This is the Landry Shamet that the Nets traded for.
The young guard had a career game in a losing effort against Miami, pouring in 30 points on 10-for-15 shooting with three assists and a thunderous baseline dunk.
Shamet’s 7-for-12 effort from deep tied the most 3-pointers off the bench in Nets history, and had Kyrie Irving regretting not finding him even more often.
“Amazing. Amazing. We’ve been talking, just in-between games with guys being out and where he can be more aggressive, and I feel like he found something. Just playing off the ball, playing with the ball in his hands, and then attacking the rim,” Irving said. “He played incredibly well. So we definitely down the stretch, as I look back on it, I’m looking at it like, ‘Why did I not get something open for Landry?’ Guy’s got 30 points. We should go with the hot hand. But you learn after the games. It’s 20/20 [hindsight].
“So moving forward, we’re definitely looking forward to him getting better and finding spots.”
After averaging just six points in December and 5.5 in January, Shamet has been white-hot lately. He’s averaging 17.0 points this month on 51.9 percent shooting from 3-point range, even taking on more point guard duties with James Harden out.
“The NBA’s all about opportunity and been thrown into having to play some point guard minutes following up Kyrie and alongside Kyrie,” said Shamet. “Ky’s been great. He’s taken me under his wing. Talks to me every day, believes in me. That goes a long way, knowing your teammates believe in you.“I’m chopping wood and carrying water every day. It gets tedious having to do the little things every day that you might not want to, but it adds up. I trust in that. When you keep doing that — working on off days, watching film, asking questions and believing in myself — whatever comes from that I’m living with, because I’m doing everything in my power to put myself in the best position.”
Harden, who has been out since the April 5 win over the Knicks with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain, is inching closer to returning. He joined the Nets on their road trip and could be back shortly. He just needs a few more days of full five-on-five high-intensity practice and he’ll be good to go.
“James is here. He worked out [Saturday],” coach Steve Nash said. “He’s definitely working out again [Monday]. So we’ll see. We keep inching, without incident, we keep inching closer to his return.”
Tyler Johnson is a little behind Harden, but progressing. The guard has been sidelined since April 4 with a sore knee. He’s been running and doing shooting drills, but no high-intensity work yet.
“He’s been doing some running. He’s definitely been doing rehab and strengthening, but I’ve seen him on the court shooting and running,” Nash said. “He has not played yet, so I’m not sure if that’s coming this week or not. It depends on literally every day, how he responds to his rehab and heightening his amount of mobility and activity. So we’ll see; but hopefully he’ll be back soon as well.”