Position Grades for Brooklyn Nets Through Week 5
Position Grades for Week 5
The Brooklyn Nets finished week five with a record of 8-15 which is good for third in the Atlantic Division.
This was probably the Nets' best week this season. Players such as Deron Williams and Paul Pierce returned to the lineup after dealing with various injuries. Joe Johnson found his shooting touch in a few games this week, and Mirza Teletovic showed Jason Kidd that he needs more playing time off the bench.
The Nets rode a three game winning streak until a bad call ended the joyous ride in Detroit Friday night. They proved to the Los Angeles Clippers that when they are a focused team they can contend with anybody. The whispers surrounding Kidd’s job have not affected this group one bit. It actually has seem to bring them closer together.
With upcoming games against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards the Nets have a chance to bring their record to a respectable level before they face the NBA's toughest teams. The race for a playoff spot in the east is not over for the Nets as they currently sit in 11th place, two games back of the Wizards. The season can easily be saved with another winning streak.
The team is quite capable of stringing together a few wins here and there, and once all the injured players have returned then we could be looking at maybe a 10 game streak instead of a three gamer.
Here are my position grades for the Nets through the fifth week of action.
5. Point Guards
Deron Williams has returned from injury with one mission: destroy opposing point guards. He has played like the Williams of old since returning, and the Nets have taken off under his guidance.
Shaun Livingston has seen his minutes decrease with the return of Williams, but he has regained his role as the team's backup point guard.
Tyshawn Taylor was in a back and forth battle with Livingston for playing time and seems to have lost out on the backup job.
4. Shooting Guards
Joe Johnson continues to have these up and down weeks. I wonder how the team would do if he could just stay consistent for a few solid weeks.
Alan Anderson is still starting for Paul Pierce even after Pierce returned to the lineup, and it has seemed to do wonders for Anderson’s confidence. He has been great in his starting role and should flourish as the season continues.
Jason Terry has not suited up this week, and the team misses his shooting and leadership badly.
3. Small Forward
Paul Pierce returned with his hand heavily taped for protection. I guess he got tired of watching his team lose. He chose to come off the bench and the team got rolling ever since. He has not put up typical Pierce numbers, but his presence alone has been a source of excitement for the team and fans.
Andrei Kirilenko is still on the injured list with a sore back. The team is desperately awaiting his return to bring balance to the second unit.
Tornike Shengelia does not see much playing time, and that will not change unless some freakish injury accident happens to half of the roster.
2. Power Forwards
Kevin Garnett has managed to keep his starting position only because of his name and the fact that Kidd must be scared of him. He played pretty well this week; not so much scoring wise, but the defense, rebounding and hustle has provided a spark and lift for his teammates.
Reggie Evans' minutes have disappeared and for what reason I have no idea. He is a great rebounder, but he can't help your team from the bench.
Mirza Teletovic is proving that he is deserving of more playing time. His outside shot is poetry in motion and instant offense the Nets should be taking advantage of.
Brook Lopez has carried this team since his return from injury, but now he faces another setback after going down against the Clippers. Can he get back in time to help the Nets return to glory?
Andray Blatche has been remarkable this season. Whether it's filling in for Lopez or starting, Blatche has continued to be an offensive force for the Nets.
Mason Plumlee has bumped Evans from the rotation. Plumlee brings energy and hustle to the lineup, and the Nets need all the help they can get.