Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Gerald Wallace won't play against Timberwolves
The Nets won’t be at full strength when they host Minnesota at the Barclays Center Monday night.
Gerald Wallace’s sprained left ankle hasn’t sufficiently healed and the veteran swingman isn’t going to play against the Timberwolves. Keith Bogans will start in his place.
Wallace injured himself in the closing minute of Saturday night’s 107-100 win over the Raptors, rolling his ankle on Kyle Lowry’s foot as he attempt to block his shot on a fastbreak attempt. Avery Johnson said Wallace’s status remains day-to-day and seemed unsure if he’ll be available for the Nets’ first road game of the season in Miami on Wednesday.
“He’s just going to continue to get treatment on his ankle,” the coach said after Monday morning’s shootaround. “Obviously, X-rays on his ankle were negative and that was great. So, [trainer] Tim [Walsh] is going to continue to treat him. He’s feeling a little bit better, but not good enough to play tonight.”
Johnson said he’s electing to insert Bogans into the lineup because he doesn’t want to mess up things with his bench. Bogans is working his way back after suffering a nasty ankle injury in February that knocked him out for most of the lockout-shortened season, so Johnson is still going to limit his minutes against the Wolves.
But Bogans will definitely play more than usual and Johnson even poked fun at the veteran guard.
“He’ll go from being an inbounder at the end of games to the starting lineup. Isn’t that amazing?” Johnson cracked. “My philosophy is, if I can find a guy that we have a lot of confidence in, where we won’t have to disrupt our rotation, we’ll put that guy in the lineup, and that’s Bogans tonight.
“Then, we’ll keep our bench the same, which we like the four guys that are coming off the bench with C.J. [Watson], MarShon [Brooks], Reggie [Evans] and [Andray] Blatche. They did a tremendous job of giving us some great defense energy there in the second quarter [Saturday night].”
Bogans said he’s not about to try to replace Wallace’s production.
“I can’t do what Gerald does,” Bogans said. “Me and him are two different players. I’m more of a defensive guy and an energy guy. He more dives on the floor, gets the loose balls, dunks a lot. I mean, we are two different players, but I’m going to bring defense and energy.”
With Wallace out, even against an undermanned Wolves team that’s missing key players in Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, Deron Williams knows it’s going to be imperative for others to ease that void.
“It means somebody else has to step up,” the All-Star point guard said. “We’ll definitely miss him tonight. He’s a big part of our team. It just means somebody is going to have to come in and fill in for him, step up and make plays.”