ORLANDO, Fla. — The red flag that went up when Jeremy Lin developed a tight back and missed Wednesday’s game against the Lakers one game after returning from a hamstring injury that cost him 17 games gave way to a green light from the Nets’ performance team Friday night at Amway Center.
Lin did not start, but he was cleared to play against the Magic after the morning shootaround. Coach Kenny Atkinson and Lin indicated the back condition is not a source of concern.
“If they give the green light, they’re looking out for the best interests of Jeremy and the team,” Atkinson said. “It’s good news for us.”
Lin, who scored 17 points in 20 minutes Friday night, said there was no specific moment when he hurt his back in the 20 minutes he played Monday in Houston. “I just think I haven’t really played in a little bit,” Lin said Friday morning. “The body is just getting used to it, and that’s to be expected.”
Fond memories of Sager
Atkinson paid tribute to Turner Sports announcer Craig Sager, who died of leukemia Thursday. “I think about the NBA and his love of the game, how much he loved players, how much he loved coaches,” Atkinson said. “Being in Atlanta for four years [as a Hawks assistant], I ran across him in town. When you think about Craig, it’s all the relationships he had in this league and how many people he touched. It was a wonderful thing.”
Vaughn faces ex-team
Top Nets assistant Jacque Vaughn was head coach of the Magic from 2012-15, and Friday night marked his first return as an assistant coach. “When I first got the job, he was the first guy I called,” Atkinson said. “He’s been a huge help to our young players in terms of player development. In terms of helping me with strategy and timeouts, he’s been an immense help.”