The Brooklyn Nets bench played an integral role for them during the 2012-13 season so much so that by the end of the year Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans were starters. Next season the bench looks like it will have an even greater impact as Blatche and Evans return to the wood and join newcomers Shaun Livingston, Andrei Kirilenko, Jason Terry, Mason Plumlee, and D.J. White.
That’s pretty solid depth at each position. Behind Brook Lopez will be Blatche and Plumlee, behind Kevin Garnett will be Evans and Mirza Teletovic, behind Paul Pierce will be Kirilenko and Tornike Shengelia, behind Joe Johnson will be Terry, and behind Deron Williams will be Livingston and Tyshawn Taylor. How about that for depth?
Just having Blatche and Evans returning to the bench would alone be a big upgrade, but it seems like Kirilenko is the key that takes them from a good to a great bench and it’s something that hasn’t gone unnoticed.
The coup was snagging Kirilenko, who signed for $3.18 million after opting out of his $10-million deal with Minnesota. Kirilenko is always a nagging injury away from missing handfuls of games at a time, but the 6-foot-9 countryman of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is a do-it-all stat-sheet-filler. He is a sneaky offensive presence on the baseline and a rangy defender the Nets can use against Carmelo Anthony and other rival scoring threats.
The Nets have gone from a good but flawed team to a championship contender this offseason. It’s not just because of the additions of KG and Pierce. The way this team is built, they will be able to attack the opposition with many different weapons.