There was a buzz still about the comeback. Not the Sixers' game, the Steelers' amazing game-winning drive.
Had to get that out of the way. There are a few other things about that game, but we won't get into it. Nets' blog, let's focus on the Nets.
It was a stirring comeback in Philadelphia the other night. I had them losing when they were down 17 in the third - during that special 0-for-10, three-turnover stretch. I also had them losing down 12 in the fourth and Vince Carter in the locker room.
Carter is playing against the Bucks tomorrow in Richard Jefferson's return. But the Nets won't have Bobby Simmons and Eduardo Najera. Both have abdominal strains. Lawrence Frank, who took a spill himslef at the end of practice, called them out and thinks they'll be out for Wednesday's game in Washington.
So that means Trenton Hassell, coming off his big game in Philadelphia, gets the start.
As for Carter, he didn't practice today, but he said, "I'm playing tomorrow." His ankle isn't as bad as it was when Brian Scalabrine landed on him in Boston a couple of weeks back. Carter said it's just different
"I'm ready to go," Carter said. "The percentage doesn't matter. I'm able to play so I'm going to play."
Carter said he wanted to come back the other night against the Sixers, but after hurting it a second time, athletic trainer Tim Walsh made him stay in the back and wouldn't let him back on the bench.
"I was sitting there icing it with my leg on the chair," he said. "It was terrible. But that's the way it goes. I respect Timmy so much. I listen to Timmy. He's done a lot for me. When I first got here I had the Achilles injury. He made a miracle happen. I haven't had to deal with that since then and that was five years ago.
"He said we're going to shut you down for the night. It's hard to say OK. Nevertheless, I think I feel a lot better when I'm able to heal. I heal like a 22-year-old because of it. I feel a lot better. I came in yesterday and did double sessions with treatment. It feels great."
While Carter was talking to us, there was some commotion behind him. Frank had fallen during a drill with Hassell, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Maurice Ager and Sean Williams. There was laughter and people screaming to see if there was tape of it, especially Carter.
"Hey Timmy," Carter screamed. "Man down."
Carter missed it, me too, because of our angle. Frank said he'll be fine for the game tomorrow.
"I think you have to add levity," he said. "I just tripped. It ain't no excuse. Sometimes you [mess] up."
It will be weird seeing Jefferson in Izod Center in a Bucks' uniform, but the fans should give him a huge ovation.
I wouldn't say he meant more to the franchise than Jason Kidd, but Jefferson didn't force his way out. He was the rare player who wanted to be a Net for life. He did a lot for the Nets and deserves to hear the appreciation.
The Nets likely will announce him first, like they did Kidd and Kenyon Martin when they first returned, and let the fans say thanks.
No Yi Jianlian, Simmons, Najera and Stromile Swift, so the Nets are down to 11 bodies, which includes Sean Williams.
Not sure if Williams will get a chance because the Nets like to play small and can with Carter, Hassell or Jarvis Hayes at power forward if need be. Williams also didn't return to the Nets from the D-League on good terms, but if Frank sees a need for him or a spot where he can help, he will put him in.
Brook Lopez earned Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January after averaging 14.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.81 blocks.
Devin Harris has something to do on All-Star Saturday now. The Nets' lone All-Star will participate in the Skills' Challenge with Jameer Nelson, Tony Parker and Derrick Rose.