Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After nursing a strained right quadriceps muscle all throughout training camp, Nets rookie point guard Tyshawn Taylor was finally able to participate in his first full practice on Thursday afternoon. Thereafter, other members of the Brooklyn Nets—including general manager Billy King—decided to have some fun.
Not long after reserve guard Keith Bogans yelled out, to no one in particular, that Taylor had registered just one point and one assist during the team’s second scrimmage on Thursday, King, seated along the baseline, asked Taylor how he felt. As he shot free throws with Bogans, the Hoboken native responded he felt good.
King countered that with a response that was sure to get Taylor to flash his ear-to-ear smile.
“Thanks for showing up to work today,” King quipped.
Of course, this was all in good fun, and why not? Ever the competitor, Taylor has had a frustrating start to his rookie season thanks to the injury. Now that he’s good to go, Taylor hopes to put the last two weeks behind him and try to catch up with a veteran team that wants to hit the ground running once the regular season begins.
“I feel like I’m a part of the team, finally,” Taylor said. “It was good to be out there. I was excited and just to get some running… I felt really good. I’m a little sore right now, but I’ll rehab later and I’ll be good.”
Taylor said the injury originally occurred during a track workout not long before training camp started. According to him, he was simply running when he began to feel some discomfort. He’s been rehabbing in the two weeks since it happened and has been seen at practice doing some light shooting.
Despite not being able to play, Taylor doesn’t believe he’s too far behind. He has said more than once during training camp that he’s been listening, learning, and absorbing everything from the sidelines. Not only has he been taking instruction from head coach Avery Johnson, but he’s also been taking directives from starting point guard Deron Williams and backup point guard C.J. Watson.
“I honestly don’t know if I am behind, I feel like it because I wanted to be out there,” Taylor said. “I’ve been watching, I know all the plays, I know the system, so it’s not really like me being out of the loop and missing too much.”
Taylor participated fully in practice on Thursday, but he played limited minutes in the team’s scrimmage. Because the Nets want to bring him on slowly, he has been ruled out of Saturday’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers in Atlantic City.
Johnson is targeting Tuesday’s matchup against the Boston Celtics for Taylor to make his preseason debut. When the Celtics travel to Boston to battle the Celtics, they will be playing their third game in four nights. In all, the Nets will play all six of its preseason games in a 12-day span, including four games in five nights beginning on Monday against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA.