Friday, June 28, 2013
What challenges will new-look Nets face?
By Mike Mazzeo
The Brooklyn Nets took a major step toward their quest to win a title by 2014-15, agreeing in principle on a blockbuster trade that would land them future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Still, there are some concerns facing the team. ESPNNewYork.com examines some of them:
Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson: Are they too similar to share time in one lineup?
Kidd's challenge: Jason Kidd has become a sidebar the last couple days. But the bottom line is that Kidd is going to coach his first-ever game a little more than a week from now in the Orlando Summer League. GM Billy King has given Kidd a roster full of talented veterans who are ready to win now, so there's not much margin for error.
Kidd will have to work with his lead assistant, Lawrence Frank, to develop a system built on half-court offense, because the Nets aren't going to be able to run much for easy baskets, something Kidd hoped to get more of when he was hired.
Managing an older roster: KG is 37, while Pierce and Jason Terry are both 35. Joe Johnson, who turns 32 on Saturday, is coming off a season in which he was plagued by plantar fasciitis, though he says his foot is "100 percent." Brook Lopez, 25, just had a screw replaced in his right foot. Deron Williams, 29, battled through a variety issues -- most notably to his ankles -- before taking a week off to get healthy at the All-Star break.
he Nets obviously don't want to be worn out by playoff-time, so it's going to be imperative that Kidd makes sure to manage everyone's minutes and give them significant rest. Placing a call into Doc Rivers to see how he managed Garnett and Pierce might not be a bad idea.
The Johnson/Pierce dynamic: Johnson and Pierce can both score, but how will they play together? After all, both like to dominate the ball. But it's not just about those two players alone. Everyone on the team is going to have to buy in and get acclimated with one another. Personal stats might wind up being down, but as long as the Nets are winning, that won't matter.