Brooklyn Nets sticking to their plan when it comes to Jahlil Okafor
From NBA media reports
With the Brooklyn Nets’ leading the Washington Wizards by more than 30 points in the fourth quarter on Friday, their third-string center got a chance to play. But the third-string center was Timofey Mozgov, not Jahlil Okafor.
Despite the blowout and some calls for him from the Brooklyn crowd, Okafor got his fifth DNP in six games with the Nets. And from the words of coach Kenny Atkinson and GM Sean Marks, it may be January before Okafor plays again.
It was about the only disappointment the 15,589 at Barclays Center had to complain about in the Nets’ 119-84 rout of Washington on Friday night.
“Yeah, I heard it, and I respect the fans and I understand they want to see him,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said of the chants. “I think we’ve stated from the beginning there’s a plan for him. We’re going to stick with the plan. It was tempting, but again I think we want to put him in the best position to succeed. So we’re going to stick with the plan. I think that’s a little more down the line.”
Okafor was acquired from the 76ers on Dec. 7, while the Nets were on their two-game trip to Mexico City. Inactivity while he was with Philadelphia — he played just 25 minutes this season — hurt the center’s conditioning.
General manager Sean Marks said on WFAN Thursday that Okafor is still a couple of weeks away from reaching optimal fitness.