Kyrie Irving is getting closer to returning. How close remains uncertain.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson wouldn’t put a date on a return for the team’s new superstar guard, who has missed the past nine games with a right shoulder impingement.
“With Kyrie, the good news is he’s on-court now and working, so that’s really good news,” Atkinson said before the Nets’ 109-106 loss to the Heat at Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon. “No contact yet and no specific timetable. I do feel better than a week ago that it’s progressing in the right direction.”
Atkinson also wasn’t ready to reveal his plans for Spencer Dinwiddie when Irving is back. The options are either keep him as a starter until Caris LeVert (thumb) is back or return him to his previous sixth-man role.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” he said. “I’ve definitely thought about it, but I don’t have an answer right now. There’s a lot of different ways we can go. … Lot of things to juggle there, but I think we got to focus on this group right now.”
Dinwiddie said he would be open to whatever decision Atkinson makes.
The Nets went 9-6 in November, their first season with a winning record in that month since 2012. And they did so mostly without Irving and LeVert.
“I think when you talk about your program, proud of how we’ve responded to our injuries. How deep are you? How good is your developmental program when you start going into your 13th guy, your 14th guy, 15th guy? Can those guys come and help you win games?” Atkinson said. “And I’d just give our guys, our program, a B+, A in that sense, that we’ve come out of this thing with the injuries we’ve had looking in a positive direction. So I feel good about it in that sense.”
Center Jarrett Allen’s streak of double-doubles was snapped at four. He was held to four points, though Allen did have 12 rebounds. He has grabbed double figures in rebounds in seven of his past eight games.
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