The Nets were dealt another blow on Tuesday when Steve Nash told reporters that LaMarcus Aldridge would miss the rest of the team’s road trip with a right ankle sprain.
Aldridge was already ruled out of Tuesday’s game and will now Wednesday meeting with the Sacramento Kings, Friday’s showdown with the Utah Jazz and their rematch with the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. Aldridge was injured during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s loss at Golden State.
Nash said that he wasn’t ruling out Aldridge possibly returning before the NBA All-Star break later this month.
Nash says LaMarcus Aldridge is out for the rest of this road trip. The MRI on his ankle confirmed the sprain. Nash is hopeful he’ll return before the All-Star break.
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) February 1, 2022
It’s the latest injury to a team that has had to deal with more than their fair share of them this season. The Nets are already without Kevin Durant for a significant amount of time and Joe Harris has been recovering from an ankle injury since November.
Even James Harden had been out the past two games, but is listed as probable for Tuesday’s game in Phoenix.
Aldridge had provided a veteran presence and offensive boost for a Nets team that has called on some its younger players while dealing with injuries. The Nets’ big man has averaged 13.4 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game this season.
He’s shot 55.5 % from the field the Nets are 17-8 when he puts up double figures.
Nic Claxton will likely see his playing time increase with Aldridge out. He started against the Warriors over the weekend and had put up four points on 4-of-9 shooting in 17 minutes of playing time.
Claxton had been dealing with a hamstring injury that had sidelined him for seven games. He’s appeared in two of the last three games and is ready to fill in wherever he’s needed.
“It’s my job is just to come out and just be ready for whatever, whether I’m starting, coming off the bench,” Claxton told the New York Post. “That’s how it’s been my whole time here in Brooklyn, really. So I’ve got to come out and be ready for whatever. Whatever minutes I play, I’ve got to be the best version of myself.”
Rookie big Day’Ron Sharpe is also likely to see increased minutes. He did not play on Saturday, but is healthy and the Nets will need to him to play the way he had been in recent weeks.
Sharpe has been part of a rookie trio, along with Cam Thomas and Kessler Edwards, that have emerged as big contributors through the injury-filled season.