Wow...turns out RJ could be back this week
WASHINGTON -- Though noth ing was announced officially, word came through the president's grapevine yesterday that a miracle recovery is in the works.
In fact, Rod Thorn said this without much solicitation: Richard Jeffer son might actually get his uniform back by midweek.
» View Coupon Details
"Richard has incredible recuperative powers," Thorn said before the Nets' 105-93 overtime triumph over the Wizards last night. "The swelling had gone down significantly. He's probably not going to play (tonight against Seattle), but anything after that, I wouldn't be surprised because it's getting better."
Jefferson suffered a Grade 2 sprain in his left ankle Friday night against Miami, but the team has put no timetable on his recovery. The way his ankle rolled over Shaquille O'Neal's foot made Thorn think "he broke his ankle -- he really snapped it over."
While it's extremely unlikely, he still thinks Jefferson could recover in time for Milwaukee's visit Wednesday.
"Anything with that kid, I wouldn't be surprised," Thorn said. Jason Kidd's 18 assists last night were not only an NBA season high, they were an epiphany for Lawrence Frank.
"That first half was as good a floor game as I've ever seen him play," the coach said. "He totally understood the tempo. Even on misses, instead of running out for breaks, he kept us organized. We got off to such a good start because of his organization. I can't put enough emphasis on what he did."
In the first half, the Nets held Washington -- the league's leading offense -- to 36 points on 31.7-percent shooting, while Kidd had more assists (nine) than the entire Wizards team (eight). Eddie Jordan, proud Scarlet Knight, admitted being glued to ESPN Thursday night.
"It was great. It was awesome," the Wiz coach said of his alma mater's football victory over Louisville. "It was a good thing for the program. It reminded me a little bit of when I went back to Rutgers to coach and we won the Atlantic 10 tournament against Penn State (in 1989). They had three bad years be fore that. We had gone from worst to first that year in basketball and they rushed the court on ESPN, so a little bit like that -- but obviously a lot more people." Nenad Krstic shot well from the perimeter last night -- not so well from the paint -- and finished with 22 points (10-for-18) and 10 re bounds, plus a bruised right knee for his troubles.
"It was fine, but in overtime, I felt it," he said. "No big pain. A guy fell down and my foot went to the side." Thorn said he wasn't surprised that Frank has embraced the small lineup so willingly this season.
"We talked about it all summer," he said of his roster-planning meet ings with his coach and GM. "I think he's got confidence in some guys that they could play some now. And he's giving them a chance. No doubt about it, they're getting a chance. Our bench has played well, it really has. And when we get Eddie (House) back, we'll have a guy who can make shots out there. Then we'll have some real good depth." Thorn figures House to return in two weeks. Bill Russell and Bill Walton were in the crowd last night. Both are in town to take part in the ceremony for the Martin Luther King Memorial on the Mall this afternoon. Thorn said he hasn't spoken with Jeff McInnis' agent "in a few weeks." He had given Steve Kauffman permission to broker a deal, but he added, "I would assume that he just hasn't found anything."