Brooklyn Nets: Dzanan Musa out a month with shoulder injury

Brooklyn Nets Long Island Nets Dzanan Musa. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Saffran/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Long Island Nets Dzanan Musa. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Saffran/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Brooklyn Nets rookie Dzanan Musa told media members he considers himself lucky to be out only a month after shoulder scare.

Dzanan Musa, the first-round pick of the Brooklyn Nets in last June’s draft, expects to be out a month after partially dislocating his left shoulder in an NBA G League game.

He told Brian Lewis of the New York Post that he feels like he caught a break, considering how startling the initial injury was.

While on assignment with the Long Island Nets on Sunday, Musa took a fall during their game against the Boston Celtics affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, at Nassau Coliseum and immediately knew something had gone terribly wrong and feared the worst.

"“Oh, yeah, because my arm just went off. I didn’t feel it for like five minutes. It was numb, [I couldn’t feel it], not at all. I felt like my arm was gone, so I was pretty afraid.”"

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The injury is called a subluxation, a partial dislocation of the shoulder where the ball of the humerus, the large bone in the upper arm, comes out of the shoulder socket.

Musa was selected 29th overall after three years with Croatian club Cedevita, but his progress in training camp was set back by an ankle sprain he sustained in September while playing for the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team in qualifying play for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

While he’s only played in seven games and dressed for 17 with Brooklyn, Musa had played in every game for Long Island prior to his injury, leading the G-Nets in scoring at 20.1 points per game in 16 games.

The 6-foot-9 shooting guard had also averaged 7.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 32.4 minutes per game at Long Island, helping the club to an 11-5 start.

After the team’s victory over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets affiliate) at the NBA G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas, the Nets are percentage points ahead of Raptors 905 and the Westchester Knicks and lead the G League’s East Division.

The 19-year-old Musa admitted before Friday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers to being frustrated at times, particularly as second-round pick Rodions Kurucs — a year older but taken 11 spots later — has worked his way first into Brooklyn’s rotation and now, for the last five games, the starting unit.

"“Yeah, it’s tough sometimes, you know, because my primary goal is to be here and help the guys. But I’m happy that we have this seven-game stretch of winning, so I’m happy to see the guys that are winning.”"

While with Long Island, Musa was playing a lot at the 3, while also spending some time at the 2 and even running the point at times.

His game coming over from Europe was predicated on driving and getting to the rim, and he’s shown flashes of that even in his brief stints with Brooklyn,

In the G-League, Musa has shot 43.9 percent overall and shown an improved 3-point touch, hitting 35.6 percent on 6.5 attempts per game.

And, as befits a rookie on a learning curve, Musa also leads Long Island with 2.9 turnovers per contest.

With the parent Nets, Musa has played 26 minutes, hitting 6-of-14 shots overall while misfiring on all six of his long-range attempts.

But he is 3-for-4 at the rim, 2-for-2 from three to 10 feet and 1-for-2 from deep mid-range.

The Nets acquired the picks used to take both Musa and Kurucs from the Toronto Raptors along with DeMarre Carroll in July 2017, with Justin Hamilton sent the other way in a salary dump by the Raptors.

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He won’t turn 20 until after the regular-season ends and Musa has no fear when taking the ball to the tin. He is a project, but one with some nice upside for the Nets.