D’Angelo Russell sidelined with left knee contusion
The Brooklyn Nets were bit by the injury bug yet again. The team announced Sunday that starting point guard D’Angelo Russell will miss several games with a left knee contusion.
Russell was injured during Saturday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz. He underwent an MRI on Sunday in New York, which revealed the contusion. League sources say the 21-year-old Russell may have to undergo further testing, so the Nets aren’t out of the woods quite yet. They are hoping he can return to the lineup after just a handful of games.
The Nets already lost Jeremy Lin to a season-ending injury, and now their point guard depth will be tested even further. Spencer Dinwiddie will slot in as the starter, with Isaiah Whitehead serving as the primary backup. Whitehead was supposed to shuttle back and forth between Brooklyn and their G-League team on Long Island, but it looks like the second-year guard will remain with the Nets at least until Russell is able to return.
This is obviously a huge blow to the Nets. After a 3-2 start, the Nets have begun to struggle. They followed up a nice win in Portland on Friday night by laying an egg in Utah against the Jazz. They are young, but they won’t be able to be consistent and gel as a unit if they can’t stay healthy. Trevor Booker has been in an out of the lineup with a sore back. Rookie Jarrett Allen has been sidelined for five games with a strained left foot. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, DeMarre Carroll and Tyler Zeller have also missed time due to various injuries.
Russell has been Brooklyn’s best player so far, averaging 21 points and 5.7 assists per game. He is one of only seven players in the league with averages of over 20 points, five assists and four rebounds per game, joining the likes of LeBron James, Steph Curry and DeMarcus Cousins. If he can’t get back on the floor, Brooklyn is in a world of trouble. However, if he is able to return after just a few games, he should still warrant All-Star consideration if he can continue playing at this level.