Nets' Steve Nash: Durant, Griffin, Aldridge Sitting vs. 76ers 'Wasn't Strategic'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 14, 2021

BROOKLYN, NY - APRIL 10: Head Coach Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets will be significantly shorthanded in a crucial matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, as Kevin Durant (left hamstring, injury management), Blake Griffin (left knee, injury management) and LaMarcus Aldridge (illness) will all sit. James Harden (right hamstring strain) also remains out.

Philadelphia guard Danny Green commented that the Nets' shorthanded situation could have been a tactical decision, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis

#Sixers wing Danny Green opines that the #Nets being shorthanded could also be tactical/gamesmanship: "When I was in San Antonio, sometimes we didn't play everybody so that teams don't know how to guard us, how to play us." #NBA #76ers

However, Nets head coach Steve Nash denied that was the case, with Lewis and Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reporting his remarks:

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis

Steve Nash on Danny Green's suggestion that the roster the #Nets will roll out tonight vs. the #Sixers is just gamesmanship: "It wasn’t strategic. This is the availability we have.” #NBA

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed

Steve Nash on Danny Green's thought that the Nets are holding players out as a form of gamesmanship: "We didn't think about it that deeply at all. When you start to try to get cute, it backfires."

ESPN's Malika Andrews also relayed more comments from Nash regarding the team's current health status:

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews

Nash 2/2<br>-Durant's ramp up plan dictates that he not have two high intensity workouts within 48 hours. <br>-Nash acknowledged that the Nets "may not get any games with our whole roster" before the end of the regular season, but Nash said that the group won't make excuses. https://t.co/DzC3dUBuos

The Nets and 76ers are tied atop the Eastern Conference with matching 37-17 records.

They both entered Monday 3.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for third, and the winner of Wednesday's matchup should have the slight upper hand for the No. 1 seed going into the final 17 regular-season games.

Philadelphia would appear to have the edge going into Monday. The only player listed on the 76ers' injury report is backup guard George Hill, who has been out since Jan. 24 after undergoing surgery on his right thumb.

However, the Nets will welcome back Kyrie Irving, who returns following a one-game absence for personal reasons. Irving is averaging 27.6 points on 51.4 percent shooting.

Game time is 7 p.m. ET at Wells Fargo Center.