CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Nets welcomed another member of their walking wounded back Wednesday night.
Well, for nearly two whole quarters at least.
After sitting out the past two games with a sprained left ankle, Deron Williams returned, only to leave late in the first half when he reinjured himself, forcing him to sit out the second half with another left ankle sprain.
"He's just as frustrated as we are," Paul Pierce said after the 95-91 loss to Charlotte. "Obviously, he's been dealing with this all summer and then one ankle gets better and he hurts the other one. You have to talk to him to really understand his frustration, but we're also frustrated for him."
With just more than three minutes left in the second quarter, Williams landed on Kemba Walker's foot as he followed through on a jumper. Williams, fouled on the play by Walker, tried to walk it off and took the free throws.
But after Williams made both, the Nets fouled on the ensuing possession to get him out of the game.
"It's tough," Kevin Garnett said. "It's tough all the way around. But the basketball gods are going to bless us though because we're going to work, and we're going to continue to work and get ourselves out of this."
Kidd shakes it off
With his team’s slow start, coach Jason Kidd is taking criticism from all angles. Particularly in the aftermath of Monday night’s home loss to the Trail Blazers, when he said he’s to blame.
But Kidd said he’s unfazed. “That’s the small print,” he said. “That’s the small print when you join the NBA as a player or a coach or administrator. You are going to be criticized. That’s just the nature of the beast. But I can’t let the critics dictate how I coach or how my team plays. I’ve got to have those guys ready.”
Although Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) made the two-game trip, Kidd said at the moment, it’s all about Kirilenko getting stronger and working himself into playing shape. It also sounds like he won’t play against his old team, the Timberwolves, in Minnesota tomorrowFriday night. Said Kidd: “He’s still some time away.”