, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Harden had to leave Wednesday’s game and sat out Thursday, but it’s considered to be just a Grade 1 strain and he’s expected back soon. “He’s doing pretty good. He had a scan and it was clear, so he’s day-to-day. So, we’re excited that it wasn’t worse,” Nash said. “So, big sigh of relief and you know, day-to-day means we will see him probably in the next few games for sure.”
- Durant’s return could happen next week, Nash tells Tom Dowd of NBA.com. Nash doesn’t expect Durant to be ready Sunday or Monday, but he said the former MVP is “progressing in the right manner and we’re hopeful it wont be too long.” Durant has missed 21 games with a hamstring strain and hasn’t played since February 13.
- In case you missed it, the Nets signed forward Alize Johnson to a second 10-day contract Thursday.