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Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen out vs. Bucks, Jamal Crawford questionable

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Washington Wizards v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images

The big news out of Monday’s daily Zoom call with reporters was not about how the Nets will prepare for Tuesday’s showdown with the Bucks ... but who will be out. Here’s the official release from the Nets PR ...

What’s this you say?? The Nets are playing their potential first round playoff opponent and they’re laying down flat? Well, considering that Brooklyn essentially clinched a playoff spot on Sunday with a win over the Wizards and they’re playing three games in four days, why not? The Nets front office doesn’t need to scout LeVert, Harris and Allen, not after three and four years of watching them.

Of the three, only Allen has no maladies. For the 22-year-old, who’s played every game this season, it’s about load management or as Jacque Vaughn called it, “unusual circumstances.”

“We talked about 28 minutes, 30 minutes and for him to get close to 40 minutes last night is a toll on everyone and asking him to play three-in-four, it would be a tremendous toll,” Vaughn said, noting that other than overtime games, the 38 minutes Allen played Sunday were the most he’d ever played.

“So really that’s the guiding force. We talked about care and confidence from our entire group and we’ll continue to look at the health and safety of every individual on this team and really progress game-by-game and see where we are as a team...

“We’re looking forward for them to be available versus Boston,’’ Vaughn added

Indeed, the injuries to Harris and LeVert don’t seem serious. They both finished the Wizards game. Nor is there word on what the Bucks will do. They too have a tough schedule and a lot of their players piled up big minutes in their two-point loss to Houston on Sunday. They’re six games ahead of the Raptors for the top seed in the East, virtually a lock.

As for Crawford, who has yet to play either in the three scrimmages or the two seeding games, Vaughn said it’s about “building him up” and said he’s meeting daily with the Nets performance team and they will talk Monday night and again Tuesday in the morning before deciding. The Bucks game begins at 1:30 p.m. in the “bubble.” The 40-year-old hasn’t played since April 9, 2019.

So, assuming Crawford doesn’t play, that will leave the Nets with 10 healthy bodies including Chris Chiozza, Garrett Temple, Donta Hall, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Justin Anderson and Rodions Kurucs. As Kristian Winfield notes, of that group, only Temple didn’t play in the G League this season. Both Anderson and Hall were All G League selections.

Temple told reporters that several of the Nets players watched the Bucks-Rockets game Sunday.

“They give up a lot of threes so we’re gonna make sure we’re ready, be ready to shoot it. They pack the paint so we’ve gotta be strong with the ball when they do drive,” he said. “And obviously defensively we’ve gotta know who the focal point is and we know what type of defense we want to play on him and the people around him.”

Of course, who the “they” and “we” has yet to be determined.