With four losses in their last five games, the Brooklyn Nets have found themselves in a rut. The dynamics of a COVID-riddled season have worn the treads thin on Brooklyn’s mainstays. Fortunately, help is on the way ... but how soon?
Joe Harris, the longest-tenured player on the roster, is on the cusp of returning to team activities while recovering from left ankle surgery according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Monday marks six weeks since Harris’ surgery on November 29, which was supposed to be a 4-to-6 weeks rehab/recovery.
“He could start ramping [in the next day or two] from that left ankle surgery he had just after Thanksgiving,” said Woj on SportsCenter on Friday. “This is a player who is a floor-spacer, can make shots around their ‘Big 3’ and is an important piece for them.
Woj then added, “his return could be within the next couple weeks.”
Steve Nash was asked about Joe’s timeline before the start of Sunday’s matinee game against the San Antonio Spurs, to which he replied, “I don’t have an update on Joe, no.”
Harris’ return couldn’t come at a better time. Brooklyn’s floor spacing has crumbled without its resident sharpshooter. Before Harris went down, the Nets paced the league in three-point percentage at 39.3 percent. Since Joe’s last game, November 14 against Oklahoma City, the Nets have connected on just 31.5 percent of their long-range looks, which ranks 28th in the association.
This tweet from Jac Manuell illustrates just how much Joe’s teammates miss him on the floor. Their numbers from deep pre- and post-injury tell the whole tale.
Nets 3-point shooting with & without Joe Harris:— Jac Manuell (@JacManuell) January 8, 2022
With Harris - 52.2%
Without - 31%
With Harris - 42.7%
With Harris - 50%
Without - 41%
Team: With Harris - 39.3% (1st in NBA)
Without Harris - 31.5% (28th in the NBA)
Running on fumes, the Nets will welcome Harris return. It could give the Nets the needed boost for the months of January and February, a portion of the schedule that is littered with 13 away games out of the total 23 — all of which Kyrie Irving would be eligible to play in, by the way.