Nets coach Steve Nash said Harden will play the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas night after passing health and safety protocols Thursday. And the Nets will have the forward DeAndre ‘Bembry , which was cleared of health and safety protocols.
As of Friday morning, the Nets still had nine players on health and safety protocols, including Durant, Irving and LaMarcus Aldridge. Bruce brown, James johnson, Cam thomas, David duke jr., Kessler edwards Y Day’Ron Sharpe they also remain in the health and safety protocols.
Nash said any Net that is released from the protocols could still rejoin the team in Los Angeles, where the Nets play the Clippers on Dec. 27. Things remain very fluid for the Nets, who have had to postpone their last three games.
“We do the best we can. We have a lot of guys coming off a long layoff,” Nash said before the team flew to Los Angeles on Friday. “Nobody is in very good condition, so we have to manage the group, try to be as competitive as possible and, at the same time, be careful that the boys come out and play the game after an absence like this is difficult.
“We will do what we can. A lot of these decisions still have to be made, before the game, during the game, as the game progresses. We just have to be very fluid, adaptable and with a great attitude and take that as an opportunity.”
Nash said Irving will not be joining the team on this two-game road trip to Southern California. The point guard has yet to improve once he goes out of protocol before he can make his season debut. The Nets have yet to see Irving on the floor since they decided to let the point guard return to the team as a part-time player last week. Irving entered health and safety protocols on December 18 along with Durant.
“No, we haven’t,” Nash said when asked if he had already seen Irving on the court. “He’s still in protocols. And he needs a raise, so we won’t see Kyrie on this trip.”
Irving hasn’t been with the team on a regular basis since the first week of training camp in early October. The team decided during the preseason that their point guard was not a part-time player, as Irving is unable to play games at Barclays Center due to New York City’s vaccination mandate.
Since Irving cannot play home games, the Nets will have to wait until another road trip for their point guard to possibly return. After these next two games in Los Angeles, the Nets won’t be on the road again until January 5 in Indiana. After that, they won’t play another road game until January 12 in Chicago.
If Irving hasn’t returned by then, then a road game in Cleveland on January 17 could also be a possibility. However, the Nets are finally starting to get bodies back. Harden will play his first game since playing Atlanta on Dec. 10. And Nash said downtown Nic Claxton (doll) will be available to play on Saturday.
The Nets were able to reunite for a light practice Friday morning after closing things off earlier this week with up to 10 players on health and safety protocols. The base Patty mills says the Nets’ hiatus has felt “like a mini offseason.”
“In a way, we’ve been dealing with different parts of adversity all season,” Mills said. “On the court, off the court, COVID protocols, injuries, whatever. I think this is just another one of those roadblocks.
“Today’s vibe compared to how it’s been all week, seeing everyone again, felt like a mini offseason, and then, ‘okay, let’s get back to business.’ We still have a lot of work to do to find out. who is out and who is coming back “.
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Nets will have Harden vs. Lakers on Christmas Day