Nets rookies Kessler Edwards, Day’Ron Sharpe catches Nash’s gaze

Despite their relative success, it has far from been an easy season for the Nets this year. There have been delays and injuries, virus outbreaks and the whole Kyrie Irving situation.

But while there is certainly reason for discouragement, the past few months have also given rise to opportunities that otherwise would not be there, especially when it comes to the development of rookie. David Duke Jr., Kessler Edwards, Cam Thomas and Day’Ron Sharpe have all been able to learn and contribute, and as the Nets continue to fight the injuries and challenges of having a part-time player in Irving, rookies will no doubt be a significant factor in the second half of the season.

And it worked just fine with Steve Nash, who before the Nets took on the Pelicans on Saturday night, garnered praise for Edwards and Sharpe, who both started on Saturday.

“I think Kessler has been amazing” in defense, Nash said. He has “natural defensive instincts. He seems to understand the game plan and has the will to stick with it, to chase, to have the discipline. Remains pretty much down on pumping fakes. Knows pretty much which path he should take and uses his length and athletics. at both ends of the floor to add to our team. He really knows his role. He has played his role for a young guy in the opportunity very, very well. ”

But in addition to the defensive skill he was drafted for, Edwards has also shown some ability to shoot the ball, going into Wednesday with a respectable 35.5% from three-point range. Nash said it was not entirely unexpected, and since he shot nearly 40% from three in college, he has the potential to grow in that regard.

“We know he shot the ball well in college,” Nash said. “It feels like he’s refined his mechanics. That’s what my eye says. It had a fairly pronounced movement, and now it looks like he’s really streamlined the movement and taken a lot of it out. Most importantly. “he looks confident. He steps in and shoots the ball when he’s open and is eager to shoot it, and that’s how it should be if you want to make shots, if you want to improve as a shooter.”

As for Sharpe, who was the only rookie who did not start this season before being called up Wednesday in Chicago, Nash expressed eagerness to see him develop. He scored 14 points in Monday’s game against the Trail Blazers – at the time a season high – before falling 20 in 22 minutes against the Bulls.

“He has some natural gifts,” Nash said. “He has a nose for the ball around the basket and on the boards. He’s physical, he loves to throw his weight around under the basket, which is positive for us. So the rebounding, physical, he has good hands, he has a real ability to also finish around the basket. For a young player, he is an excellent pass player for a center, so a lot of skills we can use, and a great piece for our team to develop. ”

And all of that could be crucial as the Nets continue to look for ways to win more at home where Irving can not help them. Over the course of Saturday, they were 11-11 at Barclays Center and 15-4 away. However, Irving is far from the only reason for that, as he has only played in three games this season, but he will be more of a factor down the stretch.

“You have an opportunity at home to play, play more, have more responsibility and prove we can win when he’s not available,” Nash said. “It’s an approach we need to have … We need to take care at home and get better and grow. Get a little bit more presence at home. Keep improving.”


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