Injuries, bad coaching decisions and lack of team chemistry all played a part in the Nets’ early season troubles, but those problems seem to be far behind them now. With Brook Lopez out for the season, the Nets have relied on a small-ball lineup that has produced great results since they adopted that philosophy.
Jason Kidd has won a Coach of the Month award, and the Nets have positioned themselves to possibly gain the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Joe Johnson was added to the All-Star team, and Deron Williams has regained his confidence as the team’s unofficial leader. Kevin Garnett has transformed the Nets into a legit defensive team while Paul Pierce continues to prove why he is considered one of the best two-way players in the NBA.
The bench has provided great production with Andray Blatche leading the way as one of the top reserves in the league. Andrei Kirilenko is the tough defender and hustle king the Nets hoped he would be when they signed him this offseason. Mason Plumlee has blossomed into a potential starter for next season with his high energy motor and powerful dunks.
The season didn’t start the way they had planned, but they are trying to finish where many thought they would. The race for the Conference might be out of reach at this point in the season, but the chase for the NBA Crown is still up for grabs. The Nets have been through too much to let any opportunity pass by now.