TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
SportsBasketballNets

Top draft picks Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs could be playing in Long Island Nets G League opener

Nets Dzanan Musa at the Nets media day

Nets Dzanan Musa at the Nets media day at HSS Training Center in Brooklyn, New York on Sept. 24, 2018. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

The Long Island Nets open their G League schedule against the Westchester Knicks on Saturday night at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum, and there’s a chance one or both of the Brooklyn Nets’ top two draft picks will be in the Long Island lineup. First-round pick Dzanan Musa is more likely to play, but second-round pick Rodions Kurucs, who returned from a five-game absence to recover from a sprained ankle, also is a possibility.

Kurucs was available for the NBA Nets on Friday night against the Rockets, and his play in that game could impact his availability for G League play.

“Rodi has gotten some playing time for us because of our injuries and has played well for us, quite honestly,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Musa has been really good in practice and the little opportunity he’s had in games.

“It’s a great opportunity for those guys. The decision hasn’t been made whether they’re going to play [Saturday] night or not. We’ll talk about it after the game. But Long Island is a valuable, valuable resource for us and we’re going to use it consistently, especially when we can’t practice or we have a full roster and those guys can’t get playing time. It’s a good opportunity for those guys to get better.”

Harden sits out

Reigning NBA MVP James Harden missed his third straight game with a left hamstring strain. He practiced Thursday and has been cleared to return Saturday night in Chicago . . . When Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni was coach of the Knicks, Atkinson was one of his assistants, and D’Antoni said he always knew he would become a head coach.

“He got it,” D’Antoni said. “He was good with players. You could just tell . . . Kenny does a great job. They’ve got a lot of young athletes who run up and down and shoot threes. They’re going to be a handful all year. They play hard together.”

New York Sports