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Caris LeVert, Jacque Vaughn honored for Nets' bubble success

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn, center, talks

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn, center, talks with Joe Harris (12) during a timeout during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Nets' Caris LeVert (22) walks by during the conversation. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool) Credit: AP/Ashley Landis

After going 5-3 during their eight-game “seeding” schedule to hold onto the seventh playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, the Nets clearly ranked as one of the surprise teams in the NBA bubble at Disney World in Orlando. That was reflected in voting for all-NBA seeding honors on Saturday when guard Caris LeVert earned second-team mention and Jacque Vaughn finished third in coach voting.

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard was unanimous MVP with all 22 votes from a media panel. LeVert tied for ninth in all-seeding team voting with the Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr with 13 points. Phoenix coach Monty Williams was the runaway winner in the coach voting with 103 points, Blazers coach Terry Stotts had 41 points and Vaughn had 18 to finish just ahead of Raptors coach Nick Nurse (12), who is his first-round playoff rival.

“It’s an honor to be included in that, especially with some of the guys who are listed,” LeVert said after Saturday’s practice. “All those guys are great players in their respective right.”

Speaking of LeVert, Vaughn added, “It’s a great compliment to Caris and his ability to step up and meet the challenge and respond . . . This is an opportunity for him to show . . . the rest of the league the work that he’s put in and the honors and the achievements that he deserves.”

Vaughn deflected credit for his own showing in the voting to how the players and performance staff responded for him. “It’s been great to be part of this synergy and connection with our group, and the players deserve the credit in all honesty,” Vaughn said. “I’m a small vessel in this thing, trying to put them in the right positions.”

Net-cetera

Vaughn said guard Chris Chiozza and center Donta Hall were “full-go” in practice Saturday, but guard Jamal Crawford (left hamstring tightness) did not practice . . . The first four Nets playoff games against the Raptors all will be televised on YES Network . . . Guard Joe Harris got no votes for the all-seeding team despite averaging 20.0 points on 62.0 field goal shooting, including 54.1 percent from three-point range in six “bubble” games.

New York Sports