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Nets coach Steve Nash drops brutal update on Nic Claxton amid non-COVID illness

Steve Nash, Nic Claxton, Nets

One player who fans expected to play an important role for the Brooklyn Nets during the early portion of the 2021-22 season was Nicolas Claxton. The 31st overall pick in the 2019 draft was actually who Steve Nash tapped to fill in for Kyrie Irving (unvaccinated) in the starting lineup to begin the year.

It might have made some sense to start guard Patty Mills, whose skill set at least represents a closer facsimile to Irving’s perimeter game than Claxton’s. But Nash opted to go big and keep Mills fresh to buoy second units. But recently Claxton has been unavailable. He has missed the last 11 contests with an illness.

Chances are the Nets would have made some lineup changes eventually anyway. The head coach has spoken at length about how the team is constantly experimenting and trying to find their identity despite the sudden void Irving’s absence left in their rotation.

But Claxton’s non-COVID illness has added another hurdle to the Nets’ plans. Following the 117-99 shellacking to the Warriors at home on Tuesday, coach Nash offered some thoughts about the team’s general response to adversity.

“I think offensively we have all these different lineups,” Nash shared. “Different backgrounds, styles of play, 10 new players on our team, it takes time.  We started the year with a continuity plan from last year that got thrown out the window obviously when Ky didn’t come back, so we’re trying to build and figure it out.”

With Paul Millsap missing time for personal reasons and Joe Harris nursing an ankle, Steve Nash was asked before the Nets played the Cleveland Cavaliers if Claxton was ramping up. He has been out of the lineup since the October 25th win over the Washington Wizards.

“For me I think Nic’s got a ways to go. He’s got to really work on his conditioning. And so I’m not sure when he’ll be back. Or when he’ll be back with the necessary thrust and dynamic ability to play the game at this level. So hopefully it’s not too long but I don’t think it’s in the next few games.”

Brooklyn hasn’t given many details regarding Nic Claxton’s ailment other than to say it has taken its toll on the 22-yea- old out of Georgia. We wish him a speedy recovery. The Nets can certainly use the help in the front court whenever he’s ready to roll.

In the mean time they will lean on a combination of Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Bruce Brown in the frontcourt.