The Brooklyn Nets will return to action Thursday with 23 games remaining in what has been a amazing year to date. With a 30-29 document, they’ve currently surpassed last season’s total of 28 wins although beating accidents to critical gamers. The Nets are coming off an All-Star Weekend that assisted convey awareness to the franchise’s resurgence with 4 gamers earning invitations to the functions. Joe Harris gained the 3-Issue Contest, Rodions Kurucs and Jarrett Allen performed in the Increasing Stars match, and D’Angelo Russell grew to become Brooklyn’s 1st All-Star because 2014.
Let’s take a search at five factors to check out above the remainder of the year.
IN A PLAYOFF RACE, AND Here TO Keep
When successful 22 of 33 games heading into the All-Star break, the Nets rose to sixth place in the Jap Conference. They are two games forward of seventh-place Charlotte (27-30) and 2.5 forward of Detroit and Miami, tied for eighth with a 26-30 document. Orlando (27-32) gained 7 of 10 heading into the All-Star break, although Washington (24-34) may well have fallen out of the race in dropping 7 of 10 with John Wall out for the year.
The Nets will be analyzed down the extend. A 7-match March highway journey is followed by games against Boston, Toronto, Indiana, and Milwaukee twice to near the year.
“I’m happy we’re variety of forward of individuals anticipations appropriate now,” stated Nets coach Kenny Atkinson of the team’s possessing surpassed last season’s get total. “But I search at the timetable and I feel it is heading to be a struggle to be in the playoffs, I feel it is heading to be a down to the wire form of issue. That is how a lot regard I have for the teams we have to perform and the timetable we have coming up. It is not a finished offer by nearly anything. We even now have a extensive way to go.”
What is Subsequent FOR D’ANGELO RUSSELL?
The soon-to-be-23-calendar year-outdated — you can desire him Happy Birthday on Saturday — is possessing a breakout year, with an All-Star Recreation debut to show for it. Russell has been good ample, extensive ample this year that you will find no need to have to perform the small sample dimensions match (“Seem at his last five games! Look at out the last two weeks!”) but his put up-New Year’s quantities are outstanding ample that they are value breaking out. Given that Jan. 1, Russell is averaging 24.4 details and 7.6 helps although taking pictures 46.1 p.c general and 39.7 p.c from 3-level range above 21 games.
Typically breathtaking, Russell has elevated his consistency and trustworthiness as nicely. He is tied for the group direct in minutes for every match with Joe Harris (30.1) and in games performed with Ed Davis (58), lacking just a one match that he and Davis ended up held out of on the back again conclude of a highway back again-to-back again in December.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson often says “We want additional,” when asked about the progress of his group, or his level guard. Russell has shipped on that expectation, and you will find no rationale to feel he is finished elevating his match.
Hi there CARIS
Caris LeVert opened the year with 27 details at Detroit and 28 details and a match-winner against the Knicks. As a result of 12 games — when he notched his second match-winner of the calendar year at Denver — LeVert was averaging 20.3 details, taking pictures 48.9 p.c with 4.4 rebounds and 4. helps. Two nights later on in Minnesota, he went down with a foot dislocation and skipped 42 games.
LeVert returned Feb. 8 and performed three games ahead of the All-Star break, shifting back again into the beginning lineup in the last match ahead of the break when Rodions Kurucs and Treveon Graham skipped the match against Cleveland.
Will LeVert keep on being in the beginning lineup when the Nets get back again on the court docket Thursday? Regardless of whether it really is this week or further than, LeVert’s complete-time return to the beginning lineup will be a critical step environment in motion the shaping of Brooklyn’s participant rotations for the remainder of the year.
When Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe have returned, there are additional Nets on the way. Jared Dudley has Tweeted that he expects to perform this week immediately after getting sidelined by a hamstring injury. When Spencer Dinwiddie returns, the Nets will be entire for the 1st time this year.
Depth has been a strength for the Nets all year with gamers stepping into more substantial roles to fill a need to have. With the taking part in time and practical experience acquired by gamers like rookie Rodions Kurucs, Brooklyn’s currently high-scoring bench could be shaping up to be the league’s strongest second unit.
Additional AT THE 4
The forward placement recognised as the 4 has featured a bit of musical chairs this year for Brooklyn. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jared Dudley and Treveon Graham have all started for significant periods of time. They’ve also been sidelined or slowed by accidents for significant periods of time.
The influx of returning guards will have an effect on how the Nets make use of the placement the rest of the year. They’ve currently gone back again to a 4-guard combo with D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, Allen Crabbe and Joe Harris on the flooring collectively. There’s also the probability of 6-foot-9 rookie Rodions Kurucs sliding down immediately after seeing most of his minutes at a wing place above the previous two months.