No NBA player has played more minutes than Mikal Bridges over the last five seasons. The Brooklyn Nets forward – owner of the league's longest active games played streak – has not missed an appearance since high school.

But based on his recent production or lack thereof, he may finally need to accept a break.

After ranking second in minutes on Team USA during the FIBA World Cup this past summer, Bridges ranks third in the NBA this season. In addition to his accustomed heavy workload, he's been thrust into a lead-scoring role with Brooklyn, one he has struggled to fill in his first full season with the team.

Those deficiencies have been glaring over the last 10 games, with Bridges averaging 15.6 points on 38/29/66 shooting splits. Without another proven offensive engine, the Nets have fallen to 25-38, three and a half games back of the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. Yet, despite his sluggish performance, Bridges won't receive a night off anytime soon.

“Everybody can benefit from a break, but our schedule is not allowing us to take a break,” interim head coach Kevin Ollie said after Bridges' 4-of-11 showing during Thursday's loss to the Detroit Pistons. “He came to me and said, ‘I need to play; I want to play.' I believe in him, and our team believes in him. And I know if we continue to have faith and continue to put him in the right situations, he will prevail, he will get through this; it's making him stronger.”

Nets injuries haven't helped 

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It hasn't helped that the Nets have been missing second-leading scorer Cam Thomas for the last six games due to an ankle injury. Bridges has seen an uptick in double-teams and blitzes off high ball screens without Thomas' secondary shot creation beside him.

Brooklyn also lost Cam Johnson to an ankle injury during Tuesday's win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

“It hurts when you don't have CT or CJ, or they're double-teaming you. You expect him to be Superman, but he's just not Superman,” Ollie said of Bridges after the Detroit loss. “All the game planning is to take him out of the game. And I think in this opportunity, he can learn through this. Even through struggle, you have an opportunity to find a lesson in it, and I think he'll find a lesson in it.”

Like his Phoenix days, Bridges also frequently guards the opposition's top scorer, although his defensive performance has taken a step back amid his heightened workload on the other end.

The Nets have been adamant about their commitment to Bridges as a core piece since acquiring him for Kevin Durant at last year's trade deadline. General Manager Sean Marks reportedly rebuffed offers from the Houston Rockets at this year's deadline that would have returned several of Brooklyn's draft picks from the James Harden trade.

With seven tradable first-round picks, Marks intends to find a star to pair alongside Bridges. However, selling a marquee name on a roster that has posted the league's eighth-worst record will be easier said than done, barring a dramatic improvement to close the year.

Such a turnaround would have to start with a jump in production from Bridges. But as Ollie said, Brooklyn's top player isn't Superman. And with the minutes piling up and no rest in sight, it's difficult to envision that changing this season.