PORTLAND, Ore. — Injured Nets forwards Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Trevor Booker practiced Thursday at Moda Center, but both were listed as questionable for Friday night’s game against the Trail Blazers. Rookie center Jarrett Allen (strained left foot) is out and will miss his fifth straight game.
Following a lengthy practice session, Booker headed to the training room for treatment of his sore lower back, and Hollis-Jefferson was fitted with an ice pack for his right hip contusion.
“I’m getting there,” said Booker, who has missed three games. “I practiced today, so I guess that’s a step in the right direction.” Reminded that he practiced Sunday in Phoenix but couldn’t play the next two nights, Booker said, “It’s just sore, a little bit of pain. Hopefully, the pain will stay away this time.”
Hollis-Jefferson said he feels good and is hopeful he’ll be able to rejoin the starting lineup after missing Tuesday’s game in Denver, but he’s dealing with a deep bone bruise. “Yeah, it’s 100 percent painful,” he admitted.
Because of his frenetic playing style under the basket, Hollis-Jefferson said he has to be careful to avoid aggravating his injury. “I’m just taking the proper precautions leading into the game,” he said. “I’m getting padded, compression stuff and just protecting the area. Not just that area but your whole body because that’s the way I play.”
Booker is in the same boat in the sense he can’t take chances with a bad back. “Oh, for sure,” Booker said. “I don’t want to take a step in the wrong direction and end up being out longer.”
Offense needs fine-tuning
Coach Kenny Atkinson spent a long practice reorganizing a Nets offense whose execution has gone south, putting pressure on the defense to stop transition offense by opponents. “Our offense has fallen off a cliff,” Atkinson said. “We went through our whole offense again, where we’re getting shots and how we’re getting shots. So, I think these practices help.”
Isaiah Whitehead impressed Atkinson with his point-guard play in Tuesday’s loss at Denver. It may earn him more time Friday because his ability to play the point allows Atkinson to pair backup point guard Spencer Dinwiddie with D’Angelo Russell as he planned to do when Jeremy Lin was healthy. “I do like Spencer and D’Angelo together, I like having two pick-and-roll ballhandlers,” Atkinson said. “That’s what I missed about Jeremy; I thought that was cool we could go either side. I like it, if they could be a solution.”