MEMPHIS, Tenn. — D’Angelo Russell accompanied the Nets on their three-game road trip for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. DeMarre Carroll even credited him with an active role “coaching from the bench” early in the third quarter when the Nets put together a 20-4 run in their 98-88 victory over the Grizzlies on Sunday night at FedEx Forum.
Russell said he’s feeling great since the surgery to repair an injury he suffered Nov. 11 at Utah.
“Honestly, I’m just trying to stay healthy and get as strong as I can before I get back out on the floor,” he said. “It’s definitely not something I want to rush, however that may go. I’m not really forcing anything, just doing what the trainers and stuff tell me day-in and day-out and go from there, see how I feel every day.”
The injury is not related to issues with troubles he experienced in the same knee last season with the Lakers. “It’s just more of a strength factor for me now,” Russell said. “It’s not a recurring injury. It’s not something that affected me from last year or anything like that.”
Russell said there is no set timetable for his return.
Dinwiddie earns praise
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson credited point guard Spencer Dinwiddie with settling the Nets down when their 19-point lead was cut to five in the fourth quarter. Dinwiddie, who was signed out of the G League last season, had nine points and seven assists and is starting to gain recognition around the NBA.
“He’s arguably one of the most improved players in the league, a kid that’s matured,” Memphis coach David Fizdale said. “He’s really grown as a shooter and a playmaker. A lot of people were down on him after he bounced around a little bit, and the kid is answering the bell now and showing that he belongs in this league.”