Photo Credit: shinya, Flickr.com
The Brooklyn Nets (26-16) are rolling under the new regime of interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. The backcourt of point guard Deron Williams and shooting guard Joe Johnson are a formidable threat for Brooklyn. However, it is the frontcourt that holds the key to the Nets’ success.
The frontcourt of small forward Gerald Wallace, power forward Reggie Evans and center Brook Lopez have been long-awaited surprises for the Nets notably Lopez, who has been playing like an All-Star. The center is averaging 18.6 points per game with 7.4 rebounds per game. His last three games should prove the Nets have their man in the center role.
Lopez scored 20 points against the Hawks, 22 against the Timberwolves and recorded a double-double against the Knicks. All three performances were pivotal for the Nets in these last three victories.
Gerald Wallace was underrated during his time with Sacramento and Portland. On the Nets, the small forward is showing his value in the basketball world. He’s not an attractive option stats-wise, but he is a clutch, hard-working individual who has the tough tasks of guarding top players. Wallace, a defensive stopper, is crucial to the Nets.
He and Evans have become the spark plugs the Nets sorely lacked last season. Let’s not forget Evans, who also provides solid work through his rebounding. Though he has slowed down from his 20-rebound game against Atlanta, he still averages 8.9 rebounds per game.
With Evans nearly averaging nine rebounds per game, Wallace as a defensive stopper and Lopez living up to his worth, the Nets’ frontcourt has become the Nets’ backbone. They sustain the Nets while the guards take the glory.
Let Williams and Johnson garner the attention. The Nets’ starting frontcourt deliver and will continue to deliver the stability needed for the Nets.
Evans and Wallace will provide the energy and set the tone defensively. They can keep the Nets in any game, which is vital considering the competition in the league.
Lopez is removing any doubts the Nets might have by not trading for Dwight Howard. Lopez’s task is to keep his hot streak going because as long as he maintains his best season yet, Howard will turn into a distant memory for Brooklyn.
If Lopez, Wallace and/or Evans get hurt, the Nets have options to fill those roles.
They utilize their backup forwards and centers effectively. Center Andray Blatche and power forward Kris Humphries prove their worth coming off the bench. Blatche currently averages 11 points per game, while Humphries records seven rebounds a game. Both are reliable and can become legitimate threats to any team.
The Nets’ frontcourt has become the spine of their team. The trio of Lopez, Evans and Wallace has progressively made their team a growing threat in the Eastern Conference. Conceivably, keeping this momentum going could result in clutching their division and undoubtedly the Eastern Conference.
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