The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. That’s how things are going for the Brooklyn Nets right about now. After learning that Kyrie Irving is supposedly hoping to rejoin the team this season, Brooklyn announced that along with Paul Millsap, four more players are out due to health and safety protocols.
That means that they’ve either tested positive, or received an inconclusive test after coming in close contact with someone that’s tested positive (ie: the Bulls on Dec. 4).
Those players are James Johnson, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre’ Bembry and Jevon Carter. Add Joe Harris into the mix, who’s out rehabbing his left ankle, and that means that the Nets are down to 10 players for Tuesday’s game against Toronto. Kevin Durant is listed as questionable with right ankle soreness, so Brooklyn very well could only have nine players to work with.
The NBA requires players entering the health and safety protocol to be out for at least 10 days unless they’re able to record two negative COVID-19 tests within 24 hours. Let’s assume that the five players will be out for 10 days, which would mean that Millsap could come back on Dec. 23 and the other four on Dec. 24 just in time for the Christmas Day game against the Lakers.
Steve Nash has his work cut out for him until then. Hopefully, Brooklyn won’t be down five players for the next week and a half, but in the case that does happen, let’s look at potential rotation options.
Whoops. Add James Harden and Bruce Brown to that list, too.
The Brooklyn Nets are without seven players due to the NBA’s COVID protocol.
Let’s assume that KD will be out for tonight’s game against the Raptors. We’re betting on that happening because since Durant’s dealing with ankle soreness, this isn’t a matchup that he needs to be overextending his energy in. If he is upgraded to out, barring any sudden changes, he should be back for Thursday’s game against Philadelphia.
Harden and Patty Mills will remain in their spots in the starting five, but will likely be joined by Bruce Brown, Blake Griffin, and Nic Claxton.
Brown hasn’t started since Nov. 19 against Orlando; Griffin since Nov. 22; and Claxton since Dec. 8 against Houston (and before Dec. 3, Claxton was out for 17 games with a non-COVID-related illness).
The next 10 days (or so) will be a good time for Nash to get an extensive look at his younger players. We’re just wondering who’s going to get to lead the second unit with rookies Cam Thomas, Kessler Edwards, David Duke Jr., and Day’Ron Sharpe.
The youngsters have a chance to take over with the shortage of players at the moment. Thomas’ minutes increased after he scored 46 points for the Long Island Nets on Nov. 20. Duke had a promising showing against the Rockets last Wednesday, but the other two rookies have been sort of nonexistent for Brooklyn.
Sharpe hasn’t played in a big-league game since Nov. 24, when he showed up for three minutes against Boston. He’s played a total of 36 minutes for the Nets. Edwards, who is on a two-way contract, also hasn’t played for Brooklyn since the game against the Celtics. He’s played in a total of 27 minutes.
The spotlight is on the Nets’ rookies over the next few days. Let’s see what they’ve got.