3. Graham injury comes at a bad time
The Brooklyn Nets had been inching closer to getting back to full health. Guard Allen Crabbe made his return after missing most of the final three preseason games and the season opener with a sprained left ankle and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was healthy enough to play.
RHJ was not with the team as he was home with his newborn son, who entered the world on Thursday morning.
Soaring Down South
But the Nets’ injury woes continued in the second quarter when Treveon Graham went down with what was diagnosed as a strained left hamstring. He did not return and had to be helped to the locker room by Kenneth Faried and Dzanan Musa — the go-to guys for fallen players, it seems.
Crabbe was streaky in his return, hitting his first shot — a 3-pointer — and stepping inside a closing defender with a nice ball fake to knock down an uncontested mid-range J on his second.
But he missed his final five attempts, including four from deep, and finished with five points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.
Graham logged 10 minutes before he was hurt and rookie Rodions Kurucs got the call and did what he has already done so often already this season. He was active and good things happened.
Kurucs scored 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting, with five rebounds and a plus-11 rating in 17 minutes. He’s earned his rotation spot and may see more time with Graham appearing to be out for awhile, even with Hollis-Jefferson returning.
Still, the Nets were already down DeMarre Carroll, Shabazz Napier and Alan Williams and now Graham will likely join that list, just based on the eye test of how he reacted when he went down and how he left the court.
The constant shuffling of personnel provides opportunities for players to step up, true, but it also creates instability in the rotation which can lead to … wait for it … turnovers.
Two games in is a very early time to be talking about this many injury problems.