The Brooklyn Nets travel to Toronto today to take on the Toronto Raptors Tuesday, and they'll do so without at least two of their pieces. Nets center Brook Lopez and point guard Deron Williams will stay in New York and New Jersey to rehabilitate their sprained ankles. While Lopez did not speak with reporters following Monday's practice, coach Jason Kidd confirmed that Lopez won't travel to Toronto, while Williams himself said he would stay home to rest.
Both players are officially listed as day-to-day, and that's frustrated Williams, who would like to play now. "There's no hidden agenda," Williams said after the team practiced without him, exasperated.
Williams has every right to exasperation. After dealing with ankle injuries throughout last season and an official diagnosis of synovitis and bone chips in both ankles in February, Williams has now suffered three freak ankle accidents. He sprained the ankle in the offseason during workouts in Utah and was briefly fitted for a walking boot. He expected to return before training camp, but the injury lingered throughout preseason.
After returning to the court for the first time without a minutes restriction on November 15th, Williams landed on Phoenix Suns forward Miles Plumlee's foot on a second jump, spraining his ankle. He missed one game and returned Wednesday, November 20th, leaving in the second quarter after landing awkwardly when Kemba Walker slid under him a shot attempt, spraining the other ankle. Williams does not believe Walker's play was dirty, nor does he see these issues recurring.
"It has nothing to do with last year," Williams stressed. "I sprained my ankle. I landed on somebody's foot. You jump, you land on somebody's foot, I don't care (if you're) Superman, you're going to sprain your ankle."
The Nets also practiced without forward Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms), Shaun Livingston (head contusion), and Jason Terry (bruised knee).
Kidd confirmed that Livingston did not have a concussion.
It's not clear if any of them will make the trip to Toronto just yet. Livingston is Williams's backup at point guard, and if both are unable to play, they'll rely heavily on second-year guard Tyshawn Taylor and backup forward Alan Anderson to man the point.