Brooklyn Nets’ Season Hinges On Success of Bench, AKA The Avengers!
Many sports writers, fans and even players believe that Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Deron Williams and that great starting unit will be the reason there will be a parade in Brooklyn in June. The starters will be a big reason for the majority of their wins, but a championship will only come when and if the bench players can gel and form their own formidable unit.
Your starting five will not win you a championship, no matter how good they are. You think Miami Heat can win the championship without Chris Anderson, Ray Allen and Udonis Haslem? Not a chance. A prime example of what a bench can do for your team is the 2012-13 Chicago Bulls. With Derrick Rose out for the year with his fake/real injury, bench players were forced to step up and play a dominate role, ask the Nets how that turned out for them.
The Brooklyn Nets has no choice but to place the success of their season on the bench, Garnett and Pierce will have their minutes monitored, in hopes they will be fresh for the playoffs. The focus since the offseason has been the starters, but the focus of the regular season will be the second unit. The group, in which I nicknamed the Avengers, is a collection of castaways; ex- can’t miss prospects and ex- stars. There are better benches in the league than the Nets; none will have more pressure on them to help bring a championship to a city that desperately craves for one. Let us look at the roles of the Nets bench, AKA the Avengers.
5. Incredible Hulk AKA Reggie Evans
Reggie Evans is not the man you want to see in a dark alley, walking alone, not the man you want in the gym working out next to you; he is a beast. 11 rebounds a game, only starting in 56 games last season. Numbers would have been better if not for him sharing playing time with Kris Kardashian, I mean Humphries. With Garnett reduced minutes this season, expect more of the same from Evans, “Hulk, smash.”
4. Thor AKA Andray Blatche
A scoring machine, can handle the rock good for a person his size, 19 minutes, 10 points and five rebounds a game, last season. After banging around with Garnett in practice, his intensity will pick up as well as his defense. He needs to swat a few shots into the rafters, dunk on a few heads and develop a nasty streak. Let them know he is from Asgard.
3. Iron Man AKA Andrei Kirilenko
AK-47, back in the day was a good all-purpose player, all-defensive team for three years and an All-Star for one year. He will not be afraid to take the big shot if given the chance, could start for many teams, but chose to anchor the second unit for the Nets. Enjoy his toughness, because Iron Man has suited up for the borough of Brooklyn.
2. Hawkeye AKA Shaun Livingston
Shaun Livingston’s role with the Nets is like Hawkeye’s role with the Avengers. He was there but the whole time you were thinking, why is he there?. Livingston’s career has been marred by injuries and inconsistency, once regarded as a can’t miss prospect coming out of high school, now he is just another guy taking time away from other players. However, like Hawkeye, given another chance to show his worth, and roll with the big boys. Nets get ready to witness evil Hawkeye or straight shooting Hawkeye
1. Captain America AKA Jason Terry
Every unit needs a captain; enter the old-school veteran Jason Terry. Early in his career, Terry could jump over you, fly past you or just beat you off the dribble. Nets fans are praying that his younger days, frozen for a few seasons, are ready to bust loose. No matter the age, his jump shot is still money in the bank, his will to win, will carry the second unit to a few wins this season. Just like the movie, no matter their roles, when the times get tough, they all look to the captain for leadership.