Amid the Nets 119-84 thrashing of the Wizards on Friday night, the crowd was chanting for Jahlil Okafor. The former Sixer received his fifth DNP in six games since being traded to Brooklyn.
Of course, it wasn't a surprise that Okafor didn't get off the bench. Okafor, head coach Kenny Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks have all been in agreement that it doesn't make sense to thrust Okafor into minutes before his conditioning is up to par. But Atkinson heard the chorus of "we want Okafor!"
"Yeah, I heard it, and I respect the fans and I understand they want to see him," Atkinson said, via Brian Lewis of NY Post. "I think we've stated from the beginning there's a plan for him. We're going to stick with the plan. It was tempting, but again I think we want to put him in the best position to succeed. So we're going to stick with the plan. I think that's a little more down the line."
Okafor has played just 25 minutes of game time this season, so Brookyln doesn't want to rush him into action before he's ready. Thursday on WFAN, Marks gave a general idea of when Okafor might be good to go but reminded the listeners that they're taking it day-by-day.
"I'd hate to put an exact date on it," Marks said. "Depending on how he feels, we're going day-to-day," Marks said. "I'd assume he's still probably a week-and-a-half or two weeks away from where he feels comfortable out there and be able to play at the pace in which Kenny and his staff want to play at."