Kessler Edwards a ‘great fit’ for Nets

TEMPE, Ariz. — With each passing week, Kessler Edwards looks more and more the part of a 3-and-D wing for Brooklyn.

He finds his looks in the flow of the offense. And from Golden State’s Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to Phoenix’s Devin Booker — and likely at some point Tuesday — Chris Paul, he’s often found himself on the best opposing scorer. And held his own.

“Yeah that’s my main focus like when I think how I’m going to perform, that’s my number one thing. I feel like I’m blessed in that department and I can bring a lot, help this team win through that so that’s what I try to do really,” Edwards said.

Kessler Edwards
NBAE via Getty Images

“It’s great. It’s a big part of why he’s a great fit for our team. He doesn’t try to overplay or play outside himself, but at the same time, he’s confident and aggressive to step into opportunities,” coach Steve Nash said. “So he’s got a really great approach for his skill set, and we know defensively, with his size, athleticism, and his discipline and instincts, he’s a really nice defender for us.”

No other Net is averaging over a block and a steal per 36 minutes, or 1.5 of each per 100 possessions.

After James Harden missed the past two games, there are strong signs toward the star making his return Tuesday.

After sitting out Saturday against Golden State with a strained right (non-shooting) hand, Harden practiced Monday at Arizona State — his alma mater — and is officially listed as questionable.

Nets guard James Harden reacts during action against the Lakers at Barclays Center on Jan. 25, 2022 in Brooklyn.
James Harden
Getty Images

“Progressing. He went through practice. He’s working out right now. Questionable for [Tuesday] but he’s progressing and we have hopes,” Nash said.

“We ran through our defensive schemes and offense, and he’s shooting. So, we’re not playing five-on-five, but he’s going through things scripted and also going through his shooting routine.”

Harden was a late scratch Saturday after waking up with a sore hand. Nash admitted the problem had been nagging for several games, but Harden thought it was “nothing.” In keeping with the Nets season, it became something.

An MRI exam in San Francisco showed irritation and the strain, but nothing major.

“I think he looked good. He looked like his normal self. I think he’s ready to go [Tuesday],” Nic Claxton said.

“He looked fine to me,” Edwards added. “Looked like he never left.”

Kevin Durant (sprained MCL) is progressing in his knee rehab, but Nash offered no timeline on the NBA’s leading scorer.

“I think he’s still on the same course. Improving. But we don’t have any timelines or anything like that. But he’s going in the right direction, clearly,” Nash said.

Neither Durant nor Joe Harris (ankle) are with the Nets on this road trip. Harris has had what Nash acknowledged were “setbacks” in his rehab from ankle surgery.

“No update on Joe,” Nash said. “He’s still doing his rehab and progressing, but nothing to report.”

Deandre Ayton and former Net Landry Shamet are out for Phoenix.

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