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Thursday, March 6, 2014
Starting Five: Dray does it big in Brooklyn

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- The scoop shot off the glass that gave his team a 79-53 lead in the third quarter, Andray Blatche figured, was Magic Johnson-esque.

The whole sequence that led up to it -- the spin move, the Eurostep -- that was like a chicken dinner, Blatche said.

“You know ... that’s some Magic Johnson,” Blatche said, his voice trailing off, as if he couldn’t even take himself seriously. “I pull out some tricks every once in a while. I might go down to Rucker [Park] this summer.

Andray Blatche
Nets center Andray Blatche is all about having fun, on and off the court.
“The whole thing, it’s like a chicken dinner, you’ve got the roll, the corn ... ”

For the most part, the Brooklyn Nets never really know which Blatche will show up at any given game. On any given possession, really.

Well, the Nets got Good Dray Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, and that meant a 16-minute, 12-point, four-rebound, three-block performance from their 6-foot-11 reserve, who plays like a guard and likes to keep the mood light in the locker room, always joking and clowning around.

“He keeps us laughing, keeps us smiling,” Deron Williams said with a smile. “He’s out there having fun. When he’s going into his live mode, ‘Dray Live’ mode, anything can happen.”

Pretty much.

Of course, Blatche has given the Nets 11.8 points and 5.7 rebounds on 47.2 percent shooting in 53 games. And when he’s playing D, he can be a real asset. Even if most of his plays -- both good and bad -- leave you shaking your head.

Question: What do you think about the man they call Dray Live? Let us know in the comments section.

In case you missed it: Jason Collins signed a second 10-day contract, and Kevin Garnett missed his third straight game. But the Nets didn’t need him, because Marcus Thornton carried the load off the bench. Oh, and as Ohm Youngmisuk writes, the Nets are a game over .500 for the first time this season. And they’re quite a confident bunch, too.

Stat of the day: The Nets are 18-2 when giving up fewer than 95 points.

Up next: A day off. Then it’s back to Boston for KG and Paul Pierce on Friday night.