The Nets‘ Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving trades earlier this month significantly reduced the team’s star power but have created a deeper roster, resulting in difficult decisions for head coach Jacque Vaughn, as Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post writes.
With Seth Curry back in action on Wednesday following a five-game absence due to a left adductor strain, the Vaughn and the Nets employed a 10-man rotation that left out a couple players who have had regular roles for much of the season. As Sanchez writes, there was no room in that 10-man rotation for Edmond Sumner or Yuta Watanabe in addition to Day’Ron Sharpe or Patty Mills.
Vaughn is happy to use 10 of the Nets’ 14 players (not counting two-ways) for the time being, but expects to tighten the rotation further this spring.
“We’re playing 10 guys right now,” Vaughn said on Wednesday. “Eventually that’s going to whittle down to nine or eight as you get into the playoffs, but I think that’s the biggest thing is being able to utilize the depth.”
Here’s more on the Nets:
- Although he’s one of the odd men out of the Nets’ new rotation, Mills said he likes the look of the roster in the wake of the trade deadline and remains confident in the team’s chances to make the playoffs. In a conversation with Ian Begley of SNY.tv, the veteran guard made multiple references to the character of the locker room and the off-court bonds between Nets players. “Genuinely, you look around the room and we’ve just got really solid dudes,” Mills said. “(Potential) friendships, (where) you can talk and you can go outside of the basketball court, which I think at the end of the day makes a real impact on what we can do on the court.”
- Given the opportunity to take on a larger role, Nets guard Cam Thomas scored 134 points in a three-game span earlier this month, but he has seen his minutes dip again within the last week, averaging just 19.8 MPG in Brooklyn’s last three games. Thomas, who expressed frustration with his limited playing time early in the season, doesn’t sound thrilled about once again taking a step back, Sanchez writes for The New York Post. “It’s tough,” Thomas said. “From doing one thing and trying to adjust to the team because that’s just what you got to do. It’s tough for sure. So just got to figure it out.”
- Speaking to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Bulls center Andre Drummond admitted that he would’ve liked to re-sign with the Nets as a free agent last summer, but turned to the “next best option” when things didn’t work out with Brooklyn. “I definitely wanted to come back, but I think they were going in a different direction, so there was nothing I could really do about that,” said Drummond, who was the Nets’ starting center down the stretch and in the playoffs last spring.