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In a season of surprises, will some pleasant ones appear on horizon?

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Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets need all the help they can get. A total of 25 players have worn the black-and-white (or will by the time they resume play on July 31. So, if someone at the end of the bench or someone underutilized before March shows up and surprises, well, that’s a cause for (some) celebration.

Jeremiah Martin, the Nets “other” two-way, fits the description. Most fans, it’s safe to assume, don’t even know he’s on Brooklyn roster. Yet, the Memphis product, a 6’3” defensive-minded point guard, won praise from his coach and his team’s leading star during Monday’s Zoom call with reporters.

“I’d say Jeremiah Martin has been a surprise for us. His ability to compete,” Jacque Vaughn said. “That’s all we ask at this beginning stage is to compete. Whether that’s knowing the plays, knowing different implementations, or having yourself ready every day. I give him a pat on the back as well.”

Martin, 23, played for the Heat in the Summer League after going undrafted last June. Then, he headed to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League affiliate, before the Nets called him up in January and gave him a two-year, two-way deal. When the league shut down, he had played only 16 NBA minutes, scoring only two points. But in the G League, playing for Long Island, he averaged 17.7 points, 4.6 assists and nearly two steals a game. He wasn’t much of a deep shooter, hitting only 30 percent of his three’s but he displayed energy and along with Chris Chiozza, the two-way, led Long Island to a respectable finish.

LeVert likes what he’s seen from Martin as well.

“Jeremiah’s been a huge addition for us,” LeVert said. “He’s very quick with the basketball, makes great decisions, very good shooter, too. I liked him when he was in college in Memphis. It’s been cool to be on the same team with him and learn some things from him, as well.”

LeVert knows that Martin can play “D” too. In scrimmages, Martin is often called on to guard LeVert.

As Kristian Winfield reports in the Daily News, there are other players who are stepping up in the face of all the personnel losses and indeed the personal tragedy of testing positive, with all its anxiety.

Rodions Kurucs has been practicing with the starters and is expected to play minutes at both the 4 and 5. Both Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Joe Harris expect to make cameo appearances at the four, as well. Chiozza, meanwhile, has practiced with the first unit as the starting point guard.

Of course, we haven’t yet seen Michael Beasley, Jamal Crawford, Donta Hall and whoever they sign for the fourth open spot.

It’s too much to ask the substitutes and replacements to take the place of the injured and the ill. But this is the “bubble” and nothing is certain. The Nets do appear to be well conditioned. Chiozza has said he thinks they are in better shape.