Landry Shamet had his best game as a Brooklyn Net on Saturday night, scoring 22 points while making five 3-pointers in 33 minutes against the Sixers, all season highs.
As the Nets head into a back-to-back this week, visiting Detroit on Tuesday and hosting Indiana on Wednesday, Shamet has been back in a shooting groove after a rough start over his first month as a Net.
“There’s lots of ebbs and flows,” said Shamet. “This just happened to be my first big kind of downtrend. Just change a few things mentally, stay solid, simplify. It’s not the end of the world. It’s basketball. It’s just knowing what I’m capable of and knowing that I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing, working hard, taking care of my body, doing everything I’m supposed to be doing. It’s mostly mental.”
A career 40-percent 3-point shooter over his first two NBA seasons, Shamet is shooting 37.5 percent from deep over the last five games since returning to the rotation, and that has included strings of threes at crucial points against both Philadelphia and Toronto.
“I’m just getting back to me and trusting my work and what I do on a day-to-day basis, not so caught up in outcomes and a couple shots or whatever,” said Shamet. “I’m just continuing to find spots to be aggressive, be myself, try to help us get wins. We didn’t tonight, so we’ll go back to the drawing boards and get ready for the next one.”
Shooting and scoring have not been a void for the Nets, who have one of the league’s top offenses by any measure — points, efficiency, field goal percentage. But bench production has not been a strength since the trade for James Harden, and getting Shamet back in rhythm can add a threat to a second-unit group that regularly plays alongside Harden.
“Landry can help us in a variety of ways,” said Harden. “He's athletic, he can shoot the ball and he's very smart. And just knows how to play the game of basketball the right way. Hopefully he can get his confidence back. The last few games he's been shooting the ball better; tonight obviously he had 20-something points. As we don't want (Kevin Durant) and Kyrie (Irving) out, this is an opportunity for guys like Landry and Bruce (Brown) and some of our role players to get their confidence and get some playing time and obviously we don't want to lose but all of it is a learning experience.”
IRVING PROBABLE FOR PISTONS
The Nets have listed Kyrie Irving as probable for Tuesday night’s game in Detroit. Irving missed Saturday’s loss to Philadelphia with a finger sprain.
“Ky’s index finger is improving,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “I’m sure it’s gonna be, having played with plenty of those myself, it’s the type of thing that sometimes doesn’t go away in the season, but is manageable. So we’ll what level he’s able to attain as far as the pain and inflammation becoming manageable or not. But I think right now it’s in the manageable camp and he can play tomorrow night.”
NETS SIGN NOAH VONLEH
The Nets on Monday announced the signing of forward Noah Vonleh, filling Brooklyn’s last open roster spot.
Vonleh is a 6-foot-10 forward in his seventh NBA season after being selected ninth overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. He’s previously been with Charlotte, Portland, Chicago, New York, Minnesota and Denver, averaging 5.0 points and 5.2 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game. Vonleh will be available for Tuesday night’s game in Detroit.
NIC CLAXTON’S NEXT STEP
Nic Claxton has yet to play this season after being diagnosed with right knee tendinopathy, but the second-year forward/center is taking another step towards a return this week. Steve Nash said Claxton was likely three weeks away from playing a game, but that he took part in 3-on-3 games with coaches and would soon graduate to workouts with the stay ready group for players that aren’t regularly in the Brooklyn rotation.
“It’s definitely been a process,” said Claxton. “We're not trying to rush anything. I'm really building my lower body up slowly and it's really helped me be able to work on my overall body. Like I said we're taking our time and you don't want to rush anything especially dealing with tendonitis. The performance staff we're taking it slow and I started to play 3-on-3 with the coaches. When that time comes I'll be ready and I'll be the best version of myself.”
Claxton had also undergone shoulder surgery last June, which kept him out of the league’s return to action over the summer. He played in 15 games for Brooklyn last season, showing bounce, aggressiveness and a high motor. Following the trade of Jarrett Allen, there would seem to be an opportunity for Claxton to seize minutes upon his return.
“Getting offensive rebounds,” said Claxton, “helping us out defensively, being vocal, quarterbacking the defense as far as offensively just bringing that versatility piece, being able to finish around the rim being able to catch lobs and do different things.”
ABOUT THE PISTONS
The 5-18 Pistons have the worst record in the NBA. Detroit is last in both field goal percentage (42.8) and opponent field goal percentage allowed (48.5). Jerami Grant leads Detroit with 24.0 points per game and averages 5.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists.