DeAndre Jordan

Nets Notes: Harden, Dinwiddie, Bigs, Jordan, Durant, Irving

James Harden has missed five games due to a hamstring strain, but Nets general manager Sean Marks said the All-Star guard should be back soon, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “James is progressing well,” Marks said. “He’s looking forward to having at least one or two more play days, which means he’ll play 4-on-4, 5-on-5 with the group in practice. And then hopefully if things go smoothly, he’ll be out and joining the guys in a game.”

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  • While it seems doubtful Spencer Dinwiddie could return from a partially torn ACL for the playoffs, Marks would not rule it out, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. “I would never bet against Spencer Dinwiddie,” he said. “We saw four years ago with him. He has a chip on his shoulder. He loves to prove people wrong.”
  • Coach Steve Nash plans to mix and match DeAndre Jordan, Nicolas Claxton, Blake Griffin and Jeff Green at center in the aftermath of LaMarcus Aldridge‘s retirement, Lewis relays in a separate story. “I don’t think it makes sense to just pencil something in if the matchups aren’t more favorable for us,” he said. “They all bring something different. They all have a different profile.”
  • Jordan’s role was reduced dramatically prior to Aldridge’s departure. He’s back in that mix now but he was never going to be a distraction, Lewis tweets. “Selfishly, individually, it’s obviously not ideal for me,” Jordan said. “But being on a team, you have to be able to sacrifice and put the team first, and I’ve done that night-in, night-out. And I’ll continue to do that.”
  • Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving started in the 130-115 win over Charlotte on Friday and Marks is confident his big three will be ready to go for the postseason, he said in a Sirius XM NBA Radio interview (Twitter link).

Nets Notes: Jordan, Griffin, Durant, Big Three

Two big-name additions on the buyout market have cut into DeAndre Jordan‘s playing time, but the Nets aren’t considering buyout talks with the veteran center, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Jordan has played just 12 minutes in each of the last two games, with much of his time going to Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. Even though Jordan has fallen down the rotation, Brooklyn appears content to keep him on the roster.

“It’s never been discussed,” one source told Lewis about the possibility of a buyout. “Nothing going on there,” another source added.

The 32-year-old center was part of the Nets’ 2019 free agent bonanza, joining the organization at the same time as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He averaged 8.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game during his first season and was putting up similar numbers this year before Brooklyn added Griffin and Aldridge. Today marks the deadline that players must be waived to preserve their playoff eligibility with a new team.

“(Jordan’s) got to stay ready. Who knows when it might be? It might be Sunday. It might be in two weeks. But everyone’s got to continue to prepare and stay ready and see what happens,” coach Steve Nash said. “We’ve got a lot of centers. We’re going to work through it and see what our rotation is going to be come playoff time.”

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  • Griffin believes he benefited physically from the time he spent preparing to return to the court after signing with Brooklyn, Lewis adds in the same story. The Nets had him work his way back into condition before he began playing again, and he has looked more like his old self, with five dunks in his seven games with the team. “From top to bottom this organization does an unbelievable job of taking care of their guys and thinking of everything,” Griffin said. “Just being able to come here and take a couple of weeks and get with the performance staff and work on the things they wanted me to work on was huge.”
  • Durant was in top form Wednesday as he returned after a 23-game absence with a strained hamstring, notes Nick Friedell of ESPN. In 19 minutes, Durant made all five of his shots from the field and posted 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot. “I expected to come out here and play the way I played,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to ease into the game. I just wanted to go out there and dive right into the action.”
  • Injuries to Durant, Irving and James Harden have limited their time playing together, which Nash admits is “not ideal” heading into the postseason, Lewis writes in a separate story. The three stars have only been available at the same time for seven games since Harden was acquired in January.

Atlantic Notes: Aldridge, Durant, Drummond, Williams

LaMarcus Aldridge will get the opportunity to start for the Nets, according to coach Steve Nash, ESPN’s Malika Andrews tweets. Aldridge signed with the Nets after reaching a buyout with the Spurs and clearing waivers. Aldridge is expected to sit out for two to four games as he ramps up his on-court activity after not playing since March 1. Aldridge would presumably challenge DeAndre Jordan for the starting center spot.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets continue to take a very cautious approach with Kevin Durant, Andrews writes. Nash said he doubts Durant will play this week as he continues to recover from a left hamstring strain. He hasn’t played since February 13. Reserve guard Landry Shamet, who’s dealing with an ankle sprain, is also unlikely to play this week, Andrews adds.
  • Andre Drummond might have received ample playing time with the Knicks but he had already decided to join the Lakers before Mitchell Robinson broke his foot on Saturday, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Knicks didn’t make a strong run at Drummond, even after Robinson was injured, because Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t lobby hard for the former Cavaliers center. There was a general sense that Drummond would be unhappy in New York unless he started.
  • The biggest winner in the aftermath of the Celtics’ moves prior to the trade deadline is young center Robert Williams, A. Sherrod Blakely of the Boston Sports Journal writes. Fans have been clamoring to see more of Williams and they’ll get their wish now that Daniel Theis has been dealt to Chicago. Williams played 32 minutes against New Orleans on Monday.

Atlantic Notes: Perry, Robinson, Ainge, Powell

During a conversation on the Glue Guys Podcast, do-everything Nets guard Bruce Brown expressed his excitement about rookie power forward Reggie Perry, freshly returned to Brooklyn after logging time in the G League “bubble” for the Long Island Nets. As relayed by Net Income of Nets Daily, Brown raved about Perry.

“The person I hadn’t seen a lot that was killing it in training camp was Reggie Perry,” Brown said. “He looked like he could be in the rotation. He was doing a little bit of everything, hitting threes, jump hooks, killing people, killing (center DeAndre Jordan) low key. He literally was killing training camp.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Though the Knicks have yet to supply a recovery timeline for the fourth metacarpal fracture incurred by center Mitchell Robinson on February 12, a Northwestern University-based orthopedic hand surgeon indicated to Marc Berman of the New York Post that Robinson could be out for a total of six to eight weeks.
  • During a conversation with Brian Robb of Mass Live, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge discussed a variety of topics, including just how active Boston will be in the week leading up to the trade deadline. “I always go into the trading deadline, thinking that there’s something that we can do to help our team,” Ainge said. “I’m not talking about a big talent swing, I’m talking about just incremental positional changes you know one position in place of another, that we could use.”
  • Raptors guard Norman Powell, on a tear of late, has emerged as perhaps Toronto’s top trade asset ahead of the deadline next week, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Powell has an $11.6MM player option for the 2021/22 season.

USA Basketball Expands Finalist List for Olympic Roster

Fifteen players have been added to the list of finalists for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. The group will eventually be pared down to 12 players who will participate in the Olympic Games, which are set for July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will serve as coach for the U.S. team, with Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Villanova coach Jay Wright and former Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce as his assistants.

No tryouts will be held this year. Instead, USA Basketball will choose the final roster by early summer. Training camp is scheduled to being in early July before the conclusion of the NBA playoffs.

“With the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021, it’s important that we continue to remain flexible and consider all players who can contribute to our efforts to field the best USA team possible,” USA Basketball men’s national team managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “These additions we are announcing today will help ensure that we are doing that. Having a larger player pool than what we normally have is critical because of all of the uncertainties we face about availability. But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”

The new names under consideration are:

  1. Jarrett Allen (Cavaliers)
  2. Eric Gordon (Rockets)
  3. Jerami Grant (Pistons)
  4. Blake Griffin (Nets)
  5. Jrue Holiday (Bucks)
  6. DeAndre Jordan (Nets)
  7. Zach LaVine (Bulls)
  8. Julius Randle (Knicks)
  9. Duncan Robinson (Heat)
  10. Mitchell Robinson (Knicks)
  11. Fred VanVleet (Raptors)
  12. John Wall (Rockets)
  13. Zion Williamson (Pelicans)
  14. Christian Wood (Rockets)
  15. Trae Young (Hawks)

Forty-two players remain from the original list, which was announced in February 2020:

  1. Bam Adebayo (Heat)
  2. LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)
  3. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  4. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  5. Devin Booker (Suns)
  6. Malcolm Brogdon (Pacers)
  7. Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
  8. Jimmy Butler (Heat)
  9. Mike Conley (Jazz)
  10. Stephen Curry (Warriors)
  11. Anthony Davis (Lakers)
  12. DeMar DeRozan (Spurs)
  13. Andre Drummond (Cavaliers)
  14. Kevin Durant (Nets)
  15. Paul George (Clippers)
  16. Draymond Green (Warriors)
  17. James Harden (Nets)
  18. Montrezl Harrell (Lakers)
  19. Joe Harris (Nets)
  20. Tobias Harris (76ers)
  21. Gordon Hayward (Hornets)
  22. Dwight Howard (Sixers)
  23. Brandon Ingram (Pelicans)
  24. Kyrie Irving (Nets)
  25. LeBron James (Lakers)
  26. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  27. Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
  28. Damian Lillard (Blazers)
  29. Brook Lopez (Bucks)
  30. Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  31. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  32. JaVale McGee (Cavaliers)
  33. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  34. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  35. Victor Oladipo (Rockets)
  36. Chris Paul (Suns)
  37. Mason Plumlee (Pistons)
  38. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  39. Myles Turner (Pacers)
  40. Kemba Walker (Celtics)
  41. Russell Westbrook (Wizards)
  42. Derrick White (Spurs)

Two players removed from that list are Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, and Celtics guard Marcus Smart. Sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic that Smart turned down an invitation because of injury concerns due to having a short offseason and playing late into consecutive seasons (Twitter link).

Kevin Durant Out At Least Two Games With Hamstring Strain

Nets star Kevin Durant has been diagnosed with a mild left hamstring strain and will miss at least the next two games, the team announced (via Twitter).

Brooklyn’s next two games are in Sacramento on Monday and in Phoenix on Tuesday. If Durant’s absence doesn’t extend beyond those two contests, he’d be able to return for a Thursday showdown in Los Angeles against the Lakers on TNT.

It has been a stop-and-start year so far for Durant, who missed the entire 2019/20 season as he recovered from an Achilles tear. The Nets have played it safe with the former MVP in the early going, holding him out of half of some back-to-back sets to manage his return from that injury. Durant has also been sidelined for several games due to two separate week-long stints in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Since James Harden made his Nets debut on January 16, the team’s Big Three – Durant, Harden, and Kyrie Irving – has been active for just seven of 15 games, and Durant was forced to exit one of those games early due to COVID-19 protocols.

On the plus side for Brooklyn, DeAndre Jordan, who missed Saturday’s game vs. Golden State for personal reasons, is listed as probable to play on Monday against Sacramento.

Kevin Durant Cleared To Return

After missing three full games – and parts of a fourth – due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Nets star Kevin Durant has been cleared to return. Head coach Steve Nash confirmed that Durant was able to practice today and said he’ll be a “full go” for Saturday’s game against the Warriors, per Malika Andrews of ESPN (Twitter link).

Durant was placed in the league’s COVID-19 protocols last Friday after being in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. The two-time Finals MVP has continued to test negative for the coronavirus during the last week, allowing him to get back in Brooklyn’s lineup on Saturday. It will be his first time playing in Golden State since he left the Warriors as a free agent in 2019.

While the Nets will have Durant back, they’ll be without DeAndre Jordan, who will miss the game for personal reasons unrelated to the coronavirus, according to Nash (Twitter link via Andrews). The expectation is that Jordan will continue to be tested for COVID-19 during his absence and will be able to rejoin Brooklyn during its West Coast road trip, which runs through February 21.

With Jordan out, both the Nets and Warriors will be extremely shorthanded at the center position, so we could see plenty of small-ball when the two teams take the court tomorrow.

Nets Notes: Irving, Jordan, Eastern Contenders

The Nets suffered a third consecutive loss on Tuesday, dropping a 122-111 decision to the last-place Pistons, prompting some self-reflection from star guard Kyrie Irving and head coach Steve Nash, among others. Irving said the team looked “very average,” as Malika Andrews of ESPN writes, while Nash said the club needed to improve its “competitive spirit,” per Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

The Nets responded on Wednesday with a 104-94 victory over Indiana — it was just the second time since acquiring James Harden on January 17 that Brooklyn had allowed fewer than 100 points in a game.

That game, which Brooklyn led by as many as 36 points, was an encouraging sign, but the Nets will need to string together more wins like it to show that they’re truly elite, says Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. The team, which has a modest 15-12 overall record, has too often looked discombobulated and disinterested, according to Vaccaro.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Although Kyrie Irving‘s injured right index finger only forced him to miss one game, he admitted that it bothered him in his return on Tuesday, as Brian Lewis writes for The New York Post. “It’s uncomfortable, but at the same time I don’t want to make any excuses,” Irving said. “I’m out there, put myself out there, do a lot of treatment on it and we’re down a few players obviously, as well, so you just want to go out there and compete and worry about the pain later.”
  • Nets center DeAndre Jordan bounced back nicely after sideline clashes with James Harden and Steve Nash on Tuesday, Lewis notes in a separate story for The Post. “If I’m honest, it was an emotional night (Tuesday),” Nash said. “D.J. and I got upset at each other for a minute. I know D.J. got upset a few times during the game. So I’m proud of him because he bounced back with an incredible attitude, effort, performance.”
  • Tim Bontemps of ESPN polled a handful of coaches, scouts, and executives from around the league on which Eastern teams are capable of reaching the NBA Finals and found that the Nets and Bucks are still considered the two frontrunners, despite the fact that the 76ers are currently the conference’s No. 1 seed.

Eastern Notes: Jordan, Allen, Bey, Okeke, Vucevic

Nets coach Steve Nash is trying to avert a controversy over his decision to keep DeAndre Jordan as the starting center, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Nash gave Jarrett Allen more playing time off the bench on Friday but didn’t tinker with the lineup. Allen will be a restricted free agent in the summer. “I want to be very careful not to make it like a mini-drama because it’s not,” Nash said. “They both play. JA has been outstanding and will play plenty, if not the bulk of the minutes, but for right now, he’s just playing those minutes from the second unit.”

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  • Pistons veteran point man Derrick Rose is highly impressed with the maturity of rookie forward Saddiq Bey‘s game, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Bey started in place of injured Blake Griffin, who is in the league’s concussion protocol, and fired in five 3-pointers against Boston on Friday. “Right when we picked him, I knew we had an asset,” Rose said. “He’s a shooter. Whenever I’m out there with him, I always keep an eye on him and see where he is on the floor.”
  • Gary Clark will likely fill Chuma Okeke’s bench role with the Magic until Okeke returns, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Clark is a solid defender but does not bring much to the table offensively, Robbins notes. Okeke will miss several weeks due to a left knee bone bruise. Clark re-signed with the Magic on a two-year contract, though the second year isn’t guaranteed.
  • Nikola Vucevic has become the Magic’s all-time leader in field goals made and he’s achieved that feat without having a lot of plays drawn up for him, as Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel explains. Coach Steve Clifford says Vucevic gets his points within the flow of the offense. “There’s no guy here that I’ve done less to help than him,” Clifford said. “If there’s any guy in the locker room who would have a complaint that Steve doesn’t get him the ball, it would be him.” Vucevic, the team’s highest-paid player, is signed through the 2022/23 season.

New York Notes: Allen, Jordan, Quickley, DSJ

Jarrett Allen is one of the NBA’s top rebounders and he could force Nets coach Steve Nash to consider a change in his starting lineup, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Allen is only playing 22.6 minutes per night off the bench, but he’s leading the league in offensive rebounds, offensive rebound percentage, and total rebound percentage.

Nash has been using DeAndre Jordan as his starting center, but the 32-year-old hasn’t been impressive. Lewis notes that Jordan’s plus-minus rating has declined in each game this season, hitting minus-8 on Wednesday as he managed just five points and one rebound against the Hawks.

“That’s a good debate. It’s a small sample, one, and I’m not sure if plus-minus is the best barometer,” Nash said. “But that was a tough matchup for DJ. Those guys are good, dynamic rollers, (Clint) Capela, but even more so (John) Collins’ speed is exceptional getting out of the screen and it poses a unique problem.”

There’s more from New York City:

  • The Nets are still adjusting to life without Spencer Dinwiddie, who may be lost for the season with a partially torn ACL, Lewis adds in a separate storyTimothe Luwawu-Cabarrot replaced Dinwiddie in the starting lineup Wednesday, but that new unit had never practiced together. They wound up with a minus-10 in 13 minutes. “It’s a big loss because of (Dinwiddie’s) versatility, skill set, size, speed, defensive ability. We’ll miss him dearly,” Nash said. “We’re going to see a lot of different lineups, different combinations.”
  • The Knicks should be getting a couple of injured guards back soon, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tvImmanuel Quickley, who’s been dealing with a sore left hip, could return Saturday or Monday. Dennis Smith Jr., who has a left quad issue, will rejoin the team during its road trip but will have to work on conditioning before being cleared to practice.
  • Austin Rivers, who played his first game with the Knicks Thursday night, posted an Instagram message afterward asking fans to be patient, Begley tweets. “Trust us. We’re getting better,” Rivers wrote. “We have a new great coach, all new players, really young, learning to play with each other and get chemistry right still, and we still getting all the way healthy. It’s a process but I promise we getting there step by step.”