It looks like Nets star Mikal Bridges will tie a long-standing NBA record of 83 games played in an 82-game season on Sunday in the Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers.
It also looks like he won’t be playing much at all, an effort to preserve his ironman legs for Brooklyn’s first-round playoff series, ironically against the same team they’ll play in the season finale.
Bridges, who scored 22 points inon Friday, he has appeared in 82 total games this season, the most for any team to play in the regular season. because it was purchased in the The Nets star has one more game available to play.
The last player to accomplish the feat was former Atlanta Hawks All-Star Josh Smith, who arrived in a trade to the Detroit Pistons with an extra game to play.
Head coach Jacque Vaughn said the team will discuss what Bridges’ potential workload looks like against the 76ers, but also hinted that if the star forward plays, it will be a limited role.
“We’ll talk about it, how it looks,” Vaughn said after Friday’s win over the Magic. “There are different minutes and seconds that will actually count technically in what it will be like to play. We’ll talk about that a little bit, we’ll have a conversation about what that looks like, but obviously every team wants to go into the playoffs whole and healthy. That’s the goal of this group, definitely.”
Bridges said there is no new sentiment as the presumed 83-game man in the NBA. This year marks the third time in the last five years that the former Suns star has played every possible game in a season.
“I’ve been in the playoffs a couple of years, so I’ve been playing 82-plus for a few years. I mean, I’m good, I’m healthy, so I should be good for tomorrow, or Sunday,” Bridges said after the game. “That’s the way to do it. I mean it’s cool, you know, it’s crazy. Obviously only with the situation where the set doesn’t lose a game and then of course I get an extra game. Just crazy and wild, but it’s cool.”
Bridges is averaging 27 points per game in Brooklyn since the Durant trade. He is shooting 48% from the field, 39% from 3-point line and 90% from the free throw line.
For reference, Durant has appeared in just eight games with the Suns, the product of a— and is averaging 26 points per game in Phoenix, shooting 57% from the field and 55% from three-point range on limited reps.