Alan Anderson: 41.0 FG%, 7.9 PPG, 1.2 APG, 2.2 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 0.7 TPG, 23.2 MPG
Iman Shumpert: 40.8 FG%, 7.3 PPG, 2.3 APG, 3.6 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.2 TPG, 29.7 MPG
When the Nets signed Alan Anderson to fill out their roster, it cost Brooklyn’s ownership five times his actual cost. Why pay so much in luxury tax for a forward that may never play? Well, this is why. With Pierce and Kirilenko out for the foreseeable future, it will be Alan Anderson getting the lion’s share of minutes.
While neither of these guys have eye-popping statistics, they belong on the court. Anderson and Shumpert take on the “3 and D” role that every team with championship aspirations needs (AHEM, YOU GUYS), defending opposing wings on defense and contributing when needed on offense. Both know their roles and, aside from taking some ill-advised shots, don’t try to extend themselves. In other words, they’d be perfect players for teams like San Antonio or Indiana. But on floundering New York franchises this season, they’ve been called upon to do more.
Neither have huge roles in their respective team’s offenses, but they’ll be called upon to play stellar defense in huge situations (if neither team is down by 20 after the third), so their roles are crucial in this game.
If Anderson and Shumpert guard each other, expect them to cancel each other out. Neither is particularly electric dribbling the ball and both will likely elect to hang out behind the three-point line more than anywhere else. Presumably, it’s reasonable to expect Shumpert on Joe Johnson and Anderson on Carmelo Anthony at points in this game.
Barring the unexpected, the game won’t be won or lost with Anderson and Shumpert. But if each annoys Anthony or Johnson into ineffectiveness, their defense could tip the scales.
Coach Kidd was instrumental in bringing Alan Anderson into Brooklyn; but everything else he’s touched has turned to fool’s gold so it will be interesting to see if Anderson spontaneously combusts on court.
|Next: Carmelo Anthony vs. Joe Johnson|