Paul Pierce is out 2-4 weeks with a fractured hand, and now the Brooklyn Nets must rely on the play of another reserve, Alan Anderson.
When it rains, it pours, especially in Brooklyn. The Nets have been hit hard with injuries this season starting with Deron Williams and his fragile ankles. Brook Lopez has also seen time in the injured list, as well as Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko.
The time has come for Anderson to step up and contribute on a nightly basis. He has a pretty decent stroke from the perimeter, but he now has to face added pressure due to the major minutes increase he will receive. With Pierce out, that will take away some of the Nets defensive schemes and late-game playmaking. Lopez and Kevin Garnett will have to do a lot more communicating to the guards on defensive rotations as well as assume the role that Pierce had in late-game situations.
He was one of the players the Nets couldn’t afford to get injured. Pierce has been consistent all season and without Kirilenko, the position is thinning by the week. The Nets hope to have Williams and Terry in the lineup soon, and that will take some pressure off players who are not use to that type of minutes.
This is a team game and when called upon, you have to do your part. Garnett needs to play like the player he has been his whole career, and Joe Johnson has to continue attacking the basket and knock down those perimeter shots like he has the past week. Lopez seems to be back in All-Star form after recovering from his injuries, and Jason Kidd seems to have put the whole “Spill-Gate” thing behind him.
Now is the time for the Nets to band together because they just lost one of the leaders not only on the floor, but in the locker room as well. Andray Blatche stepped up for Lopez while he was out. Shaun Livingston and Tyshawn Taylor managed the point in the absence of Williams. Can Anderson be the player to step in and fill Pierce’s shoes?