For the likes of players like Kessler Edwards and Cam Thomas, playing time is going to be hard to come this season with a healthy and a veteran ladened Nets lineup.
Both players had seen, at times, significant playing time for the Nets last season while the team dealt with injuries and COVID. Edwards averaged 20.6 minutes a game during the chaotic 2021-22 season, while Thomas saw 17.6 per game last year.
The pair certainly made good use of that time while they were on the court, but now that Kyrie Irving is back full time and team won’t be banged up as much as they had been during last season’s disappointing campaign the two will be relegated to a much smaller role.
Still, that’s not to say they couldn’t play their way into more minutes over the next three exhibition contests. However, the biggest thing for head coach Steve Nash is to see their development continue to trend in the right direction.
“What I want to see from them is that kind of understanding and adherence to the game plan. Our principles on both ends of the floor,” Nash said. “For young players, really understanding the NBA game. Understanding NBA situations as a stepping stone for them, so that’s a big part of their development. Not just skills, size strength, you know, playing with the ball.”
Through Nets training camp last week and the past few days on the court, Nash said the two have remained “diligent” with how they’ve worked. He also noted the amount of work they put in over the summer before the team regrouped in Brooklyn in preparation for this upcoming season.
“We’re proud of them, we want to reward them with at least good vibes on that front, but they have to stay with it,” Nash said. “They’re on a veteran team with a lot of guys and a lot of experience and a lot of ability. If they don’t get a lot of opportunities early they still gotta develop.”
Kyrie welcomes new addition to family
Kyrie Irving didn’t practice on Wednesday with the Nets and his status for Thursday’s preseason tilt with the Miami Heat was up in the air. No, there was no injury to worry about rather Irving was at home with his wife after the couple welcomed a new baby to the family on Tuesday.
Nash said everyone was doing well at the Irving household. “We’re thrilled for them, super excited and hope they’re all recovering well,” the Nets head coach said.
Nash indicated that Irving’s status was still up in the air for Thursday’s game, but that it would likely be a similar group that will play against Miami as the one that played aginst Philadelphia.