Brook’s out. Now what?

Brook Lopez

3. Kevin Garnett at PF, Andray Blatche at C

Nets Raptors Basketball
Could Blatche and Garnett protect the paint? (AP)

Together in 2013-14: 11 GP, 74 MIN, 99.5 points scored per 100 possessions, 108.1 points allowed per 100 possessions, -8.6 net rating
Highest rank: 1st
Lowest rank: 3rd
Most common rank: 3rd
Devin’s rank: 3rd
Average rank: 2.4

Max’s take: The Blatche/Garnett tandem is the safety school: it was the only one that no one ranked lower than third, but not many saw it as a favorite.

With Brook Lopez out, most of the remaining five big men will now go from legitimate minutes to major minutes. With Kevin Garnett on a tight minutes restriction this season, it’s often been Andray Blatche coming in to replace him around the 6:30 mark of the 1st quarter.

Will Kidd want to stick with Blatche as his first big man off the bench, or will he want to start the player who ranks 46th in the NBA in PER this season?

If Blatche were inserted into the starting lineup to play alongside Garnett, the Nets starting unit would remain big. But would it be successful? In 74 minutes in which Blatche has played alongside Kevin Garnett this season, the Nets own a Net Rating of -8.6 with a DefRtg of 108.1 — which would rank 2nd to last in the NBA, in front of only Utah.

Another thing that should be monitored if Blatche is to replace Lopez in the starting lineup, is how well he plays with Deron Williams — the team’s main playmaker.

Blatche has isolated on 39 plays this season or 11.6% of his total plays (via Synergy). Compare that with Teletovic (1 total isolation) and Garnett (0 total isolations), it’s pretty clear that Blatche is rather self-sufficient on the offensive end.

As for his use of the pick and roll, Blatche has been the “roll-man” on the pick-and-roll on just 10.4% of his plays this season while Garnett has been the roll-man on 25.9% of his.

In 175 minutes with Williams on the floor, Blatche is scoring 1.01 points per possession on 46% shooting. With Williams off the floor, Blatche is scoring 1.05 points per possession on 47.9% shooting.

This suggests that Blatche is mainly an isolationist who doesn’t rely on Williams to create offense for him as much as say, Mirza Teletovic does.

Because of this, Kidd should stick with Blatche as the 6th man: he’ll lead the second unit by creating offense for himself and can be flanked by the defensive-minded Kirilenko upon his return.


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