If timing is everything, the timing couldn’t be better for D’Angelo Russell to rejoin the Nets’ lineup than against Miami on Friday night at Barclays Center. The Nets have lost six of their past seven games, but four of those losses were by six points or less, suggesting they need a little more firepower to be successful. The Nets were off Thursday, and there was no media availability after Russell was officially listed as probable for the game. But coach Kenny Atkinson recently praised the work Russell put in after suffering a left knee injury Nov. 11 at Utah and undergoing arthroscopic surgery Nov. 17, exactly nine weeks before his scheduled return. He missed the past 32 games. “With D’Angelo, he’s been on a regimented rehab program,” Atkinson said. “You’re talking four or five hours a day, correctives, rehab, medicals. There’s a high level of responsibility to that type of program. I told D’Angelo, ‘In the long run, this will be a positive for you, just having to dig in like you’re digging in.’ ” Atkinson previously said Russell will be eased back into the playing rotation, and it’s uncertain whether he will start or come off the bench at first. In the absence of Russell and Jeremy Lin, who was lost for the season after rupturing a patella tendon in the opener, Spencer Dinwiddie took over as starting point guard and earned plaudits for his leadership and league-leading 4.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.
D’Angelo Russell set to return to Nets on Friday vs. Heat
Newsday | Jan 19