This offseason is going to be an exciting one for the New Jersey Nets, but before we can move forward we must look back. Over the next couple of days, I am going to be looking at the Nets who will (most likely) be back, and review their year, from what they did well to what they didn’t. Today we are going to look at the Nets’ Most Frustrating Player, Yi Jianlian.
Yi Jianlian had a rough start to the year. After 4 games, Yi was injured and didn’t return until December 23rd (suffering setback after setback during his recovery). When he came back, there was a new Yi, but as we have seen in the past, he was unable to remain consistant.
When Yi came back from injury, he just seemed ready to play basketball, and the biggest example of this was his quick decision making. When Yi struggles, he seems to take forever to make up his mind when deciding what to do with the basketball. When he goes quick though, he gives the defense no chance to play effective defense on him:
Also, when Yi came back he was very aggressive, forcing the action. Teams were playing him as a spot up shooter, and he was making them pay, big.
It always seemed that opposing team’s Power Forward would kill the Nets, and the main reason was Yi’s lack of defense. He just didn’t really have the presence or the know-how on the defensive end most nights.
Here, Yi doesn’t have the strength or the footspeed to stay with a guy like David West. Yi seems to know where he is going, but because he needs to stay and defend the shot, he kind of gives up the drive, and doesn’t have it in him to recover. It isn’t just star players though:
I think this play sums up Yi’s season on the defensive end. Here you have an ok player, but he looks like a superstar when matched up with Yi. Here, the one place Yi can’t let Beasley go is baseline. If Yi forces him middle, Brook is there for the help that way. However, Yi lets him go baseline, Brook can’t get there in time, and Beasley gets the easy bucket.