While watching last night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, I couldn’t help thinking about Mark’s terrific post on the Nets new “Big Three.” As I watched the game, I saw two thirds of this new big three play very well. Courtney Lee scored 30 points on 13-20 shooting and Devin Harris put in 28 points on 9-18 shooting. However the big man in this triangle of players, Brook Lopez, battled foul trouble in the first half and really seemed to struggle the entire game. Lopez scored 10 points on 3-10 shooting and was only able to pull down 7 rebounds (including a whopping 0 in the first half).
Now I am not going to get on Brook Lopez for one bad game. He has been the Nets’ most consistent performer all year and bad games are bound to happen. But what this bad game from Brook Lopez goes to show is how dependent this current roster is on the Nets’ new “Big Three.” For the Nets to get a win, they need Courtney Lee, Devin Harris, and Brook Lopez to all play well because there simply isn’t enough production coming from the rest of the roster. Look at last night’s game for example, if Brook puts up his average and scores 19 points, the Nets win. Instead, he scores 10 points and there is nobody there to pick up the slack. When good teams have their stars struggle, they usually can get someone else to help out in terms of scoring. Let’s use the Grizzlies as an example as their best player, Zach Randolph, ended up not playing. They needed some extra scoring to come from somewhere, and Mike Conley ended up picking up the slack scoring 21 (he averages 10).
Is there someone on the Nets roster who can do what Mike Conley did last night (pick up the scoring load when the main guys aren’t able to)? I don’t think so. Terrence Williams has been playing very well as of late, but he isn’t a scorer at this point in his career. Keyon Dooling and Jarvis Hayes are guys who can knock down jumpers, but they aren’t going to go out and get 20 points for you. Chris Douglas-Roberts has the potential to do it, but he is so wildly inconsistent you can’t depend on him. Then there is Josh Boone and Trenton Hassell. These are two guys who are going to work their butt of for your team, but they couldn’t score 10 points alone in a gym.
If the Nets are going to avoid infamy and get that coveted 10th win, the Nets are going to need to find someone who can provide a 4th scoring option, a guy who can help pick up the slack when either Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee or Devin Harris struggle. Who is that going to be? Well, when Kris Humphries arrived from Dallas, he was putting up great numbers, but now he is struggling. My candidate is Terrence Williams, because as teams start to play him for the pass, lanes are going to open up. If nobody steps up, the Nets probably won’t get to 10 wins unless Courtney Lee, Brook Lopez, and Devin Harris start combining for 80 points a game or something like that.