NEW YORK - The Nets' first season in Brooklyn is complete following an ugly 99-93 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday in Game 7 of their first-round series.

As their offseason gets started earlier than they would have liked, one topic sure to dominate the conversation in the coming days is the future of interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo.

"I think he did a great job," Deron Williams said. "I thought that with everything that went on this season, we had a lot of turmoil and he kind of inherited us and I think he did a great job of leading us and getting us to that fourth seed. I'd love to see him back, but as you know, that's not up to me."

Williams is spot-on in that Carlesimo did take over a bit of a mess as the interim head coach on Dec. 27 for the fired Avery Johnson. The team was 14-14 at the time, having gotten blown at home on national television on Christmas Day against the Boston Celtics and the next night at the Milwaukee Bucks to fall to .500.

The change at head coach had reportedly been in the works for weeks after upper management was unhappy with the direction of the team under Johnson. Carlesimo came in and the players appeared to respond immediately.

With a largely-soft upcoming schedule to open his tenure, Carlesimo ripped off nine wins in his fist 10 games and 12 of his first 14.

Management had reportedly reached out to Phil Jackson before firing Johnson, but that yielded nothing as Carlesimo, who had already coached 501 NBA games over eight seasons before taking over the Nets, continued to right the ship.

In the end, Carlesimo went 35-19 in the regular season as part of a 49-win Nets team that secured the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home court advantage in the first round.

With Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov stating on opening night back in November that a reasonable expectation for this brand new $330 million roster was the Eastern Conference finals, is Carlesimo's 54-game sample enough to get him the job without the interim tag?

"I'm pretty happy with the way he coached, the way things worked out," Brook Lopez said. "I think a lot of players brought into what he was preaching."

The 54-game regular season sample is impressive, but the fact remains Carlesimo has never won a playoff series as Saturday's loss brings his career mark in the playoffs to 6-14. Whether or not the series loss to the Bulls will be taken as a mulligan remains to be seen.

As this begins to unfold in the coming days, it's also worth noting that the coaching market appears to be devoid of the big name Prokhorov desires. The team is expected to reach out to Jackson again, but the 11-time NBA champion head coach reportedly wants to move into a front office position. With Nets General Manager Billy King signing an extension last month, Jackson finding his way to Brooklyn seems very unlikely.

Ex-Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy's name has popped up as a potential candidate, but the current ESPN analyst hasn't commented one way or the other.

"That's for the upper office upstairs to make that decision," free agent-to-be Keith Bogans said. "If it was up to us, I'm pretty sure we would like to have him back, but it's not our decision."

Carlesimo's career record in the regular season stands at an uninspiring 239-315 (.431), but his 35-19 (.648) actually gives him the highest winning percentage of any head coach in Nets history.

With Williams, Lopez, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace signed long-term and endorsements to keep him around seemingly everywhere, does it all add up to a full-time job for Carlesimo? We're likely to find out sooner than later.

Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA

Tags: Nets, Editorial Aside, Josh Newman
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Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson took the time to address the tragic news of Kobe Bryant's death ahead of Brooklyn's game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

And he couldn't hold back his emotions. 

It's an extremely tough subject to talk about, and Atkinson was choking back tears as he spoke for the organization...

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Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles up court during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles up court during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Nets PG Kyrie Irving will miss Sunday's game against the Knicks due to personal reasons, The Athletic's Shams Charania reports. 

Those personal reasons stem from the tragic news that Lakers legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Irving and Bryant had a "close friendship," as Charania points out. Nets Daily's Anthony Puccio tweeted that Irving left Madison Square Garden after hearing the news. 

In his statement before the game, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson was emotional while delivering his message, mentioning "a player that was very close to Kobe" and how everyone was praying for him in reference to Irving. 

Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, were among the five people killed in the accident. They were on their way to a travel basketball game along with another player and parent. 

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Apr 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) looks on after the Lakers defeat of the Utah Jazz 101-96 at Staples Center in Bryant's final game of his career. Bryant scored 60 points in the game. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Apr 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) looks on after the Lakers defeat of the Utah Jazz 101-96 at Staples Center in Bryant's final game of his career. Bryant scored 60 points in the game. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash on Sunday at the age of 41. 

There were nine people killed in the helicopter that went down around 10 a.m. PST in Calabasas, Calif, officials said. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who were on their way to a travel basketball game, were among those dead, according to multiple reports, confirming the initial TMZ story

Bryant has been flying via helicopter for years, going back to his playing days to avoid LA traffic. 

Also on the chopper was Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, along with his wife and daughter, according to the Brewster Whitecaps -- the team that Altobelli used to coach. 

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Jan 25, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during overtime against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Jan 25, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during overtime against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

The Nets beat the Detroit Pistons 121-111 in overtime on Saturday night, as star point guard Kyrie Irving had one of his best games of the season, scoring 45 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds in 40 minutes of action.

After the win, Irving talked about what the team's key to victory will be against the Knicks on Sunday.

"Get as much rest as we can, take care of our bodies in the morning time, and just come ready to play," Irving said. "Obviously we know they play pretty different at home, but it's still New York vs. New York, and we understand that. So it's going to be a pretty uptempo game, as well as the crowd will get into it, but you look forward to that."

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Kyrie Irving and LeBron James played three seasons together with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and while their relationship was reportedly strained at times, the duo combined to reach three NBA Finals and capture an NBA title in 2015-16.

On Thursday night, Irving and James went head-to-head as the Nets hosted the Lakers at Barclays Center, with the Lakers coming away with a 128-113 win.

James finished with a triple-double, scoring 27 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and adding 10 assists. Irving, meanwhile, finished with a team-leading 20 points to go along with four assists.

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The Nets are scuffling of late, having dropped 11 of their last 13 games.

The road doesn't get any easier for Brooklyn, as the Los Angeles Lakers -- owners of the NBA's best record in the West at 35-9 -- come to Barclays Center for a matchup on Thursday.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and point guard Spencer Dinwiddie know the challenge of trying to slow down LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the rest of the high-powered Lakers.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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The Nets had no answer for Ben Simmons on Monday, who finished with a triple-double (34 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists) as the Sixers knocked off Brooklyn 117-111.

Despite Simmons' big game, head coach Kenny Atkinson spotted some other areas of concern for his team.

"Obviously there are two big keys to this game," Atkinson said. "Give them credit for the first one, they turned us over a ton, 22 turnovers. Then I thought they really hurt us on the glass."

Tags: Jarrett Allen
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Jan 18, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving watches play against the Milwaukee Bucks from the bench during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 18, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving watches play against the Milwaukee Bucks from the bench during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The return of Kyrie Irving from his right shoulder impingement, an injury that sidelined him for 26 straight games, has given the Nets an interesting past week.

After the star point guard's career-high outing in his first game back, last Sunday's 108-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks, the days that ensued ensued with losses on the court and outside criticism off it.

Following Saturday's 117-97 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, which marked the Nets' third straight and 10 in their past 13 games, Irving kept a positive outlook on Brooklyn's 2019-20 season -- one he believes still includes the playoffs.

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Kyrie Irving had some strong words to say as he spoke with the media at Nets practice Friday afternoon.

The point guard defended the way he pushes his teammates and the organizations he's played for, after being criticized over comments he made earlier in the week.

"It's a telltale sign of the career that I've had," Irving said. "Some of the moves that I've made individually, and then as well as coming to different enviornments and organizations. ...It's not like I'm an a--hole yelling at everybody in the freaking locker room all the time and you hear all these stories." 

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Kyrie Irving (Bill Streicher)
Kyrie Irving (Bill Streicher)

After losing their second straight game and eighth in the last 10 games, Kyrie Irving had some interesting post-game comments. 

Irving has only been back three games after dealing with shoulder bursitis, and the Nets are 1-2 in that span. However, losing to the 76ers -- a top seed in the Eastern Conference at 31-16 -- the All-Star point guard was asked about whether or not Brooklyn can compete with teams like Philadelphia. 

Here's what Irving had to say on the matter:

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Donovan Mitchell's New York roots run deep, and on Tuesday night he returned to the Empire State as the Utah Jazz visited the Brooklyn Nets.

Mitchell, an Elmsford, N.Y. native whose father works as the Mets Director of Player Relations and Community Engagement, scored 25 points and added dour assists in Utah's 118-107 win at Barclays Center.

After the game, Mitchell said that he always enjoys coming back home to New York. 

"For some reason I was kind of nervous to start the game, just being back home and getting the nerves or whatever," Mitchell said. "I always love being back home in front of my friends and family, and I think we've won pretty much most of the times when we're back home, so it's been good."

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Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter (15) dribbles up court during the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter (15) dribbles up court during the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

While Kyrie Irving's return from injury was the main story in Sunday's 108-86 Nets win over the Hawks, the star point guard's career-best shooting performance wasn't the only headline coming out of Barclays Center.

Against the Nets for the final time, Hawks small forward Vince Carter got his farewell. As he gets set to retire from the NBA after 22 seasons, the former New Jersey star from 2004-09 made one last appearance before Nets fans.

A fan of the team while growing up in West Orange, NJ, Irving idolized Carter and former star point guard Jason Kidd. Reflecting on Carter's impact, Irving did not mince words when asked about how the Nets should honor him.

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For the first time since Nov. 14, Kyrie Irving was back in uniform with the Nets, who welcomed the star point guard back with open arms in Sunday's 108-86 rout of the Atlanta Hawks.

Brooklyn's second straight win followed Friday's 117-113 comeback victory against the Miami Heat (27-12), as they throttled the Hawks (8-32) behind Irving's game-high 21 points on a career-best 91 percent (10-of-11) shooting.

Head coach Kenny Atkinson recapped Irving's return to action for the first time in 26 games, while center Jarrett Allen added more on how the point guard's offensive involvement gave the the Nets (18-20) a much-needed boost to cap the weekend at Barclays Center.

Tags: Jarrett Allen
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After he missed 26 straight games with his right shoulder impingement, Kyrie Irving came back for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Hawks and starred.

Among his game-high 21 points, Irving shot a personal-best 91 percent from the field, making 10 of 11 shots, as the Nets welcomed back their starting point guard and rolled to a 108-86 win over the Hawks at Barclays Center in New York.

"It was kind of a long road back," Irving said after the win. "A lot of questions I had to answer (about the) health of my shoulder, longevity, what would have been the best option for my health long-term. Once I got that foundation set, it was easy to make that decision (to return to the court)."

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Kyrie Irving will officially return to the Nets lineup Sunday night against the Hawks, the team announced.

Brooklyn hasn't seen Irving take the court for them since Nov. 14, as the star point guard had been dealing with a right shoulder injury for the last two months.

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Mar 24, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sean Marks general manager of the Brooklyn Nets talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Mar 24, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sean Marks general manager of the Brooklyn Nets talks at a press conference announcing the Long Island Nets D League team before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

Nearing the halfway mark of the NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets find themselves eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 17-20 record. Offense has been a major problem. Brooklyn is ranked just 24th in offensive efficiency through 37 games. 

Brooklyn's shot profile is a modern NBA analytics dream. According to Basketball Reference, Brooklyn is ranked first in shots attempted around the rim (34.8 percent) and sixth in three-point attempt rate (41.7 percent). The problem is that the Nets are third worst in the league in three-point percentage at 32.9 percent and they are converting just 62.4 percent of their attempts around the rim. That is the fifth-worst mark in the association.

Having Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert miss significant time due to injury hurt as the Nets lost two of their key ball handlers. Irving and LeVert help break down the defense and open up the three-point shots that the Nets heavily rely on in their offense.

Tags: Caris LeVert, DeAndre Jordan, Joe Harris, Rodions Kurucs
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Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Kyrie Irving's anticipated return to the Nets is going to happen on Sunday. 

When the Nets host the Atlanta Hawks at 6 p.m., Irving is expected to be back, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Irving has missed nearly two months with a right shoulder injury. 

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Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins clearly have an unresolved beef that may still need settling.

From The Thread, here's what the disagreement between the former Thunder teammates might have sounded like if it hadn't happened over the internet.

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One night after getting into it with a radio host on Twitter, Kevin Durant was at it again on Thursday night, this time getting into a Twitter spat with his former teammate, Kendrick Perkins.

It all started when Perkins, now an analyst with ESPN, tweeted out earlier in the day that he was going to explain why Russell Westbrook was the best player to ever put on an Oklahoma City Thunder jersey. Westbrook, now a Rocket, was making his return to OKC for the first time on Thursday night.

After an initial exchange with a Celtics team reporter, Perkins called out Durant for losing in the second round of the playoffs without Westbrook.

That's where Durant chimed in for the first time, bringing up how Perkins, who was the Thunder's starting center for the 2012-13 playoffs, averaged just two points and three rebounds in the postseason.

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Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving spoke to reporters on Thursday after practice and gave some insight to his potential return.

"Hopefully I can get some game reps, in addition to this practice, but probably in the next week or so," Irving said. "It could be less than that. But I'm going to give myself a week, and see where we go from there after another evaluation."

Irving has been dealing with a shoulder impingement and shoulder bursitis that has kept him sidelined since Nov. 14.

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Jan 7, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Jan 7, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Kevin Durant has not been hesitant to speak his mind on Twitter, and the injured Nets star was back at it again Wednesday when a radio host suggested that no one cares about Brooklyn's success or failures.

Brandon Tierney, a New York-based national media type for CBS Sports, said on Twitter early Wednesday that "no one cares" about the Nets' seven-game losing streak and that it "speaks volumes" to Brooklyn's relevance in a city shared by the Knicks.

Evidently brought to the attention of Durant, the former Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors forward who signed with the Nets over the Knicks and others for a four-year deal worth more then $164 million, the 10-time All-Star and four-time scoring champ unloaded.

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

LOS ANGELES - Jared Dudley's with the Lakers now, but he's more than qualified to analyze what's happened with the Brooklyn Nets this season. 

Dudley was an important on and off-court contributor for Brooklyn last season. He averaged five points in 20 minutes off the bench for the Nets and provided veteran leadership for young players like Caris LeVert and D'Angelo Russell

So his thoughts on the Nets carry more weight than others. 

Tags: Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Ian Begley
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Jarrett Allen was a non-stop human highlight reel for the Nets Tuesday night against the Thunder, putting up poster dunks and big blocks as Brooklyn lost a tight game in overtime at Barclays Center.

Allen put up 12 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks on the night, but his real highlights came in the air.

Early in the first quarter, Rodions Kurucs drove under the basket and threw a short shuffle pass to Allen, who then put Mike Muscala on a poster, on what is now in the running for dunk of the year.

Tags: Jarrett Allen
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Nov 6, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (left) grabs a rebound against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (left) grabs a rebound against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the Nets gradually get Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert back into the fold from respective injuries, one former Brooklyn player spoke out to defend the team's handling of the recovery processes.

Jared Dudley spent just one season -- the 2018-19 campaign -- with the Nets, but saw enough to know how players with injuries are taken care of.

Now with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dudley spoke out Sunday on Twitter when one fan account appeared to be critical of how the Nets' have approached Irving's and LeVert's injuries. 

Tags: Caris LeVert, Jared Dudley
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Caris LeVert finally made his return to the court for the Nets on Saturday night against the Raptors, after missing the last 24 games with a thumb injury.

LeVert, who had surgery on his thumb on Nov. 14, was expected to be back within four-to-six weeks, but the recovery time went a little longer than expected and slid into a seventh week before Saturday.

In his first game, LeVert played 16 minutes off the bench and was very efficient with his time on the court, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting -- including hitting both his attempts from beyond the three-point line.

Tags: Caris LeVert
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Kyrie Irving addressed the media at Barclays Center for the first time since injuring his shoulder in early November.

Irving, who has missed the Nets' previous 22 games (with Saturday's game against the Raptors being game 23), spoke about his shoulder impingement, confirming that he also had shoulder bursitis, which has been previously reported. Irving also explained how he opted for a cortisone shot over surgery, although surgery could still be in play.

Here are the five biggest takeaways from Irving's Saturday press conference:

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 (NICOLE SWEET)
(NICOLE SWEET)

The Nets have waived two-way forward Henry Ellenson, it was reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday.

Ellenson averaged three minutes of play in just five games for Brooklyn this season.

Wojnarowski added that the Nets, who recently lost guard David Nwaba for the season due to a torn Achilles, will likely add another backcourt player on a two-way or 10-day contract.

Tags: Henry Ellenson
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Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

While the Nets still patiently await the return of Kyrie Irving, the team is set to regain the other key piece of their starting backcourt.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Caris LeVert is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday against the Raptors.

LeVert has missed seven weeks due to right thumb surgery, which he underwent on November 14. His recovery process has lasted slightly longer than the team's initial four-to-six weeks diagnosis.

Tags: Caris LeVert
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Dec 14, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets guard David Nwaba (0) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) tries to defend during the third quarter at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Dec 14, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets guard David Nwaba (0) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) tries to defend during the third quarter at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

The Nets are waiving G/F David Nwaba, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Nwaba ruptured his right Achilles tendon on Dec. 19, 2019 against the San Antonio Spurs, and underwent successful surgery the following day.

The 26-year-old averaged 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13 minutes per game off the bench for the Nets.

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Nov 4, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) and guard Caris LeVert (22) and head coach Kenny Atkinson react in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (NICOLE SWEET)
Nov 4, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) and guard Caris LeVert (22) and head coach Kenny Atkinson react in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (NICOLE SWEET)

Out of action since mid-November, Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert remain out as the Brooklyn Nets' three-game road trip continues.

Ahead of Thursday's 8:30 p.m. ET game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Nets had a stacked injury report with six players on the list.

Among the handful, Garrett Temple is questionable with a right knee contusion. Nicolas Claxton is out due to left hamstring soreness.

Tags: Caris LeVert
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Former NBA commissioner David Stern died Wednesday afternoon, 20 days after he was hospitalized Dec. 12 in New York upon suffering a brain hemorrhage, the league announced. He was 77.

Stern collapsed while at Brasserie 8 1/2 in Manhattan and was then rushed to the hospital for surgery, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Dec. 12.

The NBA released the following statement from current commissioner Adam Silver.

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 (David Berding)
(David Berding)

The Nets lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime on Monday, 122-115, their third straight loss and fourth in the last five games. 

Head coach Kenny Atkinson was less than enthused with his team's effort in the loss.

"Just an unacceptable performanace by us," Atkinson said. "We were lucky to get to overtime, to be honest. Even at halftime, I thought that. We're just not playing at a high level. We're not playing up to Nets standards and it's hard to figure out why."

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Dec 28, 2019; Houston, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) defends during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Dec 28, 2019; Houston, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) defends during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

As Kyrie Irving continues to remain out of the Nets lineup, Spencer Dinwiddie has continued to see more and more usage on offense. 

With that comes different looks on defense, and following Saturday's 108-98 loss to the Rockets, Dinwiddie took the blame for not being able to adjust to what Houston was throwing at him.

"We boxed-and-1 [James] Harden and Harden had 40. He still found a way to manufacture points for his team," Dinwiddie said. "There are no excuses. … If I do my job, we win this game. That's kind of what it is at the end of the day."

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Nets guard Kyrie Irving has now missed the team's last 19 games, with the most recent being Thursday's 94-82 loss to the Knicks.

And while the team has said that Irving has not yet been cleared for contact because of his shoulder impingement injury, could there be more to the All-Star's absence?

NBA analyst Ric Bucher was a guest on WFAN on Friday, and when asked about Irving's status, Bucher said that he's been hearing that there's more than meets the eye with the situation.

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The Knicks took advantage of an awful shooting night by the Nets, topping Brooklyn 94-82 at Barclays Center. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Thursday's game

1) Neither team shot the ball particularly well on Thursday night. In the first half, the Nets shot just 26.7 percent from the floor, and while the Knicks were only slightly better at 34 percent, New York was able to take advantage of a red-hot half from Julius Randle to jump out to a 46-41 lead at the half. 

In the third quarter, the Knicks began to pull away. Randle stayed hot, while Elfrid Payton and Marcus Morris also had some key plays, and the Knicks jumped out to an 18-point lead after three, outscoring the Nets 33-20 in the third quarter. In the fourth, the Nets' shooting woes continued, and the Knicks were able to maintain a double-digit lead, hanging on for the win.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Oct 27, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) celebrates making a shot against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first quarter at the FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Oct 27, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) celebrates making a shot against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first quarter at the FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

On Tuesday, reports came out that Nets guard Kyrie Irving could be out another two to three weeks due to his shoulder injury, but head coach Kenny Atkinson said on Thursday that's not the case.

The original report stated that the Nets are now referring to the injury internally as a "thoracic bursitis," though a "shoulder impingement" was the initial diagnosis given by the team. 

"I don't want to comment on a report because what you're telling me - whatever that report said is not true. We're still in the same place the last time I talked," Atkinson said before Thursday's game against the Knicks. "Like I said, the thing is we haven't gotten to the contact with him. We're on-court workout situation but the contact just hasn't been cleared yet. I think that's the next hurdle. I wish I could tell you when that is. Hopefully sooner rather than later."

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Kyrie Irving (Jerome Miron)
Kyrie Irving (Jerome Miron)

Kyrie Irving's road to recovery appears to still be a bumpy one.

Sidelined with what had initially been termed a "right shoulder impingement," Irving could remain out of the lineup for another two to three weeks, according to a report cited in the New York Daily News. The original reporting comes from Heavy.com.

The report also indicates that the organization is now privately referring to Irving's injury as "thoracic bursitis."

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Net head coach Kenny Atkinson and guard Kyrie Irving (11) talk in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Net head coach Kenny Atkinson and guard Kyrie Irving (11) talk in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Saturday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks will be the 18th straight game that Kyrie Irving has missed, and it doesn't sound like he's getting any closer to a return.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters at Barclays Center that Irving has still not been cleared for contact due to his shoulder impingement. Originally, Atkinson said that the Irving would be cleared for contact within a week or two, but that clearly has not been the case.

Irving originally suffered his injury against the Utah Jazz on November 12, but he attempted to play through the pain. He played 35 minutes against Denver two nights later, but was sidelined after that.

In his first season with the Nets, Irving has averaged 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. The All-Star guard scored 50 points in his Nets' debut, though the team dropped the game to Minnesota.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Dec 15, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard David Nwaba (0) goes to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) and guard Josh Richardson (0) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 15, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard David Nwaba (0) goes to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) and guard Josh Richardson (0) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Nets announced that guard/forward David Nwaba underwent successful surgery on Friday to repair his ruptured right Achilles, ending his season. The surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O'Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Nwaba down during the opening minutes of the fourth quarter in Thursday's 118-105 loss to the Spurs in San Antonio.

"We can talk about the game, but I'm concerned about David Nwaba, (he) hurt himself out there tonight," Kenny Atkinson told reporters after the game. "That's really where our thoughts are. It's tough to focus on the game right now. He's playing as well as anybody on our team, so tough blow. That's kind of where our hearts and mind are right now."

In his first season with Brooklyn, the 26-year-old has averaged 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13 minutes per game. He's come on strong for the Nets in his last six games, averaging 9.3 points while shooting 50 percent from the floor. 

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Nov 29, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets injured players Kyrie Irving (left) and Kevin Durant talk during a timeout against Boston Celtics during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets injured players Kyrie Irving (left) and Kevin Durant talk during a timeout against Boston Celtics during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

While the Nets entered the week on Sunday hopeful for Kyrie Irving's return to practice, Brooklyn's star point guard is not quite ready.

Prior to Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. game against the Charlotte Hornets (10-16), Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters that Irving is not cleared for contact.

Out for 13 straight games, Irving has not played since Nov. 14's 101-93 win over the Denver Nuggets.

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Nov 18, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) watches game against the Indiana Pacers from the bench during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 18, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) watches game against the Indiana Pacers from the bench during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Out for 12 games since he last played in Nov. 14's 101-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Kyrie Irving has missed almost the past month of the Brooklyn Nets' early 2019-20 season.

But as his right shoulder impingement recovery progresses, the star point guard is trending in the right direction.

While the Nets are likely to be without him on the court for the next week, head coach Kenny Atkinson provided a positive update on Irving, who could be back at practice within the next week or two.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) warms up before a game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Nov 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) warms up before a game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Kyrie Irving's injury has kept the star point guard out for the Nets' past 10 games, including Wednesday's 130-118 win over the Hawks at State Farm Arena, and the absence could extend "a few more weeks."

Irving, who has been sidelined with a right shoulder impingement since starting Nov. 14's 101-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets, would be "lucky" if he could return several weeks from now, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Head coach Kenny Atkinson addressed Irving's injury before the team's leading scorer and facilitator missed his third straight game Nov. 20, when he sat for the Nets' 101-91 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Jan 19, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett reacts from the bench during the second half of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Timberwolves 114-99. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)
Jan 19, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett reacts from the bench during the second half of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Timberwolves 114-99. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Former Celtics great Kevin Garnett wasn't surprised that Kyrie Irving left Boston in the offseason to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. 

"No," Garnett said during an interview in New York to promote the film, 'Uncut Gems,' which stars Garnett and Adam Sandler and will be released on Christmas. 

Garnett explained why he wasn't shocked that Irving didn't want to re-sign with the Celtics. 

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Kyrie Irving has been out of the lineup since Nov. 14 with a right shoulder impingement. The 27-year-old was averaging 28.5 points over his first 11 games in a Nets uniform, and his absence left a major void in the team's offensive production.

Enter Spencer Dinwiddie. Since being inserted into the starting lineup, the Colorado product has been the Nets' linchpin, averaging 24.5 points and 7.8 assists over the last eight games. The Nets are 6-2 in those games. 

"The role is completely different so obviously, there is a change there," Dinwiddie said after Friday's 112-107 win over the Celtics. "My approach to the game is very similar either way. It's whatever the team needs to win and then the role kind of dictates what that is. Sometimes it will be defense, sometimes it will be offense."

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Feb 13, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Dressed in street clothes, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) has a laugh with guard Marcus Smart (36) during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Feb 13, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Dressed in street clothes, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) has a laugh with guard Marcus Smart (36) during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

On Wednesday, Nets point guard and former Celtic Kyrie Irving was booed throughout the game, despite not even being in attendance as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

After the game, Irving spoke out on his Instagram story, calling the criticism from Boston fans "ignorant and obtrusive." Even Celtics guard Jaylen Brown -- a teammate of Irving's in Boston -- said there was no need for Celtics fans to boo Irving

The Nets and Celtics played each other again on Friday, as Irving was in attendance at the Barclays Center, but did not play. Some of his former Celtics teammates, including guard Marcus Smart and center Robert Williams, shared hugs with Irving and spoke about their relationship with him after the game.

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After the Nets' 112-107 win over the Celtics on Friday afternoon, head coach Kenny Atkinson told the media that Kyrie Irving will not play on Sunday against the Heat in Brooklyn.

"First thing about Kyrie, he started on-court work, which is a real positive sign for us," Atkinson said. "He will be out for Miami. And then we'll see how it progresses. The fact that he started the oncourt work is good news for us. Out for Miami and then we'll see going forward."

It will be the ninth-straight game that Irving has missed, as the point guard is dealing with a right shoulder impingement that has kept him out since Nov. 14.

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Kyrie Irving (Nicole Sweet)
Kyrie Irving (Nicole Sweet)

Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving will miss his eighth-straight game on Friday when the team plays the Celtics in Brooklyn, the team announced.

Irving hasn't played since Nov. 14 against the Nuggets, as the New Jersey native has been dealing with a shoulder injury.

It was announced on Nov. 22 that Irving would not play in the team's next three games -- against the Knicks, Cavaliers, and Celtics.

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Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Team Lebron forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warrior (35) handles the ball against Team Lebron guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics (11) during NBA All-Star Game practice at the Bojangles Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)
Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Team Lebron forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warrior (35) handles the ball against Team Lebron guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics (11) during NBA All-Star Game practice at the Bojangles Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)

Kyrie Irving took to Instagram after Wednesday's 121-110 loss for the Nets against the Celtics at TD Garden in Boston featured boos and chants directed toward the point guard, and the actions evidently did not sit well with teammate Kevin Durant.

Irving, who fired back at Celtics fans' criticism by calling the actions "ignorant and obtrusive," was not in attendance for the anticipated return to face his former team as he missed the Nets' seventh straight game with a right shoulder impingement.

Irving's absence did not stop Celtics fans' negativity, despite Boston head coach Brad Stevens' pregame plea and wing Jaylen Brown's postgame take.

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Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving was the subject of boos and chants from Celtics fans on Wednesday night as the team hosted the Nets.

Irving, who wasn't even traveling with the team as he continues to sit out with a shoulder injury, drew the ire of Celtics fans for electing to leave the team to sign a max contract with the Nets this past offseason.

Following the Celtics' win over Brooklyn, Irving fired back against all the criticism coming his way, via a post to his Instagram story. 

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