Injured duo Ben Simmons and Yuta Watanabe sat out Wednesday’s 122-116 win over the Hornets. But both are expected to be back on the court and back in the rotation in the Nets’ back-to-back this weekend.
Simmons (left calf strain) missed his fourth game and Watanabe (right hamstring) missed his eighth straight game. Neither participated in Wednesday’s pregame shootaround, but both practiced beforehand.
“They’ve actually done a little bit of work before, so they come to the crossing a little sweaty. So they put in some work,” said coach Jacques Vaughn. “They’re both ready to play this weekend.”
Brooklyn has been playing with an eight-man rotation lately, with Seth Corey, Cam Thomas and the newly returned TJ Warren coming off the bench. Simmons will likely return to the starting lineup, and Watanabe, who leads the NBA in 3-point percentage, will steal some minutes as well, possibly Royce O’Neal or Markieff Morris.
Either way, the stretch of rotation is correct.
“It certainly fits in that order. “Having more bodies for us to put into the game means more flexibility in terms of how those bodies look small and large,” Vaughan said.
“We’ve never seen Utah, TJ, Kevin and Nick on the floor at the same time. So what does it look like? Does that cut into his minutes? So thinking about bringing back more bodies gives us more opportunities to give him relief. “
Guard Edmond Sumner is back from a right clavicle contusion. He scored 9 goals in 13 minutes.
“Ed’s been through practice and he said he’s ready to go, so we’ll see,” Vaughan said before the win.
Kessler Edwards, Day’Ron Sharp, David Duke Jr. and Alondes Williams also completed G-League assignments on Wednesday. … Royce O’Neal took an elbow to the face but said he was fine.
LaMelo Ball (ankle), Gordon Hayward (shoulder), Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle) and Cody Martin (knee) are all out for Charlotte.
Nets and Reform Alliance co-founders Clara Wu Tsai (wife of team owner Joe Tsai) and Meek Mill hosted mothers and children affected by the criminal justice system for a special holiday experience at Barclays Center before Wednesday’s game. The group toured the arena, shopped at Brooklyn Fanatics and watched the game from VIP suites.