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Deron Williams- Distributer
Williams is a great point guard that has recently dropped in the list of elite point guards. Williams is known as one of the bigger point guards that can do just about everything. Williams was probably considered the second best point guard behind Chris Paul, while in Utah. After being traded to the Nets in 2011, Williams struggled in that role of super scorer. In his second full season as a Net, D-Will struggled with an ankle injury. He played not nearly as well as he did in his Utah days. After the all star break, however Williams became the electric superstar he once was. Adding KG, Paul Pierce and a very supporting cast to the roster should help allow Williams go back into that role of a 17 points 11 assists player instead of the 21 points 7 assists player he was as the Nets superstar.
Kevin Garnett- Defensive Anchor
Garnett doesn’t need to be the superstar he was when he was in Minnesota for the Nets to succeed this year. He needs to control the locker room, help guide the young guys and most importantly the captain of the defense. Last season, this Nets team was one of the worst defensively. There was no guy that could completely control the paint. Brook Lopez improved last season as a defender, but he still can’t control the paint nearly as well as KG can. KG is known as an excellent defender and shot blocker. No player should have an easy path to the hoop with KG locking down the paint. His role as a defender should help bring this squad to a top 10 defense.
Brook Lopez- Mid-range star
Lopez is 7 feet tall, but is not afraid to step back and shoot a jumper. In fact, Lopez excels in shooting from the 13-17 foot range. He sets up quickly and shoots a very flat-footed jumper. It seems to go in more than you would expect. It is a very important part of Lopez’s game because you have to guard him outside of the paint, which opens up the lane for guys like Deron Williams and Paul Pierce.
Paul Pierce- Offensive Juggernaut
Pierce is one of the best Celtics of all time and is 20th all time in points. He has one of the most complete offensive games that the league has ever seen. Pierce can shoot the 3, score in the post, drive to the basket, and hit the stepback jumper. His ability to score is impeccable. He can score in bunches. The Nets at times last season struggled scoring. Pierce replaces a weak small forward lineup in Gerald Wallace and Keith Bogans. He adds so much value to the Nets because he can score anytime he wants.
Joe Johnson-Clutch performer
Over the last two seasons, Johnson stats have entirely regressed. He has fallen off the map and isn’t same as the superstar he was in Atlanta. However, Johnson was excellent as a clutch shooter last season. Last year, he had the best percentage in what is considered to be clutch moments. He was 8 of 9 in these scenarios, which equates to a 89% shooting percentage. The next lowest player was about 63 percent. Johnson was the obvious player to give it to in the waning moments in the fourth quarter. Next season, the Nets will most likely give the ball to Johnson when they need a game winning shot.
Jason Terry- 6th man
Terry was an added piece to the Boston trade that was not expected. The Nets didn’t want him, but they got him because they need the salaries to match up. He will be the guy who is going need to provide a spark off the bench. He will need to shoot, shoot and shoot the three point shot. Terry isn’t the player he once used to be, but he sure can shoot as he is 4th all time in 3pt shots made of all time. Will Jason Terry average 13 PPG? Probably not. As long as he is draining threes, it will be a huge bonus over our former 3 and D player, Keith Bogans.
Andrei Kirilenko- Wild Card
Kirilenko has been a great player during his career with the Jazz and last season in Minnesota, but he is now entering a new chapter in his NBA career: The Quest For The Ring. This journey, hopefully a strong one, will be very dependent on the bench because the team is much older and have a few injury prone players such as Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. Kirilenko is a long SF that plays superb perimeter defense. His defense stood out to many during the preseason game vs. the Wizards. He uses his lankiness to advantage in order to steal passes and block shots. His defensive ability should help him earn a big role off of the Bench Mob. He needs to use his multitude of talents to his ability in order to help this team win a championship.
Reggie Evans- King of the Boards
Reggie has typically just been known as a role player who uses his agressiveness to grab offensive rebounds. Last season, he got an extended role on the Nets because of the struggle of Kris Humphries. He became the starter after about 15 games and took off from there. He became the best rebounder per 36 minutes in the NBA. I love Reggies fight and energy that he brings to the squad. If he grabs rebounds like he did last year…then the Nets won’t have to worry about Brook Lopez’s poor ability to grab boards.
Mirza Teletovic- Mirza Mirage from 3
Mirza came over from Europe and was expected to be the clear cut backup power forward. He came to America and sh** the bed. He airballed on three straight posessions for the Nets in Detroit and since that moment, he was benched in favor of Reggie for the rest of the year. Mirza has a rare shooting ability that really impressed me at times in his rookie year. I also thought that he deserved a little bit more playing time. A few knocks on Mirza was his inability to rebound or defend. The defense part was completely true. He was awful at the defensive end, but with KG and Reggie pushing him to defend in practice, Mirza should improve in his second season. The unfair about the so-called “inability to rebound” is that it is completely not true. People said that he couldn’t rebound because he was a soft European stretch 4 like Bargnani. In limited moments for the Nets, Mirza showed his decent ability to rebound. If he continues to improve on the defensive end, I believe that he will take the job as a stretch 4 for the Nets.
Andray Blatche- Locker room personality
Blatche has shown in the past that he has quite the personality. He has played countless of jokes and keeps the spirit up in Brooklyn. He finds a way to amuse his teammates, which helps them come back, while losing. In previous years, people have questioned his maturity, but I believe that the slight immaturity isn’t a bad thing because as long as he doesn’t get in trouble, I think that he will be a good piece off the bench.