The turn of the calendar has brought hope for the Brooklyn Nets and their fan base. The Nets’ first win of 2014 came against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are one of the best teams in the NBA. It was a hard-fought game and one the team needed to gain some confidence going forward. The togetherness they showed were what fans have been looking for the whole season.
Jason Kidd continues to experiment with different lineups, trying to find the one that can give him what he is looking for. The starting unit of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Shawn Livingston, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett played with emotion and a sense of urgency.
With the injuries the Nets have faced this season, many would have understood if they had completely given up on the season and tanked for a high draft pick. However, the Nets are full of veterans who have pride and something to prove on the line, and quitting is not an option especially when they are still within reach of a division title.
The return of Andrei Kirilenko will pay huge dividends as the Nets continue to right the ship. He is a valuable player for the second unit with his ability to drive, shoot and defend the perimeter and post. The loss of Brook Lopez will hurt, but if the bench can pick up some of the scoring slack, then the Nets can get on a roll and put some distance between themselves and the rest of the division.
With the return of Andray Blatche on Saturday the Nets will be near full strength for the first time since the beginning of the season. Kidd will finally be able to find a suitable rotation that should lift the Nets out of the basement.