The Nets players to keep your eyes on during the final 18 games of the season

Cam Thomas Nets
Cam Thomas celebrates a three point shot against the New York Knicks during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets are down to their final 18 games of the year and they’re still sitting in a play-in-round spot. Brooklyn is desperately trying to leapfrog the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers to avoid having to go through the play-in this year. 

The return of Kevin Durant on Thursday was a huge boost to that effort, but there are other players on the Nets’ roster that will play a part as well. Here are three players that are going to flourish during the Nets’ remaining games of the season.

Cam Thomas 

Between Durant and part-time player, Kyrie Irving, the rookie is an offensive threat. Cam Thomas was the 27th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and has developed into the most underrated rookie in the league.

Thomas averaged 16.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 26.6 minutes per game and shot 47% from the field in February. Thomas scored 20+ points six times last month as well and recorded his first 30+ point performance on Feb. 4 in a loss against the Utah Jazz.

Thomas’ most impressive game of the season took place on Feb. 16 at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” against the New York Knicks. He scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, drilled a step-back three-pointer with 7.7 seconds left to clinch the victory. 

 As the Nets return to their full roster, Thomas playing time is going to decrease, but his impact shouldn’t and his close relationship with Durant should come in handy on the floor. Thomas solidified his status as one of the league’s best clutch performers and will play an important role moving forward.  

Patty Mills

One of the best three-point shooters in the league and the Nets will be relying on Mills, along with Seth Curry, from the three-point line because Joe Harris’ status is still unclear. Mills is averaging a career-high 13.4 points, shooting 42.5% from the field and 41.9% from beyond the arc. 

Curry will continue to get the start for the Nets, but Mills will come off the bench which should help take the workload off of him that has hampered his game. Mills played a sixth-man role for the majority of his 14-year NBA career. 

Patty Mills signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets during the offseason and he made his debut on October 19, scoring 21 points on 7-of-7 shooting from deep in a 127-104 loss against the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks. In his debut, Mills tied the league record for most three made in a debut with a new team.

Mills scored 29 points on a career-high nine three-pointers made in a 120-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunders on Nov. 14. 

LaMarcus Aldridge

The Nets frontcourt is absolutely stacked and consists of Nicolas Claxton, Andre Drummond and Aldridge. Aldridge has been crucial for the Nets all season, averaging 13.6 point per game, 5.5 rebounds and shooting 55% from the field.

He is widely known for his signature fade-away shot and that has been an important asset for the Nets during the 

LaMarcus Aldridge has been selected to five All-NBA teams and is a seven-time NBA All-Star. He was diagnosed with Wolf-Parkinson White- syndrome which is abnormal that can cause a rapid heartbeat in his rookie season.

In March 2021, he signed with the Nets after the San Antonio Spurs brought out his contract. He retired after two weeks due to an irregular heartbeat, playing five games with the Nets last season, but returned to Nets this season after receiving medical clearance on a one-year, 2.6 million deal.