Nets center Nic Claxton began Sunday listed as probable with a sprained left ankle, but less than an hour before tipoff, he was downgraded to out against the Bulls.
It’s the same ankle that forced Claxton to miss eight games earlier this season because of a high sprain. Coach Jacque Vaughn said Claxton tweaked it during Saturday’s win over the Heat.
Claxton played 24 minutes in that game, the fewest of any Nets starter. He took a hard fall in the first quarter and walked to the locker room under his own power. He returned in the second quarter and finished with 13 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
His status for Tuesday against the Raptors is unknown.
Cam Thomas update
Cam Thomas is inching closer to a return, but there still are some hurdles to overcome.
Thomas missed his eighth consecutive game Sunday with a sprained left ankle. The Nets said he’ll be reintegrated into team activities this week, although practice time will be hard to find with three more home games this week.
The Nets had a brief walkthrough Sunday in lieu of a shootaround because they played the second night of a back-to-back. Thomas did not participate, according to Vaughn.
“[Monday’s] an off day. So that kind of puts him in a tough position for us to schedule an actual practice for him,” Vaughn said. “Hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can simulate some things with some video guys and also with some G League guys maybe in this week coming up.”
Dennis Smith missed his fourth game with a sprained lower back and is listed as day-to-day.
Despite not having Ben Simmons, the Nets are one of the NBA’s top fast-break teams. They entered Sunday fifth in fast-break points per game and sixth in total fast-break points. Most of that comes from having at least 20 fast-break points in six of their first seven games when Simmons played. In the eight games he missed before Sunday, the Nets have reached double figures in fast-break points in all but one game.