After playing their first two games with a healthy roster (minus Spencer Dinwiddie), the Nets faced their first injury shot of the playoffs.
Jeff Green – the veteran Nets forward – strained his plantar fascia on his left foot in the Game 2 victory over the Celtics and will be re-evaluated in 10 days. The injury blow will cause Brooklyn without its reliable veteran for the remainder of the round one series.
“He’s been so precious to us this year with all the injuries we’ve had. He was able to play several positions, different roles and fill all the gaps for us. Fortunately, we’re relatively healthy elsewhere, but that’s a loss, ”Steve Nash said of Green. “He’s a guy who has done a lot for us and matters a lot to us on and off the pitch. We’re just hoping he can fully recover and get back on the pitch during these playoffs. ”
With Green being ruled out for at least the remainder of the first round playoff series, he will remain with the squad and undergo his road rehabilitation. While taking the brunt – and another extra layer of uncertainty added – Brooklyn is hopeful that their experience with adversity can heal the loss.
“With him it hurts. It sucks, ”Landry Shamet said of the loss of Green,“ but we’ve faced adversity and the guys who are in and out of the rosters all year, so luckily we had 72 games to go. fight against that and have it in our utility belt ”.
Green has been one of Nash’s favorite options to connect with the 5, allowing Brooklyn to play small while producing quality defense. Brooklyn will be without their defensive versatility and their precious 1-5 change in their defense.
The veteran Nets shared the five minutes with Blake Griffin and Nicolas Claxton in the first two playoff games, while Brooklyn didn’t play DeAndre Jordan in the playoffs and the Nets veteran big man didn’t see hardwood in seven of the last eight games.
The Nets head coach said Green’s injury won’t lead to big changes in the team’s rotation. Instead, Claxton – who played 28 minutes combined in Games 1 and 2 and called his second season a ‘roller-coaster year’, is gaining a foothold and conditioning after testing positive for COVID-19 in April. . In addition, he did not play more than 25 minutes in a game during his two-year career.
“I think there are still a lot of minutes on the table for Nic Claxton. He’ll probably play more and we’ll go from there, ”Nash said as he replaced Green’s minutes. “I wouldn’t say we’re going to change the rotation right away here, but we can. We still have minutes for Nic.
As the Nets schedule the Celtics for Game 3 in front of a 25 percent animated crowd, there are no plans to let go.
“We recognize that there is an opportunity to relax when you are 2-0. We know Game 3 is a big game. Their audience will agree and it’s a very important game for them to stay in the series. We cannot let go. We not only have to try to win this series game, but we also have to improve, ”said Nash.
“We need a good performance to grow and continue to improve. It’s definitely our team’s third game with all of our rotation guys playing now minus Jeff. We recognize that there is a lot at stake for this series, but also if we want to keep improving and put ourselves in a position to be the best we can be, these games mean a lot and we can’t stop the gas. ”