brooklyn nets
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

After sitting out the first preseason game, Kevin Durant and James Harden made their preseason debuts for the Brooklyn Nets.

After a majority of the Brooklyn Nets‘ main guys sat out in the team’s first preseason game against the Lakers, just about the entire team was available to play Friday. That is of course with the exception of Kyrie Irving who is currently ineligible to play at Barclays Center and Paul Millsap who did not play due to health and safety protocols.

The game started off well for Brooklyn as Joe Harris connected on back-to-back three-pointers. However, as the quarter and the first half progressed, the game felt more like an open gym run at New York Sports Club.

The Bucks played none of their starters and it was apparent one side was trying to prove something to coaches, while the other was just getting back into the flow of basketball.

Despite shooting only 5-for-14 from the field in the game, Kevin Durant still led Brooklyn in scoring with 18 points while pulling down six rebounds in about 23 minutes of game action.

James Harden, the other Nets superstar that saw his first preseason action looked as though it was his first taste of “high” level basketball since he last played in the playoffs. In 24 minutes of play, Harden tallied eight points (3-for-9 FG) and flashed some of his noted playmaking abilities with a couple of dimes.

The downhill ability Nets fans got used to from Harden last season didn’t appear to be there against the Bucks but it could just be him taking it slow in ramping up for the regular season.

Other things of note include Patty Mills who was making his first appearance as a Brooklyn Net. Mills gave the Nets solid minutes off the bench and not only displayed his ability on offense knocking down a few jumpers, but also displayed his defensive capabilities as well. Just minutes after checking into the game Mills came up with a steal which led to an uncontested layup.

Harris, who started the game hot from deep, ended with 15 points. Four of his five long balls coming in the first half. LaMarcus Aldridge also provided some solid minutes pouring in 12 points, including a block that got his teammates jumping off the bench.

Brooklyn Nets Youth Movement

As the game came down the stretch, head coach Steve Nash emptied the bench, which included Nic Claxton and a majority of Brooklyn’s young players.

Arguably, the rookie that’s turned the most heads so far has been Cam Thomas — and rightfully so. He not only hit a turnaround jumper to give Brooklyn the lead with a minute left but also hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left to help ice the game.

Overall this game felt much like a week 2 NFL preseason game. There were clear signs of rust and sloppiness on both sides of the ball, but nothing too concerning.

Justin Thomas is a graduate of Temple University. While there, he was an on-air sports talk host for W.H.I.P as well as sports reporter for the Temple yearbook. Over the past few years, Justin has written for a few publications including Sports Illustrated. On top of writing for ESNY, Justin is also a Senior Writer for and has had work featured on Bleacher Report.