The Brooklyn Nets were hoping to get forward Treveon Graham back on Wednesday, but he will miss 2 months after is was discovered that he had torn his left hamstring, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Graham suffered the injury during Friday’s game against the New York Knicks, after playing just 10 minutes of gametime.
While Graham is out, the Nets will see Rondae Hollis-Jefferson return to the court on Wednesday, as expected.
Nets’ Kenny Atkinson Discusses Caris LeVert’s Injury
One of the unfortunate headlines to come out of the NBA on Tuesday night was the brutal injury sustained by Brooklyn Nets top scorer Caris LeVert, who suffered a gruesome right leg injury with 0.3 seconds remaining in the first half after trying to contain a Josh Okogie drive during their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
LeVert had to be stretchered off the court, and the injury left many players and fans covering their faces and emotional as they watched him receive medical attention on the court.
“He’s the heart and soul of our program,” Atkinson said, according to Greg Logan of Newsday. “Really tough blow. I feel for him. He’s had a fantastic start to the season. He’s obviously made a huge jump. I just know Caris — if anybody’s coming back from this, knowing the human, the character, the person, the player, he’ll come back from this. Tough, tough blow for the Nets.”
“Our only thoughts are with him. Nothing else matters. The game doesn’t matter tonight. That’s it.”
Teammates such as Nets’ point guard DeAngelo Russell also commented on the injury.
“I saw right away what it was and tried to erase it from memory as soon as I could, but it doesn’t work like that,” Russell said. “It’s something that hurts. It’s hard to speak about.
“You don’t want to see anybody get hurt, but for us to see our brother go down that we practice with every day, that we’re on flights with every day, it’s devastating to the stomach. We can put up our prayers for him and step up and try to build off of it.”
Nets’ Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Returning Wednesday
The Brooklyn Nets will be getting a much needed boost as they will get Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who has been away from the team all season as he was dealing with some personal issues, back on the court on Wednesday.
Hollis-Jefferson is entering his fourth NBA season and is coming off a strong 2017-2018 campaign which saw him finish with 13.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game.
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson is hopeful that Treveon Graham can also return on Wednesday.
“We’re going to miss him. So hoping he’ll be back ASAP, because without Rondae he’s our best, most versatile defender,” Atkinson said.”He’s all over the court. He can defend a point guard, 3, 4, even Blake Griffin. I thought he did a good job on him the other night. Our defense has been pretty good these first two games, and he’s a part of it, a big part of it.”
Nets’ Kenny Atkinson Says ‘Tanking is Not a Word We Use’
The Brooklyn Nets have had a rough couple of seasons, some of which they clearly looked like a team that was tanking with 21, 20, and 28 win seasons over the past three years, but head coach Kenny Atkinson says that tanking is not a part of the franchise’s rebuilding plan.
Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks are trying to build a winner for the future, and while tanking may be a word associated with a team in the cellar of the Eastern Conference standings, it’s not a word Atkinson would use.
“No, because we’ve never talked about tanking,” Atkinson said, according to The Athletic’s Michael Scotto. “Sean and I, I’m just going to be honest, internally we don’t use the word. We don’t talk about it. We talk about internal improvement. We talk about player development. We talk about culture, but tanking is not a word we use. It’s just not in our…I don’t think the fans in New York want to see that.”
Marks has spent the past few seasons stocking up on high end draft picks and utilizing the draft to fill the roster, but the Nets aim to be players in the 2018-2019 free agency period and a marked improvement in the win column could help lure players to the Big Apple next summer.
“That’s the dream, right, the quantum leap,” Atkinson said. “I think that’s the big goal in the sky. I also think we’ve been making solid steps and solid improvements. I’d be happy with that too, but we understand what you’re saying about the quantum leap. I think our players see that it’s a possibility. I do think we have to come to it in a humble way too. We only won 28 games last year, an eight-game improvement, which is good and is hard in the NBA. I’d take another eight or 10-game improvement. That would be fantastic.”
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