It’s getting kind of tired, but ... Not N:0W but S0:0N.
D’Angelo Russell participated in his second practice with the Long Island Nets on Monday, and will participate in a short practice during Wednesday’s morning shootaround with the Nets ahead of their game against the Spurs at 7:30 p.m.
Russell will be inactive for Wednesday’s game against the Spurs, but his return is imminent.
Here were Kenny Atkinson’s exact words from Tuesday after a light team practice, which Russell did not participate in as part of the plan.
“He will practice in our shootaround tomorrow a little,” said Atkinson. “Extra practice, just a little – but no update when he’s going to play in a game and all that. But he will (practice) tomorrow with our guys after shootaround.”
If not N:0W, then WH:3N?
“First of all, let’s get the green light from medical and performance,” said Atkinson. “Obviously he’s got to feel confident, then the coaches have to feel confident, so it’s a collaboration. I’ll say we’re getting closer; I’ll give you that. He’s had some good practices with the G League team.”
One could even say that soon (or S0:0N, whichever you like), Atkinson will be in an enviable position.
Spencer Dinwiddie has stepped up in the absence of Russell to put together this career season he’s currently having. Russell will be back shortly, and Caris LeVert has demonstrated that he too can run the point guard spot, in spurts, or even for an entire game.
Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony learned that the hard way back in Mexico.
So how will Atkinson mix and match his three-headed monster at the one spot? He says that he hasn’t thought about it much yet. Do with that, and this, what you will.
“It’s a good problem to have, said Atkinson, repeating his mantra on the subject. “You’ve got three guys who can really handle the ball, play pick-and-roll … we can play them together, we can stagger them. Like I said, we’re adding another really good player, it’s like signing a really good player almost, that could really help our team. We’ll have to figure out the minutes, the rotations, the chemistry and all that.
“That’ll be a challenge in the beginning because now you’re putting guys in different spots,” he continued. “It’ll affect the rest of the roster and hopefully we get to the point where we’ll have a stable rotation, a stable roster. I think that’s part of the reason you find your consistency.”
Rightfully so, Dinwiddie is excited about the possibilities, regardless of whether or not his role is altered.
“I think very similar to the way him and Caris were,” Dinwiddie said of how he and Russell can be utilized simultaneously. “Two big guards who can both create for each other and create havoc on the offensive end. And then present advantages on the defensive end as well.
“Any team who misses a guy of his talent is going to have an adjustment period,” he added, regarding Russell’s absence, which is two months this week. “If they choose to play as together I’m happy with it. If they don’t, they don’t. Every day I could step on the floor and be healthy, it’s a blessing, and I look forward to him coming back regardless of what that does to my role.”
Atkinson says for us to expect a gradual buildup in minutes, which his team, coaching and performance, will figure out until that time for full time eventually arrives.
But for now (or N:0W), y’all have to wait just a little bit more.