The struggling Brooklyn Nets will get a much-needed boost as Yuta Watanabe returns to the lineup after missing the last two games with back soreness.
The Japanese forward is a 48.2 percent three-point shooter this season and will likely get some minutes off the bench as Ben Simmons (left knee soreness) and Edmond Sumner (personal reasons) remain out.
Watanabe’s three-point shooting and energy on the floor could help the Nets break the Knicks’ vaunted defense.
The Nets (34-27) have lost their last three games to fall out of the fifth seed in the East. They trail the 36-27 Knicks a full game while holding a slim 1.5-game edge over the seventh-placed Miami Heat (33-29).
Watanabe has been one of the bright spots for the Nets, who lost their superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline. The 6-9 versatile forward is averaging a career-high 6.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 17.8 minutes.
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