The Nets could be facing another run without Jeremy Lin.
After straining his left hamstring — the same injury Lin had Nov. 2 — in Monday’s win against the Charlotte Hornets, coach Kenny Atkinson didn’t have much to say about his point guard after Tuesday’s practice.
Atkinson didn’t have any updates, saying he was still waiting on doctor evaluations. Lin didn’t practice and when asked if it was too early to set a timetable, Atkinson answered, “We’ll see.”
Lin, who wasn’t available to speak, missed 17 games over a 40-day period after his initial left hamstring injury Nov. 2. He returned Dec. 12 against Houston and has played seven of Brooklyn’s eight games over that period. He averaged 23.7 minutes and 15.3 points in the seven games.
“First of all you just feel bad for Jeremy because I know how hard he worked to get back so that was a difficult part about it,” Atkinson said. “And somehow I think in these situations you have to turn it into a positive.”
Lin was seen limping after being fouled going to the basket in the third quarter of Monday’s game at the Barclays Center, but remained on the floor. Later in the quarter after a reverse layup attempt, he walked to the Brooklyn bench and went to the locker room.
Atkinson said should Lin miss significant time, it will allow Isaiah Whitehead, Sean Kilpatrick, Spencer Dinwiddie and Randy Foye to earn more minutes.
“We’re going to figure it out,” Atkinson said. “We’re going to figure it out by committee and it will be good for those guys’ development. I think our roster development at the end of the day, those guys will improve over this time Jeremy’s out.”
Kilpatrick is currently the team’s second-leading scorer behind Brook Lopez at 15.7 points per game and had 23 points in 32 minutes in Monday’s 120-118 win. Whitehead added nine points in 16 minutes and Randy Foye hit the winning three-pointer at the buzzer in the win for Brooklyn (8-22). Atkinson has faith in the Nets’ depth.
“In a weird way in the long run, you feel bad for Jeremy but I think our other players stepped up,” Atkinson said. “So that’s what I’m taking out of it.”
It was difficult for Whitehead to see Lin leave Monday’s game. Whitehead has been dealing with foot soreness which kept him out of the lineup for three games before Monday, and has seen the work Lin’s put in to come back from the November injury.
“He was out a number of games and he wanted to be on the floor as much as possible but I mean sometimes it just happens,” Whitehead said. “There’s nothing you can really do to prevent it. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”
Whitehead wasn’t sure the extent of Lin’s injury and didn’t want to speculate on how his role could be altered if Lin misses extended time again. But he hopes for Lin’s return.
“He went through this before so I’m pretty sure he knows his body,” Whitehead said, “and if he feels like he can play, he’ll play.”