Andrei Kirilenko is back in the lineup, and Andray Blatche is set to make his return tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jason Terry has had a few games under his belt since returning from injury, but the team is still without All-Star center Brook Lopez.
The Nets will try to use a small-ball lineup to hide the fact they are undersized as a team. Kevin Garnett is not the center that will lead you to the promised land. A few years ago this move would of been a great decision, but Garnett is on wrong side of 37 and he no longer has the athleticism to compete with the young centers in the league.
Paul Pierce at the power forward has its advantages, but Pierce is in the later stages of his career as well and can’t move like he once did. Kidd can try to use Pierce to post up or guard Blake Griffin all he wants, but Griffin will abuse him in every aspect of the game. This plan worked well against a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder who does not have great size themselves. What happens when they face a team like the Indiana Pacers or Portland Trail Blazers who have great size and mobility?
In the Eastern Conference the Nets can hide their deficiencies and pull out a playoff berth. The majority of the teams in the East play small-ball so this will work in their favor if they plan to make a run. Not too many teams have the Nets’ experience at every position, and it seems that Kidd has found a lineup that can utilize their experience as well as exploit of few match-up problems for opponents.
They have done a great job so far now. We just have to wait and see if they can sustain the momentum going forward.