Things were looking especially pathetic for the Brooklyn Nets right around Christmas time as their $190 million team seemed to be completely falling apart. Since then, they have begun to turn things around and one of the reasons has been the emergence of Andray Blatche.
Blatche had been a big reason for the Nets struggles as he had been about as inconsistent a player they had on their team. In the three games leading up to Christmas he was a complete mess too as he averaged just eight points, five rebounds and zero blocks while still playing 24.2 minutes per game.
So Jason Kidd asked him to take four games off and told reporters that it was for “personal reasons”. Rumors about what those personal reasons were vary from some kind of punishment for his behavior or conditioning to actual personal family issues. Whatever it was, he was away from the team and practicing at the Nets’ New Jersey facility while they were gone.
Now that he’s back it seems that Blatche’s confidence has come back with him because over the last three games he has shown off the good-Blatche. It’s not surprising that the Nets have won all three of his most recent games too as he has averaged 19 points, 10.3 rebounds and a steal and block per game coming off the bench. The big difference seems to be his confidence.
“Being aggressive,” Blatche said. “Just being aggressive and confident, taking the shot when it presents itself. Other than that, I can’t say much. It’s just all about being aggressive.”
Now this is not the first time he’s played well all season. We’ve seen it in spurts, but this recent run he legitimately seems more comfortable, confident and perhaps it will last because when he’s coming off the bench with his A-game he is a difference maker like he was in London and has been in the Knicks and Magic games. Hopefully he can keep it up.
“His teammates, the coaches, we all believe in him,” Kidd said. “When he plays well, we’re a different team. He’s been playing extremely well for us, and also playing the five. It’s gotten him around the basket where he’s been great with the ball and also finishing.”