The Brooklyn Nets entered Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz two players short, as they made a trade earlier in the day to acquire Marcus Thornton from the Sacramento Kings. In the process, they shipped out Jason Terry and big man Reggie Evans.
The Nets might have gained a shooter in the trade, but they failed to grab a big body and that is what they needed most. During the next 30 games until the playoffs begin, they might get away with the fact they are undersized in the frontcourt. However, when the playoffs roll around and it becomes a halfcourt game, this is where the problems might start to form.
Kevin Garnett has the size, but he doesn’t have the mobility and power he once possessed when he was younger. Andray Blatche is not the kind of center that will get you 20 points and 15 rebounds a game; he is more of a finesse post player and spends most of his time on the perimeter. Mason Plumlee doesn’t have the skill set, body or mind frame to bang down low with the likes of Roy Hibbert.
The Miami Heat won consecutive championship with a small ball lineup, but the Nets don’t have LeBron James or Dwayne Wade either, so they must find a way to get the ball in the paint and do some damage. I thought they would really try to go after Jordan Hill during the trade window, but he is really not the inside banger you truly need in the playoffs. My money was still on Andrew Bynum, but he was picked up by the Indiana Pacers already.
The problem the Nets are facing is that Jason Kidd can’t afford to pull a Greg Popovich and rest Garnett during games, because the Nets will struggle without his defensive intensity. The Eastern Conference might be weak, but that doesn’t mean that you have time to play around and rest players.
The much needed big man didn’t happen for the Nets and it will cost them in the long run unless Brook Lopez and the medical staff pull off a miracle. I have faith in my Nets, but it would be much stronger with the addition of a playoff, battle-tested big man.