Even before Nets rookies Day’Ron Sharpe, Cam Thomas and Kessler Edwards combined for 48 points and another strong showing, head coach Steven Nash had plenty of good things to say about them on Saturday.
The rookie trio, along with David Duke Jr., has used their playing time well since they’ve been thrust into the fire due to COVID and injuries. Edwards and Sharpe have found themselves in the starting lineup for three straight games, Thomas has had 20 or more points in three of his last four games and Duke Jr. started in four straight games earlier this month.
“They’ve been great,” Nets Steve Nash said. “That’s why they’ve gotten an opportunity. We liked them in the preseason, but we felt like there was a process to them getting, to earning and to developing into an opportunity and it came.”
Edwards, Thomas and Sharpe all finished with double-digit points in Saturday’s 120-104 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The three became the first Nets rookies since Mirza Teletovic, Tyshawn Taylor and Toko Shengelia in 2013 to reach double digits the same game.
Thomas led the trio with 20 points, Edwards finished the night with 16 and Sharpe recorded his first double-double with a 12 point night and 10 rebounds.
“They’re getting better every game. They’re learning,” James Harden Said. “I think one thing that they bring consistently is their effort. That’s all that matters. Obviously, Day’Ron is very skilled. Really good hands and finishing and rebounding the basketball. Then Kess, defensively on the wing is active at knocking down the three. Huge for us.
“They bring the energy and effort every single night and that’s contagious. That rubs off on each and every individual on the team.”
Sharpe has seen his playing time go up with both Nic Claxton and LaMarcus Aldridge dealing with injury issues. Nash has taken notice of Kessler’s defensive ability and his nack for knocking down the three.
“Natural defensive instincts,” Nash said. “He really knows his role. He’s played his role for a young guy in the opportunity very, very well.”