The Brooklyn Nets are headed into Boston with Joe Harris and DeMarre Carroll on the shelf. Expect strange rotations.
The injuries continue to pile up for the Brooklyn Nets.
In Harris’s case, the 27-year-old is sidelined because of an ankle sprain. Carroll, on the other hand, will not suit up because of soreness in his left knee.
This is a total shame. Lately, both players have been performing excellently.
Since his shooting slump in November (mind you, he still shot 38% from three), Joe Harris has been unfathomably hot from behind the arch. In his last 15 games, Harris has averaged 4.7 attempted threes per game, sinking 53.5 percent of them. Yes, you read that correctly. 53.5 percent.
DeMarre Carroll has also been lights out. He has had, perhaps, the most pleasantly surprising start of the new year, playing with a reinvigorated spark.
Carroll missed the first eleven games of the season while recovering from surgery on his ankle. His return hasn’t exactly been graceful. On the season, Carroll is averaging only 10.5 points per game on 39.9 percent from the field. This, my friends, is his worst shooting percentage since the 2011-2012 season.
Simply put, Carroll didn’t look right for the first two months. He appeared to lumber up and down the court. Many people (including myself) worried that the 32-year-old veteran was nearing the end of his NBA road.
So far in the new year, Carroll has shut doubters (like me) up. In three games, DeMarre has averaged 19.7 points on 57.6 percent from the field. Most important is his 52.4 percent three-point percentage that would have Lumber Joe Harris nodding in approval.
Harris and Carroll have been added to Brooklyn’s increasingly long list of inactive players.
It will be interesting to keep an eye on Kenny Atkinson‘s rotations during the Celtics game. Just take a look at Brooklyn’s weakened depth chart:
|Point Guard||D'Angelo Russell||Spencer Dinwiddie||Shabazz Napier|
|Shooting Guard||Joe Harris (Ankle)||Allen Crabbe (Knee)||Treveon Graham|
|Small Forward||Rodions Kurucs||DeMarre Carroll (Knee)||Dzanan Musa (Shoulder)|
|Power Forward||Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Abductor Strain)||Jared Dudley|
|Center||Jarrett Allen||Ed Davis||Kenneth Faried|
Now that Harris is out, and Allen Crabbe still on the mend, will the recently recalled Treveon Graham get the start at the two-guard? Or will Brooklyn primarily run a dual point-guard lineup with D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie?
Things will really start to get interesting when Atkinson is forced to dig into his bench. With Kurucs and Dudley already starting, Atkinson has zero players to call upon to fulfill the reserve slots at small-forward and power-forward.
Given the uniqueness of this situation, keep an eye out for these things:
- Shabazz Napier’s lights out shooting and off-the-dribble creativity will be relied upon heavily.
- We may see moments where Napier, Dinwiddie, and Russell share the floor together. This, for better for worse, will be reminiscent of the Isaiah Thomas-Eric Bledsoe-Goran Dragic Pheonix Suns from a couple of years ago.
- Ed Davis may see some minutes at the power forward position for the first time this season. He also could potentially play alongside Jarrett Allen. This isn’t exactly ideal when it comes to spacing the floor. It would, however, help the Nets terrorize the Celtics on the offensive boards all night long.
Carroll and Harris’ injuries compound the level of difficulty in tonight’s game. Brooklyn is already forced to play the fifth-seeded Celtics on a back-to-back. Now, they’re doing so with an extremely limited roster.
If Brooklyn is able to come out on top, this will undeniably be the best win of their season.