Nets forward T.J. Warren played in an NBA game on Friday for the first time in nearly two years, making his Brooklyn debut after having been sidelined since December 2020 due to a series of foot issues. Warren couldn’t have asked for a much better return — he scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench as the Nets extended their winning streak to four games with a victory over Toronto.
“Man it was super, super, super … just a lot of nerves, excitement, a lot of emotions into it. Just definitely super excited just to be out there with a win,” Warren said, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “Teammates did a great job making the game easy, not so complicated for me. I’ve been out for a while, so it just kept me confident, kept me locked-in, excited on both ends of the floor. So definitely something to build on.
“I was telling somebody in the back it almost felt like a dream. Just like as soon as I checked in it kind of hit me, like, ‘This is real.’ Like I said, once I got up and down it was just like ‘All right, this is basketball.’ So it was just super fun to be out there competing with the guys.”
Warren figures to provide some scoring punch to a team that has leaned heavily on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for its offense so far this season. Besides Durant and Irving, only Nic Claxton (11.9 PPG) and now Warren have averaged double-digit points per game for Brooklyn in 2022/23.
Here’s more on the Nets:
- Reserve guard Edmond Sumner left Friday’s win due to a right glute contusion, according to Lewis. “We’ll look at it (on Saturday),” head coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Hopefully it’s nothing serious and we can look on.”
- In a subscriber-only story for The New York Post, Lewis checks in on Vaughn’s performance in his first month as Steve Nash‘s replacement and finds that the new Brooklyn head coach is earning strong reviews from his own players and opponents alike. Nets forward Joe Harris lauded Vaughn for holding everyone accountable, while Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said the team seems to have “more buy-in” under Vaughn. “They’ve done a terrific job; top 10 since Nov. 1 on both sides of the ball,” Unseld said. “Got to give Jacque and his staff a lot of credit. It shifted. They’re a different team.”
- Bruce Brown, now a Nugget, was upset that he didn’t receive any attention from the Nets in free agency despite his old team initially telling him it wanted to re-sign him, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required). “I was (hurt), but once I’d seen the Royce O’Neale trade, I was like, ‘I’m off their books, for sure,'” Brown said. “Because at first, they were talking about, they didn’t want to go into the tax or whatever, but then they said that I was a priority. … They wanted me back. They came down to see me in Miami when I was working out. And when I didn’t receive a phone call, I was like, ‘All right.'”