Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert, left, and forward Joe Harris high-five...

Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert, left, and forward Joe Harris high-five after a play against the Washington Wizards on Aug. 2, 2020. Credit: AP/Kim Klement

After going all out to beat the Wizards on Sunday in a game that was critical to their playoff chances, the Nets are going all in on load management when they face the NBA-best Bucks Tuesday afternoon at Disney World in Orlando.

Coach Jacque Vaughn on Monday announced that core players Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen all will sit out the Bucks game, but he hopes they return to face the Celtics on Wednesday night in the second game of a back-to-back set.

LeVert played 39:12 against the Wizards, Allen logged 38:08, and Harris totaled 36:51. That trio combined for 83 points on 27-for-48 shooting. The rest of the roster produced 35 points on 11-for-42 shooting as the eighth-seeded Nets (31-35) extended their lead over the ninth-seeded Wizards (24-43) to 7 1/2 games for the final playoff berth. With six seeding games left, it’s unlikely the Wizards can get within four games of the Nets to force a play-in series.

Vaughn said LeVert has a thigh contusion, Harris experienced hamstring and back tightness and Allen played more than he ever has in a non-overtime game. “Pretty tough circumstances in the sense of three games in four nights,” Vaughn said. “So, those three won’t go [Tuesday]. We’re looking forward to them hopefully being available versus Boston as we continue to assess guys on a daily basis.”

Trying to stop the high-powered Bucks (54-13) and MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo would have been a daunting task with their top three players. Now, it appears near impossible, especially without Allen to protect the rim. Vaughn likely will rotate Rodions Kurucs and Donta Hall at center. He also said the availability of 19-year veteran guard Jamal Crawford (conditioning), who has yet to play since joining the Nets, will be a game-time decision.

Discussing the decision to rest Allen, who had 22 points and 15 rebounds against the Wizards, Vaughn said, “I’ll say Jarrett is what we would term ‘unusual circumstances.’ We talked about 28-30 minutes, and for him to get almost 40 minutes [on Sunday] is a toll on everyone. Asking him to play three in four would be a tremendous toll.

“So, that’s really the guiding force. We’ll continue to look at the health and safety of every individual on this team and really progress game-by-game and see where we are as a team.”

Asked if the Nets might play a lot of zone defense to keep Antetokounmpo out of the paint, he said, “We’ll mix in a little of everything and see what can stick. We’ll use multiple bodies against Giannis and also try to get back in transition to have them play in the halfcourt.”

They don’t call Antetokounmpo the “Greek Freak” for nothing, and the Nets know they will have their hands full trying to guard him.

“With Giannis, it’s his ability to get downhill no matter who’s guarding him,” Garrett Temple said. “Even in the halfcourt, he’s so strong up top with his strength in his core and his lower body is very strong as well. So, I think just his ability to drive and finish makes him very, very tough to guard.”

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