“THE BENCH MOB” is what Andray Blatche and CJ Watson are calling the team’s bench/second unit and they and no one else cares that the name may have been used in the past by the Chicago Bulls because the Brooklyn Nets bench is exciting and they bring passion to the floor every game.
The bench consistently outscores and outproduces their opponents on a nightly basis and has what was once thought to be a liability become a major asset to this Nets team and coach Avery Johnson keeps calling on them at crucial points in the game and it has worked out well for them.
The “bench mob” right now consists of forwards Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans along with guards MarShon Brooks and C.J. Watson and now Jerry Stackhouse has emerged as a rotation player with all the injuries early in the year.
The bench ranks in the top ten in the NBA right now in scoring and efficiency which is a far cry from the past three years of having no bench at all.
The one player that caught coach Johnson by surprise right away in training camp was Watson. “We thought he was good, but he’s real good,” Johnson said.
Deron Williams made it a priority to call Watson during free agency and sway him toward the Nets to be his backup as Williams has always admired his game from afar while Watson was playing major time for the Bulls last year with Derrick Rose out.
“I’ve always been a fan of his,” Williams said. “I think he’s going to be a great player for me.
Reggie Evans is the enforcer and brings that intensity and rebounding passion to the team and even in practice he does his best to force everyone’s energy level up or he will embarrass you on the glass. Just ask Lopez or Humphries how hard Evans works and they will both speak glowingly about his work ethic.
Blatche is the one bench player that has taken completely to his new role as an energy and scoring machine and when Blatche was asked about the Nets’ recent five-game winning streak, Blatche said, “I think it’s the first time in my career I’ve had a five-game winning streak.”
Coach Avery Johnson, who has become a fan of Blatche said, “He’s good at what he does. He’s trying to do everything I ask him to do and I’m pretty hard on him, but I think he’s really taken to it.”
MarShon Brooks is the one member of the bench mob that scores and scores and scores and in his second year he is learning to pick and choose his moments now that he is no longer thrust into the starting lineup like last year.
“Probably the most composed I’ve seen him play since I’ve been here,” Avery Johnson said of Brooks after the victory over the Kings last night.
If the Nets bench keeps putting up the numbers they have early in the season it will only make things easier for coach Johnson to rest his starters more for the stretch run late in the year and into the playoffs and hopefully for Nets fans a long playoff run.
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