Alan Anderson has to go up to Jason Kidd and tell him he can be the Kerry Kittles of this current Brooklyn Nets roster.
Over a decade ago slashing was the name of the game in the NBA, and Kittles was one of the best to ever do it. His scoring averages were modest at best during his career, but when the game was on the line he wanted the ball in his hands. As a stout perimeter defender a lot of his energy was used to shut down the opponents’ best perimeter threat, and he did it well. Anderson has a lot of the same traits as Kittles, but he has yet to truly grasp the role that he would thrive in.
Anderson has a pretty nice handle, can get to the rim when determined to do so and has the ability to step behind the three-point line and drain a few if he gets hot. The Nets are in dire need of a player that slashes to the hoop. Joe Johnson was never much of a slasher, Paul Pierce used to be great at it but age has drained him of that skill and Andrei Kirilenko is still is trying to get his legs under him after being out most of the season.
In order to be a great slasher you need bigs that are willing and capable of making a great pass as you enter the lane. Kevin Garnett is one of the best passing big men in the league and will get the ball in at the right time and position to give Anderson his chance to make things happen at the rim. He also has the body to be able to take the punishment that comes with the title of slasher. Anderson is 220-pounds while Kittles was only 185-pounds, and the constant banging took its toll on Kittles’ body as he only played eight seasons in the NBA.
If the Nets are going to make the playoffs and advance then Anderson will have to sacrifice his body for the good of the team. Kidd was the star of those back-to-back Finals teams, but without Kittles there would have been no Finals appearances for the Nets. Anderson has to recognize his gifts, embrace them and then unleash them on the rest of the league. If he does that then he will be as valuable to this Brooklyn team as Kittles was to those New Jersey teams.