Day’Ron Sharpe

Nets Notes: Clowney, Finney-Smith, Ollie, Mitchell

With the play-in tournament now out of reach, the Nets are giving more minutes to first-round pick Noah Clowney, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post (subscription required). The 19-year-old power forward, who spent most of the season in the G League, had 22 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday against Indiana, becoming the youngest player in the league to reach those numbers in a game this season.

“I always say, ‘They bleed the same blood, they put their shorts on just like I do,’” Clowney said. “Yeah, [the Pacers] are a good team, but I’ve got to play with the same confidence I play with in the G [League] that I do here. I don’t want to start playing shy, and then I’m playing bad, tripping over mistakes. Just play confident.”

Lewis notes that Clowney has been taking minutes away from Day’Ron Sharpe in the Nets’ big man rotation as the team starts looking ahead to next year. Clowney has shown an ability to score when facing up to the basket, and although he’s still not strong enough to match up with centers, Brooklyn believes he’ll eventually be able to handle that spot as well.

“He’s position-less, and we want him to play like that,” interim head coach Kevin Ollie said. “He’s sticking one-through-five. I got some clips of him sticking, going over the pick-and-roll and blocking [Jordan] Poole, and switching out onto big men, got a charge [the other day]. I mean, he’s done all of those small things, and when he got comfortable shooting his three-point shot, look out. He’s going to open up all of our offense.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • The father of Nets forward Dorian Finney-Smith got to watch him in person tonight for the first time since he started playing basketball, writes Dennis P. Gorman of The Associated Press. Elbert Smith had been in prison since 1996 after being convicted of second-degree murder. The Virginia Parole Board voted unanimously last year to release Smith, who was freed in December. He had to wait for his travel restrictions to be lifted before he could go to Brooklyn to watch his son. “It’s exciting,” Finney-Smith said before the game. “It’s exciting knowing it’s (going to) be his first time ever seeing me play in person. But definitely want to get his win for him, so just try and focus on getting the win.”
  • The Nets will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2017/18, but the organization is still placing value on ending the season the right way, Lewis states in a separate story. Ollie and general manager Sean Marks want to see who keeps competing even though there’s not much at stake. “You can still grow in the season, you can still grow now,” Ollie said. “You can ask yourself what are you really made of? Because a lot of people will quit in this situation. But you can ask yourself what kind of man am I? What kind of team do we want [the] Brooklyn Nets to be? And these are the times — and the challenging times — when you really see your true character.”
  • Brooklyn will definitely have interest in Donovan Mitchell if the Cavaliers decide to trade him this summer, Lewis adds in another piece. Rumors surrounding Mitchell have heated up since he sidestepped a question about signing an extension with Cleveland.

Nets Notes: Bridges, Simmons, Walker, Sharpe, Thomas

With multiple players injured for extended periods this season and the Nets declining offers of multiple first-round picks for him, the pressure has been on Mikal Bridges to be a star for Brooklyn, The New York Post’s Brian Lewis writes. Bridges is slumping as of late, averaging 15.6 points on 37.6% shooting in his past 10 games, and Lewis writes that it’s a result of not just being exhausted, but from getting a lack of offensive help elsewhere.

You know it hurts when you don’t have [Cam Thomas] or [Cameron Johnson] where they’re double-teaming [him], and you expect him to be Superman. But he’s just not Superman,” interim head coach Kevin Ollie said. “All the game plan is to [stop] him, to take him out of the game. And in this opportunity, he can learn through this. Even through struggle, you have an opportunity to find a lesson in it, and I think he’ll find a lesson in it. When he gets in this situation again, he’ll be better equipped.

Bridges is still having a career year, averaging bests in points, rebounds and assists. However, he hasn’t yet regained his post-2023 deadline self, when he averaged 26.1 points per game after being moved to Brooklyn. The recent slump isn’t helping, but the forward, who hasn’t missed a game since entering the NBA, insists it isn’t because he needs a break.

No, it’s just between missing shots and schemes on other teams. It’s just a mix of that,” Bridges said. “It’s not too many times where I come off and it’s easy looks now. And it’s just part of growth, and some are just gonna make me better [and] make the team better when it’s all said and done. But just get through that hump. But no, it’s just between making and missing shots.

We have more from the Nets:

  • Ben Simmons being shut down for the season leaves his future with the organization in question, Lewis writes in a separate story. Simmons has played just 57 of a possible 192 regular season games for the Nets and his $40.3MM salary next season makes it hard to move the former All-Defensive Team member in a trade. Lewis speculates the Nets could consider a buyout. Ollie didn’t say whether Simmons would require another surgery, but Brooklyn has to determine whether he’s a sunk cost, Lewis writes. “I hope his mental is fine,” Bridges said. “I just know getting hurt isn’t fun at all. It gets with you mentally, so hope he’s just all right and just hope [for a] speedy recovery.
  • Simmons’ career with the Nets may have been over before it started, The New York Post’s Dan Martin writes in a member-only article. Simmons was already showing a knack for unavailability before the Nets acquired him for James Harden. However, it’s worth noting Harden could’ve left for nothing in the offseason in 2022 if Brooklyn didn’t make the move, and taking a shot on a former top defender – who was 25 years old at the time – was a reasonable gamble.
  • Lonnie Walker has been a silver lining in an otherwise disappointing season for Brooklyn, Lewis writes (subscriber link). Walker is averaging 11.4 points while making 42.5% of his 5.1 three-point attempts per game after signing with Brooklyn on a one-year, minimum salary deal. He’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agency this offseason.
  • Day’Ron Sharpe (right wrist contusion) and Cam Thomas (right ankle/midfoot sprain) are both available for the Nets in Saturday’s matchup against the Hornets, according to SNY’s Ian Begley (Twitter link). Sharpe missed the past two games with his injury, while Thomas hasn’t played since Feb. 26. Sharpe is averaging 7.3 points and 6.7 rebounds while Thomas is scoring 20.9 points per game for Brooklyn this season.

New York Notes: Knicks Injuries, Nets, Johnson, Sharpe, Thomas

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau gave injury updates on multiple players on Thursday, as Fred Katz of The Athletic relays (All Twitter links).

Thibodeau said forward OG Anunoby, who is recovering from right elbow surgery, has been doing contract drills and is playing five-on-five, which indicates he’s getting close to returning. He’ll be day-to-day moving forward, though he hasn’t yet been fully cleared to play. Anunoby last suited up on January 27.

According to Katz, Thibodeau gave a brief update on Mitchell Robinson, who has been sidelined since December 8 following foot surgery, saying, “Mitch looks good. He told me to tell everyone that.”

Thibodeau also said star guard Jalen Brunson was able to participate in most of Thursday’s practice, but he wasn’t sure what his status would be for the injury report ahead of Friday’s game vs. Orlando, Katz adds.

Here are a few more notes out of New York:

  • With 20 games remaining, the Nets are three games behind the Hawks for the No. 10 seed in the East — the final spot in the play-in tournament. As Ryan Dunleavy of The New York Post writes, Brooklyn has the league’s second-easiest remaining schedule, but is embarking on a stretch with 10 of 11 games on the road, where the team is just 9-19 thus far in 2023/24. How the Nets fare over that stretch could determine whether or not they make the playoffs.
  • Nets forward Cameron Johnson exited Tuesday’s victory over Philadelphia with a right ankle sprain and was unable to return, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “Yeah, it’s just a right ankle sprain and we’re gonna evaluate him [Wednesday],” interim coach Kevin Ollie said. “I imagine they’ll evaluate him [Tuesday night], but we’ll have more information [in the morning].” Johnson is officially out for Thursday’s matchup in Detroit, Lewis tweets. On the NBA’s latest injury report, backup center Day’Ron Sharpe has also been ruled out due to a right wrist contusion he sustained during a hard fall Monday.
  • In more positive news for the Nets, their second-leading scorer could return this weekend, according to Lewis (Twitter link). Cam Thomas has been battling a right ankle/midfoot sprain and will be out Thursday, but he might be back either Saturday vs. Charlotte or Sunday vs. Cleveland. The third-year guard will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the offseason.

New York Notes: Sharpe, Johnson, Simmons, Knicks Injuries, Bogdanovic

Nets big man Day’Ron Sharpe will return to action on Tuesday night against the Celtics, according to Lucas Kaplan of Sharpe has missed the last 15 games due to a left knee hyperextension.

“I ain’t think I would be out this long,” Sharpe said. “But you know, it could have been worse.”

Cameron Johnson, who has missed the last three games due to an adductor issue, won’t play the first of two consecutive games against Boston. He participated in full-court five-on-five at practice on Monday but may be held out until after the All-Star break.

We have more from the New York teams:

  • Nets guard Ben Simmons scored a season-high 13 points against San Antonio on Saturday, missing just one field goal attempt. Simmons is gaining more confidence in his body after missing a good chunk of the season, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post . “Feeling better. It takes time. It’s one of those things where it’s just up and down each day. But I’m just staying with it. The storm doesn’t last forever,” Simmons said. “You know, I’m gonna get back to where I was. So just staying on it. And you know, each day is a day to get better.”
  • Frontcourt injuries have sapped some of the Knicks’ greatest strengths — notably, strength, size and rim protection, Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post writes. That was evident in a loss to Indiana on Saturday. The Knicks will have to make do with a depleted frontcourt once again when they play Houston and Orlando prior to the All-Star break. “It’s always tough when you’re small,” Donte DiVincenzo said, “but I think over these next two games, we’ve just got to find a way to win. Hopefully, we get guys back, but if you don’t, you’ve gotta be ready, gotta be scrappy, and collectively we have to hit the boards a little bit better.”
  • Bojan Bogdanovic got a taste of what it’s like playing for the home team in Madison Square Garden on Saturday, producing 11 points in 33 minutes during his Knicks’ debut. He was acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline and was blown away by the atmosphere at the Knicks’ home arena, Sanchez writes in separate story. “It’s crazy. I think that we all European players dream to play in the Garden,” he said. “So being able to be part of the Knicks, it’s really special for me. The building was on fire the whole game. So I really appreciate the support and love that they showed me (Saturday).”

Nets Notes: Simmons, Walker, Finney-Smith, Sharpe

Ben Simmons‘ return to action could not have gone much better. He nearly posted a triple-double despite playing just 18 minutes in the Nets‘ rout of Utah on Monday.

Simmons had 10 points, a game-high 11 assists and eight rebounds after missing 38 straight games with a nerve impingement in his back.

“Once he said he was ready to go, I had no qualms that he was going to be able to push the pace for us and get back to the high-energy, high-octane pace that he’s played with this group,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn told the New York Post’s Brian Lewis and other media members. “You see how he just impacts other people. He makes other dudes better, and he likes doing that.”

We have more on the Nets:

  • Lonnie Walker is on his third team in the past three seasons. He’s on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal and is hoping for more security in his next contract, as Michael Scotto of HoopsHype shares in a video tweet. “I’m on a minimum, so I carry that weight on my shoulders as far as finding a home, playing the right way, and continuing to get better,” Walker said. “Right now, I’m locked in trying to find that forever home.” The Nets swingman is averaging 11.8 points in 28 appearances this season.
  • Forward Dorian Finney-Smith missed Monday’s game with a sprained left ankle and also won’t play Wednesday against the Suns, Lewis tweets. Finney-Smith has been the subject of numerous trade rumors in recent weeks.
  • Simmons is listed as probable for Wednesday’s game due to a left knee contusion, Lewis add in another tweet. Backup center Day’Ron Sharpe remains sidelined due to a hyperextended left knee.

Nets Notes: Bridges, Walker, Simmons, Sharpe

Sixth-year wing Mikal Bridges put up impressive statistics when he was traded to Brooklyn last February, averaging 26.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.7 APG and 1.0 SPG on .475/.376/.894 shooting in 27 games to close the 2022/23 season.

While his numbers are solid again for the Nets in ’23/24 — he’s averaging 21.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 3.8 APG on .455/.363/.839 shooting in 43 games — Bridges doesn’t expect to make the All-Star Game, he tells Mark Medina of Sportskeeda.

I don’t think so. Maybe next year,” Bridges said. “You have to win and play to the level.”

As Medina notes, the Nets are currently 17-26, having lost 16 of their past 20 games. Multiple reports have indicated that Brooklyn has no plans to trade Bridges ahead of the February 8 deadline, but he knows things can change quickly in the NBA.

Just prepare, watch and wait,” Bridges said of the next couple weeks.

Here’s more from Brooklyn:

  • After giving up a 22-0 run to lose to the Clippers in L.A. on Sunday, the Nets blew another fourth quarter lead in Tuesday’s home contest vs. New York, with the crowd chanting “Let’s go Knicks” late in the final period, writes Bridget Reilly of The New York Post. Bridges wasn’t pleased that the atmosphere felt like “an away game at home.” “You could hear in the crowd, felt like a friggin’ away game when they made their run,” Bridges said. “Yes, we got good looks. They got some key buckets. We just got to overcome it, you can’t fold and put our heads down if they make a little run. It’s part of the game, just got to be able to execute after and go out and win.”
  • Lonnie Walker was a rotation regular to open the season, but his hot shooting start was interrupted by a hamstring injury, which caused him to miss 17 consecutive games. Since returning from the injury, Walker’s minutes have been more sporadic — he has averaged just 12.5 MPG after playing 21.3 MPG prior to the injury. Head coach Jacque Vaughn wants Walker to make better decisions on defense and contribute more on the boards in order to receive more playing time, relays Lucas Kaplan of
  • The Nets recently provided injury updates on Ben Simmons and Day’Ron Sharpe, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. According to Vaughn, Simmons will be out at least this week, but he could practice with the team’s G League affiliate in Long Island soon. Simmons has been out since November 6 with a back injury. As for backup center Sharpe, who has missed the past six games with a hyperextended left knee, he says he still isn’t doing contact work. “I think I’ve got a lot more steps I’ve got to take. Right now, I’m just still on the process of strengthening my leg back,” said Sharpe, who didn’t offer a return timeline. “I don’t know yet. But I just feel good. Better. I feel like I’m going in a positive direction.”

Injury Notes: Sharpe, M. Williams, Embiid, Sixers, Lowry

After leaving Sunday’s game vs. Portland due to a knee injury, Nets center Day’Ron Sharpe has been diagnosed with a hyperextended left knee, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. As Lewis relays, Sharpe is expected to be reevaluated by the club in about two weeks.

It’s an unfortunate setback for a player whose role has increased in his third season in Brooklyn. After averaging a modest 11.8 minutes per game in 80 appearances across his two NBA seasons, Sharpe has logged 16.0 MPG in 37 contests so far this season, posting career-best marks in points (7.5), rebounds (7.0), and assists (1.4), among other categories.

In Sharpe’s 592 minutes of action this season, the Nets have a net rating of +7.7. In Brooklyn’s 1,194 minutes without him on the court, that number plummets to -5.8. That’s easily the biggest on/off disparity among Nets rotation players so far in 2023/24.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Hornets center Mark Williams, who has been sidelined by a low back ailment since December 8, will be out for at least one more week as he continues to rehab the injury, the team announced on Monday (via Twitter). Charlotte has a 1-14 record in games without Williams so far this season.
  • Sixers center Joel Embiid (left knee swelling) didn’t practice with the team on Monday or Tuesday and appears likely to miss a second consecutive game on Wednesday in Atlanta, per Derek Bodner of PHLY Sports (Twitter links). However, Tobias Harris (left ankle soreness) and De’Anthony Melton (back soreness) each practiced both days and head coach Nick Nurse is confident they’ll be available vs. the Hawks, Bodner adds. Harris sat out on Saturday, while Melton has missed Philadelphia’s past three games.
  • Heat point guard Kyle Lowry exited Monday’s game in the third quarter due to a sprained left hand, but the initial scan on Lowry’s hand came back clean, so he’s considered day-to-day for now, as Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes. Miami has taken a committee approach to the point guard responsibilities this season, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel, so if Lowry – who is also battling an illness – does have to miss time, the ball-handling duties will be shared by Tyler Herro, Josh Richardson, and others.
  • In other Heat injury news, Jimmy Butler (toe) has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game vs. Oklahoma City, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. It’ll be the ninth game in the last 10 that Butler has missed.

Atlantic Notes: Barrett, Sharpe, Giles, Watford, Morris

RJ Barrett has provided the scoring punch the Raptors were seeking when they decided to trade for him last week, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet. Barrett had his best game since the deal Sunday night, posting 37 points in a lopsided win at Golden State.

“I’m just trying to help,” he said. “That’s all I’m trying to do, just trying to help. (Immanuel Quickley) and I, I think we’re adjusting great, but it’s a work in progress.”

Toronto is 3-1 with Barrett in the lineup, and he’s averaging 21.0 PPG while shooting 53.8% from the field and 52.6% from three-point range. Coach Darko Rajakovic noted that Barrett has been keeping the ball moving, handing out six assists on Sunday, and Barrett is enjoying the open shots he’s been getting in Toronto’s offense.

“Being here with the system we have, you get a lot of wide-open looks,” Barrett said. “We’re playing in a flow, in a rhythm, getting good shots that I work on every day … you know the ball is coming, you just have to be ready to shoot it.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets backup center Day’Ron Sharpe will undergo an MRI today after spraining his left knee late in Sunday’s game, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Sharpe had to be helped off the floor after a collision, and coach Jacque Vaughn said he won’t accompany the team on its flight to France for Thursday’s international game. “He’ll stay back, won’t travel with us to Paris right now,” Vaughn said. “We’ll see if he’s going to join us in Paris.”
  • Harry Giles and Trendon Watford were thrilled to remain with the Nets as they learned over the weekend their contracts will be guaranteed for the rest of the season, Lewis adds. “I’m officially official,” said Giles, who has battled injuries throughout his NBA career. “(General manager) Sean (Marks) texted me in the morning, told me, ‘Glad you’re a Net, you’re here to say, well deserved.’… When I came in this morning, I saw Sean again. He gave me a hug, told me congrats and I’m glad you’re here to stay.”
  • Marcus Morris talked to Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer about how much it means to him to be playing for his hometown Sixers and hearing “from North Philly” as part of his pregame introduction. “If you would have asked me this, in a million years, I would have said I didn’t think it was going to happen,” said Morris, who was acquired from the Clippers earlier this season. “… My boys being able to see it. My family being able to see it. It was big for me. Just grateful for the opportunity.”

Nets Notes: Starting Five, Bridges, DSJ, Sharpe

Prior to Friday’s game vs. Denver, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn indicated that he was considering making a change to his starting lineup in order to try to address the team’s recent habit of starting games slowly, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post.

“It is really on me to take a closer look if there is a lineup change that needs to be had to get our group going,” Vaughn said. “Like I told you, I’ve been taking data of this group, how we can get out to better starts.

“… When we dig ourselves a hole, it’s a deep hole, and the mentality of starting the game has to hit first. It’s tough for us to play from behind.”

Vaughn ultimately ended up rolling out his usual five-man group of Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Nic Claxton, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Cam Thomas on Friday.

As Botte notes, in Brooklyn’s previous four losses, the team was outscored 121-95 in first quarters, whereas the Nets played Denver to a 28-28 tie on Friday. However, the starting lineup didn’t contribute much to that outcome — the Nets were trailing 18-7 when Vaughn made his first substitution.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Bridges’ recent offensive slump has been a significant factor in Brooklyn’s struggles, Botte writes in another Post story. During the club’s current five-game losing streak, Bridges has averaged just 13.8 points per game and has shot 30.8% from the floor. “It’s just the way the ebbs and flow of the season go. At the end of this thing, I’m quite sure his averages will be where they’re supposed to be, and he’ll be an impactful player like he’s been the majority of this season,” Vaughn said, adding that Bridges has been strong defensively. “You just go through little patches where the ball isn’t going in for you.”
  • Dennis Smith Jr. had an immediate impact in his return from a lower back injury that cost him seven games, Botte writes. Smith scored seven points, handed out five assists, and was a plus-nine in 19 minutes during Friday’s loss. “I think his energy and effort are contagious,” teammate Spencer Dinwiddie said. “What he brings on the defensive end is unique to anybody on this roster. He’s an impact player.”
  • Examining the Nets’ goals for the rest of the season, Brian Lewis of The New York Post (subscription required) says the team needs to establish some consistency and get some clarity on which players are keepers and which ones could be trade chips.
  • After another strong showing against Denver on Friday (13 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocks), Day’Ron Sharpe is looking more and more like a player becoming a reliable NBA center, writes Collin Helwig of NetsDaily. Sharpe’s development remains a work in progress, but ideally, Helwig writes, it would follow the template laid out by past and current Nets centers Brook Lopez, Jarrett Allen, and Nic Claxton.

And-Ones: Hall Of Fame, Carter, 2025 AmeriCup, McLemore

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has officially revealed its list of eligible candidates for the Class of 2024, announcing in a press release that this year’s group of first-time nominees includes longtime NBA star Vince Carter, who made eight All-Star teams and appeared in 1,541 regular season games across 22 seasons in the league.

Former Pistons big man Bill Laimbeer, four-time WNBA champion Seimone Augustus, and longtime NCAA head coach Rick Barnes are among the other nominees who are eligible for the first time in 2024.

Finalists will be announced during the NBA’s All-Star weekend on Friday, February 16, while the Class of 2024 will be unveiled on Saturday, April 6 during the NCAA’s Final Four. The enshrinement ceremony for 2024’s Hall of Fame inductees will take place on Saturday, August 17.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The 2025 FIBA AmeriCup will be played in Managua, Nicaragua from August 23-31, 2025, FIBA announced today in a press release. The qualifiers for the event will take place across three windows in February 2024, November 2024, and February 2025. Brazil hosted the last AmeriCup in 2022, losing to Argentina in the final. The U.S. team – which featured former NBAers like Norris Cole, Gary Clark, Jodie Meeks, and Patrick McCaw – placed third in ’22.
  • In honor of the holidays, John Hollinger of The Athletic shares his “All-Stocking Stuffer Team,” which is made up of overlooked players who have emerged as unexpected contributors over the course of this season. Magic center Goga Bitadze, Kings guard Keon Ellis, Jazz forward Simone Fontecchio, and Nets center Day’Ron Sharpe are a few of the players singled out by Hollinger.
  • Veteran guard Ben McLemore, who signed with AEK Athens in August, has officially left the Greek team and is joining CB Breogan in Spain, writes Aris Barkas of Eurohoops. McLemore parted ways with AEK B.C. earlier in the month and was said to be in advanced talks with a Turkish club before lining up a deal with CB Breogan instead.