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- Deron Williams’ absence for the next two games will have an impact beyond just C.J. Watson, who will be thrust into the starting lineup at the point. “A lot of guys’ roles will be different,” said interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, “because Deron is so central to what we do.” Carlesimo said Tyshaun Taylor and Marshon Brooks both can expect to receive additional playing time and opportunity.
- Nets General Manager Billy King said the decision was made to have Williams receive the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection in both of his troublesome ankles today because it would allow a full week for the start point guard to recover. He also said Williams should be good to go after the All-Star break. “It’s something that with time off, it’s not a structural thing, it’s something that’s more manageable when you have time to rest,” King said.
- Watson has struggled of late, totaling nine points on 4 of 20 shooting (1 of 10 from the 3-point line) in the last four games. “It’ll be different now because we want him pushing the ball, getting us into our sets,” Carlesimo said. “We still want him to be aggressive.”
- The Pacers hope to regain the services of their injured star, Danny Granger, for either Wednesday’s game against Charlotte or immediately after the All-Star break. Granger, out all season with left knee tendinosis, participated in a full practice Sunday. “He felt really good at practice yesterday, a couple movements he still felt like he was getting his confidence back,” said Coach Frank Vogel. “It’s not pain or anything like that, just normal recovery stuff in your first live action. He’s going to see how he feels after practice on Tuesday. “ Whenever Granger returns, he will come off the bench until he rebuilds his conditioning and rhythm but should be back in the starting lineup fairly quickly, with Lance Stephenson returning to the bench.
- Vogel said he hoped the Pacers would not have a letdown due to Williams’ absence, citing the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against Miami as a point of reference. “We learned in the playoffs last year when a team has three All-Stars and one of them goes out, it just means more touches for the other two All-Stars,” he said. “We know what Joe Johnson is capable of, what Brook Lopez is capable of. They’re going to get a high volume of touches and both of those guys can really go so we can’t let our guard down.”
– Conrad Brunner