The Nets may lose to the Raptors if...

they don't put Andray Blatche in the starting line-up.

April 29, 2014

Hey Nets Coaching Staff! The Nets are now 2-2 when they should be (imo) at least 3-1. Here’s some free advice from a faithful fan. In my opinion, I think you guys need to add Andray Blatche to the starting line-up. As the current line-up stands, there are some serious ‘shortcomings’. Most of the line-up matches up pretty good, but there are some glaring problems.

The Match-ups :

Deron Williams (18.0ppg 5.5asts) vs. Kyle Lowry (18.3ppg 5.0asts). DRAW

Deron Williams and Lowry have basically played to a draw. Each of them have helped their team with scoring and assists. Neither of them have gotten a real edge on the other.

Paul Pierce (15.5ppg 5.0rpg) vs. Amir Johnson (10.5ppg 5.3rpg). DRAW

At first glance, it seems as though Pierce has an edge on Johnson. In reality, this match-up is closer to a draw because Johnson has a clear advantage in the important category of Offensive rebounds - 2.0 per game, to Pierce’s 0.5. ‘Die-hards’ might say Pierce still has a slight edge, but even if that’s so, it’s a very slight edge because of the extreme importance of Offensive rebounds in a Playoff game. Because of that fact, I see this match-up as basically a draw.

Joe Johnson (19.5ppg 4.0rpg) vs. Terrance Ross (2.5ppg 1.8rpg). BIG EDGE FOR NETS

Here is where the Nets have, not only a clear edge, but an overwhelming edge. Joe Johnson has been dominating his defenders. None of Toronto’s guards can stop Joe one-on-one.

Kevin Garnett (7.5ppg 5rpg) vs. Jonas Valanciunas (12.0ppg 12.0rpg) PROBLEM FOR NETS

Uh - ohh! This match-up has turned out to be a big problem for the Nets. Valanciunas is having his way with the Net Centers. The big Lithuanian has absolutely no fear of the Big Ticket – or his leadership, or even his passion.

Shaun Livingston (8.5ppg 3.8asts) vs. DeMar DeRozen (24.5ppg 2.5asts) BIG PROBLEM FOR NETS

Red alert! Sound the alarms! If you think the garnett match-up was trouble, it’s nothing compared to this match-up. Livingston has been totally ineffective against DeRozen. He is getting torched by him. To make matters worse, Livingston himself is adding to Derozen’s point totals by constantly fouling him and sending him to the Free Throw line.

Andray Blatche needs to play next to garnett in the starting line-up, in place of Shaun Livingston. This is a smart move for a number of key reasons.

1. Blatche puts up very good numbers against Valanciunas. In the four games the Nets played against Toronto during the regular season, Blatche avged 15 ppg. Valanciunas – who has been DOMINATING garnett and Plumlee - cannot stop Blatche. Why? Because a center like Valanciunas - kind of stiff, a little awkward - is made to order for a fluid player like Blatche. He’s very susceptible to Blatche’s bag of tricks. In the four games the Nets played against Toronto, he has had a very hard time dealing with Blatches' moves and fakes. That means : points on the board.

2. Blatche gives the Nets another big man to help with rebounding. As I’m sure you know, rebounding has become the Nets’ chief weakness. Toronto has out-rebounded the Nets in 6 OUT OF THE 8 GAMES they’ve played. Nets have out-rebounded them in only 1 game, and tied them in 1. Blatche is sorely needed to help with rebounding. He is CLEARLY a much better rebounder than Livingston, having grabbed an avg 5rpg, in an avg 14:16min pg. in these 4 Playoff games. Livingston has grabbed 4rpg in 28:15min pg. You guys need to make adjustments. You’re getting DESTROYED on the backboard. If you lose the Series, this is going to be a main reason why. Put Blatche in there TOGETHER with garnett, to battle Valanciunas and Johnson.

3. Livingston's defense has not been effective against DeRozen – AT ALL. One of the 2 main reasons that Livingston is starting, is to check Derozen, but, as shown above, it’s not working. The other reason Livingston is starting, is supposedly to get Deron Williams some open looks. But when I watched the game replays on NBA League Pass, I noticed that most of his passes go to Joe first, Pierce second, and Deron occasionally. Deron has been scoring on his own. With neither of the 2 main reasons bearing fruit, I think Livingston would be much more help playmaking with the 2nd Unit.

4. Pierce will be able to go back to his natural position of Small Forward. Pierce has his hands full with Johnson - and sometimes Patterson as well. Both of these men are bigger than Pierce, and, are true Power Forwards. They know how to box out, and how to crash the boards. They’re also very hard to stop when they get the ball underneath the basket. Pierce is being worn out. He’s looks tired by the end of the game, and as a result, is missing crucial shots. The ‘small ball’ plan worked during the season when Pierce didn’t always have to go against PF’s of these guys caliber, but it’s not really working now. Pierce would excel, back in his natural position, and would totally dominate Ross or Salmons.

5. Plumlee is not having any success scoring against Valanciunas. Plumlee has not been able to score against Valanciunas. He’s avging 3ppg. As I pointed out earlier, Blatch avged 15 against Valanciunas during the regular season, and is avging 7 during these Playoffs, in far less minutes played than Plumlee.

6. garnett will probably have more success against Amir Johnson than Valanciunas. Valanciunas has both the height and the weight advantage on garnett. On the other hand, garnett has both the height and weight advantage on Johnson. Therefore, I think garnett might have better results playing Power Forward against Johnson, than playing Center against Valanciunas.

7. Livingston would be more effective guarding Vasquez. I think Livingston would do a good job guarding Vasquez. Vasquez has done some serious damage to the Nets with his scoring. Livingston is the perfect person to stop him. He’s taller than Vasquez, quicker than Vasquez, and can probably even score on Vasquez. Livingston was supposed to be taking advantage of his height advantage over Lowry, but he hasn’t been able to do it that much. I think he’d score easier against Vasquez, who’s taller than Lowry, but a much poorer defender.

8. The Nets would have more height, and, weight advantages - at all five positions – than they do right now. In the current line-up, Toronto has four height, or, weight advantages over the Nets. Valanciunas has (1) the height, and (2) the weight over both Plumlee and garnett ; Amir Johnson has (3) the height over Pierce; and Derozen has (4) the weight on Livingston. With Blatche replacing Livingston, the Nets would have both the height, and, the weight advantage in every single category except one - Valanciunas is 1 inch taller than Blatche.

I know that a lot of people say Blatche makes mistakes on defense, but Blatche’s positives outweigh his negatives. Blatche can rebound better than Livingston; Blatche can score better than Plumlee, garnett and Livingston; Blatche is a bigger body to put on Valanciunas than both Plumlee and garnett; and, replacing Livingston with Blatche, improves the ENTIRE lineup as demonstrated above. So, come on guys put Blatche and garnett in the line-up TOGETHER. It’s what the team needs right now. Do it for the team.

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