Joe Harris and DeMarre Carroll will likely make their returns as the Brooklyn Nets host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
The two players missed Brooklyn’s previous game, a blowout loss against the Boston Celtics. Carroll was held out because of a sore left knee. Harris, on the other hand, did not play because of an ankle sprain.
Brooklyn undeniably felt the loss of both of these players during Monday’s near-20 point loss. Against the Celtics, Brooklyn shot a combined 11-for-42 from deep — an ugly 26.2 percent.
Having Carroll and Harris back in the lineup will certainly mitigate this problem. Both players are shooting the ball particularly well over the course of the last month.
Joe Harris stands out in particular. He’s a constant threat to curl around screens and launch heat-seeking shots in the blink of an eye. The threat of his shooting gives his teammates more room to operate. This especially pertains to D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie. They shot a combined 8-for-22 from the field and 2-for-9 from three against Boston.
Harris’ spacing is so important to this team that you could even make the case (and hear me out now) that he is Brooklyn’s most important player.
The return of Harris and Carroll will also give Brooklyn some size on the wing. With a withered depth chart at the forward positions against Boston, Brooklyn was forced to play a three-guard lineup of Dinwiddie, Russell, and Shabazz Napier. This lineup hemorrhaged points against the Celtics due to a lack of size and defensive intensity.
Brooklyn will have a chance to get back into their grove, hosting Atlanta in a 7:30 p.m. EST at the Barclays Center. Considering that the Hawks are coming off of a tough loss against the league-best Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night, this could be a pretty easy victory.