While he was impressive to start the 2013-14 NBA season and was continuing to prove that he’s one of the best centers in the league, Brooklyn Nets’ big man Brook Lopez hasn’t been seen in action for a while now. More specifically, Lopez has missed Brooklyn’s last six games due to an ankle injury.
On Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors, the struggling Nets put Andray Blatche in as the starting center for the third time this season. In his previous two starts this season, Blatche had been solid, averaging 14.5 points, six rebounds and two assists in 29.5 minutes per game while shooting a reliable 56.5 percent from the floor.
Against Toronto, Blatche continued the trend of playing well while in the starting five. The ninth-year big man saw 32 minutes of playing time and finished the night with 24 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks on impressive 10-16 shooting from the floor and while also netting all four of his free-throw attempts on the evening.
Blatche has quietly been having another solid year for the Nets, compounding with the impressive season he submitted as a reserve in his first year with Brooklyn last season. He’s been a steady option on the offensive end that has shown nice production on the glass and has kept his mental errors to a minimum. Sure, he’s not been great defensively, but then again neither has anyone on the Nets this season.
There are a lot of guys with much bigger profiles and paychecks than Blatche, but he deserves some credit for the work he puts in still. Brooklyn is a team that has been up against it to start the year, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now. However, if they can get clicking and get their veterans playing well while Blatche is playing so well, this Nets team will be more than alright. The only problem is that is an enormous “if.”