The Nets had nearly as many guys on the sideline watching today as they did playing.
Not really, but by the time we walked in a potential starting five was on the side: Devin Harris, Keyon Dooling, Tony Battie, Yi Jianlian and Jarvis Hayes. That five may not win many games, but you get the point.
Really, the only new guy there was Hayes, who sat the last 3/8 of practice – according to coach Lawrence Frank – with shin splints. Hayes was going to see the doctor later in the day.
Naturally, Harris put on a happy, brave face and said he’s OK. He was re-evaluated and he has a “slight” groin strain. He will be out until at least Sunday if not Monday.
“I definitely expect to play Wednesday at home against the Knicks,” Harris said. “I expect to practice probably Sunday or Monday.”
Although all these small, nagging injuries – two ankles, groin - are adding up, Harris remains confident he will be OK for opening night in two weeks.
“That’s why we’re taking the time now to kind of let it heal,” Harris said. “I would rather have it Oct. 14 than to have it anytime after the 28th. We’re taking the time now to let it heal and rest as we move forward.”
Makes the Rafer Alston acquisition look that much better.
Signs are pointing to Chris Douglas-Roberts being the Nets’ starting small forward this season. Frank, of course, said nothing has been decided yet. But four games, four starts and Douglas-Roberts has played relatively well in all of them.
He started five-of-five last night in Newark and he makes plays.
“Chris, we’ve all seen, has had an outstanding preseason, and it started when his season ended in April,” Frank said. “I’m not caught up with starters. We have a lot of different starters we can throw out there, several good players, but undoubtedly he’s had a very good preseason.”
Yi's shoulder wasn't bothering him. He said he expects to play Friday. If they rest him for precautionary reasons, Frank isn’t sure who will start at power forward yet. Bobby Simmons played a bulk of the power forward today. Frank will choose between Simmons, Eduardo Najera, Josh Boone, Battie and Sean Williams. Doubt it will be Sean, though.