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Rodions Kurucs: 2019-20 Brooklyn Nets Player Recaps

Second-year forward reinvented himself as small-ball center in Orlando

After an impactful rookie season in which he emerged as a starter and earned an invite to All-Star Weekend for the Rising Stars Game, Rodions Kurucs found a more challenging road in his second year with the Brooklyn Nets.

Coming off the bench to open the season, Kurucs struggled for rhythm and consistency early on, falling out of the rotation two weeks into the season. He spent much of November and into early December playing in the G League with the Long Island Nets before returning to Brooklyn and reclaiming a rotation spot in mid-December, eventually earning several starts in January.

For the NBA restart in Orlando, Kurucs reinvented himself as a small-ball center for the shorthanded Nets, who were without both DeAndre Jordan and Nic Claxton. Kurucs backed up Jarrett Allen at the 5, bringing some shooting range to the spot, and eventually started five of the eight seeding round games at forward, including the three straight wins against the Kings, Clippers and Magic and the one-point loss to the Trail Blazers that closed the regular season.

TOP THREE GAMES

Jan. 26 at Knicks

Kurucs scored 12 points while shooting 5-of-9 overall and 2-of-4 from 3-point range with three rebounds and two assists.

Feb. 5 vs. Warriors

In a big win over Golden State, Kurucs had 12 points and five rebounds, shooting 4-of-9 overall and 2-of-6 from 3-point range.

Jan. 10 vs. Heat

Kurucs got the start in this 117-113 win over Miami, and helped Brooklyn get off to a fast start with three early 3-pointers. He finished with a season-high 19 points, making 4-of-5 3-pointers and shooting 7-of-9 overall.

BY THE NUMBERS

36.7

Kurucs elevated his 3-point percentage from the 31.5 percent he shot as a rookie.

104.2

Kurucs’ defensive rating was the lowest for any player who spent the full season with the Nets.

9

Kurucs played a total of nine games in the G League for the Long Island Nets, with eight of them coming between Nov. 17 and Dec. 9. He averaged 12.0 points on 48.4 percent shooting with 6.4 rebounds per game.

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