The Nets’ much-hyped bench had been largely disappointing so far this season. But both Landry Shamet and Taurean Prince broke out of their funks in big ways Wednesday night.
Shamet had 14 points and Prince had 12, with each of them shooting a perfect 5 of 5 from the floor and 2 of 2 from behind the 3-point arc to help pick up the slack after slow starts from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a 145-141 win over the Hawks at Barclays Center.
“Being honest, the last couple games I haven’t liked how I’ve played,” Shamet said. “So I needed, my mentality didn’t have anything to do with those guys not getting going, whether they’re 10-for-10. It’s got to be the same every night regardless of what’s going on.
“I had a different mindset, for the benefit of our team. I tried to be aggressive and I made a few changes up top mentally and came in the game. I’ve been working my ass off all offseason.”
Prince came in shooting 15.8 percent and was a team-worst minus-27. But he had eight first-quarter points to help keep the Nets afloat. Doing it against the team that traded him away was just icing on the cake.
“I’ve been playing pretty bad these past few games, so it’s always great to get an opportunity to just go out there and play,” Prince said.
The Nets are still figuring out the best way to deal with the loss of Spencer Dinwiddie. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot got the start and had just three points on 1 of 5 shooting, but coach Steve Nash said he sees positives in using Caris LeVert off the bench, separated from Irving and Durant.
“You’ve got Ky and Kevin, two ball-handlers, playmakers. To have Caris out there it becomes a little bit redundant that you don’t get the best out of everyone,” Nash said. “With TLC, he plays well without the ball and he’s very steady defensively. He’s largely in the right spot, sticks to the game plan is very reliable so he can fit in that starting lineup, no problem. … He spaces the floor; and then Caris gets an opportunity to handle the ball with the second unit.”
One possible move includes bringing back Jamal Crawford, who was with the Nets in the NBA bubble. He had five points and three assists in just six minutes versus the Bucks on Aug. 4 before injuring his hamstring. He’s unsigned and the Nets are talking about bringing him back, according to Yahoo Sports.
Even if they apply for and get a Disabled Player Exception for Dinwiddie, they’d still have to clear a roster spot.
Nic Claxton remained out with right knee tendinopathy, and sounds like he’s going to be sidelined for some time.
“I don’t think he’s close to practicing per se,” Nash said, “so I’d say weeks away still.”
#Landry #Shamet #Taurean #Prince #big #bench #Nets