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Rondae, Caris still out, but Nets ‘hopeful’ they return soon

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets-Media Day Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Well, even after the All-Star Break, it doesn’t look like Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are ready to return to game action.

Both, defensive standouts, will miss Thursday’s game at Charlotte, the Nets first since returning from the break, but Kenny Atkinson did say that Hollis-Jefferson (groin strain) practiced fully on Tuesday, and LeVert (knee sprain) participated as well, but not in full.

“Rondae practiced yesterday, which is great. Caris did some stuff, not all of practice,” said Atkinson after Wednesday’s practice before the team flew down to Charlotte. “Today they were off legs to, you know, recover from that. (They’re) Not going to play tomorrow, but I think (we’re) hopeful for Monday.”

Atkinson obviously hopes that when the Nets get fully healthy (sans Jeremy Lin, of course) that the team, whose median age is 25, could provide a glimpse of what they can be long-term.

Last season, the Nets went 11-15 post-All-Star Break, which came immediately after a first 56-game stretch where the Nets only went 9-47.

“I think it’s really important,” said Atkinson. “A) for finishing the season well and B) for getting that grip on how guys work together and how it all fits. That’s the goal. We’ve gotten there for periods of time during the season, but I really hope we finish with our full squad and can get a great feel for where everybody is and where they need to get better and where we need to go in the future.”

Spencer Dinwiddie is also hopeful that the Nets could right the ship and end 2017-18 on a high note. Once RHJ and LeVert return, it will be the first time since November that the Nets will be relatively healthy.

“With the injuries we’ve had, with the trades we’ve had, the constant shuffling, always evaluating, it makes for an up and down season quite honestly,” the always thoughtful Dinwiddie said. “Even with us finally being healthy in this particular season, we’re still going to be missing Jeremy (Lin), which is a huge part. It’s just part of that growth process trying to find some consistency.”