The Nets need help, and no, not help scoring.
Opposing teams have outscored the Nets, 274-228, in the paint, and outrebounded Brooklyn, 264-242, during that stretch. Without Allen, more has been asked of veteran big man DeAndre Jordan, who is averaging just six points and seven rebounds per game. Jordan’s occasional blast-from-the-past performances are thoroughly outweighed by an inability, at age 32, to switch on pick-and-rolls and keep up with quick and crafty guards.
As evidenced by the above stats of opposing centers, Jordan is also struggling to defend players at his own position, as is rookie Reggie Perry, a second-round pick thrown into the fire. Veteran forward Jeff Green has been Brooklyn’s best option at the five, and he’s not a true center, but a small-ball option to space the floor and defend multiple positions.
Without Jarrett Allen, who was included in the blockbuster James Harden trade, an already poor Brooklyn defense has further regressed. Due to Dinwiddie’s season-ending knee injury, the Nets are expected to be granted a Disabled Player Exception worth $5,727,024, 50 percent of his $11.5 million salary. Although it hasn’t been granted yet, the Nets could use it in a trade to acquire one player on an expiring contract.
Jason Dumas reported the Nets are interested in JaVale McGee, but is he what the team needs? McGee, 33 years old, is not going to be a great offensive threat, and his defense is merely average. McGee, who picked up three championship rings during his time with the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, is in the middle of a very peculiar season. While he is averaging 8.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest, he is shooting just 44 percent on the floor, which is extremely odd considering that he shot 63 percent from the field in the last four seasons combined.
How could they address that? First, we heard about Kevin Love trade rumors, but those hardly make sense. He costs a ton and is a huge liability from a health perspective. Then, a more meaningful report surfaced in regards to Andre Drummond. Now, it’s beginning to pick up even more steam.
While the Nets are 10th in the NBA in rebounding, their offensive rebounding numbers are atrocious. They ranked 25th in the league with just 8.5 offensive boards per game. Even worse? They allow 50.1 points per game in the paint. That’s good for 28th.
Drummond, who’s led the league in rebounding four times, is averaging 14.6 boards per game this year, including 4.3 on the offensive end. Throw in a respectable defensive rating of 101, and this seems like a match made in heaven for the Nets given their deficiencies right now.