Analysis: Life without Truth


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Brooklyn Nets got off to a slow start with Paul Pierce.

But now, the Nets will find out how life is without "The Truth" for potentially as long as a month after Pierce fractured his right hand.

Let's take a look at what life without Pierce could be like for the next 2-4 weeks:

The schedule: The Nets say Pierce hurt his hand in the first half of the loss to the Houston Rockets on Nov. 29. If Pierce is out the minimum of two weeks, that means he will miss at least five games, including last Saturday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, which Pierce sat out.

Next Thursday, the Nets play the Los Angeles Clippers and Pierce's old coach, Doc Rivers. That would be exactly two weeks from when Pierce broke his hand. Seems way too quick for the Nets forward to return. The Nets will likely take it slow with him and make sure their veteran is 100 percent when he returns.

So, if Pierce needs a month from when he broke his hand last Thursday, he could miss 12 games and potentially return against the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 27. The Nets also play at the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 28. The Nets could keep him out for the entire month of December to be safe. They play 14 games in the month, nine of which are at home.

Unfortunately for Pierce, he will miss his first game as a Net against the Knicks. Remember, Pierce wants to convert as many Knicks fans as possible, and he's no fan of the team, considering his rivalry with the Knicks while a Boston Celtic and his back-and-forth this summer with J.R. Smith.

Pierce will also likely miss his first game against Boston next Tuesday at Barclays Center and a game against Doc next Thursday. Other notable games Pierce could miss are home games against Indiana (Dec. 23) and the Chicago Bulls (Christmas Day) and road games at Indiana (Dec. 28) and San Antonio (Dec. 31).

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

#34 SF
Brooklyn Nets

2014 STATS

  • GM15
  • PPG12.4

  • RPG4.9

  • APG2.8

  • FG%.368

  • FT%.851

Replacing Pierce: Pierce has struggled this season, shooting only 36.8 percent overall and 26.8 percent from behind the 3-point arc, while averaging 12.4 points and 4.9 rebounds. Pierce rarely looked comfortable and was trying hard to find his way with the Nets. That process is now put on hold, and things might run a bit smoother for the team. Let's make it clear: I am not saying the Nets are better without Pierce. No way. But Pierce will even admit that he was trying to find his comfort level and that was a struggle.

The Nets have to find a way to replace Pierce's offense (he's a proven scorer who was a late-game option) and ability to get to the line when he's aggressive.

Alan Anderson will be the beneficiary of Pierce's absence. He will probably start, like he did against Memphis, and Jason Kidd likes his energy and hustle. The Nets are going to rely even more on Joe Johnson for offense, perimeter shooting and to carry the load with the second unit. Brook Lopez will remain a focal point.

Mirza Teletovic should continue to see steady playing time, and Tornike Shengelia might even see some more minutes than normal. The Nets could sure use Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry back, though. Kirilenko could ease the blow of Pierce's injury big time.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

#2 PF
Brooklyn Nets

2014 STATS

  • GM15
  • PPG6.8

  • RPG7.7

  • APG1.9

  • FG%.366

  • FT%.857

KG to lead more: Pierce might not have been playing up to the level he's accustomed to, but the Nets certainly have leadership and experience voids to fill now. You're taking out a 16-year veteran who has hit countless clutch shots and knows how to win big games.

Even though there's a minutes restriction for Kevin Garnett, Kidd could have to play his other former Celtic a bit more while Pierce is out. Garnett isn't an offensive force, but he anchors the team's defense and provides the Nets with invaluable experience on the court. Garnett is also not playing up to the level he's accustomed to, but he provides the team with a calming presence on the floor since he's a proven winner.

Garnett will miss his best friend on the court, but the Nets will need Garnett to step up, lead even more with Pierce out and be the glue more than ever for the team.

Tell us what you think the Nets have to do without Pierce for potentially the next month.