With Brooklyn’s Big Three damaged up but once more, because the clock winds down on the regular-season, the question is have they got time to jell earlier than the postseason?
Just as Kevin Durant lastly made his long-awaited return Wednesday after lacking 23 straight video games with a hamstring pressure, James Harden was lost with a hamstring pressure of his personal. Between their accidents and Kyrie Irving’s a number of absences, the Nets’ terrific trio has been much more of a rotating dynamic duo.
“As far as time and chemistry, it’s not ideal,” coach Steve Nash admitted. “At the identical time, it’s not a priority that we fear in regards to the issues that we are able to management. When he’s wholesome and able to go is form of out of our arms; it’s as much as when that hamstring is prepared.
“So we’re not going to spend a ton of time worrying about the negative ramifications. We’re going to spend time adapting in the interim and excited for when he does return.”
After Brooklyn hosted New Orleans on Wednesday, they’ve simply 20 video games left on the schedule. Their Big Three has shockingly performed simply seven instances collectively all season, solely six begins.
Granted, their 5-1 mark in these begins exhibits tantalizing promise – however that’s primarily based on good well being that they’ve loved all too sometimes.
And with the Nets saying on Tuesday that Harden wouldn’t even be reevaluated for 10 days, there can be valuable little time to get all people on the identical web page earlier than the playoffs.
Even if Harden by some means jumped proper again into the lineup after 10 days, there would nonetheless be solely 16 video games left. Missing one other 5 days – which definitely appears possible contemplating Brooklyn’s conservative historical past coping with accidents – would go away simply 13 dates on the schedule.
The drawback turns into apparent. Still, the Nets are quietly assured that contemplating the basketball IQ of their stars, that’ll be sufficient time.
“Maybe a few games, a few practices, not too much time,” Bruce Brown stated of getting on-court cohesion constructed by the playoffs. “Everybody knows how to play basketball. Everybody knows each other’s strength and what everybody likes to do on the floor. So I don’t think it’ll take too much time.”
Brooklyn got here into Wednesday’s tilt vs. the Pelicans having performed 2,483 minutes this season. Their Big Three had been oncourt collectively for simply 186 of these, or lower than 13.3 p.c of them.
With what COVID-19 has achieved to the schedule, groups have primarily been robbed of apply time. So no matter cohesion the Nets gamers build goes to must be a crash-course on the courtroom of by way of intentional bonding off it.
“Well, we don’t get to practice very often with this schedule. So we try to get teaching moments and scripting and constructive pockets wherever we can,” stated Nash. “Especially with the accidents this year, you may’t add to the blokes’ bodily load on off days, or very not often. It’s all about instructing, studying, collaborating, connecting. So everybody goes by way of this across the league.
They’ll want that power. Considering the final time Durant had performed, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge hadn’t been signed, whereas Nic Claxton was nonetheless injured. This iteration of the Nets nonetheless hasn’t performed a second collectively, though ex-Net Kerry Kittles stated with stars of this magnitude, they’ll work it out.
“It’s definitely not great. You have to get some time together,” Kittles stated on Fullcourt on Flatbush, the Post’s Nets podcast. “(But) I really do think a few games before the playoffs, as long as (Harden’s) hamstring is healthy before the postseason starts, that’s all I care about.”