NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: Jahlil Okafor #4 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench in the first half against the New York Knicks at the Barclays Center on December 14, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It was a Brooklyn Nets blowout Friday night, though two new faces provided a silver lining.

Last week, Brooklyn acquired center Jahlil Okafor and guard Nik Stauskas from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for veteran forward Trevor Booker.

After sitting on the bench for two games, maintaining a DNP – Coach Decision status, the two made their debut with the team last night in Toronto.

Brooklyn Nets


Combined, they recorded 32 points on 10-18 shooting from the field. Okafor grabbed four rebounds and one block, while Stauskas grabbed seven rebounds of his own.

No one was sure what to expect when Okafor stepped on the floor for the Nets, as he’s seen nearly no playing time all season, and none at all since November 7th.

He was subbed in with just over five minutes to go in the first – and scored two points behind a flashy euro step.

He finished the night with 10 points of his own on his 22nd birthday. Pretty impressive for a guy who’s seen 25 minutes of action the entire season.

There were multiple plays he was left stranded on the perimeter, far from where he likes to be.

Though Atkinson is known for turning big men into three-point shooters, it doesn’t seem likely Okafor will have the confidence to take those shots anytime soon.

On his debut, the big man admitted there’s some rust. Though he told Brian Lewis of the New York Post he felt good about finally getting back on the court.

“It was amazing just to finally be out there. I had some cobwebs on me, but just to be out there running up and down and playing basketball was great. That obviously was a tough one for us all, but for me personally to finally be on the court after not playing for so long, it was good.”

Despite the Nets being down over 30 in the fourth quarter, Okafor took full advantage of his 6+ minutes late in garbage time.

“Anything I can get helps. I had the last six minutes of the fourth quarter and I was treating it as if it was a tie game, just working on everything, talking on defense. Everything for me helps.”

The other half of Brooklyn’s most recent trade – Nik Stauskas – set team history with five three pointers in his team debut.

That includes his one man 11-0 run that sparked once he checked in the game towards the end of the first.

Like Okafor, Stauskas hasn’t seen much time on the court this year, following the 76ers summer signing of shooting guard JJ Redick. He was averaging just 7.5 minutes in his six games played this year.

“Just to play meaningful minutes in a game back home was really exciting for me. Once I saw the first one go down, that’s when my confidence started growing, and I just let them fly from there.”

For two guys who were given zero chance this year as 76ers, their team debut couldn’t have gone better.

Yet another Brooklyn trade has gone in their favor (knock on wood, it’s early) as these two young players will have twice the opportunity to grow with their new team.

The Brooklyn Nets will return home and host the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

Okafor and Stauskas will need to make the most of their limited minutes as players return from injury. Tip-off is at 6:00 pm EST.

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