The Nets haven’t steadfastly avoided giving any timetables for the return of injured D’Angelo Russell from a knee contusion. But asked if he’s thinking about the injury in terms of days, weeks or months — or making a move to bring up a player from the G-League — coach Kenny Atkinson said that wasn’t the case.
“No, we’re not there. It’s updates every day, that’s where we are. … If it were contrary to that, somebody would be here. So we’re just obviously [expecting not to need that],” he said. “I’m hopeful that it’ll be sooner rather than later.”
At Long Island, the Nets have Milton Doyle and Shannon Scott, who had 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting on Sunday. They would have to create space to promote either.
Though Isaiah Whitehead and Caris LeVert got some ballhandling duties in Tuesday’s 109-102 loss to the Celtics, Sean Kilpatrick conspicuously did not play — a coach’s decision.
“With the situation as it is, he’ll probably have a shot, too. We’ve got to use everybody,” Atkinson said. “We went with Isaiah and Caris handling it, but … Sean’s done it before, he’s had big games for us playing point guard, so that’s something we can look at.”
The Nets used their seventh different lineup. Backup power forward Trevor Booker started at center, Timofey Mozgov was out of the lineup for the first time all season and rookie Jarrett Allen returned to action from a left foot strain.
Booker, asked if it was a matchup against mobile Al Horford of if he expects to continuing starting, replied: “I haven’t talked to coach about it. So I guess we’ll just see.”
Mozgov logged just 5:37, while Allen played 8:52 after missing six straight games.
“I wouldn’t say I don’t feel discomfort,” Allen said. “They told me I’d feel it a little bit. It’s nothing I can’t handle.”
The Nets tied a season high with 27 assists and that ball movement let their shooters thrive. Joe Harris tied a career high with 19 points and Allen Crabbe’s five 3-pointers matched Harris for the Nets’ season-high.
The Nets are playing two games next month in Mexico City, so MTV VJ Diego Alfaro and model/TV personality Georgina Holguin were at Barclays Center on Tuesday to start promoting the games.
Tuesday was the first time in years the Nets faced Boston without the lingering specter of former general manager Billy King’s ill-fated deal for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett hanging over their heads.
“I don’t think I realized when I came here how big it was, because it literally was happening as I was talking to [GM] Danny [Ainge] about coming here,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “I was thinking more from coaching the team and knowing you’re losing Pierce, Garnett and those guys. “It’s a hard deal to be able to project into the future. We’ve been fortunate with regards in being able to get some players in the draft we feel can help us for a long time.”