Just like last year, the Brooklyn Nets will be relying on their youth to get them through what could be a tough stretch. Injuries to Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell have this team deferring to its backups once again. Win or lose, the Nets have no choice but to embrace guys they didn’t plan on giving big minutes.
Isaiah Whitehead and Spencer Dinwiddie are likely used to this. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Jeremy Lin won’t be in uniform tonight as the Brooklyn Nets take the floor at the Barclays Center.
That was reality for most of last season. Now, things get even harder for Nets fans as D’Angelo Russell will also be out for at least the next few games.
In a point guard driven league, the Nets will be without their first–and second–choice for the job.
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Dinwiddie in particular proved last year that he could be up for the task. He elevated his play and earned a long-term role on the team.
His role now is starting point guard. Whitehead, who appeared ticketed to be spending significant time in Long Island this season, is now the primary backup.
Sean Kilpatrick, who didn’t even crack the rotation earlier this season, will be sharing Russell’s minutes as well.
It is truly next man up for the Nets, as the New York Post alluded to. There will be no easy wins this season, as we learned in the games preceding Russell’s injury. Wins will be even tougher to come by now, though.
This is life for Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, though. He seems almost conditioned to expect to dig deep into his bench given the injury woes of the past two seasons.
Brooklyn seems comfortable being the underdog. They will have to embrace that, and their youth movement, for a potentially long stretch.