Nets to feature two point guards, Pierce at power forward in small-ball starting lineup

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce (AP)
Paul Pierce
Nets forward Paul Pierce will start at PF tonight. (AP)

The Nets face off against a young, quick Milwaukee Bucks team, and they’ll counter with their most non-traditional lineup yet.

For the first time this season, Nets head coach Jason Kidd elected to feature two point guards in his starting lineup, putting the 6’7″ Shaun Livingston next to Deron Williams.

But the quirks don’t end there: flanking Livingston and Williams are two wing players, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce, with Kevin Garnett manning the center position as expected.

The change removes Mirza Teletovic and Alan Anderson from the starting lineup, a move that Kidd stressed was not a demotion for either player.

It’s the 13th different lineup the Nets have had all season, and it’s an interesting one. The Nets have used a league-most 245 lineups this season, and this is still one they’ve never used.

Livingston will likely handle a lion’s share of the half-court creative duties, with Pierce, Johnson, and Williams looking for three-point shots and late-clock isolations. Garnett will have to play more time in the post (as will Johnson), but running this lineup eschews offensive rebounding for a team that’s not that good at it anyway.

The Nets used Gerald Wallace at power forward last year in a similar role to how they’ll utilize Pierce tonight, and did find success in short-term bursts.

Pierce is an underrated rebounder, but considering he still has a broken bone in his right hand, he may not want to spend too much time exerting physicality on defense. That said, his main assignments at power forward are likely John Henson and Ersan Ilyasova, who are not particularly physical players.