The Brooklyn Nets mustn’t have gotten the memo that the season started in October, not January.
Since the beginning of 2014, the Nets are undefeated and have looked their best so far this season, with wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It has taken Jason Kidd a few months to find a rotation that has worked for him, and he seems ready to ride it until the wheels fall off.
The car may be running smoothly now, but this is still an old team relying on players that are past their prime, so the wheels are sounding pretty squeaky. The win against the Cavaliers was a good win even if they were without Kyrie Irving and Andrew Bynum.
The small-ball lineup hustled up anther victory, but problems still exist for the team. Rebounding is going to be a big problem for the Nets with this desperate lineup. Paul Pierce has never been a great rebounder and by starting him at power forward, they need him to get inside, bang with the big boys and pull down more than three rebounds a game. The Nets have size, but they are more finesse than strength right now.
The one thing the lineup seems to do well is spreading out the ball and finding the open man. The Nets have a great group of shooters, but they have been struggling all season to knock down their open shots. Once those 3-pointers begin to drop, they could begin to make a run not only for the Atlantic Division, but for a higher seed in the east.
It was a great win for the Nets, but even a victory can expose cracks in their armor. Kidd has to find a way to get his bigs motivated to hit the paint and grab some boards, or he will start to tweak the lineup once more.