While the Nets entered the week on Sunday hopeful for Kyrie Irving's return to practice, Brooklyn's star point guard is not quite ready.
Prior to Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. game against the Charlotte Hornets (10-16), Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters that Irving is not cleared for contact.
Out for 13 straight games, Irving has not played since Nov. 14's 101-93 win over the Denver Nuggets.
"I think after the individual workout it's a contact piece," Atkinson said of Irving before Sunday's 105-102 win over the Nuggets. "But as far as the no-contact piece -- that's shooting, running, ballhandling, pretty much everything. It's that contact piece and, obviously, team practice. That simulates the most game-like contact situation."
Irving suffered his right shoulder impingement injury in Nov. 12's 119-114 loss to the Utah Jazz, but he played through the pain. It cost him the subsequent few weeks, but the Nets have adapted on the fly.
Spencer Dinwiddie is among the players to have stepped up for the Nets (13-10), who are 9-3 without Irving and have won three straight games. Dinwiddie had dropped 20 points or more in 10 of the past 12 games.