Jacque Vaughn has increased the Nets starter’s minutes in preparation for the playoffs

In a typical year, as the regular season winds down, Jacque Vaughn would like to start increasing his starting minutes for the playoffs.

It looks like he started that process a little early this season.

The 2022-23 campaign has been normal for the Nets.

Brooklyn has turned to its starters and sixth man Royce O’Neale in recent weeks, and Vaughn reiterated the approach is “something I know” as he builds a lineup with four new starters following the trade. due date

In Sunday’s win over the Hornets, Mikal Bridges played 40 minutes and 58 seconds, still less than he played two nights earlier against the Celtics (42:45).

“In the past … we haven’t had our guys play that many minutes, and then as the playoffs start coming, we wanted to get those guys up, unquote, playoff minutes,” Vaughn said. “I’m trying to cover that a little bit, with the short time between the regular season and this team being together and the playoffs.”

Mikal Bridges will go to the basket against the Hornets on Sunday at Barclays Center. Robert Sabo for the NY Post

Jacque Vaughn Nets coach Jacque Vaughn is increasing playing time to prepare his starters for the playoffs.Noah K. Murray for the NY Post

Outside of O’Neal, Brooklyn has trimmed down its rotation, which has meant limited court time for Seth Curry, Joe Harris, Yuta Watanabe and Cam Thomas, among others, barring concussions.

Thomas, who had three straight 40-point outings before the trade deadline, has been on the court for just 13:47 over the past two games.

Watanabe, who the Nets built a 30-point lead on except Sunday, disappeared from the rotation entirely.

“I’m happy to play a lot of minutes,” Bridges said Sunday. “If you ask anyone when I was in Phonics, I’m not doing anything wrong. I want to go out and do the best I can, help the team win.”

It took almost a month, but Cameron Johnson is finally starting to settle into the rhythm of the Nets.

The 27-year-old guard, who will be a restricted free agent after the season, has topped 20 points in three of his last five games, also recording a double-double against the Hornets – his third since the start of Johnson’s first season. of his career – with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Johnson said he has figured out where the Nets’ offensive shots will come from.

“He’s shown a little bit of everything,” Vaughn said. “His ability to handle the basketball, play the pick-and-roll. His ability to shoot the ball off the bounce in transition. So some things I’m understanding and learning about him. “I feel comfortable putting the ball in his hands.”

The Nets ruled Ben Simmons out for Tuesday’s game against the Rockets, although Edmond Sumner, who missed three games due to the birth of his child, and Nerlens Noel, who was signed to a 10-day contract on Monday, are not on the team’s injury report. , that is, they should be available.

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