Position analysis: Power Forward
August, 4, 2014
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Garnett and Mirza Teletovic are likely candidates for starting power forward.Now that free agency has died down, we’re taking a look at where the Nets currently stand position-by-position. Today, we look at power forward.
New additions: PF Cory Jefferson
Returning/on roster: PF/C Kevin Garnett, SF/PF Mirza Teletovic, PF/C Mason Plumlee, SF/PF Andrei Kirilenko
Gone: PF/C Andray Blatche (remains unsigned)
The starter: The Nets could go a number of different ways here. If we had to venture a guess, it’s Teletovic or Garnett. But there are so many factors in play.
The wild card: Plumlee. He could start, too. It sounds as though Plumlee has the inside track on making Team USA for the FIBA World Cup in Spain. He had a terrific first season in the NBA, and the hope is he only gets better next season. Plumlee is an athletic big man who does much of his scoring around the basket -- mostly via dunks. He obviously needs to improve his defense and his jump shot. But the Nets really like him. He’s a great guy, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he emerged as the starter.
Outlook: All indications are -- both publicly and privately -- that Garnett is going to return for his 20th season. But how much will he be able to play? That’s where a young player like Plumlee enters the equation. Teletovic made huge strides in his second NBA season, and he might work well in tandem with Kirilenko. Kirilenko can play multiple positions, so he could probably play some four if coach Lionel Hollins decides to go small or with an unorthodox type of lineup. Jefferson, Mr. Irrelevant, had a nice Summer League, though his contract is only partially guaranteed, so he might have to prove himself in training camp in order to make the team. A big issue for this group, and we’ll touch on this in more depth down the road, is who is going to rebound? The Nets struggled mightily in that category last season, and didn’t add any real rebounding in the offseason. They have to hope that they can rebound as a team, and that some of their players make strides as far as board-snagging is concerned.