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The Nets will get their first live look Sunday night at Russell Westbrook since his trade to the Wizards.
The nine-time All-Star and the 2016-17 NBA MVP is averaging a triple-double — 19.8 points, 12.8 rebounds and 12.3 assists — in four appearances for Washington (1-5) since he was acquired in the blockbuster deal that sent John Wall to the Rockets on Dec. 2.
The Wizards’ first win of the season — behind 31 points from Bradley Beal — came Friday, when Westbrook was rested against the Timberwolves.
“Obviously, they have a very capable offensive team with Russ and Beal,” Nets coach Steve Nash said Saturday. “Obviously they have a lot of shooters around them, a stretch-five [Thomas Bryant], and they’re a physical team, as well. So we’ll have our hands full again.
“It’s great we’re having all these tests early. We’ll have to be very clear with one another in how we communicate and how we approach this game, because I think they’re going to cause problems for us, like Atlanta did.”
The Nets (3-3) have lost three of their past four games, including a 114-96 setback Friday against the Hawks.
Nash didn’t commit to any lineup changes for Sunday after he started Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot as a wing in each of the past three games. Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 21 points Monday against the Grizzlies, but he totaled just five points on 2-for-12 shooting in the past two games against Atlanta.
“We’re always looking to explore rotation changes and different matchups and lineups,” Nash said. “It’s such a new season to us. We’re such a new group, played so little basketball together, that we’ll probably experiment a lot this year, and we’ll probably look at different lineups. At certain times in the year, everyone’s going to get a chance to play and see different looks.”
Nash added that Luwawu-Cabarrot and Joe Harris “have been very good defensively,” but noted that guard Bruce Brown “is a consideration” for more playing time and “will get a chance.”