Imagine an NBA team so big that it has the option to have basically two seven-footers on the floor for every second of every game.
Well, it might not take too much imagining, because the Brooklyn Nets could actually be that gargantuan next season.
So long as backup center Andray Blatche – who is pretty much considered a seven-footer even though he’s technically listed at 6-foot-11 – re-signs as expected, Brooklyn will enter the 2013-14 campaign with four giants on their roster. Starting center Brook Lopez, Blatche, trade acquisition Kevin Garnett and rookie Mason Plumlee.
Garnett is in the same boat as Blatche when it comes to being acknowledged as seven-feet tall despite the fact that he’s recorded as an inch shorter.
Nonetheless, the Nets may have the potential to present lineups that will give every single team fits on a nightly basis.
Penetration fits. Rebounding fits. On the offensive end. On the defensive end. It doesn’t matter.
That will still remain to be seen, however. Blatche, an unrestricted free agent, apparently desires to return, but that should never be taken for granted. It also could be that the Nets drafted Plumlee with the 22nd pick simply to save money and replace Blatche.
But even if Blatche does return to the role he occupied with the Nets last season, it can’t be assumed that Plumlee would get the nod at the backup power forward position. Brooklyn didn’t include power forward Reggie Evans in the blockbuster deal with the Boston Celtics, meaning that he could get those reserve minutes if he remains on the roster.
That will be one of the first big decisions that new head coach Jason Kidd will have to make if both Evans and Blatche are still on his roster. Evans is a tough-nosed, scrappy veteran who is a rebounding animal, but he provides almost nothing in the scoring column. Meanwhile, Plumlee is legitimately seven feet tall and presents size and matchup problems for most power forwards. On top of that, he is a much better offensive player than Evans by leaps and bounds.
Opportunities like this cannot be squandered. If Kidd has the chance to play Plumlee and Blatche together, he has to at least try it and see if it’s effective.
Because if it is, coaches around the league will have nightmares about the unfair length of the Nets.