When Sean Marks called Brook Lopez last Tuesday to tell him that management had decided to shut things down, Lopez said he talked about his reasoning.
"I think two people had gotten injured playing in meaningless games finishing up the season," Lopez said before the Nets lost to the Pelicans Sunday. "So he just wanted to take sort of a precautionary angle going forward. He said he wanted to sit down, get lunch or dinner, something like that, and talk about what I see going forward, what his plans are, I guess, prepping already."
Lopez didn't mention which players had been hurt, but Marks was apparently referring to season-ending injuries to the Pelicans Jrue Holiday (facial fractures) and Alonzo Gee (torn quad). New Orleans had announced Tuesday that both were lost for the season and may require surgery. (The next day, the Suns lost Brandon Knight to a sports hernia suffered in a game vs. the Bucks. He too will need surgery).
As for that "lunch or dinner," expect Marks to do a lot of eating and talking as he both builds his staff and looks at what he's got to do in the off-season
But for teammates of Lopez and Thaddeus Young, also shut down, the decision means two things: minutes of course, but also less of a chance they will see a win the last five games of the season.
"It’s tough getting that news,’’ Rondae Hollis-Jefferson told Brian Lewis. "You just have to adjust. You have to know that you can trust your teammates, that they’ll step up.
"We’ll all play our role, we’ll play hard. But it’s definitely tough to get that news and not have those guys, because a lot of times we go to them [in] late-in-the-clock situations and run a lot of things through them. Now we just have to figure things out."
Meanwhile, Chris Mannix and Bobby Marks, the Nets former assistant GM, debated the Nets move on Yahoo's "The Vertical" with Bobby Marks crediting Sean Marks (no relation) with a smart move. He notes that aside from avoiding injury, this is all about evaluation and Sean Marks knows what Lopez and Young can bring, but needs to know about the other guys. Mannix on the other hand says it's a bad idea, that it denies the fans the team's two best players.
And the Nets may not play Bojan Bogdanovic much either, writes Lewis. Tony Brown has been noncommittal about how much he will rest the shooting guard, who sat out the past two games.
If Bogdanovic does spend a lot of time on the bench, that will mean Brown will be limited to 11 players the rest of the way. And on Thursday, the team has to decide what to do with Henry Sims. That's when his second 10-day runs out. If the Nets decide not to extend him for the rest of the season, they could sign another player for the last three games of the season. That would only work if they wanted to grab a players' rights.